Best Bets

BEST BETS

Stage: theater, music, dance

May 27, 2004

Youth Orchestra

Young people may not flock to classical music concerts in droves, but, fortunately, a whole bunch of talented students still want to express themselves through classical music. Conservatories and college music departments have yet to report any drop-off in applications for admission. And a lot of those applicants developed their interest in the art form through participation in youth orchestras.

For a prime example of how such ensembles can benefit students - and how accomplished the results can be - don't miss the finale to the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra Association's 27th season. The organization's two groups, totaling more than 110 players, will perform: Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra, for musicians up to age 23; and the Greater Baltimore Youth Concert Strings, for students primarily in grades four through nine.

The wide-ranging program includes one of the most attractive pieces in the style known as minimalism, the Violin Concerto by Philip Glass, with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jonathan Carney as soloist. Also scheduled: a movement from Dmitri Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto, featuring a co-winner of the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, Patrick O'Donnell; and orchestral works by Jean Sibelius and John Corigliano. The orchestra's artistic director, Jason Love, will conduct. The Concert Strings, conducted by MaryAnn Poling, will play works by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov and Bernard Herrmann (music from the classic movie Psycho).

The concert also serves as a send-off for the orchestra, which will be performing next month in Estonia and Russia.

The concert is at 4 p.m. Sunday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $5 to $20. Call 410-780-6914, or visit www.gbyo.com.

- Tim Smith

Theater festival

In 1993, Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, conducted interviews in the former Yugoslavia with Bosnian women who had survived the civil war. Out of that experience, she created Necessary Targets, the play that opens the Olney Theatre Center's annual Potomac Theatre Festival of political works.

Referring to the women she interviewed, Ensler writes in the introduction to the published script: "It was their community, their holding on to love, their staggering refusal to have or seek revenge that fueled me and ultimately moved me to write this play."

Olney's production is directed by Cornelia Pleasants and stars Julie-Ann Elliot and Jen Plants as an American psychiatrist and human rights worker who travel to a Bosnian refugee camp. The costumes are designed by Vasilija Zivanic, a native of Belgrade, who has said she recognizes some of the characters as "my neighbors, my family, my friends."

Show times at Olney, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and most Sundays, 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through June 27. Tickets are $15-$36. For more information call 301-924-3400.

- J. Wynn Rousuck

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