Symphony Number One

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Symphony Number One
"Substantial Works by Emerging Composers"
Concert hall
Principal conductorJordan Randall Smith

Symphony Number One (SNO) is a chamber orchestra primarily devoted to new music based in Baltimore, Maryland. SNO performs approximately 15 concerts each year in musical venues in Mount Vernon, Baltimore and across the city. Jordan Randall Smith is Symphony Number One’s founder and current music director.[1][2]


Eight Symphony Number One musicians perform outdoors in August 2017.

Symphony Number One was founded in 2015 by Jordan Randall Smith, Nicholas Bentz, and Sean Meyers, all of whom were graduate and undergraduate students at the Peabody Institute.[3][4] Symphony Number One is a chamber orchestra devoted to performing works by emerging composers. A non-profit performing arts organization, SNO maintains close relationships with the other independent classical music organizations of Baltimore, and is a part of Maryland's classical arts space.[5] With its focus on contemporary music, SNO can also be classified as a contemporary classical ensemble.

The orchestra's president is Dr. Janan Broadbent and Ben Goldberg is SNO's Composer-in-Residence. The orchestra's current concertmaster is Nikita Borisevich. Founder Jordan Randall Smith and co-founder Nicholas Bentz are current members of the collective. The other co-founder was Saxophonist Sean Meyers; Smith, Bentz, and Meyers first met at the Peabody Institute.[6] The three put together the inaugural concert in May 2015 at the Baltimore War Memorial.[7][8] In 2017, SNO appointed Brian Tracey as Executive Director.[9]

SNO was invited to perform at the inaugural Light City festival on April 2, 2016 in Baltimore.[10][11][12] In September 2016, Symphony Number One began its second season with compositions by Strauss, Mahler, and Steve Reich.[13] SNO was named a "Category Buster" by Baltimore Magazine in their 2016 "Best of Baltimore" issue;[14] SNO also won runner up for "Best Band" in Baltimore Magazine's Reader's Poll.[15] In addition, SNO was featured in I Care if You Listen's Mixtape #20. [16]

Symphony Number One emphasizes inclusionary policies in orchestra membership, audience access, and selection of featured composers.[17][18] SNO is a two-time recipient of grants by Women's Philharmonic Advocacy for multiple commissions of female composers.[19][20]


Notable premieres[edit]

Symphony Number One’s cornerstone project is the commissioning of new works. SNO has commissioned several works from American and international composers, which include:


John Adams

  • Son of Chamber Symphony

Pierre Boulez

  • Dérive 2

Anton Bruckner

Antonín Dvořák

Charles Ives

Gustav Mahler

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Richard Strauss

  • Sonatine No. 2

Igor Stravinsky


Dan Deacon

  • "When I was done Dying"

Lady Gaga

Leonard Cohen

Martina Lynch

  • "Dear Media"


Music directors[edit]


SNO is a flexible collective of approximately thirty artist-entrepreneurs, including instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, and sound and production designers. The musicians also serve as the executive and operational leadership.[33][34]

Performances and tours[edit]

External video
Smith's TED Talk, "Classical Music is Boring", YouTube video
Symphony Number One's TED Performance, YouTube video

SNO performs in Baltimore, Maryland.

SNO on the Road[edit]

SNO offers small tours concerts called "SNO on the Road." In February 2016, members Sean Meyers and Elizabeth G. hill used the series to present Saxophone and Piano recitals in which the piano reduction of the Andrew Boss Saxophone Concerto was premiered, their second album–Emergence–was released, and the sheet music for the concerto went on sale.[36][37]

More recently, Symphony Number One performed at TEDxMidAtlantic 2017 in Washington, D.C.[38][39]

Community outreach[edit]

SNO offers several programs to engage with a variety of audiences in Baltimore as well as to work with composers internationally.

Beethoven's Kitchen[edit]

In May 2016, Melissa Lander presented SNO's first significant chamber music concert under the umbrella of "Beethoven's Kitchen."[40] The series focuses both on new music and concert experiences and on combining food and drink.

Call for Scores[edit]

SNO holds an annual Call for Scores competition, recognizing two winners each year. The winning composers are commissioned to write new works for Symphony Number One.[41] In its third call for scores, Symphony Number One added a number of additional prizes, including the "Maryland Prize," recognizing a Maryland composer's achievements. Howard County native Karena Ingram was the winner.[42]



SNO emphasizes recordings as an integral component of its program.[44] In addition to freely releasing live performances of individual compositions, SNO records albums on its own custom label, SNOtone.


  1. ^ Lim, John (June 28, 2016). "Jordan Smith on How Becoming a Maestro at the Pivot Led to a Great Career as a Conductor". Moving Forward. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  2. ^ Symphony Number One at Library of Congress Authorities
  3. ^ Bell, Margaret (September 15, 2015). "Peabody alumni found new group Symphony Number One". The Peabody Post. Archived from the original on July 11, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Scherch, John (2018-04-03). "Student Composer of the Month – April 2018: Nicholas Bentz". WBJC. Archived from the original on 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  5. ^ Evartt, Diane. "Music: Orchestras". Maryland State Archives: Maryland Manual On-Line. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "SoundNotion 202: Ockeghem Fanboys". April 20, 2015. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017.
  7. ^ McCauley, Mary (May 6, 2016). "Baltimore's War Memorial is home for a new concert series by mostly local artists". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017.
  8. ^ Souza, Gabriella (May 8, 2015). "Baltimore's Newest Chamber Orchestra Makes Debut". Baltimore Magazine.
  9. ^ Munshaw, Jonathan (July 10, 2017). "5 minutes with Brian Tracey, executive director, Symphony Number One". Baltimore Business Journal. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Juliette, Rebecca (March 29, 2016). "BmoreArt's Picks: Baltimore Art Galleries, Openings, and Events March 29 – April 4". BmoreArt. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Woolever, Lydia (March 30, 2016). "Weekend Lineup: April 1–3". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Kinney, Dubray (April 7, 2016). "Light City Baltimore dazzles in its inauguration". The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  13. ^ McCabe, Brett (September 21, 2016). "Symphony Number One prepares to begin season two". Johns Hopkins University Hub. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Souza, Gabriella (August 22, 2016). "Best of Baltimore 2016". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Best of Baltimore Readers' Poll 2016". Baltimore Magazine. August 5, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Mixtape #20". I Care if You Listen. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  17. ^ Milligan, Carley (October 27, 2015). "How I promote composers for social change". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  18. ^ Kujawa, Frankie (November 25, 2016). "Symphony Number One Electrifies Baltimore Music Scene". Baltimore OUTloud. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  19. ^ Baer, Sarah (December 2, 2015). "Announcing 2015 Performance Grant Winners". Women's Philharmonic Advocacy Blog. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  20. ^ Baer, Sarah (November 16, 2016). "Announcing the 2016 Performance Grant Winners". Women's Philharmonic Advocacy Blog. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  21. ^ Smith, Tim (August 23, 2017). "Symphony Number One showcases new work from diverse composers". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  22. ^ Baer, Sarah (2017-10-20). "Symphony Number One Comes Home this Weekend". Women’s Philharmonic Blog. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  23. ^ Smith, Tim (August 23, 2017). "Symphony Number One showcases new work from diverse composers". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  24. ^ Lundquist, Tiffany (October 26, 2015). "CJoshua Diaz and Taylor Hillary Boykins to make their debut with Symphony Number One on Nov. 5". The Peabody Post. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  25. ^ Lundquist, Tiffany (October 25, 2015). "Symphony Number One Opened September 23 and 24 with Wealth of Winds". The Peabody Post. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Lundquist, Tiffany (April 24, 2016). "Symphony Number One to Perform Works by Adams, Posner, Omiccioli on Season Finale Concerts". The Peabody Post. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  27. ^ Gerr, Melissa (May 11, 2016). "Out & About: Winning Notes". Baltimore Jewish Times. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  28. ^ Woolever, Lydia (February 8, 2017). "Music Reviews: February 2017 – The latest from PLRLS and Symphony Number One". Baltimore. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  29. ^ Yockel, Michael (April 24, 2016). "Off the Grid: We talk to 18 of the most talented Baltimore musicians out there". Baltimore Style. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  30. ^ Smith, Tim (September 29, 2016). "Symphony Number One opens season promisingly with Mahler, new sax concerto". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  31. ^ Buchanan, Douglas (December 20, 2016). "New Gifts of New Music". Image-Music-Text. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  32. ^ Fromm, Mark, 1982- Symphony, no. 1 at Library of Congress Authorities
  33. ^ Woolever, Lydia (January 22, 2016). "Q&A with Symphony One". Baltimore. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  34. ^ "About". Symphony Number One. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  35. ^ "Susan Summers". The United States Navy Band.
  36. ^ Lundquist, Tiffany (February 11, 2016). "Symphony Number One Announces New Album and Concert Tour". The Peabody Post. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  37. ^ "A Symphony Number One Chamber Concert featuring Sean Meyers, saxophone and Elizabeth Hill, piano". District of Columbia Public Library. February 11, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  38. ^ "TEDxMidAtlantic 2017: Speakers". TED. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  39. ^ Wainger, Liz (30 October 2017). "The Amazing Superpower of a Great Metaphor". HuffPost. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  40. ^ Lundquist, Tiffany (May 18, 2016). "Symphony Number One Presents 'Beethoven's Kitchen' with Works by Gill, Posner, Schubert". The Peabody Post. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  41. ^ Juliette, Rebecca (April 16, 2015). "Symphony No.1 Call for Scores". BmoreArt. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  42. ^ "Karena Ingram ('16 Music) Wins Award in Call for Scores!". University of Maryland, Baltimore County Department of Music. August 2, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  43. ^ "Midday on WYPR". Archived from the original on 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  44. ^ LaRocca, Lauren (2018-05-07). "Variations on a Theme: Local Institutions Make Classical Music Accessible—And Relevant—In The 21st Century". Baltimore magazine. Archived from the original on 2018-05-07. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  45. ^ Lundquist, Tiffany (August 13, 2017). "Nicholas Bentz on New Symphony Number One Album". The Peabody Post. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  46. ^ Stapleton, Maggie (December 13, 2016). "SNEAK PEEK AUDIO LEAK: Symphony Number One". Second Inversion. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  47. ^ McCabe, Bret (December 16, 2016). "Recent Peabody graduate tackles man-made environmental destruction in mournful composition". Johns Hopkins University Hub. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  48. ^ Feikin, Rhea (June 23, 2016). "Artworks: Episode 431". Maryland Public Television. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  49. ^ Smith, Tim (November 22, 2015). "Checking out new classical recordings with Baltimore roots". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  50. ^ Woolever, Lydia (February 17, 2016). "Music Reviews: February 2016 – The latest from Thrushes, Charm City Junction, and Symphony One". Baltimore. Retrieved November 10, 2016.

External links[edit]


  • Buker, Samantha (Spring 2016). "Fertile Ground". Peabody Magazine (2). Retrieved 11 November 2016.