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March 30, 2012

Last-minute weekend music suggestions

In addition to a big work by Bach and a grand opera by Gershwin, this weekend's musical calendar includes several more intimate concerts that ought to be well worth checking out.

Tonight at 8 at An die Musik, there will be a concert by two distinguished Peabody Conservatory alumni: guitarist David Starobin (1973) and baritone Patrick Mason (1972).

Their program ranges from Paganini and Schubert to the remarkable contemporary composer John Musto.

The recent CD "Crazy Jane" from the fine label Bridge Records, which Starobin founded in 1981, showcases the incisive artistry of both musicians in a colorful program of Musto, Paul Lansky, George Crumb and others.

On Saturday at 1, also at An die Musik, another Peabody alum from the 1970s, pianist Abe Minzer, plays Book 1 of Bach's epic Well-Tempered Clavier.

And still on the topic of impressive Peabody products, in this case of more recent vintage. The Duo Transatlantique, made up of excellent classical guitarists Benjamin Beirs and Maud LaForest, will give a concert 8 p.m. Saturday at Jordan Faye Contemporary.

Thanks to the invaluable Peggy and Yale Gordon Trust, there will be a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Har Sinai Congregation by the ...

Ellicott City-based Orchestra of St. John’s, led by Ronald Mutchnik.

The program includes "“Spirit of America," a work by Baltimore composer Vivian Adelberg Rudow that allows for "optional audience participation."

Also on the bill will be the Alberta Concerto by Russian-born, Canadian-raised composer Minuetta Kessler, with piano soloist Jeffrey Chappell, along with popular works by Mozart and Barber.

The centennial of Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino, whose elegant music deserves to be much better known, will be honored with a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at Villa Assumpta (Charles and Bellona). The program, presented by Arts for Hearts' Sake, features soprano Elizabeth Hart, violinist Jose Cueto and pianist Nancy Roldan.

And Concert Artists of Baltimore offers a program 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Engineers Club rich with lyrical works, including Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, piano pieces by Chopin, the Viola Sonata by Rebecca Clarke, songs by Brahms and arias by Meyerbeer and Rossini.

The performers are mezzo Melissa Kornacki, violist Julius Wirth and pianist Eric Zuber.

Posted by Tim Smith at 2:08 PM | | 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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