ASO begins its new season after a delay

Premiere: Annapolis Symphony opens with a guest conductor leading the musicians.

Arundel Live

November 20, 2003|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Tropical Storm Isabel delayed the start of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's post-Dunner era this fall when it left much of the capital city powerless in its wake.

The ASO debut of Syracuse Symphony conductor Daniel Hege was washed away, along with a program of concertos by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms that would have been the local orchestra's first offering since the departure of Maestro Leslie B. Dunner in the spring.

Barring the appearance of any last-minute bad weather, the ASO's 2003-2004 season premiere will take place this weekend at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, when guest conductor Rossen Milanov, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, leads the players in a program of Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff and Elgar.

Milanov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and is a product of New York's Juilliard School and Philadelphia's Curtis Institute. As assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he appears regularly with that orchestra, while also serving as music director of New Jersey's Haddonfield Symphony.

Milanov's international stature was raised considerably with the recent announcement of his appointment as chief conductor of the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra in Sofia.

This distinguished visitor has been entrusted with a program that could be subtitled "The Many Faces of Romanticism."

The orchestra's season of transition begins with Felix Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, a concert overture animated not only by the composer's evocative style, but also by the words of Mendelssohn's fellow German Romantic, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

"Deep calm reigns on the waters," Goethe wrote in the poem that inspired 19-year-old Mendelssohn to craft this overture in 1828.

"Motionless, the sea is at rest, and the sailor, with great concern, sees a smooth expanse all about."

The program then shifts to the fervent Romanticism of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.

Joining Milanov and the orchestra in "Rachy 2" will be Stewart Goodyear, a 24-year-old pianist whose credentials include engagements with the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco under Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zuckerman and Gerard Schwartz.

Among Goodyear's teachers was Leon Fleisher, an extraordinary teacher and a former conductor of the Annapolis Symphony.

This weekend's concerts conclude with the Enigma Variations, English composer Sir Edward Elgar's musical portraits of fourteen of his idiosyncratic friends.

From the lighthearted charm of "Dorabella," to the noble grandeur of the 9th Variation - the famous "Nimrod" - these variations constitute British romanticism at its peak.

"Look out for this man's music," wrote Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, no slouchy English composer himself, upon hearing Elgar's "Enigma" for the first time. "He has something to say and knows how to say it."

Guest conductor Rossen Milanov leads the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in works by Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff and Elgar on Friday and Saturday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The concert begins at 8 p.m. For reservations and information, call 410-263-0907.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.