BSO serving up wine, fireworks

Fest, Oregon Ridge on summer lineup

April 19, 2005|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will again do its part to liven up the summer season for all those not ensconced on the beach.

Another round of the Summer Wine and Music Fest, introduced last year, will be served up, and the BSO's annual, fireworks-spiced residency at Oregon Ridge will be back as well.

On four consecutive Friday evenings in July, the festival will mix concerts, a different conductor for each, and wine tastings at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Live music and dancing will follow each event.

One major guest artist is coming in for the festival - brilliant young Chinese pianist Yundi Li, who will make his local orchestral debut playing Liszt's Concerto No. 1 on July 22. (He makes his local solo recital debut May 1 for the Shriver Hall Concert Series.)

Gifted American conductor Hugh Wolff will conduct this program, which includes two more No. 1's - Schumann's Symphony No. 1 and Walton's Facade Suite No. 1.

Douglas Boyd, a noted oboist-turned-conductor from England, will open the fest July 8 with Dvorak's Serenade for Winds, Stravinsky's Fireworks and Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.

British conductor Mark Wigglesworth, who did some fine music-making with the BSO last season, returns to the podium July 15. He'll lead an orchestral suite he has arranged from Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger. The program also includes Dvorak's Cello Concerto, with the BSO's top-notch principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn as soloist.

Jeffrey Kahane, the American pianist who has enjoyed a second career as conductor, will close the fest July 29 with a sure-fire item, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Joining the orchestra for this ode to joy and brotherhood will be the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

Tickets for each music/wine event are $35, including tastings.

All of the festival programs will also be performed at the BSO's second home, the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, but without the oenological accompaniment. Tickets for this new Thursday Classics series (July 7, 14, 21, 28) are $10.

The outdoor concerts at Oregon Ridge kick off with a holiday theme performed twice, July 3 and 4. Sousa marches and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture - and a fireworks display, of course - are slated for the occasion.

Popular classics and still more fireworks will be offered July 9, followed by a Broadway program, including selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein favorites and such hits as The Lion King, on July 16.

Wrapping up the Oregon Ridge series will be a Latin music night featuring the Mambo Kings on July 23.

General admission to Oregon Ridge concerts is $15 in advance ($7 admission for children under 12).

For more information and tickets to Summer Wine and Music and Oregon Ridge, call 410-783-8000 or visit www.balti

For tickets to the Thursday Classics series at Strathmore, call 410-783-8000 or 877-276-1444 or visit www.bsoatstrathmore. org.

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