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July 28, 2010

Baltimore Symphony to offer 2010-11 season preview at Strathmore

One of the smart ideas to have emerged in orchestral circles in recent years is the season preview concert -- a program designed to provide prospective concert-goers (and subscription-buyers) a taste of what will be in store on the series ahead. The Baltimore Symphony will offer such a program in September, although not in Baltimore.

This preview of the 2010-2011 season will be performed Sept. 10 at Strathmore, conducted by BSO music director Marin Alsop and, making his public debut, the teenage Ilyich Rivas, the BSO-Peabody Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor who is about to start the second year of his fellowship with the orchestra. He makes his subscription-series debut in October. 

BSO fans in Baltimore who already harbor suspicions about the ensemble's home-away-from-home in Montgomery County may take umbrage at the fact that there is no such preview scheduled for Meyerhoff Hall. It's largely a matter of scheduling, I'm told. And it doesn't mean Baltimore is losing out on something permanently. 

The BSO's wildly popular Rusty Musicians project was presented at Strathmore first last winter, but will make it to Baltimore in September. "Our aim is to have annual Rusty events and a season preview concert at both venues," says Eileen Andrews Jackson, BSO v.p. for marketing and communications.

Meanwhile, there's no reason why Baltimore-area folks can't check out the Strathmore preview, too -- the price is right ($10 in advance, $15 at the door) and, for those who have yet to compare the aural and ambiance differences between Meyerhoff and Strathmore, this is a great opportunity.

Alsop will conduct the bulk of the program, which includes

movements from symphonies by Schumann, Prokofiev and Shostakovich; an overture by Mozart and an Essay by Barber; and selections from the world of ballet (Prokofiev's "Cinderella") and film (Williams' "Star Wars" main title music).

Mahler, who is a substantial focus of the '10-'11 lineup (the season coincides with the 150th anniversary of his birth and the centennial of his death), will be also represented. Alsop will conduct his arrangement of the famous "Air" from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3. Rivas will lead the BSO in the exquisite "Blumine" movement from the original version of Mahler's Symphony No. 1.


Posted by Tim Smith at 9:21 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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