At least on paper, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra seems like the underdog among the recent visiting orchestras that have come or are yet to come to Costa Mesa.
Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, the Mariinsky, the fabled Vienna Philharmonic — all have stellar reputations that put them in the world's who's who list of orchestras.
Baltimore, while certainly nothing to shake a baton at, is not quite on that topper list for most people, nor was it ever in this country's so-called "Big Five" orchestras of yesteryear.
Yet the 96-year-old orchestra's one-night showing Wednesday in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall proved it's certainly a contender — and then some.
A decent-sized crowd came, which wasn't bad considering the concert's timing in the middle of the week.
The concert, presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, was Baltimore's first tour to the West Coast in 24 years and its first domestic tour since 2000. The players were led by Marin Alsop, the first female ever to be music director of a major American orchestra. She's had the post since 2007.