New Shriver Hall season offers superb talent

CRITIC'S CORNER

Critic's Corner//Music

April 11, 2006|By TIM SMITH | TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

The 41st season of the Shriver Hall Concert Series promises to be every bit as rewarding as the 40th.

The 2006-2007 subscription series includes leading instrumentalists and vocalists, as well as an up-and-comer, violinist Stefan Jackiw, who will open the series in September making his Baltimore recital debut with pianist Max Levinson in a program that includes Beethoven and Strauss.

Any list of greatest chamber ensembles today includes the Emerson String Quartet, which will perform Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Nielsen and Ives in October. The compelling pianist Helene Grimaud will offer Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninoff works in her November recital.

Shriver Hall will continue its admirable practice of including vocal recitals each season with an all-Schubert program by insightful tenor Ian Bostridge.

Also on the schedule: stellar cellist Lynn Harrell (Debussy, Beethoven and others); a trio of top-drawer players, violinist Ani Kavafian, pianist Andre-Michel Schub and clarinetist David Shifrin (Mozart, Bartok and others); distinguished early music vocal ensemble, the Tallis Scholars (Monteverdi, Palestrina and others); and a recital by fine pianist Louis Lortie (Chopin's Etudes).

And superb violinist Gil Shaham will be joined by friends in a non-subscription concert devoted to chamber works by Brahms, including the Clarinet Quintet.

That's not all. Shriver Hall will also present a residency by the remarkable African-American/Latino wind quintet, the Imani Winds, known for narrowing gaps between musical genres.

There will also be a four-concert Discovery Series presented at the Baltimore Museum of Art, tied to exhibits there.

Artists include Wu Man, a virtuoso on the pipa, an ancient, lute-like Chinese instrument; percussionist Colin Currie; an all-French program with soprano Dana Bhatnagar, cellist Evan Drachman and pianist Richard Dowling; and pianist Konstantin Scherbakov, who will perform the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich.

For more information, call 410-516-7164.

Wintry reflections

Sure it's spring, but Schubert's song cycle Die Winterreise (Winter Journey) is worth hearing at any time. The poetry by Wilhelm Muller, steeped in icy imagery, achieves profound, haunting beauty through Schubert's music.

The Evergreen Concert Series presents baritone Randall Scarlata and pianist Jeremy Denk in a performance of Winterreise at 8 p.m. Friday in the Bakst Theatre of Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St. Tickets are $15, available at the door. For more information, call 410-516-0341.

Modern sounds

The New Music Ensemble at Towson University will introduce several works to the area, including Jonathan Leshnoff's Seven Glances at a Mirage for clarinet, violin and piano; Paul Rudy's ... and every island and mountain were moved out of their place ... for trumpet and tape; and William Kleinsasser's A Gift of Possible Futures for cello and piano.

The concert is at 8:15 p.m. tomorrow at Towson's Center for the Arts Recital Hall, Osler and Cross Campus drives. Call 410-704-2787.

Marilyn Nonken, a much-admired pianist specializing in contemporary music, will perform works by Milton Babbitt, Jason Eckardt and Salvatore Martirano at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Fine Arts Recital Hall at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle. Admission is free. Call 410-455-2787.

The Astral Winds, a quintet featuring Baltimore Symphony Orchestra principal oboist Katherine Needleman, will play works by Elliott Carter, Gyorgy Ligeti and Pavel Haas, as well as Mozart, at 8 p.m. Friday at An die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. Call 410-385-2638.

The Left Bank Concert Society will focus on 20th- and 21st-cen- tury composers, including Bartok, Webern and Steven Stucky, at 8 p.m. Saturday at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, Stadium Drive and University Boulevard, College Park. Call 301-405-2787.

tim.smith@baltsun.com

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