Concert series promises great Sundays

Music preview

Arundel Live

August 19, 2004|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Though poised in the suburban netherworld between Baltimore and Washington, Howard County has not been content to sit back, relax and ride the cultural coattails of its neighbors.

Rep Stage, the Howard County Ballet, Columbia Orchestra, Pro Cantare Chorus and Candlelight Concert Society prove that point with authority.

So does Sundays at Three, a remarkable concert series poised to offer its eighth season of innovative, high-quality musical programming at Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia.

There is immense talent in our midst and, thanks to the folks running this program, we needn't fork over a king's ransom at the Kennedy Center or Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to hear it.

And with a slate of seven concerts in the offing, the series offers something for all cultivated musical tastes.

Aficionados of the piano won't want to miss Brian Ganz in recital Sept. 26. A Columbia native who lives in Annapolis (and a former organist at Christ Episcopal to boot), Ganz is a faculty member at Baltimore's Peabody Institute.

He is also a concert artist whose national and international reputation continues to grow. The pianist is in the process of recording the complete piano works of Frederic Chopin, and it is to works by that revolutionary of the keyboard that he turns for his Columbia recital.

Anglophiles will love the Oct. 24 program of works for piano and string quartet by Sir Malcolm Arnold, Sir William Walton, Edmund Rubbra, Frank Bridge and Ralph Vaughan Williams. This lush fare will be performed by pianist Amy Klosterman and a string quartet culled from the ranks of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.

The Baltimore Symphony has been in a state of flux over the past few years as conductor Yuri Temirkanov has brought in several new principal players to help realize his artistic vision for the orchestra.

Two of the most prominent, Andrew Balio, principal trumpet, and Katherine Needleman, principal oboe, will be in the spotlight for the Jan. 30 program of American music by Charles Ives, Halsey Stevens, Eric Ewazen and Andre Previn.

On March 13, Wonju Kim, a member of the BSO's first violin section, will be joined by two of her sisters and a brother-in-law for a concert highlighted by Mozart's celestial E-flat Piano Quartet and the sparkling B-flat Piano Trio by Franz Schubert.

Still more BSO violinists come to Columbia on April 24 to form a string quartet that will play Bedrich Smetana's intense E-minor Quartet (subtitled "From My Life"), as well as pieces by the American composer and virtuoso of the fiddle, Mark O'Connor.

The season concludes May 22 with early quartets by Mozart and Schubert and Felix Mendelssohn's stunning String Octet, surely the most sophisticated chamber work ever spun off by a 16-year-old.

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