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May 20, 2011

Some totally non-Preakness musical activities to consider over the weekend

What with the rapture coming Saturday and Heaven knows what horrors afterward, there's not that much point in telling you about some cool musical events this weekend. But, on the off chance that everything proceeds normally, and if you'd like to have some totally Preakness-free experiences, consider these:

-- Baltimore Concerto Opera's presentation of "The Marriage of Figaro" Friday night and Sunday afternoon at the Engineer's Club. The company has some appealing artists lined up for this season finale, including Trevor Scheuneman as Almaviva and Jason Hardy as Figaro.

-- A recital Saturday night presented by Candlelight Concerts at Howard Community College by Christopher Shih, gastroenterologist by day and ...

amateur pianist by night (or other times of the day). He's not just any amateur, though. He has won several prizes at major competitions for amateurs, including the one given by the Van Cliburn Foundation.

-- A performance of Haydn's marvelous oratorio "The Creation" Sunday afternoon at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian. John Walker will conduct the church’s chancel choir and soloists; performing a reduction of the orchestral score will be David Enlow, organist at the Church of the Resurrection in New York.

-- And Sunday afternoon at An die Musik, a rare recital of songs by the unjustly neglected French composer Reynaldo Hahn. Mezzo-soprano Alexis Tantau, a member of the Maryland Opera Studio and with Young Victorian Theatre Company, will be joined by pianist Elizabeth Brown in this program, which includes Hahn's settings of poetry by the likes of Heine, Hugo and Verlaine.

To give you a taste of Hayn's exceedingly elegant music, here's Susan Graham singing one of the composer's most beautiful songs, "A Chloris":


Posted by Tim Smith at 4:57 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes


Thanks for the wonderful pointer on the Hahn concert. It was, indeed, very truly an exquisite hour! We were all just simply stunned at these beautiful songs. The performers were just wonderful!

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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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