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August 10, 2012
For many years my wife Fran and I were subscribers to the Baltimore Pops series at the Meyerhoff. We especially enjoyed the years during Marvin Hamlisch's tenure as principal pops conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Little did we know that he was also a big time baseball fan. My wife Fran, known throughout Camden Yards for many years as one of the Orioles' best fans, was delighted when we were invited to a Yankees-Oriole game at Yankee Stadium to see Mike Messina, after leaving Baltimore, pitch for the Yankees against the Orioles.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2014
A jolting cupful of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" for your Midweek Madness break. I especially like the bits of choreography, as well as what I gather is a Finnish folk song that these guys from the Fabulous Backstrom Brothers Show toss into the mix. (Thanks to conductor Lee Mills, whose FB post of this clip gave me something to steal for this week's post.)
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2014
The news of Julius Rudel's death on Thursday at the age of 93 sent a sad wave through the music world. This first-rate conductor, impresario and gentleman left a huge mark, especially for his long stewardship of the New York City Opera. For a lot of us, remembering Mr. Rudel's legacy means remembering that of stellar soprano Beverly Sills, too. They did some amazing work together. And sublime, nowhere more so than in their recording of "Marietta's Lied" from Korngold's "Die tote Stadt.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2014
Lorin Maazel, an unusually brilliant conductor with an extraordinary mind, uncanny technique and an ability to sculpt performances of remarkable expressive beauty, died Sunday at the age of 84 in Virginia. A statement released by the Castleton Festival, which he and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, founded at their expansive, idyllic country estate, attributed the cause of death to complications from pneumonia. Months ago, the brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel began canceling engagements around the world and relinquished his post as music director of the Munich Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2014
Lorin Maazel, an unusually brilliant conductor with an extraordinary mind, uncanny technique and an ability to sculpt performances of remarkable expressive beauty, died Sunday at the age of 84 in Virginia. A statement released by the Castleton Festival, which he and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, founded at their expansive, idyllic country estate, attributed the cause of death to complications from pneumonia. Months ago, the brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel began canceling engagements around the world and relinquished his post as music director of the Munich Philharmonic.
FEATURES
By Tamara Ikenberg and Tamara Ikenberg,SUN STAFF | April 3, 1998
Leslie B. Dunner has been appointed new music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, ASO board President Gregory Stiverson announced yesterday.Dunner, who has been resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 10 years and resident conductor of Canada's Symphony Nova Scotia for two years, is taking the place of former music director Gisele Ben-Dor, now the music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony."We're simply delighted to have him. He is a musician of international reputation," Stiverson says.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
Carlo Maria Giulini, the elegant and eloquent Italian conductor, was born on this date 100 years ago (he died in 2005). The centenary is a good reason to take a moment and recall his uncommon artistry. This brief audio clip -- Prelude to Act 3 of Verdi's "La Traviata," recorded live at La Scala in 1956 -- easily reveals the Giulini touch. The conductor makes every phrase speak, and the way he stretches out the very last notes communicates with a most extraordinary pathos. You just don't hear music-making like this everyday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2014
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop has canceled her scheduled appearances this week with the ensemble. Her mother, a cellist who spent several decades in the New York City Ballet Orchestra, died late last week in upstate New York at the age of 82. BSO principal pops conductor Jack Everly will be on the podium for the concerts, which feature the showing of two 1920s Charlie Chaplin films, "The Kid" and "The Idle Class," with...
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | March 4, 1991
One wouldn't think that being conductor of the Hopkin Symphony Orchestra -- a university/community orchestra on the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University -- would be a big deal.After all, the orchestra is made up of 70 amateurs, rehearses about once a week and gives four concerts a year. But last spring when the HSO advertised for a new music director, it received more than 90 responses from all over the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel and the People's Republic of China.From those applicants, the orchestra's board asked for videotapes from 25 candidates and then selected five finalists and two alternates -- one of them is Eric Townell, the HSO's acting music director -- for interviews and auditions.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
  You just never know when lightning will strike in a concert hall. It happened Thursday night at the Meyerhoff, where conductor Jakub Hrusa made his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut, generating unmistakable sparks in works by Dvorak and Janacek, and where veteran pianist Andre Watts once again showed 'em who's boss in a bracing account of the Grieg concerto. Having often complained about the shortage of big-name (or at least moderately big) conductors on the BSO's roster of podium guests, let me hasten to say that I am all for being introduced to genuine talents who are not necessarily well-known on these shores.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 9, 2014
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has appointed Markus Stenz as principal guest conductor for a three-year term commencing with the 2015-2016 season. The German conductor, who is principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, made a sensational BSO debut in 2012 . In a statement released Wednesday, Stenz said that his "first encounter [with the BSO] in October 2012 is unforgettable to me. I loved the musicians' sophisticated and joyous approach to music making and look forward to experiencing a wide variety of repertoire with the orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2014
The news of Julius Rudel's death on Thursday at the age of 93 sent a sad wave through the music world. This first-rate conductor, impresario and gentleman left a huge mark, especially for his long stewardship of the New York City Opera. For a lot of us, remembering Mr. Rudel's legacy means remembering that of stellar soprano Beverly Sills, too. They did some amazing work together. And sublime, nowhere more so than in their recording of "Marietta's Lied" from Korngold's "Die tote Stadt.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2014
Angelo Gatto spoke softly and carried a small baton, but the slender 92-year-old conductor had no trouble getting respect from the musicians of the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra rehearsing for Saturday's milestone concert. The milestone is Gatto's final concert as music director of the orchestra, which he founded 50 years ago. During that time, he mentored an estimated 3,000 students from the area, inspiring many to pursue musical careers. Alumni can be found in such major orchestras as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and on podiums leading ensembles of their own. To the players rehearsing at the Center for the Arts on the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County, Gatto offered his trademark instruction: "Don't just play notes.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
Carlo Maria Giulini, the elegant and eloquent Italian conductor, was born on this date 100 years ago (he died in 2005). The centenary is a good reason to take a moment and recall his uncommon artistry. This brief audio clip -- Prelude to Act 3 of Verdi's "La Traviata," recorded live at La Scala in 1956 -- easily reveals the Giulini touch. The conductor makes every phrase speak, and the way he stretches out the very last notes communicates with a most extraordinary pathos. You just don't hear music-making like this everyday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
  You just never know when lightning will strike in a concert hall. It happened Thursday night at the Meyerhoff, where conductor Jakub Hrusa made his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut, generating unmistakable sparks in works by Dvorak and Janacek, and where veteran pianist Andre Watts once again showed 'em who's boss in a bracing account of the Grieg concerto. Having often complained about the shortage of big-name (or at least moderately big) conductors on the BSO's roster of podium guests, let me hasten to say that I am all for being introduced to genuine talents who are not necessarily well-known on these shores.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | March 14, 2014
The Howard County Concert Orchestra's music director, Ronald Mutchnik, is a busy person who is more accustomed to running around than sitting around. Audiences expect to find him standing on a podium and raising his hands to conduct a piece. Mutchnik will be seated rather than standing, however, when his orchestra does a "Magnificent Mozart" program on Sunday, March 23, at 4 p.m., at St. John's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City. The reason is that Mutchnik recently suffered a broken foot in a car accident.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | August 20, 1992
Arne Running, music director of the Swarthmore College Orchestra and former conductor of the Jenkintown Music School Chamber Orchestra, has been named music director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.Running, 48, succeeds Karen Deal, the CYSO's founding conductor who recently became the assistant conductor of the Nashville Symphony.About to enter its third season, the CYSO, has quickly become one of the area's major musical organizations. The 60-member orchestra draws young musicians from Anne Arundel County, southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 5, 1999
The featured conductor for last night's Baltimore Symphony subscription concert in Meyerhoff Hall was the celebrated Finnish conductor, Paavo Berglund. On a program that included Sibelius' "Pohjola's Daughter" and Franck's Symphony in D Minor, Berglund was scheduled to join pianist Alicia de Larrocha in a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major (K. 467).But the conductor had expected to accompany the Spanish pianist in Concerto No. 27. When he learned otherwise two weeks ago, he informed the orchestra's management that he did not have sufficient time to prepare Concerto No. 21.The day was saved by the orchestra's resident conductor, Daniel Hege, who stepped in to give de Larrocha a superb accompaniment in K. 467. The young conductor may very well have proved a better collaborator for the pianist than Berglund.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2014
The past few weeks have been rough on Marin Alsop. Late last month, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's music director gathered with family and friends in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at the bedside of her mother. Ruth Alsop, whose career included playing cello in the New York City Ballet Orchestra for more than 50 years, died Jan. 23 at the age of 82. Eleven days later, the conductor was back in Baltimore at another bedside, her father's. Lamar Alsop, who was concertmaster of that same ballet orchestra for more than three decades, died Feb. 3 at the age of 85. "My mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in September," Alsop said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2014
Joseph Young, who left a most favorable mark locally as the first recipient of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship, has been moving steadily up the ladder since his years with the BSO, 2007-09. Effective June 1, Young will be the new assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, one of the country's finest. In addition, he will become music director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. It's a one-year contract to start. In addition to his BSO work, which impressed musicians, staffers and audiences alike, Young has served as resident conductor of the Phoenix Symphony and assistant conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic.
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