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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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
In a letter to his father, a 25-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart declared: "I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. … I simply follow my own feelings. " This self-confidence is just one of the revered composer's traits explored in Peter Shaffer's play "Amadeus," which Center Stage is reviving for its season-opener. A few other Mozart characteristics, including behavior still not considered kosher in polite society, also pepper this colorful mix of fact and fiction.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
In Peter Shaffer's wildly fanciful play “Amadeus,” the mediocre and oh-so jealous composer Salieri describes the moment he realized the genius of his nemesis - hearing a phrase in Mozart's Serenade for Winds that was “filled with such longing … it had me trembling.” Any Mozart fan is bound to have a similar example, some little moment of Mozart that seems impossibly beautiful, unusually affecting. For me, it comes in the Adagio of the Clarinet Concerto, when the soloist begins a tender descending melody that gets gently answered by the orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2014
The marvel of Mozart is not just the effortless stream of perfectly constructed, sublimely beautiful music that poured from him. There's also something terribly fascinating about the crass humor that he dished out with equal flair. Peter Shaffer uses that juxtaposition of the pure and the puerile as a major element in his hit play "Amadeus," a 1979 work now enjoying an earnest revival at Fells Point Corner Theatre. The playwright only had to delve into Mozart's letters, along with a few of his less familiar compositions, to find a gold mine of scatological drollery.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 1, 2006
Fans of 17th- and 18th-century music will find much to consider in the days ahead, including the U.S. premiere of a baroque opera by Cavalli and, this weekend, a rare performance of the original version of Mozart's Idomeneo. It was with Idomeneo that Mozart first revealed just how great an opera composer he would become. This tale of love, duty, sacrifice and monsters in post-Trojan War Crete contains some of his most compelling and vividly orchestrated music. Just before the 1781 premiere in Munich, Mozart made a lot of cuts to the opera, and it is this self-edited version of the score that will be performed in concert form by Opera Lafayette at the Clarice Smith Center in College Park.
FEATURES
By Kenneth Meltzer and Kenneth Meltzer,Special to The Sun | July 22, 1994
Last night's inaugural all-Mozart "Summerfest" concert featured Maestro David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the height of their respective powers, with the composer and the audience the clear beneficiaries.Zinman's view of Mozart is similar in certain respects to many of his contemporaries. He eschews the romanticized approach of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in favor of a lean orchestral sound, fleet tempos and crisp attacks. What sets Zinman apart is that he executes this approach with an enthusiasm and musicality that few today can equal.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 11, 2014
Few musicians generate the affection that Itzhak Perlman has enjoyed from the public for the better part of four decades. That bond is still going strong, as was evident the moment he made his entrance at the Music Center at Strathmore Thursday night to begin a dual concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as violin soloist and conductor. The sight of the 68-year-old Perlman making his way on crutches to his chair understandably seemed to worry the audience, and the initial, hearty ovation subsided long before he could get situated.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | July 21, 1993
The slow movement of Mozart's Concerto No. 18 in B flat (K.456) is an extraordinary affair: a set of variations in G minor that are colored with the most delicate of emotions, a kind of gentle melancholy that much resembles Barbarina's aria in "The Marriage of Figaro."In his concert last night with the Baltimore Symphony and music director David Zinman in Meyerhoff Hall, pianist Christian Zacharias performed that movement about as beautifully as one can, with a subtlety of inflection and imaginative dynamic shading that brought to mind a superb soprano.
FEATURES
By David Donovan and David Donovan,Special to The Sun | February 14, 1995
The Baltimore Choral Arts Society attempted to scale the Everest that is the genius of Mozart Saturday night by presenting two of the composer's masterworks. The fact that the Violin Concerto No. 5 and the great C Minor Mass never fulfilled Mozart's splendor may say more about how difficult this music is than the inadequacies of the performances at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.The Violin Concerto No. 5 set the tone for the evening. The orchestra was infused with a healthy dose of Baltimore Symphony players, giving it a more mature sound.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | November 4, 2006
Mozart -- the birthday boy who keeps on giving. For the better part of a year, musicians the world over have been making an even bigger deal of him than usual. The 250th anniversary of his birth has triggered a flood of performances, fresh reminders that Mozart's genius still eclipses everybody else who has ever composed music. For its final contribution to the Mozart year, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is focusing this week on the close of his creative life, those amazing months of 1791 when he produced one impossibly perfect and perfectly beautiful work after another.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 11, 2014
Few musicians generate the affection that Itzhak Perlman has enjoyed from the public for the better part of four decades. That bond is still going strong, as was evident the moment he made his entrance at the Music Center at Strathmore Thursday night to begin a dual concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as violin soloist and conductor. The sight of the 68-year-old Perlman making his way on crutches to his chair understandably seemed to worry the audience, and the initial, hearty ovation subsided long before he could get situated.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
In Peter Shaffer's wildly fanciful play “Amadeus,” the mediocre and oh-so jealous composer Salieri describes the moment he realized the genius of his nemesis - hearing a phrase in Mozart's Serenade for Winds that was “filled with such longing … it had me trembling.” Any Mozart fan is bound to have a similar example, some little moment of Mozart that seems impossibly beautiful, unusually affecting. For me, it comes in the Adagio of the Clarinet Concerto, when the soloist begins a tender descending melody that gets gently answered by the orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2014
The sacred triumvirate of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven accounts for a crucial portion of what we call classical music, so there are plenty of reasons to program works by all three men on the same evening. There is also a risk of taking such material for granted, coasting on the familiarity of the structures and logical harmonic language. No worries about that, though, in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's serving of the three composers this week, since Nicholas McGegan is on the podium.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2013
When Ignat Solzhenitsyn's career began a couple decades ago, the piano was his primary focus. In short order, the podium attracted his attention, and he has enjoyed significant success as a conductor. Over the weekend, this son of the Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer and dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in stirring performances of Mozart's Requiem and Arvo Part's "Tabula Rasa. " The Estonian-born Part is perhaps best described as a musical mystic.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 16, 2011
Annapolis Opera's fully staged production of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts was a success on all counts. There were very few empty seats on Sunday, and I'm told a near-capacity and equally enthusiastic audience enjoyed the Friday night performance. Based on a 1784 Beaumarchais play that debuted in Paris, Mozart's opera premiered in Vienna in 1786 with his brilliant score set to the Italian libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte to unify drama and music with themes of love, vengeance and forgiveness.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | January 28, 2001
This week, why not take a chance on Mozart? Literally. During its "Many Moods of Mozart" program on Saturday, the Concert Artists of Baltimore will take time out for a perfectly legal crap game. It's all part of "Musikalisches Wurfelspiel" -- "A Musical Dice Game" -- devised by Mozart in 1787 as an arbitrary way of coming up with a minuet. The roll of the dice determines which pre-composed musical phrases are put together to form a complete composition. Other playful sides of Mozart will be explored as well, through excerpts from "The Marriage of Figaro," "The Magic Flute," the "Turkish" Violin Concerto and "Paris" Symphony.
NEWS
By Pat Brodowski and Pat Brodowski,Contributing Writer | December 4, 1992
The melodies of Mozart can no longer be contained within the music room at Spring Garden Elementary. Since early November, they've grabbed the attention of the whole school.In the cafeteria, "A Little Night Music" dances among students on break for lunch. In art class, it might be "The Marriage of Figaro" that accompanies creative work time.Mozart is taken home, too, on cassette tapes with study copies of the words to his operas. Tapes of Mozart are going like hot cakes from a special lending library in the school media center.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2011
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's infrequent presentations of opera-in-concert over the past decade have included a repertoire well off the beaten path — Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" in 2000 and Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle" in 2005. This weekend, the focus is very familiar, very popular fare: Mozart's "The Magic Flute. " "It is the first opera I ever heard when I was a kid," said BSO music director Marin Alsop. "My dad told me the story and all about the secret codes, how the number 3 is important.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2010
Mozart never finished "Zaide," a music-theater piece with spoken dialogue. What has come down to us is a colorful, rather dark story about a sultan named Soliman, who loves his slave Zaide, who loves fellow slave Gomatz. With the help of Allazim, a high-ranking slave, Zaide and Gomatz escape, only to be captured and threatened with death. At that point, the story ends. Wolf Trap Opera's presentation allows the audience to vote at intermission for one of three possibilities — happy, happier and downer.
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