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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 23, 2003
The world has never lacked for accomplished pianists. Genuine keyboard artists who have something meaningful to say are a rarer breed. One of them is a 60-year-old New Yorker who has been performing for four decades with quiet authority and technique to spare. He's Richard Goode, and he's right up there with the best. Goode's international career, full of prizes and plaudits, has taken him just about everywhere, in recital and in collaboration with orchestras, chamber musicians and singers.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | October 3, 2009
Although it's convenient for some to think of music being divided into totally separate worlds, with the classical variety way over in some isolated corner where only the "elite" indulge in it, there are innumerable connecting, welcoming points between genres. One mission of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's new season is to emphasize such links, programming works that reveal roots planted in folk music or jazz, for example. Last week, bluegrass found its way into the picture via a concerto by Jennifer Higdon featuring a hotshot crossover trio; this week, the folk influences behind familiar pieces by Tchaikovsky and Bartok are being given fresh attention.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 10, 1997
The lucky few who made it to the Meyerhoff last night for the Baltimore Symphony heard a splendid concert, which was missed by the many unfortunates frightened away by the prospect of frozen streets. It was a program that featured Pinchas Zukerman in his capacities as violinist (Bach's A Minor Concerto), conductor (Mendelssohn's "Italian Symphony") and violist (Bartok's posthumous concerto for that instrument), and it also presented the debut of BSO assistant conductor Daniel Hege, who led the orchestra in the Bartok.
NEWS
September 28, 2007
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra opens its 47th season tonight and tomorrow with a program brought to you by the letter B. Maestro Jose-Luis Novo will begin his third year on the Maryland Hall podium by giving one of the most electrifying downbeats of the symphonic repertoire as his orchestra performs Beethoven's blisteringly intense Coriolan Overture. The music of Brahms is next, with the conductor and guest soloist Soovin Kim joining forces for the great German master's Violin Concerto in D Major.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | August 18, 1995
Poised to begin her fifth season at the helm of the Annapolis Symphony, Gisele Ben-Dor continues her ascent through the ranks of American and European orchestras.In December 1993, the talented Israeli made her debut with the New York Philharmonic, filling in at the last minute for an ailing Kurt Masur in a concert that included the Brahms Violin Concerto with superstar fiddler Anne-Sophie Mutter.Last June, Ms. Ben-Dor's career went bicoastal as she became music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, the first woman to be so named in the 41-year history of the California ensemble.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 15, 2000
When it comes to touring, the Takacs String Quartet likes it tough. None of this one-day-on, one-day-off foolishness for them. As first violinist David Dusinberre explains, the group -- which performs at Shriver Hall on Sunday -- tends to perform better when it's pushed by a demanding schedule. "I think we play the best when we're in an intense run of concerts," he says during a telephone interview from a tour stop in Fort Worth, Texas. "I mean, it's always a hard balance, because of course you've got to stay fresh and make sure your energy level is really good for each concert.
NEWS
By David Lindauer and David Lindauer,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 24, 1997
Gisele Ben-Dor said farewell in her own style to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Saturday night with a diverse and well-executed program.The highlight of the program was Antonin Dvorak's great cello concerto with soloist Ronald Thomas.This dramatic work began with very brisk tempos, and it was clear from the outset that Ben-Dor took a direct, no-nonsense approach to the music. With his initial entry, Thomas coaxed a sweet, singing tone from his instrument. As the work progressed, I was continually impressed by the beauty of his playing.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | May 31, 1994
Are you smart enough to appreciate the Beastie Boys?A ridiculous question, right? Bela Bartok -- that takes brains to understand. Be-bop too. But the Beasties? How many IQ points do you need to understand a few rhymes and a beat?That depends on how carefully you listen. Because few albums reward close attention more assiduously than the Beastie Boys' latest, "Ill Communication" (Grand Royal/Capitol 28599, arriving in stores today).It isn't just a matter of being able to sort through the pop-culture references and dropped names that litter these raps, though it's difficult to savor a rhyme like "So I kick out the jams and tell you who I am/And talk to the people like Les McCann" without knowing that "Kick Out the Jams" was a landmark release by the MC5, while "Talk to the People" was the title of an album by soul-jazz keyboardist Les McCann.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 8, 1996
Bartok, "Concerto for Orchestra" and "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta," performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting (Sony Classical SK 62598); Bartok, "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta" and "The Wooden Prince" (complete ballet music), performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati conducting (Mercury 434 357-2); Bartok, "Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta," Mussorgsky-Ravel, "Pictures at an Exhibition," performed by the Chicago Symphony, Rafael Kubelik conducting (Mercury 434 378-2)
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Staff Writer | April 2, 1993
With this season's final concerts set for this month, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra has announced plans for its 1993-1994 season.Conductor Gisele Ben-Dor's programming for next season, her third at the ASO helm, is intriguing, adventurous and attractive.While the current campaign has tended toward the mainstream symphonic blockbusters -- the Fourth Symphonies of Mahler and Tchaikovsky, the "Eroica" symphony and Third Piano Concerto of Beethoven and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto -- next season's concerts will take audiences into slightly more exotic musical climes, though Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, Beethoven's Eighth Symphony and Elgar's marvelously personal "Enigma" Variations will provide more than a touch of familiarity.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 23, 2003
The world has never lacked for accomplished pianists. Genuine keyboard artists who have something meaningful to say are a rarer breed. One of them is a 60-year-old New Yorker who has been performing for four decades with quiet authority and technique to spare. He's Richard Goode, and he's right up there with the best. Goode's international career, full of prizes and plaudits, has taken him just about everywhere, in recital and in collaboration with orchestras, chamber musicians and singers.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 3, 2003
Music has been flowing with considerable intensity - just as it should be, of course - at the Peabody Institute. Extraordinary chamber music-making came Wednesday night from the Peabody Trio, which was anything but - a trio, that is. Instead, members of this resident faculty ensemble subdivided into duos on the first half of the program and expanded into a quartet for the second. Janacek's Pohadka is a "fairy tale" for cello and piano steeped in Czech folk idioms, synthesized through the composer's brilliant, seemingly improvisational style.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 19, 2002
For generations of music lovers, the "Three B's" will always be Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Over the weekend, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra reminded listeners how awfully exclusive that list is by making a firm case for a 20th century "Three B's" - Bartok, Berg and Bernstein. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall houses relatively little post-1900 music these days, so Saturday's concert seemed almost shocking, even though the most recent work on the program was nearly 40 years old. The presentation of all that "modern" stuff apparently was too much for a few folks, who beat a premature retreat for the exit.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 22, 2002
It's hard to keep track of all the musical enticements out there. Just take a glance at this coming weekend, for example. The variety of repertoire available for your listening pleasure is remarkable: As for standard fare, you'll find two quartets from Beethoven's Op. 18 and Schubert's sublime Death and the Maiden Quartet performed by Takacs Quartet, one of the finest ensembles on the chamber music scene. This program, presented by Candlelight Concerts, will be at 8 p.m. Saturday at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre in Columbia.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 15, 2000
When it comes to touring, the Takacs String Quartet likes it tough. None of this one-day-on, one-day-off foolishness for them. As first violinist David Dusinberre explains, the group -- which performs at Shriver Hall on Sunday -- tends to perform better when it's pushed by a demanding schedule. "I think we play the best when we're in an intense run of concerts," he says during a telephone interview from a tour stop in Fort Worth, Texas. "I mean, it's always a hard balance, because of course you've got to stay fresh and make sure your energy level is really good for each concert.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 6, 2000
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Philip Spletzer swapped one leadership role for another Friday evening when he left his customary perch in the first-violin section for the Maryland Hall podium to conduct a reduced-sized ASO in works by Bach, Vivaldi, Bartok and Joseph Suk. The 33-year-old violinist gave us passionate, viscerally exciting music-making that, while sometimes short on finesse and sheer beauty of tone, was seldom perfunctory or...
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | December 5, 1997
Michael Hedges was a most unlikely guitar hero.In an age when popular music is dominated by electric guitar, Hedges preferred the acoustic instrument, staying unplugged for most of his career. Nor did he have the kind of roots expected of a guitar god. A product of the composition program at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, Hedges was more likely to credit Bela Bartok than Jeff Beck as being a central influence on his playing.And even though he never had the name recognition of an Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, Hedges -- who died at 43 in a car accident over the weekend -- was a giant among guitarists.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 3, 2003
Music has been flowing with considerable intensity - just as it should be, of course - at the Peabody Institute. Extraordinary chamber music-making came Wednesday night from the Peabody Trio, which was anything but - a trio, that is. Instead, members of this resident faculty ensemble subdivided into duos on the first half of the program and expanded into a quartet for the second. Janacek's Pohadka is a "fairy tale" for cello and piano steeped in Czech folk idioms, synthesized through the composer's brilliant, seemingly improvisational style.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 25, 1999
Like our renowned orchestras, the world's great string quartets have fashioned personalized reputations for their music-making.For songful elegance, it's hard to beat the Quartetto Italiano, which did remarkable things with Beethoven and Schubert a generation ago.The Guarneri Quartet conveys a larger-than-life presence with a passionate devotion to inner harmonic detail, while plummy sound and jewel-like precision continue to guarantee the Alban Berg Quartet...
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | December 5, 1997
Michael Hedges was a most unlikely guitar hero.In an age when popular music is dominated by electric guitar, Hedges preferred the acoustic instrument, staying unplugged for most of his career. Nor did he have the kind of roots expected of a guitar god. A product of the composition program at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, Hedges was more likely to credit Bela Bartok than Jeff Beck as being a central influence on his playing.And even though he never had the name recognition of an Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, Hedges -- who died at 43 in a car accident over the weekend -- was a giant among guitarists.
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