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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2013
You're invited to observe sessions of the conducting course given by Baltimore Chamber Orchestra music director Markand Thakar this week. Ten budding conductors, who come from around this country as well as Germany and Taiwan, will work on Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and Beethoven's Seventh.  Thakar, co-director of graduate conducting at Peabody Conservatory, has a long track record of mentoring podium talent. This week's sessions provide a good opportunity for music lovers to get an inside look into what it takes to make music with an orchestra.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2014
Music's communicative power - "such sweet compulsion," Milton called it - has been known to change lives. Hearing the right piece at the right time can make a person start to think and feel differently, maybe start down a new path. In a thoroughly unscientific sampling, members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and other classical musicians who perform regularly in the area were asked to talk about the first works that caught their ears and hearts and have continued to inspire them.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2013
With something like 17,000 attractive concerts scheduled in and around Baltimore last Sunday, I decided on just one, figuring that I would not be able to concentrate on too much music anyway, what with all the anticipation building for the "Mad Men" season-opener that night . (If I had known what a let-down that would be -- am I the only one who felt that a lot of Sunday's episode was padded and even, gasp, kind of dull? -- maybe I would have crammed in a few more.) My choice for musical diversion, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra's program at Kraushaar Auditorium winding up the ensemble's 2012-13 season, turned out to be a good one, thanks to Soheil Nasseri's performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. The California-born pianist has enjoyed a plaudit-generating career for more than a decade.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 17, 2014
Baltimore has experienced a bounty of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, among others, in recent days. My favorite experience came Sunday evening when Shriver Hall Concert Series presented the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, a chamber group comprising (mostly) of members of the famed Berlin Philharmonic. It's always uplifting to be in the presence of musicians who are at the top of their game. Brahms' Clarinet Quintet, a piece infused with twilight, received a performance of commendable sensitivity, where the spaces between phrases emerged as meaningfully as any of the notes.
ENTERTAINMENT
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
Last weekend found two of the area's orchestral ensembles in fine form. Concert Artists of Baltimore offered an imaginative mix of standard and far-from-standard fare Saturday night at the Gordon Center. The familiar work was Mendelssohn's "Scottish Symphony," which received an absorbing performance conducted by Edward Polochick. He paid great attention to subtle details, especially the woodwind voices, and he ensured that the most atmospheric elements in the score came through vividly (slicing string attacks in the finale evoked a brisk highland breeze)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2013
Two more music organizations jumped into the 2013-14 season over the weekend, producing vibrant results in both cases. The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, marking its 31st year, took the stage Sunday afternoon at Goucher College with a cohesive mix of personnel; the strings, especially, sounded much firmer. There was a fresh and involving quality to the playing throughout the concert, culminating with a warmhearted account of Mozart's "Linz" Symphony, elegantly shaped by music director Markand Thakar.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 1, 2002
There was everything but paprika in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra's latest program. Hungarian and Gypsy strains, not necessarily composed by Hungarians or Gypsies, filled Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium Wednesday night. So did people; the place was packed. Despite stylistic similarities among the pieces in the concert, a wide range of moods and colors could be savored. But the common threads of open-hearted emotion and infectious dance rhythms understandably left the most vivid impression.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 27, 1998
With the exception of Yo-Yo Ma and less than a handful of others, Baltimore concertgoers do not get to hear many visiting cellists. That makes tomorrow evening's concert by the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and music director Anne Harrigan all the more intriguing.The concert's guest soloist will be the young American cellist Wendy Warner, who will perform Saint-Saens' A Minor Concerto.Warner first made headlines in the music business in 1990 when the then 18-year-old cellist won first prize in Paris at the International Rostropovich Competition.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 2, 2001
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra spent most of Wednesday evening luxuriating in the polychromatic realm of 20th-century French music. It was a substantive and rewarding venture. For this concert at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium, conductor Anne Harrigan came up with a mix of serious, sensual and lighthearted repertoire that had in common a certain subtlety of expression. True, Darius Milhaud's "La boeuf sur le toit" is not without blatant effects - a rollicking Brazilian tune that keeps coming back for one more whirl round the dance floor, all sorts of piquant dissonances - but there's still something refined about it. Harrigan had the ensemble bouncing through the piece with a good deal of character, if not always tight coordination.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 13, 2001
"Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance," said Ezra Pound. If the poet was right, things should be downright limber at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts this weekend, when the Ballet Theatre of Maryland presents its annual performances of Tchaikovsky's classic ballet, The Nutcracker. This year, for the first time in BTM's long history with Tchaikovsky's much-loved score, audiences will enjoy the music live, as it is played by the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Charles Rose- krans.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | March 4, 2014
The Chagall Trio explores the 19th-century romantic repertory when it performs on Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m., at Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia. This concert in the Sundays at Three series features musicians who are well-known to local audiences. The members of the Chagall Trio are violinist Ronald Mutchnik, artistic director for both Sundays at Three and the Howard County Concert Orchestra; cellist Seth Low, who has been a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 1985 and who also is principal cellist of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra; and pianist Andrea Sokol, whose recital engagements include the Phillips Collection in Washington and the Gordon Trust in Baltimore.
ENTERTAINMENT
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
Last weekend found two of the area's orchestral ensembles in fine form. Concert Artists of Baltimore offered an imaginative mix of standard and far-from-standard fare Saturday night at the Gordon Center. The familiar work was Mendelssohn's "Scottish Symphony," which received an absorbing performance conducted by Edward Polochick. He paid great attention to subtle details, especially the woodwind voices, and he ensured that the most atmospheric elements in the score came through vividly (slicing string attacks in the finale evoked a brisk highland breeze)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2013
Two more music organizations jumped into the 2013-14 season over the weekend, producing vibrant results in both cases. The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, marking its 31st year, took the stage Sunday afternoon at Goucher College with a cohesive mix of personnel; the strings, especially, sounded much firmer. There was a fresh and involving quality to the playing throughout the concert, culminating with a warmhearted account of Mozart's "Linz" Symphony, elegantly shaped by music director Markand Thakar.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2013
You're invited to observe sessions of the conducting course given by Baltimore Chamber Orchestra music director Markand Thakar this week. Ten budding conductors, who come from around this country as well as Germany and Taiwan, will work on Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and Beethoven's Seventh.  Thakar, co-director of graduate conducting at Peabody Conservatory, has a long track record of mentoring podium talent. This week's sessions provide a good opportunity for music lovers to get an inside look into what it takes to make music with an orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2013
With something like 17,000 attractive concerts scheduled in and around Baltimore last Sunday, I decided on just one, figuring that I would not be able to concentrate on too much music anyway, what with all the anticipation building for the "Mad Men" season-opener that night . (If I had known what a let-down that would be -- am I the only one who felt that a lot of Sunday's episode was padded and even, gasp, kind of dull? -- maybe I would have crammed in a few more.) My choice for musical diversion, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra's program at Kraushaar Auditorium winding up the ensemble's 2012-13 season, turned out to be a good one, thanks to Soheil Nasseri's performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. The California-born pianist has enjoyed a plaudit-generating career for more than a decade.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | January 31, 2013
The 19th-century German classical music repertory is not directly represented on the Columbia Orchestra's next concert, but its romantic influence will be heard in the program scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., in the Jim Rouse Theatre, at Wilde Lake High School. On the upcoming program are Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 5, Benjamin Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" from his opera "Peter Grimes" and Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto. "They're all 20th-century composers, but rather than breaking with traditions they're extending traditions," observes Columbia Orchestra Music Director Jason Love.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 26, 2001
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra wrapped itself in the comforting mantle of Mozart for its season-opening concert on Wednesday. The program was chosen many months ago, but proved doubly welcome; music director Anne Harrigan told the full house at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium that she and her colleagues needed to drink in the beauty of Mozart now more than ever. That beauty flowed quite steadily all evening. Mozart's capacity for ingratiating melody and brilliant thematic development never fails to amaze.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | October 28, 2008
Decades ago, in the dark ages of the cassette tape, the question was: Is it live or is it Memorex? In the future, the question might be: Is it live or is it Fauxharmonic? The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra's next program will let audiences hear the premiere of a new work for strings performed both by live musicians and a digitally created ensemble. The wryly named Fauxharmonic Orchestra uses digital versions of musical notes to replicate conventional instruments, a technology that may have applications in the future for bringing nearly real orchestral music to out-of-the-way places.
NEWS
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 3, 2013
With all the usual fresh-look-forward talk prompted by the new year, it's a good time to consider broadening your musical horizons to include performances presented by groups that might have been off your radar. Baltimore is not just fortunate to have a major orchestra, but also several smaller organizations that provide a good deal of musical value. The area is also rich in academic campuses — Peabody Institute, Towson University, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, etc. — where a lot of classical music activity takes place.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2010
Back in the early days of compact discs, some classical music shoppers were known to be wary of the unfamiliar record labels that started popping up in the bins, especially the ones with rock-bottom prices. One budget label, in particular, stood out for its straightforward look, abundance of titles and largely unknown performers: Naxos. What became clear very quickly after that company's launch in 1987 was that the music-making could be taken very seriously. And the product just kept growing and improving.
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