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By W. Andrew Powell and W. Andrew Powell,Special to The Sun | May 16, 1994
Poor Daniel Barenboim. He has taken quite a pummeling from critics lately. Some don't think he's good enough to fill the shoes of long-tenured maestro Georg Solti at Orchestra Hall, Chicago.Rich Daniel Barenboim. Not only has he landed one of classical music's best-paid jobs on these shores, he has also recently Pinzered millions of deutschemarks as chief of Berlin's newly re-commercialized, re-glamorized musical shrine, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, an institution bereft of such luster since the Nazis.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2014
The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University opens its school year this week with about 600 students, 150 faculty members and a new dean. Fred Bronstein, who started on the job in June after six years as president of the St. Louis Symphony, is the 16th person to take the helm since the music conservatory was founded in 1857. His title is different, though. The designation was changed to "dean" from "director," established before the conservatory became affiliated with JHU in 1977, to make Peabody consistent with the university's other academic divisions.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | February 21, 1992
Andrew Schenck, a Baltimore-based conductor on the verge of a major international career, died late Wednesday night of cancer. Schenck, who had been associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 1973 to 1980, was 52 years old.After years of guest-conducting throughout the world, often with relatively obscure orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia, Schenck seemed to have made a major breakthrough: Last October he spent a week conducting...
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 10, 2013
Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association for the past decade, has been named president of the Kennedy Center, effective Sept. 1, 2014. She will succeed Michael M. Kaiser. As top administrator for one of the world's greatest orchestras, Rutter is a major figure in the performing arts world. The Chicago Symphony has enjoyed substantial growth in fundraising and ticket sales during her tenure. Rutter also succeeded in getting eminent Italian conductor Riccardo Muti to accept the job as the orchestra's music director.  "The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is in a great place -- musically, financially, the artistic leadership, and from an audience perspective," Rutter said in an interview Tuesday.
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By Tim Smith | November 20, 2004
The National Symphony Orchestra announced yesterday that its musicians have ratified a new four-year contract that increases minimum salaries about 13 percent, to $108,000, by the final year. Weekly base wages will rise from the current $1,844 to $2,077 in the 2007-2008 season. Musicians will assume more of their health insurance costs. For comparison, minimum weekly pay at the New York Philharmonic is $1,980 and will rise to $2,180 by the 2006-2007 season under a new contract. At the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the minimum is $1,400.
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October 11, 1991
One of Germany's most distinguished orchestras, the Bamberg Symphony, appears at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17, at the new Bob Hope Performing Arts Center, in Alumni Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.The program will include Dvorak's "Carnival" Overture and "New World" Symphony and Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, with soloist Heinrich Schiff performing on his 1698 Stradivarius cello.Founded 45 years ago by refugee musicians from Prague, the orchestra will be conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | April 7, 1995
Many aficionados of great music need time to prepare for the concert season. So for those who would like to examine next year's Annapolis Symphony Orchestra repertoire in advance, I make these compact disc recommendations.Since Leon Fleisher will return to Annapolis to perform the Ravel Concerto for Left Hand, it seems only fitting to express my admiration for his Sony recording with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony, a disc that includes two additional works by Britten and Prokofieff.For budget shoppers, there is a perfectly fine Naxos recording of the "Left Hand" combined with Ravel's irresistibly jazzy G major Concerto and De Falla's evocative "Nights in the Gardens of Spain."
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 12, 2005
According to Gustav Mahler's widow, the last two words he uttered on his deathbed were "Mozart, Mozart." If Mozart were to spring back to life today, I wouldn't be surprised if his first words were "Mahler, Mahler." In many ways, the two composers couldn't be farther apart, of course, but in their quest for artistic truth they were much alike. Mozart would surely return Mahler's admiration. Hearing their music on the same program -- at least when played as probingly and stunningly as the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra did before a sold-out audience at the Kennedy Center Tuesday night -- makes a spiritual bond between them seem very real.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | March 5, 1993
Talk about ingrates!When Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky completed his Piano Concerto No. 1, he consulted with Nikolai Rubinstein, the Russian keyboard virtuoso he hoped would premiere the work. The pianist haughtily told Tchaikovsky his piece was "impossible" and would have to be revised, if not gutted, before any self-respecting artist would play it.Tchaikovsky did make some changes, but not before he snatched the concerto back from Rubinstein and rededicated it to Hans von Bulow who gave its resoundingly successful premiere Oct. 25, 1875, in Boston.
NEWS
January 26, 1996
An editorial in The Sun for Anne Arundel Friday should have listed the conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra as Gisele Ben-Dor. The Sun regrets the error.THE HISTORY OF the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra from its founding in 1962 has been one of steady artistic growth. There was never any question about the great ambitions of this community orchestra. A year after it was formed, it gave a joint concert with the Annapolis Choral Society. And whereas the orchestra initially included high school students, along with members of the U.S. Naval Academy Band and other players, today it boasts a degree of professionalism that has helped it win recognition and acclaim far beyond Maryland's borders.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | June 17, 2008
Joan Tower has run into a string of bad luck recently, which is unusual for her. She's the remarkably successful composer whose distinctions include the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award in Composition in 1990 (the first woman to receive that honor), and a Grammy this year for Best Classical Contemporary Composition - Made in America, on a Naxos recording that also took Grammys for Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance. But Tower, due in town this week for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's performance of her Concerto for Orchestra, has been battling the flu, a knee injury and even tick-borne Lyme disease.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 12, 2005
According to Gustav Mahler's widow, the last two words he uttered on his deathbed were "Mozart, Mozart." If Mozart were to spring back to life today, I wouldn't be surprised if his first words were "Mahler, Mahler." In many ways, the two composers couldn't be farther apart, of course, but in their quest for artistic truth they were much alike. Mozart would surely return Mahler's admiration. Hearing their music on the same program -- at least when played as probingly and stunningly as the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra did before a sold-out audience at the Kennedy Center Tuesday night -- makes a spiritual bond between them seem very real.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith | November 20, 2004
The National Symphony Orchestra announced yesterday that its musicians have ratified a new four-year contract that increases minimum salaries about 13 percent, to $108,000, by the final year. Weekly base wages will rise from the current $1,844 to $2,077 in the 2007-2008 season. Musicians will assume more of their health insurance costs. For comparison, minimum weekly pay at the New York Philharmonic is $1,980 and will rise to $2,180 by the 2006-2007 season under a new contract. At the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the minimum is $1,400.
NEWS
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN STAFF | July 16, 2004
Nathan M. Carter, who almost singlehandedly lifted the Morgan State University choir from an oversized glee club to international prominence, died yesterday at his Baltimore home after a long illness. He was 68. "He was an international treasure that happened to live right here in our community." said former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. "We were all enriched by the fact that he gave his time not only to Morgan State University and their renowned choir, but also to the Baltimore School for the Arts and local churches.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 24, 2001
For many years, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 7 was viewed as the problem child among his orchestral output, a sprawling mass of sounds that refuse to behave. While the other eight completed symphonies gradually gained intense admiration, or at least respect, during the second half of the 20th century, the Seventh stood in the corner, craving attention. Today, the situation seems much brighter. A look at a major music retailer's online catalog finds nearly 30 different recordings of the Seventh currently for sale, a plethora once unthinkable.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 20, 1999
When the Annapolis Symphony has sought out violin soloists in recent seasons, it has often turned to the concertmasters of some of our most celebrated American orchestras.Ruben Gonzalez of the Chicago Symphony, Herbert Greenberg of the Baltimore Symphony, Uri Pianka of Houston and Alexander Kerr, formerly of the Cincinnati Orchestra (now with Concertgebouw of Amsterdam) have all taken the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts stage and contributed polite, gentlemanly, scrupulously collegial accounts of the concertos entrusted to them.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | December 15, 1991
As the Annapolis Chorale prepares for this year's "Messiah" at St. Anne's (Dec. 21 and 22, Christmas portion only), this seems a good time to survey the CD bins for the "Messiahs" of choice.As always, there are recordings of Handel's masterpiece for every taste and whim.Handel revised the work numerous times to fit many performance occasions in his own lifetime, so there is no single, definitive version of the piece, let alone a comprehensive, ultimate recording.Among the original instrument/authentic performance choices, three selections stand out for me.* Christopher Hogwood's recreation of a 1754 "Messiah" on L'oiseau Lyre was the first recorded attempt to blow off the modernistic cobwebs, and it retains its attractiveness.
NEWS
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN STAFF | July 16, 2004
Nathan M. Carter, who almost single-handedly lifted the Morgan State University choir from an oversized glee club to international prominence, died yesterday at his Baltimore home after a long illness. A family spokeswoman declined to provide the cause of death. He was 68. In a city well-stocked with admirable choral ensembles, the Morgan State choir continually stood out under Dr. Carter's guidance for its discipline, richness of tone and, above all, joyous music-making. These qualities were maintained year after year - despite continual changes of personnel as students graduated - and were applied as thoroughly to Beethoven, Mahler and Gershwin as to Cab Calloway, spirituals and gospel songs.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | March 1, 1998
In the last few years, more and more American orchestras have been issuing commemorative sets, usually culled from broadcast archives, of their own performances. The pioneer in such efforts was the Chicago Symphony, but its example has been followed by other major orchestras, including those in Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and, most recently, New York.The economic motivation for these sets is easy to understand. Given current fees, the time that it takes an orchestra nowadays to record enough material to fill a 70-minute CD is likely to cost considerably more than $100,000.
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