By Tim Smith
July 28, 2015
Terrence Wilson, a dynamic, affable pianist who has performed several times with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since the mid-1990s, was among tenants displaced by a three-alarm fire Saturday night at an apartment building in Montclair, NJ.
The fire broke out on the second floor and quickly spread, reaching Wilson's apartment directly above on the fourth floor, where his piano and music scores, not to mention all his other personal belongings, were housed.
Wilson left the building around 6 p.m. Saturday to walk to a restaurant for some take-away. Returning about 45 minutes later, he smelled smoke and spotted fire trucks.
"I saw the fire in the windows of my living room," he said.
The pianist has been allowed to return briefly to his apartment.
"It didn't look good at all," he said. "Where there wasn't soot and broken glass, there was water. It's pretty devastating. In the next couple of days I'll have a chance to go back and make a more accurate assessment. I did not have renter's insurance, regrettably. I discontinued it a couple years ago, when I had to cut some expenses."
Baltimore audiences got to experience Wilson's talents early in his career. He was featured on the BSO's former "Live, Gifted and Black" series when he was 18 in 1994, playing a Liszt concerto, and the next year performing Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini."
The New York-born pianist participated in some of the orchestra's Martin Luther King tribute concerts, including one in 2002 that showcased his account of Ravel's Piano Concerto.
In 2001, Wilson was soloist in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 on a BSO subscription program led by Daniel Hege. He performed Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with then music director Yuri Temirkanov in 2005, the same year the pianist joined Temirkanov and the BSO for a concert tour of Spain.