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April 26, 2011

Peabody winding up the month with hefty musical attractions

As April winds down (my extended vacation ends this week, too), things are heating up at the Peabody Institute, where several musical attractions are on the calendar.

On Wednesday, Edward Polochick leads the Peabody Concert Orchestra in a program that balances the upbeat "Spring" Symphony by Schumann with the slightly less cheery Requiem by Mozart (featuring soloists from the conservatory, along with the Peabody Singers and the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus).

On Thursday and Friday, the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, directed by Mark Cudek, explores the original music that inspired Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances." And on Saturday, Leon Fleisher will be in conducting mode to guide the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in Walton's Partita and Beethoven's "Eroica."

Speaking of Fleisher, he'll be ...

in pianist mode on Sunday, joining the Tokyo String Quartet (and bassist Robert Barney) for the season finale of the Shriver Hall Concert Series, playing an arrangement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major. Music by Takemitsu will also be performed at this concert, which is being dedicated to the victims of the tsunami in Japan. 

And speaking of Peabody folks, note that a couple of successful conservatory alums will be featured this week at at An die Musik -- guitarist Alexander Milovanov on Tuesday, pianist Jenny Lin on Friday.


Posted by Tim Smith at 12:23 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Clef Notes


What happened to the Brahms Piano Quintet on the SHriver Hall program? That was what had been announced - what a letdown to have one of the masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire replaced with miniature Mozart!

I assume it has to do with the program changing to a commemoration of the tsunami victims, a way of toning things down. UPDATE: I guess I should have known that the pianist's thumb surgery still left him not quite ready for the challenge of the Brahms, information he shared with the audience Sunday night.TS

I was at the concert and Fleisher spoke apologetically about changing the repertoire. He said he had a recent surgery on his right thumb and is still in recovery. LF joked, "my right thumb is still not ready for professional use!"

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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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