Candlelight Concert Series goes for diversity

September 16, 1994|By Rona Hirsch | Rona Hirsch,Contributing Writer

Shooting for a diverse program, the Candlelight Concert Society hopes to appeal to young and old, purist and novice, devotee and casual listener with its 22nd season.

The series will begin with a recital by Richard Goode at 3 p.m. Sunday at Smith Theatre at Howard Community College.

"We're changing our series just a little to add new life and get new people," said Bonita Bush, the society's executive director.

"We need to attract a younger, more diverse audience. We're concerned with the graying of our audience, a concern everywhere."

The eclectic program, showcasing 13 ensembles and recitalists, will include the Emerson String Quartet, Richard Stoltzman & Friends, Consort of Musicke, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and violinist Herbert Greenberg.

Six of the concerts will be preceded by "Face The Music," a lecture or dialogue presented by the featured artist, classical music radio personalities or musicologists.

Pianist Richard Goode launches the Candlelight series on Sunday with five Beethoven sonatas, part of the sonata cycle he is performing this season.

"Goode is considered one of the world's masters in interpreting Beethoven," Ms. Bush said.

"He is phenomenally good at discovering all kinds of nuances that you never knew existed before. You get a new insight into Beethoven."

The artist, who has performed more than 12 seasons for the society, will open next year's program as well.

"He likes the intimacy, the small theater and he knows people here," Ms. Bush said.

"He draws enormous audiences. They're always a sellout. He likes to communicate, and he feels communication is better in a small hall than in a large one like the Kennedy Center.

"He says he plays at the Kennedy Center so he can afford to come here. He's gotten to know many people here, and that's what chamber music is all about."

One of the society's returning ensembles will provide its own diversity.

Richard Stoltzman & Friends will perform classical jazz on Oct. 21. On Oct. 22, the company will perform as a classical chamber ensemble highlighting the clarinet.

In two performance on Oct. 23, Mr. Stoltzman will play at the society's Performing Art Series for Children with pianist and keyboardist Bill Douglas.

To add mood to all four performances, photographer John Pearson will present a light show tailored to each concert.

For example, in "New York Counterpoint," Mr. Pearson will show slides of the New York skyline.

"It will show the rhythm of architecture coinciding with the rhythm of the jazz piece," Ms. Bush said.

On Dec. 3, the Ying Quartet will perform chamber music.

"This will be a really exciting concert for people who want to learn about chamber music," Ms. Bush said.

The four family members, ranging in ages from 24 to 29, are recipients of the 1992 National Endowment Chamber Music Rural Residents Initiative.

"They were sent to a tiny town in Iowa to give people music lessons, play at quilting bees, firemen's meetings, anything that went on in the community," Ms. Bush said.

"They were there for two years. They attempted to get the people interested in chamber music. The people there absolutely embraced them. They learned music wasn't stuffy."

On Jan. 7, the Renaissance band Calliope, an ensemble of four, will play on more than 40 Renaissance instruments.

"Accurate reproductions," Ms. Bush added. "The real ones are ++ too delicate."

Composer/satirist Peter Schickele, aka PDQ Bach, will join the ensemble in a performance of his "Bestiary" which is based on Renaissance poems about animals.

On Jan. 21, Columbia resident Herbert Greenberg, concertmaster for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, will perform a violin recital.

Face the Music takes a technical turn that evening with the pre-concert lecture, "The Science of Music: The Acoustics of the Violin."

On Feb. 3, the English ensemble "Consort of Musicke" will perform "The Purcell Cycle," a collection of Baroque songs for two sopranos, bass and lute.

The quartet includes soprano Emma Kirkby, "a very big name in early music," Ms. Bush said. "That name brings out groupies from all over the country."

The Feb. 18 concert will showcase the popular Emerson String Quartet.

"We don't know the program yet," Ms. Bush said. "But whatever they do is fantastic. They're a great favorite with the Candlelight audience."

The winner of two Grammy awards, the group features two violins, a viola and cello.

"They have a marvelous sense of humor, very laid back," Ms. Bush said. "The audience has a lot of fun.

"Two years ago, they performed on Halloween night. They performed in costume. They broke the audience up. The cellist was wearing a green alligator mask; the others were in pink tutus. It was hysterical."

On March 18, the Eroica Piano Trio, a group of young women on the piano, violin and cello who are winners of the 1991 Naumberg Chamber Award, will perform Loeillet and Dvorak.

The Second Annual Family Night, designed to introduce children to fine music, will feature violinist Daniel Heifetz on April 1.

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