I had the opportunity to hear the Dallas Symphony, with new conductor Jaap Van Zweden, a few weeks ago. They did the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 (with Horatio Gutierrez) and the Shostokovich Symphony No. 5.
Frankly, I thought the performance was phenomenal. The folks I was with agreed. The sound was also great in Meyerson Hall. I've heard the CSO, the BSO, and NY Phil. This was as good and sounded better.
Could it be the case that some of the "Tier 2" orchestras are fully competitive? Are there some unsung halls out there? Or was I just lucky or in a good mood (being accompanied by five women could have thrown my judgment off)?
If there are some really good Tier 2 orchestras and halls, which are these?