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March 20, 2009

Baltimore cantor saves the day for Montreal Symphony

Thom King, a Baltimore baritone who has given fine performances with Opera Vivente, the Handel Choir and Young Victorian Theatre Company, among others, will rescue the Montreal Symphony's performances of Bloch's Sacred Service later this month.

King, you may recall, did solo honors in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society's presentation of that noble, infrequently programmed 20th-century work three years ago at Beth El Congregation, where he's the cantor.

Dwayne Croft, who appears regularly with the Metropolitan Opera and other major companies, was originally scheduled to sing with the Montreal Symphony, conducted by Kent Nagano, March 30 and 31. When Croft canceled, the orchestra turned to King. Sherrill Milnes, the celebrated baritone now retired from the opera stage, will serve as speaker.

"As you can imagine," King emailed me, "I’m pretty jazzed about it."

Posted by Tim Smith at 12:37 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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