Concert to eulogize McCarthy, ASO's heart IN APPRECIATION

September 17, 1993|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer

It would be easy for Annapolis to draw off the cultural amenities of Baltimore and Washington without any artistic mission of its own.

But that's not what citizens like John P. C. McCarthy wanted for their community.

Mr. McCarthy, a distinguished, affable gentleman who died last week at the age of 79, was a moving force in the cultural life of Annapolis. Without his efforts, it is doubtful the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra would have become the admirable institution it is today.

When a small aggregation of string players began rehearsing in the basement of Trinity United Methodist Church on West Street in 1960, Mr. McCarthy brought his fiddle and played. A year later, they gave their first public concert. For nearly three decades, he would remain a mainstay of the ensemble.

"He was the orchestra," says ASO manager Patricia Edwards. "He hired the musicians, he answered the mail, he played the concerts. He was absolutely devoted . . . to the orchestra."

Sunday at 3 p.m., a concert of chamber music will be presented at Anne Arundel Community College's Pascal Center in memory of Mr. McCarthy. The concert will be presented in lieu of a public service.

"He loved chamber music very much," says Carol McCarthy of her husband. "This is the way I wanted to do it."

Former ASO concertmaster Jose Cueto and his colleagues will perform Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata for Violin and Piano, Mozart's String Quartet in D minor (K.421) and Beethoven's Piano Trio in D major.

"A musician cannot move others unless he himself is moved," wrote the composer Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach.

Even at his death, the music that so moved Mr. McCarthy will be played in his memory so that it may continue to move others.

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