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August 16, 2011

Mobtown Modern's 5th season to feature music of Cage, Glass, Xenakis

Mobtown Modern will mark its fifth anniversary of spicing Baltimore's musical life with an exceptionally promising mix of repertoire and performers.

2011-2012 also marks Mobtown's first untethered season. The organization, curated and co-founded by stellar sax player Brian Sacawa, began as an affiliate of the Contemporary Museum, which had a change in management last year. For its fifth year, Mobtown is going independent. More on that in a moment. Back to the music.

The season opens with a performance by one of the hottest groups on the international new music scene, the JACK Quartet, performing the complete string quartets of Iannis Xenakis Sept. 14 at the 2640 Space.

The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, which has made some very hot recordings, will ...

make its Baltimore debut on the Mobtown series with a program of music from the first decade of the 21st century Nov. 9 at the 2640 Space.

Mobtown's annual tradition of performing Phil Kline's "Unsilent Night" for boom boxes will be held Dec. 3, starting at the Pratt Southeast Anchor Library.

On Jan. 26 at the Windup Space, Mobtown will deliver a sequel to last season's terrific account of "Glassworks" with the performance of another gem by Baltimore's own Philip Glass, "Music with Changing Parts."

The centennial of John Cage in 2012 will be commemorated by Mobtown with a recital on Feb. 15 (venue TBD) by pianist Adam Tendler, who will play the composer's Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano. Mobtown is planning another Cage event during the season -- "Musicircus," a work from 1967 that involves multiple ensembles and the element of chance. More details are promised later.

The season also includes a performance April 15 at Windup Space by bass clarinetist virtuoso Michael Lowenstern, whose style Sacawa describes as "ClassicoFunkTronica."

Back to the post-Contemporary Museum state for Mobtown Modern. To help maintain its independence and its future, an online fundraising campaign through Kickstarter has begun. The goal is $5,000, to be used toward fees for artists and an audio technician, as well as administrative costs. 

Posted by Tim Smith at 10:36 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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