Classical excitement in store

Music: Yuri Temirkanov joins the BSO, Evgeny Kissin comes to town -- what more could a fan want?

September 09, 1999|By Stephen Wigler | Stephen Wigler,Sun Classical Music Critic

Celebration is the word that best describes the upcoming music season.

For starters, the 1999-2000 season marks the beginning of Yuri Temirkanov's first season as the new music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Oops. Make that the great Russian conductor's first half-season. Temirkanov doesn't make his official debut as the BSO's new music director until January 20 and 21, when he leads the orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection"). If that first program suggests a rebirth of the orchestra, subsequent programs suggest ways in which Temirkanov will lead it in new directions: fresh repertory (such as Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 -- "Babi Yar" -- the greatest work to come out of the Holocaust, June 22-24) and great musicians (such as conductor Dmitri Kitaenko and cellist Natalia Gutman, who have not before performed with the BSO).

Two great composers celebrate anniversaries in the 1999-2000 season: Frederic Chopin, who died 150 years ago in Paris, and Johann Sebastian Bach, who died 250 years ago in Leipzig.

The most important Bach celebration will take place March 5, when Tom Hall will lead the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in all-Bach program that features the great soprano Janice Chandler.

Somewhat astonishingly, there does not seem to be any important Baltimore musical organization that will be honoring Chopin, one of the most innovative of all composers and the greatest of all composers for the piano. The BSO is paying inadvertent amends for this omission. It is bringing Evgeny Kissin, perhaps the greatest dead, living or yet-to-be-born Chopin interpreter, to Meyerhoff Hall for a recital on Dec. 8.

Unfortunately, there are no Chopin works on Kissin's program, but perhaps the young pianist, who is so generous with his encores, can be persuaded to include some Chopin pieces among them.

Kissin is one of music's genuine rarities -- a great prodigy who matured into an even greater musician. Another such rara avis is the violinist Midori, who will give her first Baltimore recital Oct. 20 in Friedberg Hall in a gala benefit for the Peabody Conservatory.

Other great string players -- all of them cellists -- will descend upon Baltimore between May 28 and June 4 for the third World Cello Congress. The more than 400 cellists attending the congress, which is being sponsored by Towson State University, will include such great cellists as Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker and Natalia Gutman. It will be the single greatest gathering of great musicians in Baltimore's history.

Annapolis Opera, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts; 410-267-8135

Nov. 5 and 7: "Tosca" (Puccini)

Dec. 12: "Mozart by Candlelight"

March 25: "Opera Spring Concert"

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Leslie Dunner, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts; 410-263-0907

Oct. 1-2: Violin Concerto (Barber), Symphony No. 2 (Sibelius), Jennifer Koh, violin

Nov. 19-20: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Shostakovich), Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven), Yuliya Gorenman, piano

Jan. 28-29: Piano Concerto No. 23 (Mozart), Symphony No. 6 (Bruckner), Dickran Atamian, piano

Feb. 18-19: Sinfonia Concertante (Prokofiev), Suite No. 3 (Tchaikavsky), Julie Albers, cello

May 12-13: "Suite Provencal" (Milhaud), "Daphnis and Chloe," Suites Nos. 1 and 2 (Ravel)

Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Anne Harrigan, conductor; 410-998-1022

Oct. 13: Piano Concerto (Grieg), Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven), Sara Buechner, piano

Dec. 3: Holiday Concert

Feb. 23: Violin Concerto No. 5 and Symphony No. 36 (Mozart), Elizabeth Schulze, conductor, Alicia Huang, violin

March 29: "Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge" (Britten), Symphony No. 4 (Mendelssohn)

May 17: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (Bach), "A Dowland Suite" (Ireland)

Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Tom Hall, music director; 410-523-7070

Oct. 13: Special Benefit Performance: The Kings Singers and percussionist Evelyn Glennie, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Nov. 7: "Nativity" (Scribner), "Flos Campi" (Vaughan Williams), Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College

Dec. 6: Christmas Concert, Basilica of the Assumption

March 5: All Bach Program, Janice Chandler, soprano, Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College

June 8: "Elijah" (Mendelssohn), James Morris, bass-baritone, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, Catonsville Community College; 410-247-5320

Oct. 2: Jason Vieaux

Nov. 13: Paul Galbraith

Feb. 4-5: Marija Temo

March 4: Dale Kavanaugh

April 29: Andrew York

Baltimore Opera Company, Lyric Opera House; 410-727-6000, www.baltimoreopera.com

Oct. 21-31: "Don Giovanni" (Mozart)

Nov. 13-21: "La Traviata" (Verdi)

Dec. 4-12: "Cinderella" ((Rossini)

March 16-26: "Tannhauser" (Wagner)

April 29-May 7: "La Boheme" (Puccini)

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall; 410-783-8000

Sept. 16-18: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Prokofiev), Symphony No. 4 (Schumann); Gunther Herbig, conductor, Peter Roesel, piano

Oct. 1-3: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Saint-Saens), Symphony No. 4 (Tchaikovsky); Herbig, conductor, Louis Lortie, piano

Oct. 6-9: Special Event: Pop vocalist James Taylor with the BSO

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