Another weekend, spoiled for musical choice
As I took a break from eating bonbons during the final days of my exile (you may recall that I've been burning off five -- count 'em, five -- weeks of use-or-lose vacation time), I noticed that this weekend presents another large assortment of musical activity.
In addition to the usual suspects (there are noteworthy presentations from the BSO, NSO, Shriver Hall, An die Musik, Peabody etc.), I thought a few other things are worth worth a mention in case they might otherwise slip beneath your radar.
The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society has a cool presentation at 8 p.m. Saturday at Towson University's Center for the Arts -- the Alturas Duo, a unique combination of instruments (guitar, charango, viola) and repertoire (classical and South American).
Also on Saturday, for those seeking something way different, there's the second annual "Vigil" -- an all-night, outdoor music festival at MICA's Cohen Plaza organized by cool dude Erik Spangler. Between 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday, dozens of performances, some of them improvised, will take place (the volume gets lowered at 10). Participants include the Purple City Players, composer Judah Adashi, Kid EXP, Soul Cannon, and many more. Video art will be projected on the side of the Brown Center. It's all free.
The Sunday lineup includes a recital by ...
The Baltimore Choral Arts Society, directed by Tom Hall, will be at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium for a concert at 5 p.m. Sunday. The program offers the local premieres of Eric Whitacre’s "Five Hebrew Lovesongs" and Gwyneth Walker’s "Dreams and Dances" (a work inspired by former Maryland poet-laureate Lucille Clifton). There's also room for a Handel’s "Dixit Dominus."
Speaking of choral music, the Towson University Chorale and McDonogh School Concert Choir will combine forces in a program presented by Community Concerts at Second -- but not at Second (Presbyterian). This event takes place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the Redeemer. The program includes works by such diverse composers as Vincent Persichetti, Morten Lauridsen and Stephen Sondheim.
One more Sunday attraction. Promising young conductor Lee Mills is completing his Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory in high style -- leading a concert featuring Bernstein's "Candide" Overture, Wagner's "Wessendonck Lieder" (with soprano Amber Schwarzrock), and Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 (with organist Chris Keenan).
The orchestra for the event is comprised of Peabody students. (Earlier this season, Mills managed to bring together enough of his fellow students to enable him to conduct Beethoven's Ninth; he's clearly got the gift of persuasion.)
The public is invited at no charge to Sunday's concert, which is at 3 p.m. in Peabody's Griswold Hall.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BALTIMORE CLASSICAL GUITAR SOCIETY, CONCERTSARTISTS.COM, LEEMILLS.COM