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October 11, 2012

SONAR, Evolution provide contemporary lift to Baltimore's 2012-13 season

Baltimore's new music scene lost a valued player this season with the suspension of Mobtown Modern, but that still leaves some other great activists, including SONAR and the Evolution Contemporary Music Series.

SONAR has somehow slipped under under my radar (rim shot, please) in recent years, but I hasten to give a shout out to the ensemble's 2012-2013 season, which opens Friday with a program that runs the gamut from A to Z -- literally, as Joe Biden would say.

The group, founded in 2007 by violinist Colin Sorgi, focuses on American fare in this concert, including John Adams' "Road Movies," John Cage's "Variations IV," Elliott Carter's "Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux," Aaron Copland's Sextet, Kevin Puts' "Credo," and´╗┐ the premiere of ...

"Fractal Miniatures" by SONAR's composer-in-residence Roger Zare.

This intriguing lineup will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday Old St. Paul's.

SONAR's season continues Nov. 29 at the Pratt Library with string quartets by George Crumb and Georg Friedrich Haas (the latter's Quartet No. 3 will be performed, as instructed, in darkness).

Also slated this season from SONAR: Music of Steve Reich and John Harbison in February; an April concert devoted to pieces by six composers studying at Peabody (the audience favorite will be commissioned to write a work for SONAR); and a celebration in May of Gyorgy Ligeti.

The Evolution Contemporary Music Series, founded by composer Judah Adashi, opens its eighth season with a program devoted to the equally cerebral and sensual music of Kaija Saariaho on Oct. 30 at An die Musik.

Each subsequent presentation will likewise offer a variety of works by a provocative composer: Gyorgy Kurtag in February, Missy Mazzoli in March, and John Luther Adams in May. Mazzoli and Adams are slated to participate in person.


Posted by Tim Smith at 11:31 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes


Special thanks to Tim Smith for the shout-out! We're deeply committed to keeping new music alive in Baltimore. If you're interested in supporting new music in Baltimore - we're currently sponsoring a Kickstarter campaign and we're running out of time to reach our goal!

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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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