Marin Alsop has announced a remarkable inaugural season with the Baltimore Symphony, giving notice that the orchestra is ready to take its place among such pace-setting American ensembles as LA, San Francisco, Minnesota, Atlanta, and St. Louis. There's a contemporary piece on almost every program, and no fewer than five composers have been invited to conduct their work on regular subscription programs: John Adams, Tan Dun, HK Gruber, James MacMillan, and Thomas Adès. The notion of the composer as celebrity soloist is an LA innovation, but Baltimore is taking it up in an especially vigorous way. Aaron Jay Kernis, Steven Mackey, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and Joan Tower are also featured. And tickets are cheap. With the aid of a $1 million grant, the orchestra is asking $25 for all subscription seats. My one criticism is that the choice of composers seems safe: no surprises here. But it's a great start.