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February 24, 2011

A quick look at weekend's classical music attractions

The weekend has another massive pileup of activity in it. Here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Opera lovers will find that art form in particular abundance -- "Madama Butterfly" at Washington National Opera; "Magic Flute" (semi-staged) at the BSO; "Romeo et Juliette" at Chesapeake Chamber Opera; and, for something completely different, a 1950s double bill of Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti" and Hoiby's "This Is the Rill Speaking" from Peabody Chamber Opera.

Concert Artists of Baltimore has an especially enticing chamber program that includes Schubert's sublime

Fantasie in F minor for piano duet, along with Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata and Faure's C minor Piano Quartet in C minor.

There's more on the calendar, of course, including the Brass Roots Trio, performing for Community Concerts at Second; Hilary Hahn in recital for WPASJuan Diego Florez in a concert for WNO (finding a ticket to that one might require major bribery); the City Choir of Washington performing a 9/11 tribute featuring Haydn's "Mass in Time of War" and an equally communicative piece by Peabody faculty member Joel Puckett, "This Mourning."

I'm sure there's more (I'll hear from those I left out soon enough), but you get the idea -- lots of good stuff out there.

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:50 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: 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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