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April 22, 2009

Baltimore Symphony announces summer season of film, rock and Beethoven

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 2009 Summer Nights season will continue the trend of recent years and stick to the light and lively. The only serious classical piece on the horizon is the one that keeps coming back -- Beethoven's Ninth. This year it has been assigned to veteran conductor Gunther Herbig. That concert will be July 23 at Strathmore, July 24 at Meyerhoff.

The lineup for those two venues begins with the orchestra providing a live soundtrack to the Hitchcock classic Psycho, conducted by Constatine Kitsopoulos, July 9 at Strathmore, July 10 at Meyerhoff. Steven Reineke will be on the podium for a program of music from Disney products, including The Lion King, Alladin, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast: July 16 Strathmore, July 17 Meyerhoff.

The BSO, conducted by Brent Havens, moves to the Pier Six Pavilion on July 18 to play arrangements of songs by famed rock group Pink Floyd. Vocalist Randy Jackson and a rock band will join the orchestra for this event. And the ensemble travels to Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 11 to play live soundtracks to Bugs Bunny cartoons. 

The outdoor summer series at Oregon Ridge returns with the traditional "Star-Spangled Spectacular" July 3 and 4, conducted by Damon Gupton, and featuring the winner of the second annual "Oh, Say Can You Sing?" contest. Reineke will conduct film music of John Williams July 25 at Oregon Ridge.

One other summer event: a free performance at Meyerhoff as part of Artscape on July 18, conducted by BSO assistant principal violist Christian Colberg (he's been getting his feet wet on the podium recently, adding conducting to his already substantial talent as a photographer -- and violist, of course.)


Posted by Tim Smith at 10:49 AM | | Comments (1)


Well, looks like another blow to classical music in favor of appealing to mass tastes. It seems that's what is happening during the regular season, too. I will enjoy, however, the Beethoven with Herbig. Brave New World...oh, wait, that's Dvorak.

Mass tastes, indeed. It's enough to make one crave a little elitism.TIM

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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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