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January 18, 2010

Some music in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Due to a lack of funding, the Baltimore Symphony is not presenting its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial concert in conjunction with the State of Maryland, a considerable loss to the community. If all goes well, the event will return next year. Meanwhile, here are a couple of MLK-related performances around the area worth catching.

On Monday at Baltimore's An die Musik, Opus Nine, the imaginative young chamber ensemble that features several Peabody Conservatory alumni, will give matinee and evening performances of an appealing program that aims "to celebrate the vitality of [Dr. King's] dream." The lineup includes John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts" (composed for the Obama inauguration) and Gershwin's "Lullaby" for string quartet, as well as works by Duke Ellington, Darius Milhaud and Ricky Ian Gordon.

On Tuesday at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, the

Washington Symphonic Brass will perform Joseph Schwantner's "New Morning for the World," an affecting work that incorporates selections from King's writings (Bill Ray will be the narrator). Music by Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis will also be played.

Here's my own humble contribution to the MLK holiday -- a live performance by legendary contralto Marian Anderson from 1939 (the same year of her triumphant concert at the Lincoln Memorial after being barred from Constitution Hall). Something about the spiritual "Deep River" seems particularly appropriate on this occasion, especially the line "That promised land where all is peace," and it would be impossible to surpass the eloquence Miss Anderson achieves here:


Posted by Tim Smith at 6:06 AM | | Comments (3)


A Great Person I’m doing a study on him and I luvvvvvvvvv him that’s why I picked him. Martin Luther King was one of the worlds beautiful human beings, a Soul who lived for a purpose…sadly he was assassinated and taken from us too soon. But I’m not so sure that Barack Obama becoming president was exactly what the “King” had in mind… This was a great incite in to the great man though…

Happy Martin Luther King day. We always lost golden time and man but unfortunately we can't realized that. Let us try to be another one. Let us Salute to KING.

What you stood for lives on!Flesh passes, dreams live on,what a dream ,you dreamed for us!
it's fruition is more and more prevalent every day!, like a prophet of old!your words continue to blossom :)
heres is some interesting information I found on the late great Martin Luther king.

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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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