The accent's on youth at Baltimore Symphony

Critic's choice: classical music

May 21, 2000|By Tim Smith

Kids are taking over the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this week. No, it's not for a children's concert. And they aren't technically kids, either. But, it's still something of a novelty to find a 20-year-old fiddler and a 24-year-old conductor sharing the BSO stage.

Baltimore's own Hilary Hahn, whose prodigious gifts as a violinist are well chronicled (she made her BSO debut at 12), will take on the Brahms Concerto, with its pulsating lyricism and swaggering gestures. She'll be partnered on the podium by Englishman Daniel Harding, who made his conducting debut at 18 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and, two years later, led the Berlin Philharmonic and became the youngest person ever to conduct the BBC Proms.

Since then, he has busily added to his enviable roster of orchestral debuts, which now includes the London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Houston Symphony. He also picked up an exclusive recording contract with EMI/Virgin along the way.

For this BSO debut, Harding has paired the violin concerto with an ever-popular work by one of Brahms' good friends, Dvorak -- the Symphony No. 8.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Cathedral and Preston streets, Baltimore. Tickets are $22 to $57. Call 410-783-8000 or order online at www.baltimoresymphony.com.

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