Guest conductor to visit Annapolis


November 15, 2001|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Annapolis and San Diego share the distinction of being the sailing capitals of their respective coasts. This weekend, they'll be sharing a conductor as well.

Donald Barra, the founding music director of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, will be in town tomorrow and Saturday evenings to guest-conduct the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in a program of Mozart, Haydn, Kodaly and Corigliano.

A product of Eastern institutions like Columbia University and the Eastman and Juilliard Schools of Music, Barra has become quite a musical presence in San Diego. In addition to conducting his chamber ensemble, he is professor and director of orchestras at San Diego State University and co-host of a weekly classical music program on a San Diego radio station.

Barra is the author of a book titled The Dynamic Performance: A Performer's Guide to Musical Expression and Interpretation. He will have ample opportunity to put his theories of dynamism to work this weekend in his interpretations of Franz Joseph Haydn's London Symphony, Zoltan Kodaly's Dances of Galanta, John Corigliano's Voyage for String Orchestra, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's lyrical, bittersweet Clarinet Concerto.

His soloist in the concerto will be Jon Manasse, a clarinet virtuoso who is a mainstay on the New York music scene.

Mozart composed his one concerto for the clarinet in October 1791, less than two months before his untimely death. He wrote it for his friend and fellow Mason, Anton Stadler, one of Europe's superstars on the instrument in the late 18th century.

And a beautiful work it is -- elegant, poised and rather restrained compared to his other wind concertos for bassoon, flute and French horn.

Barra's appearances with the Annapolis Symphony will be at 8 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. in Annapolis. Ticket prices range from $23 to $32, with student tickets available for $7. Information or tickets: 410-263-0907.

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