Goucher concert a tribute to slain journalist Daniel Pearl

CRITIC'S CORNER

Music

September 27, 2005|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic

Artists invariably find ways of addressing painful events and issues, helping us to do the same.

A case in point is the gruesome murder of journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in February 2002, a few months after 9/11. To honor Pearl's memory, his sacrifice and his values, a foundation was created by friends and family to promote a variety of events around the world.

Pearl, who played violin, is commemorated annually in concerts like the one being held this week at Goucher College as part of a 10-day global observance, Daniel Pearl Music Days/Harmony for Humanity. On the program is a work by Californian composer Russell Steinberg, Stories From My Favorite Planet: A Musical Tribute to Journalist Daniel Pearl.

The score, commissioned by Pearl's parents and premiered in 2003, calls for a narrator, violin and piano and includes readings from some of Pearl's writings, both humorous and disturbing.

Steinberg's music, which has considerable color and expressive force, will be played by violinist Clay Purdy, an associate faculty member at Goucher, and pianist Lisa Weiss, chairwoman of the college's music department. The narrator will be Michael Curry, Goucher's vice president and academic dean.

The performance is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Merrick Hall (Kraushaar Building), Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-337-6276.

Imaginative cellist

Matt Haimovitz, the imaginative cellist who made headlines taking his music into unlikely places (rock clubs, country-western bars, etc.) a few years ago, will be in Baltimore this week to play in "normal" venues.

Haimovitz, along with violinist Andy Simionescu and pianist Micah Yui, will be featured in Beethoven's Triple Concerto during the season-opening program by the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. The concert, led by BCO music director Markand Thakar, also offers music by Bizet and Faure.

The performance is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road. For ticket information, call 410-426-0157.

Haimovitz will perform music from his new CD, Goulash, an adventuresome, potently played collection of works by Bartok, Ligeti, Led Zeppelin and more, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at An die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. Call 410-385-2638. An die Musik is selling a promotional package: $20 for both the BCO concert tomorrow and Thursday's performance.

Assad brothers

The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society opens its season with a double dose of talent -- the brilliant Brazilian duo of Sergio and Odair Assad.

The much-recorded Assad brothers will bring a colorful program that includes music by Albeniz, Piazzolla, Brouwer and others. The concert is at 8 p.m. Thursday at Peabody Conservatory, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place. For ticket information, call 410-247-5320.

Morgan State benefit

A benefit concert to fund the Nathan Carter Memorial Scholarship for music students at Morgan State University drew a big crowd to the school's Murphy Fine Arts Center on Saturday night. Onstage was the Soulful Symphony, Darin Atwater's dynamic orchestra and chorus, delivering a high-energy (and overamplified) program of gospel songs.

The instrumentalists encountered rough spots but matched the tightly knit choristers for expressive heat, especially in a hard-driving "Brighter Day" and a stirring "Total Praise."

Morgan grad Kennethia M. Mitchell, accompanied by pianist Eric Conway (Carter's successor as director of the famed Morgan State Choir), offered a nimble account of Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim."

The exceptionally promising soprano also brought a gorgeous tone and exquisite phrasing to her performance of "If I Can Help Somebody." Nathan Carter would have loved it.

tim.smith@baltsun.com

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