BSO Performs World Premiere of Overture for 2012 During Star-Spangled Sailabration Week in June

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New Philip Glass composition featured in War of 1812 bicentennial tribute; PNC Foundation funding makes the experience accessible

Star-Spangled Sailabration

Gov. Martin O’Malley, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) with BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, and the PNC Foundation announce a world-premiere performance of composer Philip Glass’ Overture for 2012, Sunday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.

The performance of Overture for 2012 conducted by Maestra Alsop is part of Star-Spangled Symphony, a 90-minute musical celebration that highlights Star-Spangled Sailabration – the June 13-19 international maritime festival in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Sailabration launches Maryland’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration.

Tickets for Star-Spangled Symphony are $15 and available online at the BSO web site, beginning today. The reduced ticket price for this historic event is made possible by a grant from the PNC Foundation which receives its principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

The state of Maryland and City of Toronto had jointly commissioned Glass to create a symphonic work that honors the War of 1812 bicentennial as a companion piece to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Representatives of the two entities were interested in having a new musical work debut concurrently in June during Sailabration and at Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, as a tribute to the legacy of the war, a conflict that had vital historical significance for both the U.S. and Canada. For the U.S., the War of 1812 was the “second war of independence” and source of the iconic 15-star, 15-stripe flag that inspired the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Current plans call for Glass’ Overture for 2012 to be performed simultaneously on the evening of June 17 by the BSO and by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Luminato's closing weekend. The Star-Spangled Symphony also includes BSO renditions of patriotic works by American composers. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture closes the evening.

“It is incredibly exciting to perform a world premiere simultaneously with our colleagues from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra,” said Maestra Alsop. “Baltimore-native Philip Glass is the ideal person to create a work that celebrates Baltimore’s past and the shared history and special relationship that exists between the U.S. and Canada.” 

As the Title Sponsor of the concert, PNC has made it possible to cap the ticket cost at $15, appealing to a broad audience.

“The concert and the other events associated with Sailabration give all Marylanders an opportunity to pause and consider the region’s contributions to the defense, security and identity of our nation,” said Louis R. Cestello, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “Please join us in the celebration.”

The June maritime festival, Star-Spangled Sailabration, features more than 40 international tall ships and naval vessels, which will offer free public tours. It also includes an air show in which the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform over Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. More information about Sailabration is available at


About Star-Spangled 200, Inc.
Star-Spangled 200, Inc. is the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the fundraising goals of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and is charged with helping to ensure the realization of successful programs, events, and community investment during the three-year commemoration period. For more information about Star-Spangled Sailabration: visit

About the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission
Established by Governor Martin O'Malley, the commission is staffed by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Division of Tourism Film and the Arts. The bicentennial period runs from June 2012 through February 2015. It commemorates Maryland's unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation, including the pivotal battle that led to an American victory and the birth of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” For more information: visit

About Marin Alsop, BSO Music Director
Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop became the first woman to head a major American orchestra with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2007. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008. She was recently named the music director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do estado de São Paulo (OSESP), effective in the coming 2012-13 season. Additionally, in summer 2011, Maestra Alsop served her 20th season as music director of the acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.

About the PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life.

About Philip Glass
Born in 1937, Philip Glass grew up in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Julliard School and in Europe with Nadia Boulanger. Through his operas, symphonies, compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists, Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.

About the New Commission
Overture for 2012 was co-commissioned by the Maryland State Arts Council; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Music Director, Marin Alsop; City of Toronto; Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity; Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Peter Oundjian.

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