When Marin Alsop conducted the opening concert for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra there was a lot of press. (There are plenty more links if you check google.) She even received a standing O at the beginning of the concert. She was, after all, the first woman conductor of a major symphony orchestra. But I guess Buffalo isn’t happy.

Oh yeah. Joanne Falletta.

But, well, there is major and then there’s major. I guess.

Is there a specific ranking order of symphony orchestras out there? That we can trust? And who determines that anyway? Is there anyone who has heard all the professional orchestras in the US? Doubtful. Does the Top Five even count any more? (Neither Baltimore nor Buffalo are on that list.)


  1. Not to mention the fact that Alsop had conducted the Colorado Symphony, which was (is) also a top tier orchestra. Not a “major” orchestra though? I’m curious about the answer to your question. Who decides?

  2. I haven’t a clue who gets to decide this.

    But no one asked me. 😉