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August 24, 2011

Evolution Contemporary Music Series announces 2011-12 season

As I've mentioned before, Baltimore has become quite a nice little hotbed for contemporary music. It's not just cool that we have Mobtown Modern and the Evolution Contemporary Music Series, but that each one has its own identity, with remarkably little overlap of repertoire.

Mobtown's 2011-2012 season was announced last week. Now comes word of Evolution's, which will again be held at An die Musik, where a season preview concert and fundraiser will be held Sept. 20.

Composer Judah Adashi, founding director of the series, devised a theme for the new season that reflects remarks made by conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim: "You can only live in music … if you see the parallels with literature, if you see the parallels with painting, if you see the parallel with the development of political processes."

An element of that theme will be particularly evident on Nov. 1, when violinist Miranda Cuckson and pianist Blair McMillen perform music by the challenging composer Michael Hersch, who is on the Peabody faculty.

The program includes two works written in response to 9/11: "The wreckage of flowers: 21 pieces after poetry and prose of Czeslaw Milosz" and "Fourteen Pieces, after texts by Primo Levi."

Drawings by Nicholas Cairns will be displayed during this concert, providing a visual intersection with the music.

On Dec. 6, there will be ...

a "Liederabend" (a term you'd never see on a Mobtown Modern schedule) devoted to works by Oliver Knussen, Peter Lieberson and Arvo Pärt that incorporate texts by Pablo Neruda and Rainer Maria Rilke -- the parallel with literature Barenboim mentioned.

Shakespeare's "The Tempest" provides the focus for a concert Feb. 7, when Kaija Saariaho’s "Tempest Songbook" and Paul Moravec's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Tempest Fantasy" will be performed.

A program on March 6 will offer works by Martin Bresnick, director of the composition program at Yale University, who drew inspiration from Franz Kafka and Francisco Goya.

The series will close with a concert by the International Contemporary Ensemble April 3. Members of that ensemble will also spend time mentoring Baltimore School for the Arts students, who will also perform at the concert.


Posted by Tim Smith at 10:27 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes


Sounds like another great season from one of the most interesting and creative groups going! Thanks so much for the preview. I'm looking forward to these performances already - ESPECIALLY that Liederabend; can't get enough of that art song!!!

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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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