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June 23, 2009

Music in the Great Hall announces 2009-10 season and new artistic director

Music in the Great Hall, the chamber series held at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, will open its 36th season with a new artistic director. Lura Johnson, a fine pianist and teacher, succeeds another fine pianist and teacher, Adam Mahonske, who, five years ago, succeeded the founder of the series, yet another fine pianist and teacher, Virginia Reinecke.

"I'm really delighted to be asked to come on board," says Johnson, who studied at Peabody with Leon Fleisher and performs regularly throughout the Baltimore/DC area. "I have lots of ideas for bringing in more people to experience really well-performed chamber music."

"She's incredible," Reinecke says of the new artistic director. The organization "is really going to take off now."   

Mahonske programmed the 2009-2010 season before stepping down recently (Johnson's programming imprint will be felt the next year). The series opens with ...

the colorful baroque ensemble Harmonious Blacksmith performing works by Handel.

Pianist Clipper Erickson will focus on American music in his recital. Another recitalist, Hans Kristian Goldstein, a cellist who won the Yale Gordon/Peabody Concerto Competition, will play works by Bach, Brahms, Ligeti and others.

The excellent mezzo Delores Ziegler will offer lieder by Robert and Clara Schumann, as well as Brahms. And Qing Li, the BSO's principal second violin, will be accompanied by Mahonske in a season-closing recital that features Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata.


Posted by Tim Smith at 6:14 AM | | 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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