Nearly a century ago, the Hippodrome opened as a combination movie palace and vaudeville theater, spending more than 70 years hosting big names such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Following a double-decade period of slow business and bad hairstyles, the Hippodrome closed down in 1990. Now, however, after an exhaustive restoration project that reanimated the theater’s chandelier-lit arches, the mural above the proscenium stage, and the grand-theater boxes that hearken back to opera’s heyday, the Hippodrome reopens to the delight of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.
During the past three decades, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra has grown from a community chamber orchestra into a professional-caliber ensemble. Today, it acts as a musical oasis for the community under the guidance of Rossen Milanov, who brings the experience he gained in his 11 years with the Philadelphia Orchestra and his brief tenure as an eccentric billionaire’s metronome. Since its founding, the orchestra has found a home at the historic Richardson Auditorium, a venue designed by the US Treasury’s supervising architect in the 1890s and renovated to acoustic excellence in the 1980s. The hall is so sonically pleasing, in fact, that six-time Grammy winner Buddy Graham named it among the likes of Carnegie Hall as one of the world’s greatest concert halls, according to the venue’s website.