« Post-Classical Ensemble spotlights Gershwin at Clarice Smith Center | Main | Washington National Opera opens season with generally effective 'Masked Ball' »

September 16, 2010

Cylburn, Clarice Smith Center to commemorate Schumann bicentennial

This being the Mahler season -- his dual anniversary (150th of birth in 2010, 100th of death in 2011) has understandably become a major focus of programming around the music world -- it's nice to see that there's still room to acknowledge other milestones. The bicentennial of Schumann's birth in 2010, for example.

I mentioned in an earlier post the rare performance of the composer's Mass, courtesy of the Concert Artists of Baltimore on Oct. 16. That month will also see two other notable commemorations of Schumann's genius.

On Oct. 3, the Cylburn Chamber Music Series opens its sixth season at the historic Cylburn Arboretum with a lieder recital by baritone Ryan de Ryke and pianist Eva Mengelkoch. The featured work will be Schumann's absorbing song cycle "Dichterliebe." That would be reason enough to catch the program -- the work is one of Schumann's finest, and the duo of de Ryke and Mengelkoch has a track record of refined music-making -- but there's more. Selections from the "Hollywood Songbook" by fascinating 20th century composer Hanns Eisler will also be performed. (Space is limited at Cylburn. To reserve a seat -- admission is free -- email or call 410-367-2217.)

Later in the month, the University of Maryland School of Music presents the Schumann Bicentennial Festival and Conference at the Clarice Smith Center. Highlights: a concert of chamber works performed by faculty on Oct. 19; eminent musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen will accompany tenor Christoph Genz in what is billed as a "seldom-heard version" of "Dichterliebe" on Oct. 20 and give a lecture on the morning of Oct. 21; also on the 21st, UM faculty artists, including mezzo-soprano Delores Ziegler, will explore the storied romance of Robert and Clara Schumann and their pal Brahms.

The festival closes Oct. 22 with quite an attraction:

Schumann's "Paradise and the Peri," a work for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra that once enjoyed favor with the public, but has long since been relegated to the shelf for obscurities. Paul Goodwin will conduct the UM Symphony and Concert Choir. Soloists include soprano Linda Mabbs and tenor Gran Wilson.

Much later in the season, the Baltimore Symphony will offer its Schumann celebration, taking a close look at the man and the mania (the composer was ever so bipolar).

Meanwhile, October turns out to be Schumann Month around here, and that's worth noting. To get you in the mood, here's the sublime voice of Fritz Wunderlich to give you just a sampling from "Dichterliebe":

Posted by Tim Smith at 9:29 AM | | Comments (0)

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

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.
View the Artsmash blog

Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Famous faces in classical music
Sign up for FREE entertainment alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Most Recent Comments
Stay connected