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June 8, 2012

Teaser review: Baltimore Symphony season finale

I am under the gun, dear readers, with other tasks, but I wanted to sneak in this quick word of advice about the Baltimore Symphony's season finale: Don't miss it. If the remaining performances get any hotter than last night's, fire marshals may have to be summoned.

OK, so maybe I'm being a wee bit theatrical ("Never miss an opportunity to theatricalize," as they say in "Master Class"). But, seriously folks, take this concert -- please.

For one thing, you'll get to hear a richly atmospheric, deeply lyrical symphony by Kevin Puts, this year's Pulitzer-winner for music.

There's also an interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg that you'll have to hear to believe (I heard it, and I still don't believe it). 

And, as if that's not enough for one program, there's an account of Stravinksy's "Rite of Spring" that sets a new benchmark for Marin Alsop's tenure with the BSO.

I'll have more to say about all of this -- I know these few paltry lines won't satisfy you -- as soon as I can.

Posted by Tim Smith at 9:42 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: BSO, 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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