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By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | February 19, 2010
Yefim Bronfman, 51, who was just awarded the $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, has been among the finest virtuosos for more than 30 years. He plays a recital this weekend for the Shriver Hall Concert Series. Question: Your recital includes Tchaikovsky's Grand Sonata, which you recently learned. Why do you think it's so rarely heard? Answer: It was performed a lot in the '30s and '40s, but for some reason not much after the Second World War. I want to change that.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Everything music lovers have long admired about pianist Leon Fleisher - penetrating intellect, technical authority, uncommon expressive power - are reconfirmed on "All the Things You Are," a thoroughly engrossing CD from Bridge Records devoted primarily to music for left hand alone. It's a great reminder that this octogenarian can communicate more with five fingers than many a younger pianist does with 10. Fleisher lost the use of his right hand in 1965, six years after he joined the Peabody Conservatory faculty, due to what was eventually diagnosed as focal dystonia.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | October 19, 2012
Gustav "Gus" Baer, a retired executive and certified public accountant who had a second career as a pianist entertaining Nordstrom shoppers with his spirited renditions of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin classics, died Oct. 9 of a neurodegenerative disorder at the Emeritus Pikesville senior-living facility. The longtime Baltimore County resident was 84. The son of a businessman and a concert pianist and music teacher, Mr. Baer was born in Baltimore and raised on Sequoia Avenue in the city's Ashburton neighborhood.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2014
  It isn't news that Anthony McGill is a masterful clarinetist, but his recital Sunday evening for Music in the Valley still surprised. The pristine technique, the breadth of tone coloring, the expressive richness of phrasing -- all of these gifts seemed more impressive than ever. The chief take-away from the concert is that the New York Philharmonic is awfully lucky. McGill, who has been co-principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for a decade, was just appointed the Philharmonic's principal.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | August 24, 2013
The clench of arthritis had quieted Reinecke's fingers last year, leaving the classically trained pianist, 93, unable to lift her right arm and play as she had for decades. As a couple of dozen friends and students packed into Reinecke's Catonsville living room Saturday afternoon, the music returned for the first time since her shoulder replacement surgery a year ago, filling the space with the sounds of Frederic Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninov and Claude Debussy. "I think life is a commission to be," Reinecke said after her performance.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 9, 2010
Brian Ganz is preparing to climb a musical Mt. Everest. He wants to perform all 250 keyboard-based works of Frederic Chopin. He's in no hurry, though. "This will probably take the better part of a decade," he said. Ganz will give a preview of the venture Saturday in Annapolis. The Chopin project will then be launched with a recital next month at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, where Ganz will eventually perform Chopin's piano/orchestra works with the National Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 7, 2011
"I was in love with music from the beginning," said Virginia Reinecke, who first played the piano at 6 and will give a performance Sunday at the age of 90. Make that 901/2 — she hit the big Nine-O last July. The Baltimore-born, Peabody-trained Reinecke will be featured in a concert for Music in the Great Hall, the series she co-founded in 1974 and ran for its first 30 years. The series "had some bad times in the past, like any organization," she said, "but the board is stronger now and [artistic director]
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 17, 1996
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli performs Schumann, Chopin, Debussy and Mompou: The unpublished EMI live recording, London, 1957 (Testament SBT 2088):The death last year of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli deprived the world of one of its greatest -- and, certainly, its most mysterious -- pianists. Michelangeli performed the smallest repertory of any major pianist in history, he canceled twice as many concerts as he gave and he made pitiably few recordings.Yet despite his melancholy disposition, his reclusive personality and the fact that his interpretations were as often chilly as sublime, he achieved legendary stature almost from the start of his career.
FEATURES
April 11, 1991
Hungarian pianist Zoltan Kocsis has canceled his April 26-28 appearances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and his entire North American tour in April and May because of "a virulent case of contact dermatitis," his agent said.The BSO said he will be replaced by 23-year-old South Korean pianist Ju Hee Suh in her debut here. She will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. She scored a big hit at age 10 when she made her New York debut in 1979 playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
Sunday's musical attractions included the 79th annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" by a choir named for the composer, plus a chamber music program presented by the Shriver Hall Concert Series. A few words on each. The choir seems to be in fine shape. It maintained a well-balanced sound and articulated with admirable clarity during a matinee at Towson Presbyterian Church, led by the ensemble's new artistic director and conductor of the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Arian Khaefi.
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 | March 3, 2014
For its 49th season, the Shriver Hall Concert Series has assembled a particularly starry lineup of classical artists. The 2014-2015 series gets started in September with the exceptional French pianist (and notable advocate for endangered wolves) Helene Grimaud, who will play a recital of works by Liszt, Ravel, Debussy and others. An October concert will feature the Belcea Quartet, a resident ensemble at London's Guildhall School and Vienna's Konzerthaus, performing Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
Sunday's musical attractions included the 79th annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" by a choir named for the composer, plus a chamber music program presented by the Shriver Hall Concert Series. A few words on each. The choir seems to be in fine shape. It maintained a well-balanced sound and articulated with admirable clarity during a matinee at Towson Presbyterian Church, led by the ensemble's new artistic director and conductor of the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Arian Khaefi.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2013
His name may not register with concert-goers as quickly as some others, but Nelson Freire is easily recognized as one of the most respected pianists on the world scene. Without a hint of showiness or artificial attitude, Freire invariably brings a sterling technique and stylistic authority to the keyboard, as he did in a recital Sunday evening for the Shriver Hall Concert Series. The pianist established at the outset, in the Siloti arrangement of Bach's G minor Organ Prelude, that the tone would be warm and richly colored all night, that the phrasing would speak eloquently.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | November 13, 2013
Rachel A. Pines, a classically trained pianist who later changed careers and became chief learning officer for a business consulting company, died Nov. 7 of breast cancer at the Cancer Treatment Center in Philadelphia. The former Mount Washington resident was 63. Born in Chicago, the former Rachel Arlene Bolotin was raised in Northbrook, Ill., and graduated in 1968 from North Shore Country Day School. After earning a bachelor's degree in 1972 from Pomona College, she moved to Baltimore, where she enrolled at the Peabody Institute and studied under noted pianist Leon Fleisher.
NEWS
November 4, 2013
Almost Elton and the Rocket Band starring Craig A. Meyer will perform at the Amoss Center on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Considered to be the best Elton John tribute artist in the market, Meyer's strong vocals, striking resemblances and amazing talent on the piano have audiences everywhere remembering when rock was young. Featuring a live band playing music from decades of chart topping hits by Sir Elton John, including "Benny and the Jets," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Crocodile Rock," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Candle in the Wind," this show has captivated audiences with its celebration of the character, costumes and charisma of the famed pianist and singer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Everything music lovers have long admired about pianist Leon Fleisher - penetrating intellect, technical authority, uncommon expressive power - are reconfirmed on "All the Things You Are," a thoroughly engrossing CD from Bridge Records devoted primarily to music for left hand alone. It's a great reminder that this octogenarian can communicate more with five fingers than many a younger pianist does with 10. Fleisher lost the use of his right hand in 1965, six years after he joined the Peabody Conservatory faculty, due to what was eventually diagnosed as focal dystonia.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | November 23, 1995
The American pianist Misha Dichter makes his first local appearance in several years this week when he performs Beethoven's First Piano Concerto in Meyerhoff Hall with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Marek Janowski. The program also includes Schumann's soaring Symphony No. 3 in E-flat (the "Rhenish").Performances take place Friday and Saturday at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18-$36 and are available by calling the BSO box office, (410) 783-8000.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 16, 2013
No matter how often officials at the MacArthur Foundation keeps pointing out that they bestow "fellowships," people insist on calling them "genius awards" -- sort of the way people keep saying "Obamacare" instead of "Affordable Health Care Act. "  One reason why the "genius" tag has stuck, of course, is that so many of those receiving these annual pats on the back (at $625,000 a pat) really do seem like geniuses. They're certainly not like you and me. Jeremy Denk, one of the recent 2013 honorees, is a case in point.
NEWS
Record staff report | August 28, 2013
During his 53 years of life, Hiram C. Brown, of Fair Hill, built a legacy of compassion, creativity and caring, and is probably best remembered for two prominent roles. Many knew him as a successful musician and pianist with his own promotions business, while other are grateful for his approximately 15 years of service with the Cecil County Department of Social Services. In recognition of these endeavors, the Cecil College Foundation has received donations, totaling $5,000, to establish the Hiram C. Brown Sr. Memorial Scholarship.
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