Strathmore's 2010-11 season to feature Stravinsky, Sondheim and guitar fest
I'm certainly tempted already by some of the attractions on Strathmore's just-announced 2010-2011 season, including a Great American Song series that includes concerts by Patti LaBelle, Mandy Patinkin, Johnny Mathis, Ann Callaway and Liz Hampton Callaway, and Dave Brubeck.
But the super-big news of that series is an afternoon of conversation with Stephen Sondheim (he'll be interviewed by Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks). For the "Sondheim Is God" crowd (I've been known to worship at that church myself), this Nov. 14 encounter with the 80-year-old music theater legend is going to set off serious palpitations. "He's one of the people we have wanted to present for a long time," says Shelley Brown, Strathmore's artistic director. "We were looking for a way to bring him here. He has a new book coming out, so that provided a good way to do this."
On the classical side, a major component to the season will be
Note, too, Strathmore's Guitar Festival, which will run through the season. "It's a look at the development of the guitar from the lute on," Brown says, "chronologically and geographically." The pipa will be included in the survey, played by virtuoso Wu Man; the mandolin will get a nod, as well, played by the sensational Chris Thile. Classical guitarists taking part include Jason Vieaux and Ana Vidovic; among those from the pop/rock/jazz side taking part will be Kris Kristofferson, Del McCoury, John Scofield and more.
The guitar fest will offer the American premiere of Steve Reich’s "2x5," performed by Bang on a Can All Stars, and the world premiere of Aaron Grad’s "The Father Book," performed by Grad and bassist Rob Jost. Another starry event on the guitar series is likely to be announced shortly.
From Savion Glover to the Baltimore Consort, it's a fun lineup for '10-'11. "We have really tried, from the birth of the Music Center, to feature the best music from the widest possible genres," Brown says. Looks to me like Strathmore has succeeded.
SUN FILE PHOTO OF STEPHEN SONDHEIM; PHOTO OF ALEXANDER TORADZE COURTESY OF COLUMBIA ARTISTS MANAGEMENT