`Happy Birthday' played for pianos

Music: BSO invites trio of pianists to mark instrument's 300th anniversary.

May 16, 2000|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra adds its voice to a chorus of tributes to this year's 300th anniversary of the piano with a keyboard-based program involving no less than three pianists.

Eduardus Halim, Brian Ganz and Eric Conway will team up with the orchestra, conducted by Daniel Hege, for Mozart's Concerto for Three Pianos. Ganz, a Peabody Institute grad who has earned prizes at major competitions, and Conway, who teaches at Morgan State University and the University of Maryland, will collaborate on Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals." Reciting the familiar, witty verses that Ogden Nash wrote will be actor Tony Randall, returning to the BSO stage after several years.

Halim, one of the last pianists to study with Vladimir Horowitz, will get the solo spotlight in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, the powerhouse work featured in the movie "Shine."

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Cathedral and Preston streets. Tickets are $22 to $57. Call 410-783-8000.

Shriver Hall lineup

The 35th anniversary season of the Shriver Hall Concert Series starts Oct. 15 with one of the most appealing young fiddlers on today's scene, Hilary Hahn, in a recital with exceptionally insightful pianist Garrick Ohlsson.

The 2000-2001 season also offers: notable keyboard artist Horacio Gutierrez on April 1; the ethereal voices of the Tallis Scholars on Dec. 10 in a concert marking the 125th anniversary of Johns Hopkins University; the ever-penetrating Emerson String Quartet on Feb. 11; and the cutting-edge Kronos Quartet on April 29.

Rounding out the series will be concerts by other noteworthy artists: cellist Erling Blondal Bengtsson and pianist Nina Kavtaradze on Nov. 12; the Vienna Piano Trio on March 4; and, in a joint appearance, the Borromeo and Brentano string quartets on Feb. 11.

Wait -- there's more.

Pianist Leon Fleisher, conductor/musicologist Leon Botstein and the Bard Music Festival Quartet will present a six-hour "interactive, educational adventure" called "Rediscovering the String Quartet" on Nov. 18.

For subscription information, call 410-516-7164.

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