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January 4, 2011

Innovation rewarded: Post-Classical Ensemble receives $200,000 Mellon grant

The Post-Classical Ensemble has done some very interesting work in the area, trying out innovative ways of re-packaging familiar works and dusting off lesser known fare, often in multi-media formats. The D.C-based organization just received $200,000 to help keep the innovation flowing.

The grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation "feels like a big imprimatur for an organization with a budget of under $500,000," says artistic director Joseph Horowitz, who co-founded Post-Classical with music director Angel Gil-Ordóñez in 2003.

The money will support programming, touring, and the making of a DVD on the Naxos label (the group's third).

Post-Classical is "establishing a triangulated relationship," Horowitz says, with the Music Center at Strathmore "as 'Artistic Partner,' Georgetown University as 'Educational Partner,' and

the film department of the National Gallery of Art. Mellon sees this as a template with national implications for humanities-infused thematic programing, linking a major presenter (not campus-based) with a major university (sans major on-campus presenter)."

Horowitz also notes: "Obviously, our new relationship with Strathmore moves us closer to the Baltimore arts scene. And we expect to move into Baltimore itself." Getting Post-Classical up here -- I think it could fit neatly into one or more local concert series -- would be good news.

Among the ventures in store for the ensemble from this season through 2012-13 include:

The Stravinsky Porject, exploring the composer's Russian side.

A touring production of Manuel De Falla's "El Amor Brujo" choreographed by Igal Perry;

Celebrating Ives, a festival with the extraordinary pianist Jeremy Denk;

Interpreting Shostakovich, a festival featuring controversial author Solomon Volkov;

A Mexican festival that will yield a restoration of the 1930s film "Redes" with a newly recorded performance of Silvestre Revueltas' score.


Posted by Tim Smith at 2:21 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Classical, Clef Notes

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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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