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By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff | October 15, 1990
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra opened its concert Friday night at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall with the sprightly and often booming works of two composers, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and George Gershwin, who created a number of pieces with some fanfare before their early deaths at ages 37 and 38 respectively.Coleridge-Taylor's 13-minute Bamboula, partly based on a West Indian dance, was performed under Associate Conductor Chosei Komatsu in a lively show of repeated themes. The composer, the son of a Sierra Leone doctor and an English nurse, was popular in the early 1900s.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2014
The worlds of pop and classical music do not meet all that often — or all that well, as a rule — but certain artists have proved quite adept at bridging the gap. Ben Folds is one of them. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-born, Nashville-based songwriter and pianist has been on an international tour billed as the Ben Folds Orchestra Experience. The tour brings him to Charm City on Thursday for a concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which first joined Folds in a gig nine years ago. That 2005 program featured Folds songs enhanced with orchestral arrangements.
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By Robert Haskins and Robert Haskins,Contributing Writer | February 13, 1993
Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto -- performed last night by pianist Artur Pizarro and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Christopher Seaman's direction -- was declared unplayable by its intended premiere performer, Nicholas Rubinstein. It is now a staple of many a concert pianist's repertoire and easily one of the most familiar concertos in the repertoire.And herein lies a special problem for its interpreters -- how does one say anything new with such well-known music? This sort of challenge is perhaps even more daunting for a young pianist like Mr. Pizarro, who only gave his professional debut recital four years ago.Opportunities for breathtakingly virtuosic display abound in this concerto, of course, but this was not the most striking asset of Mr. Pizarro's performance.
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June 2, 2011
Some musicians develop firm ideas about how to play a particular piece and stick to them no matter what. Others keep their options wide open. Emanuel Ax is one of the latter, which helps explain why this Polish-born pianist has been a major force in the classical music world for 35 years. Ax, who performs Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this weekend, is celebrated for the freshness of his music-making, as well as a brilliant technique. "I learned this concerto when I was 21," said Ax, who turns 62 next week.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 21, 1996
Aaron Copland, "Appalachian Spring," "Symphonic Ode" and Piano Concerto, performed by the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting, and (in the Piano Concerto) Lorin Hollander (Delos DE 3154)This excellent Copland collection is a breath of fresh air. Yes, this disc does contain the ubiquitous "Appalachian Spring," but the other items are important Copland pieces that do not turn up very often.Both the "Ode" and the Piano Concerto represent the Copland of the 1920s -- the brash modernist, freshly back from his studies in Paris and excited by the possibilities for jazz in symphonic music.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 4, 2003
Two powerhouses swept through the Kennedy Center Concert Hall Thursday night - composer Jennifer Higdon and pianist Lang Lang, the featured attractions on this week's National Symphony Orchestra program. Each left a long-lasting impression. Higdon's Concerto for Orchestra, written for the Philadelphia Orchestra and premiered by that ensemble last year, is a five-movement score that easily stakes a claim as one of the most inventive and substantive additions to American music in years. Even if there are a couple of spots that seem a little long-winded, the array of sound colors never ceases to grab the ear, while the brilliant working-out of ideas never ceases to impress.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 3, 2000
You might remember that Thomas Hobbes, the not very optimistic political theoretician of 17th-century Britain, described human life in its natural state as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." I couldn't help but recall Hobbes' description as I listened to pianist Dickran Atamian play Mozart's 23rd Piano Concerto with Leslie Dunner's Annapolis Symphony Orchestra on Saturday. It was a solitary performance because the pianist was in a world of his own, seemingly unaware that Mozart had imbued the score with grace and poetry, and that the orchestra was doing its best to convey the composer's intentions.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 21, 2001
Two connective threads hold the latest Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program together. One is the influence of folk music, as reflected in works by Grieg, Dvorak and Prokofiev. The other is sheer, exhilarating virtuosity. On Thursday evening at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, music director Yuri Temirkanov seemed determined to get as much bravura from the BSO as possible. And the guest artist, Lang Lang, seemed determined to put as much bravura as possible into a keyboard. The result was a concert that snapped, crackled and popped.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 24, 2002
The great "Emperor" will be gracing Annapolis with a visit this weekend. But before you begin reviewing the proper etiquette for bowing to royalty, or sprucing up the State House dome with a fresh coat of paint, be advised that this "visiting monarch" is, in fact, the grand, dashing 5th Piano Concerto of Ludwig van Beethoven that history has dubbed the "Emperor." That great concerto will be performed by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra this weekend under the baton of its music director, Leslie B. Dunner.
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By M. DION THOMPSON and M. DION THOMPSON,SUN STAFF | December 8, 1999
Daniel Hays is rhapsodizing about one of his life's passions:"It's not only an escape," he says. "It opens up new vistas. It's like, you open up a room, and then there's another door and then another, and it just opens up such " He pauses. What is the right word? A flash of inspiration pulls him to the piano keyboard an arm's length away."Like Chopin writing about the fall of Warsaw," he says above the heroic music rising from his Yamaha grand.In a couple of days he'll be playing at the Metro Food Market in Hunt Valley.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | April 5, 2008
James MacMillan, the multi-faceted Scottish composer and conductor, is the latest "Beethoven of today" to participate in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's season. Although a considerable force on the contemporary scene, he is not exactly well known around here, so his Explorer Series venture with the BSO provides a welcome introduction. MacMillan's intriguing calling card includes two of his own works on the first half of the program - each containing a bundle of folk tunes, classical hit parade allusions, spiky harmonies and dry wit - and Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 on the second.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | February 28, 2008
Marin Alsop will pay tribute to her mentor, Leonard Bernstein, and his hero, Gustav Mahler, during the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 2008-2009 season, Alsop's second as music director. Works by both men figure prominently, along with new pieces by Christopher Rouse and Jennifer Higdon, continuing Alsop's commitment to contemporary American music. After last season's successful pricing of subscription seats at $25 per concert, the BSO will again offer a $25 deal. This time, it won't include all locations at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, but more than 70 percent of the seats will be eligible for $25-per-concert subscription packages.
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By Judah E. Adashi and Judah E. Adashi,special to the sun | November 30, 2007
Music director Jason Love and the Columbia Orchestra will present their final concert of 2007 at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Jim Rouse Theatre. The evening begins with Charles Ives' Symphony No. 2, and ends with Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring acclaimed pianist Brian Ganz, a Howard County native who teaches at the Peabody Conservatory. At first glance, a program devoted to the music of Ives and Brahms might suggest a cacophonous burst of Americana followed by a heady dose of straightforward romanticism.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 18, 2007
Headlines proclaiming Leon Fleisher as a teenage piano prodigy; applause rocking the theater; and a sepia record jacket announcing the pianist teaming with conductor George Szell on Mozart's 25th Piano Concerto -- these triumphal sounds and images tumble off the screen at the start of Nathaniel Kahn's Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story. But they swiftly give way to an empty Meyerhoff Symphony Hall with a vacant piano center-stage, as Fleisher speaks of the terrible time in 1964 when he was preparing for the most important tour of his life and he discovered that he couldn't use the fourth and fifth fingers on his right hand.
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By TIM SMITH | September 3, 2006
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra will mark the centennial of Dmitri Shostakovich's birth in a big way. Each will devote to him two weeks of programs with starry soloists and conductors who knew the composer well. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 7, BSO music director emeritus Yuri Temirkanov conducts Symphony No. 5 and No. 10, as well as Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Yefim Bronfman). Call 410-783-8000 or visit baltimoresymphony.com. And Nov. 2-11, Mstislav Rostropovich leads the NSO in Symphony No. 8 and No. 10, Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Martha Argerich)
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By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 18, 2006
If you're traveling about the country during the next few weeks, don't be surprised if you bump into a major player from Baltimore's cultural stage: Marin Alsop, music director-to-be of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She's conducting from coast-to-coast, starting tonight, when she leads the New York Philharmonic in a free concert on the Great Lawn of Central Park. Despite the heat wave, this may turn out to be one of the cooler spots in Manhattan. Alsop has programmed a fun piece by John Adams, The Chairman Dances, derived from his opera Nixon in China, and Beethoven's evergreen Symphony No. 5. In between will be Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, with Leila Josefowicz, a fast-rising young talent on today's scene, as soloist.
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July 5, 1992
Four of the BSO's six Summerfest concerts feature pianist Nelson Freire. All concerts, which will be conducted by David Zinman, take place at 7:30 p.m. in Meyerhoff Hall. After each concert there will be food available in the festival's outdoor plaza and live bands to provide music for those who wish to dance.July 9: Brahms' Symphony No. 4 and Piano Concerto No. 1.July 11: Brahms' Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 2.July 14: Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 3.July 16: Copland's "Danzon Cubano" and "Billy the Kid" and Rachmaninov's Concerto No. 2.July 23: Copland's "El Salon Mexico" and "Rodeo" and Rachmaninov's "Symphonic Dances."
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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.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 14, 2004
Internally, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra does not present an entirely cohesive image these days, with an unproven executive freshly installed and a rash of departures on the staff, including some of its most devoted and valuable members. Financially, the orchestra doesn't look entirely steady, either, given worrisome debts that could hit a new high next year. Artistically, though, the BSO couldn't sound much more unified or solid. What the audience found Saturday night at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall was an ensemble operating at the top of its game, led by a music director at the top of his. For the season's final classical subscription program, Yuri Temirkanov focused on two strong personalities who knew how to shake up expectations, extract fresh instrumental colors and, in the best possible sense, just show off -- Hector Berlioz and Dmitri Shostakovich.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 10, 2004
The most auspicious musical debut of the 2003-2004 Anne Arundel concert season was undoubtedly that of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra. Founded by Kathy Solano, a violinist with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and a county music teacher, the chamber orchestra -- consisting of area professionals, semiprofessionals, music teachers and a few students -- has delivered two lovely full-length concerts and is poised to offer a third. At 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, the fledgling orchestra will conclude its inaugural season at Southern High School in Harwood with a handsome program to be conducted by Ernest Liotti of Baltimore's Loyola College.
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