This weekend, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is hosting a festival called Women of the World, which is all about every aspect of women’s lives and work and rights and struggles. What it’s not especially about is music. Is this a future for orchestras, establishing themselves in their communities by any means possible, including non-musical ones? My thoughts are in Friday’s Washington Post.

Also this week, the BSO announced its 2012-13 season. The focus of the current season is on women; next year, the spotlight shifts to film (West Side Story; Alexander Nevsky) and American music (with a focus on Christopher Rouse, including the East Coast premiere of his 3rd Symphony). Other American composers include John Adams, Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Samuel Barber — in short, many of the usual suspects.

Other highlights include a couple of evenings of Richard Wagner, something we’ll be seeing a lot of in his bicentennial year of 2013, though I wager fewer orchestras will devote concerts to the other bicentenarian, Giuseppe Verdi. The BSO will offer Act One of “Die Walkuere” and a condensation of the Ring called “The Ring: An Orchestral Adventure,” paired with Rouse’s Ring-themed work “Der gerettete Alberich.” There’s also a de facto Rachmaninoff concentration with two concerts including an all-Rachmaninoff program with Alsop featuring the Third Piano Concerto, and another Russian-themed program that includes the Fourth.

Strikingly, in a season that marks the release of Alsop’s recording of Mahler’s 1st Symphony, another conductor, Christopher Koenig, is leading it in his debut with the orchestra.

Full details available on the BSO website.