New Conductor Takes Up An Old Tradition

Ben-dor Begins Her Tenure With Park Concerts

August 16, 1991|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer

The joys of concerts al fresco are well known to classical music lovers nationwide.

Many of the great American orchestras retire to summer musical festivals and proceed to mix art with nature, to the delight of many listeners who prefer lawn chairs and shirt sleeves to the formality of a concert hall.

Thanks to Joseph McCann, county recreation and parks director, County Executive Robert R. Neall, and County Council members Maureen Lamb and "Dutch" Holland, music-lovers will have the opportunity to getin on the musical summer fun.

At Downs Park in Pasadena on Sunday, Sept. 1, and at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will present a pair of free performances for the public under the direction of its new conductor, Gisele Ben-Dor. Both performances begin at 4 p.m.

Ben-Dor has selected a program that includes Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks," selections from Bizet's "Carmen," the third movement from Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony, two movements from Vivaldi's double trumpet concerto, Glinka's overture to "Ruslan and Lyudmila," the "Hoe-Down" from Aaron Copeland's "Rodeo," and selections from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess."

The concert will also include selections by Irving Berlin and John Phillip Sousa's rousing "Semper Fidelis" march.

Ted Jones and Mark Henriksen of the ASO trumpet section will be the soloists in the Vivaldi concerto.

"We are so happy that the countywill have the opportunity to hear this great music," said Patricia Edwards, manager of the Annapolis Symphony.

"We love the chance to do these concerts, to enjoy the summer with the community that supports us so well," she added. "It's just splendid that the county feels that classical music is important enough to be shared in this way."

These September concerts will afford the public its first opportunity to hear the ASO under Ben-Dor.

Born in Uruguay, Ben-Dor emigrated to Israel while in her late teens. She graduated from the Yale School of Music and recently resigned the associate conductorship of theHouston Symphony to devote more time to her new posts in Annapolis and with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble in residence at Harvard University.

Ben-Dor also maintains a busy international conducting schedule in Eastern Europe, the Netherlands and Israel. She will be nearly seven months pregnant with her second child at the timeof these upcoming concerts.

"Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather, and a little music out of doors, played by somebody Ido not know," wrote John Keats back in 1819.

Ah, yes. Ol' Johnny,like all those Romantic poets, knew a good time when he saw one.

See you in September.

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