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March 19, 2009

Great orchestras, singers, pianists and more in Washington Performing Arts Society's 2009-10 season

Riccardo MutiThe Washington Performing Arts Society, the region's largest importer of classical talent, has announced its 2009-2010 season. The programming is generally as conservative as usual for WPAS, but the array of talent is -- also as usual for WPAS -- impressive and enticing.

On the orchestra front: the New York Philharmonic in a program of Liszt, Elgar and Prokofiev conducted by the extraordinary Riccardo Muti; the Los Angeles Philharmonic, playing symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Bernstein with new music director Gustavo Dudamel; and the Royal Concertgebouw with Mariss Jansons conducting works by Sibelius and Rachmaninoff. The San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas conducting) and the Philadelphia Orchestra (Charles Dutoit conducting) are also slated.

Kiri Te KanawaVocal artists include soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, mezzo Denyce Graves, and a joint concert by tenor Ramon Vargas and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Several notable pianists will give recitals, including Radu Lupu, Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Leif Ove Andsnes (a multimedia version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition), Vladimir Feltsman, Angela Hewitt and Yuja Wang. Violinists Joshua Bell and Julia Fisher; cellists Alisa Weilerstein and Zuill Bailey; the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, with pianist/conductor Philippe Entremont; and the Takacs Quartet will make appearances as well.

There are also jazz and world music series.

WPAS venues include the Kennedy Center, Music Center at Strathmore and Washington's Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

BALTIMORE SUN FILE PHOTOS (Riccardo Muti, Kiri Te Kanawa)

Posted by Tim Smith at 3:27 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.
View the Artsmash blog

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