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July 10, 2012

More season announcements: Great Hall, Pro Musica, Community Concerts

The 2012-2013 music season is shaping up nicely. The latest evidence comes from these three long-running Sunday afternoon concert series:

Music in the Great Hall will mark its 39th season with an exceptionally strong lineup, the strongest I can remember in recent years.

Of particular note is an appearance by the always-impressive duo of revered pianist Leon Fleisher and his wife, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher. They'll be heard on April 28 in one of their signature pieces, Ravel's "La Valse," on a program of four-hand and solo repertoire.

The Bryant Park Quartet from New York will open the season Sept. 9, joined by BSO concertmaster Jonathan Carney and Great Hall artistic director Lura Johnson in a performance of Chausson's lush, infrequently programmed Concerto for piano, violin and string quartet. (UPDATE: Though more frequently programmed in Baltimore, I should have added -- the Chausson work will be performed in March in a Shriver Hall Concert Series presentation.)

Speaking of the BSO, the orchestra's ...

principal cellist, Dariusz Skoraczewski, will collaborate with Johnson in a program of Schumann, Chopin, Franck and George Crumb on Oct. 7.

Trio Cloissonné -- the unusual combination of flute (the BSO's Marcia Kamper), viola (the BSO's Karin Brown) and harp (Sarah Fuller) -- will perform music by Bax, Takemitsu and others on Feb. 10. And cellist Dmitry Volkov, winner of this year's Yale Gordon Competition at the Peabody Conservatory, will give a recital with the winner of last year's, pianist Yury Shadrin, on March 17.

Note that the Music in the Great Hall series will introduce a new concert time for the '12-'13 season: 2 p.m.

At Towson University's Center for the Arts, Pro Musica Rara will offer its 38th season of bringing period instrument performances to Baltimore. This is one of the unsung organizations around here, but one of the most valuable, providing a welcome dose of historically informed music-making each year.

Tenor Rufus Muller, with Christoph Hammer at the fortepiano, will open the season Oct. 21 performing Scottish folks songs arranged by Beethoven and Haydn on a program that also features violinist Cynthia Roberts and cellist Allen Whear, Pro Musica's artistic director.

The Nov. 18 program examines the romantic lives and letters of notable 18th-century celebs -- Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Haydn and Beethoven. Readings will be woven through a program that includes music by Gluck, Haydn and Maria Cosway (who had a brief, probably platonic relationship with Jefferson).

The reader will be TU president Maravene Loeschke; the performers are Whear, violinist Madeline Adkins and fortepianist Eva Mengelkoch.

Pro Musica's traditional SuperBach Sunday will be held Feb. 3, with an ensemble of period instruments performing Bach’s "The Musical Offering," based on a theme presented by Frederick the Great, and music from the court of that monarch. A work by the winner of Pro Musica’s 2012-13 student composition contest will also be played.

Wrapping up the season on May 12 is a program dubbed "Extreme Baroque," featuring recorder virtuoso Paul Leenhouts with an ensemble of Pro Musica veterans.

Community Concerts at Second will mark its 26th season of presenting free performances, a remarkable run.

Kicking things off on Sept. 23 at Second Presbyterian Church will be the C Street Brass, an ensemble formed at Peabody in 2007 and dedicated to exploring a wide-ranging repertoire. The justly famed Morgan State University Choir, led by Eric Conway, is slated for a concert on Oct. 21.

The series continues Nov. 4 with a recital by rising clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich, followed on Jan. 20 with a recital by the promising Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute.

The Amadeus Trio is set for Feb. 24. Gilad Karni, principal violist of the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, will collaborate on a concert with the excellent pianist Michael Sheppard on March 17.

The final recital in the Wonderlic Voice Competition will be given April 21. And the Sunday afternoon series will close with a performance May 19 by the Bryant Park Quartet -- bringing things full circle (in case you weren't paying attention as your slogged through this post, the same ensemble will open the Music in the Great Hall season in the fall).

As always, Community Concerts at Second also offers a free Sunday evening series -- Chamber Music by Candlelight -- showcasing BSO musicians in a rich assortment of repertoire. This series opens Oct. 7 and has seven more events through April 28.


Posted by Tim Smith at 11:29 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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