I know it's not a top-level US orchestra, but it's the one that I've experienced the most since I lived in Baltimore most of my life. I was curious how far from the top they are considered.
I attended many performances when David Zinman was the conductor and recently got back into attending their performances since they also play at the Strathmore Auditorium outside DC. The best performance was a toss-up between Beethoven's 9th (under Zinman in 1988) and Tchiakovsky's 5th Symphony with Sir Neville Mariner conducting (1993).
I haven't heard a lot of this orchestra, but it seems to be an excellent one . The recordings I've heard of it were by David Zinman, and all were excellent , of things such as Elgar's 1st symphony, Michael Daugherty's wacky but very entertaining Metropolis symphony (based on superman!), and a few others.
I recently heard their recording 0of the Dvorak New World symphony under their current music director Marin Alsop on the radio, and it was beautifully played .