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BSO Premieres New Piece By Baltimore Musicians

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We may sometimes forget how many world-class institutions we have right here in Baltimore and how they affect every day life.

Mike Schuh reports the BSO is hosting a world premiere involving the work of two people lured here by the Peabody Conservatory.

One is from New Jersey, the other from Cuba. But between the two, they’ve called Baltimore home for more than 60 years.

Manuel Barrueco travels the world. Some say he’s the best classical guitarist in the world. The music he’s playing? It comes from the mind of Jonathan Leshnoff.

Both came to Baltimore to study at the Peabody. Both found a home.

“It’s awesome and terrifying,” Leshnoff said.

He’s talking about hearing music with his ears for the first time, which up until now, only he could hear.

“I think it’s just excitement. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for so long,” said Leshnoff.

Two years to write, he says without Barrueco being in Baltimore to collaborate, finishing it would have taken many years.

“He’s written a beautiful piece. It’s a really effective, beautiful piece. It is also quite difficult,” Barrueco said.

“Having this concerto born and bred in Baltimore has been such a wonderful thing,” said Leshnoff.

As great as he is, Barrueco tells WJZ he’s nervous. In part, because here at home, he may know half the crowd.

“To me that’s more pressure actually. Because if you’re going to have a bad concert, you want to have it on the other side of the world,” he joked.

Well, at final rehearsal, it’s magnificent and the composer clearly enjoys the moment.

“It’s s composer’s dream,” Leshnoff said. “It comes from above. I’m just a lens, it passes through me.”

Thursday’s performance at 8 p.m. is nearly sold out. There are tickets available for the Sunday afternoon show.

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