Full to brimming: Classical calendar packed with treats

Coming attractions include `Four Seasons'

Stage: theater, music, dance

April 22, 2004|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

The number of concerts packing the calendar is only slightly less than the number of cicadas currently burrowing their way to the surface, so the classical-music lover can't possibly run out of things to do. The only trouble will be trying to choose, because, as usual around here, many enticements are scheduled for the same day, if not the same hour.

Here's a chronological rundown of coming attractions well worth checking out.

This weekend, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform topless - in a manner of speaking. There will be no conductor at the helm for this all-Vivaldi program. Instead, concertmaster Jonathan Carney, following the practice of Vivaldi's time, will cue the ensemble as needed. He'll also take the solo violin part in the Four Seasons, Vivaldi's best-loved work and one of the most popular pieces of classical music, period. Filling out the program will be a concerto for two violins, featuring the BSO's Madeline Adkins and Qing Li, and a bassoon concerto, with principal bassoonist Phillip Kolker.

Performances are at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Call 410-783-8000.

Paganini was such a wizard on the violin that some people seriously suspected him of being in league with the devil. Today, more sensibly, his legendary technical mastery and the considerable melodic appeal of his compositions continue to inspire other musicians. A case in point is Duo Paganini, formed by Nancy Bean, assistant concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and guitarist Allen Krantz, director of the guitar program at Temple University.

This twosome will perform works by its namesake, along with Schubert, Piazzolla and others, at 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Bakst Theatre at Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St. Seating is limited. Call 410-516-0341.

The Peabody Institute continues celebrating its newly renovated, public-friendly campus with a concert by noted flutist Maria Piccinini. Her unusual program includes music by Faure, Martinu and fellow Peabody faculty member Nicholas Maw, along with works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Roussel that will feature soprano and Peabody alum Hyunah Yu. The concert is at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Peabody, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place. Call 410-659-8100, Ext. 2.

One of the region's most impressive presenters of classical talent, the Candlelight Concert Society, has another winner in store. The Miro Quartet, named for the great Spanish artist Joan Miro, moved into the chamber-music forefront with some impressive competition wins in 1998 and 2000. For this program, the ensemble has chosen a fairly early Beethoven work, a fairly late Schubert work and a dash of mature Prokofiev.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Saturday at Smith Theatre, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Call 410-480-9950.

The Miro Quartet will be back next week for a gig with barrier-breaking cellist Matt Haimovitz. He's the guy who started making waves a few years ago by playing solo in rock, jazz, country and even grunge venues, challenging preconceptions about classical music and musicians. He'll play selections from his new CD, Anthem, which includes his ear-popping tribute to Jimi Hendrix's iconic arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Haimovitz and the Miro players will then collaborate on Schubert's intensely poetic String Quintet.

This music-making will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 27 in Baltimore's new, super-intimate performance space at An die Musik, 415 N. Charles St. Call 410-385-2638.

An die Musik has been collaborating with the French Embassy and French American Cultural Foundation of Washington in presenting a remarkable series of baroque music concerts that has introduced some important French talent to the area. The last event in the current series offers an appearance by La Fenice, led by founder Jean Tubery. This group of period-instrument players - Tubery is a specialist on the cornetto - is particularly known for its performances of Italian baroque music, which will be represented on this program with works by Monteverdi, Cavalli and others.

La Fenice will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at First Unitarian Church, North Charles and Franklin streets. Call 410-385-2638.

Chinese-born pianist Natalie Zhu, recipient of a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant last year, is this year's Janet and Avery Fisher Artist in Residence at Goucher College. In addition to a public lecture-demonstration and master class on Monday, Zhu will give a recital at 8 p.m. April 27 at the school's Merrick Hall, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road. It's free, with advance reservations. Call 410-337-6333.

One of today's most accomplished sopranos, Dawn Upshaw, will be the guest artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra next week, singing arias by Bach. Music by Corelli, Bartok and Szymanowski will also be heard in this concert, led by the orchestra's concertmaster and artistic director Richard Tognetti. The performance is at 8 p.m. April 28 at the Clarice Smith Center, University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive, College Park. Call 301-405-2787.

Jason Ferrante, the tenor and Towson University teacher who helped make John Musto's opera Volpone a hit last month at Wolf Trap, will sing Schumann's sublime Dichterliebe next week. American repertoire will also be included in this performance at 8:15 p.m. April 28 at Towson University's Center for the Arts, Osler and Cross Campus drives. Call 410-704-2787.

For more theater, classical music and dance events, see Page 41.

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