Concert Artists of Baltimore season offers welcome rarities
Baltimore's music season gets officially underway -- well, as official as such things can be -- this weekend, with the BSO's annual gala on Saturday and a recital by Russian organist Daniel Zaretsky at Peabody on Sunday. Things will really get rolling from the 19th on. It will be easy, in the ensuing blur, to overlook a lot things, so it's wise to start planning now for your musical thrills and chills.
I know I'll miss quite a few great things -- I can't be everywhere, despite my best efforts -- but I plan to catch as much as I can. One event I'm determined to make is the Oct. 16 season-opener of Concert Artists of Baltimore, an all-Schumann program in honor of the composer's bicentennial. His Piano Concerto may not lack for attention, but it should be rewarding to hear the solo role taken by Ann Schein, the distinguished pianist who retired from the Peabody faculty a few years ago. (I found a remarkable souvenir from her past, posted below.)
Filling out the program is a real rarity, Schumann's
"Missa Sacra." Concert Artists' founding artistic director Ed Polochick suspects this will be the work's Baltimore premiere. The neat thing about an organization that has both a professional orchestra and chorus is the possibility for digging into such diverse repertoire. And the neat thing about an organization with Polochick at the helm is that you can count on some very expressive music-making.
The remainder of Concert Artists' 24th season looks enticing, too: Well-off-the-beaten-path works by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Leonard Bernstein in a November program that also holds a Mozart piano concerto and a choral piece by Randall Thompson; a performance of Beethoven's Ninth in March; a celebration of Rossini in May. As usual, there's also a separate chamber series.
Now, here's that blast from Ann Schein's past -- an impressive Chopin recording made early in her career: