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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 24, 2002
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra trotted out some Russian warhorses for its season finale Wednesday night and gave them all a satisfying ride. Music director Anne Harrigan's choices ranged from the soothing to the biting. On the latter side was Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, with its layers of torment, irony and resignation. There are lighter ideas in the score, of course, but, as happens in so many of the composer's works, a bittersweet aftertaste invariably lingers. Gavriel Lipkind, a young Israeli cellist with assorted competition awards and international performance credits behind him, brought terrific skills to the concerto.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 2, 2014
No matter how many good, even great, things we have going on in dear old Baltimore, there is always room for improvement or expansion -- well, always room for hoping, at least.  So, this being the start of a new year when we are all supposed to focus on fresh ideas, I thought I would offer a suggestion that might give the local arts scene a boost: A city-wide festival. It has been a little more than a decade since Baltimore witnessed a multi-genre, multi-organization festival.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 8, 2004
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - The Morgan State University Choir had the whole audience in its hands last night at the Grand Hall of the Philharmonia, a regal room that has welcomed a lot of great music and music-makers since the 1830s. But this was the first time an African-American chorus and the embracing sounds of venerable spirituals and contemporary gospel songs filled the place. "This concert is so unusual for us," said Dmitri Izotov, a young Russian who listened intently along the side of the well-filled hall.
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November 23, 2006
`She Loves Me' The lowdown -- It started out as the play Parfumerie, by Hungarian writer Miklos Laszlo. Then filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch turned it into the 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner. Nine years later, it became a movie musical, In the Good Old Summertime, for Judy Garland. More recently, Nora Ephron created a film version for the Internet era, You've Got Mail. But best of all is the 1963 stage musical adaptation, She Loves Me, which features a lilting score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof)
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 19, 1998
It wasn't what I heard at the Tchaikovsky Competition this summer in Moscow that made me worry about musical standards in Russia. It is what I smelled.Imagine sitting in the Meyerhoff to listen to the world's best young pianists and the entire hall smelling as the bathrooms used to at Memorial Stadium on a sultry August afternoon.The Tchaikovsky - which includes contests in piano, violin, cello and voice - is held every four years to honor Russia's greatest composer. For pianists, particularly, it is the world's most prestigious contest.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 23, 2006
`She Loves Me' The lowdown -- It started out as the play Parfumerie, by Hungarian writer Miklos Laszlo. Then filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch turned it into the 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner. Nine years later, it became a movie musical, In the Good Old Summertime, for Judy Garland. More recently, Nora Ephron created a film version for the Internet era, You've Got Mail. But best of all is the 1963 stage musical adaptation, She Loves Me, which features a lilting score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof)
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By Tim Smith | January 19, 2003
Call it the Russian winter of Baltimore. Next month, the citywide Vivat! St. Petersburg festival will find musical groups large and small in a Russian mode for nearly three weeks. But you don't have to wait until then to feel a blast of Russian music and musicians. The Shriver Hall Concert Series will present three hotshot players -- Siberian-born violinist Vadim Repin tonight, accompanied by Moscow-born pianist Boris Berezovsky, today; St. Petersburg-born keyboard virtuoso Arcadi Volodos next Sunday.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 22, 2003
After last week's doses of intense, internalized drama and heart-on-sleeve emotions, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is offering a somewhat lighter slice of Russian music this week for its second program in the Vivat! St. Petersburg festival. Not lighter in quality, mind you. Yuri Temirkanov's choices emphasize the melodic wealth, brilliant orchestration and wry wit that distinguish so much of the Russian repertoire. Two items on the bill hardly lack for exposure - Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paginini and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet score.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 2, 2014
No matter how many good, even great, things we have going on in dear old Baltimore, there is always room for improvement or expansion -- well, always room for hoping, at least.  So, this being the start of a new year when we are all supposed to focus on fresh ideas, I thought I would offer a suggestion that might give the local arts scene a boost: A city-wide festival. It has been a little more than a decade since Baltimore witnessed a multi-genre, multi-organization festival.
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By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 29, 2000
The verdict is in. Yuri Temirkanov whacked it out of the park last Thursday -- and out of the county last night. Out-of-town critics, this one included, agreed wholeheartedly with the Baltimoreans who gave the Russian conductor a 12-minute standing ovation at the end of his inaugural concert as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony brought out the best in leader and players alike. Still, one concert does not a honeymoon make, and Temirkanov had something to prove.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 8, 2004
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - The Morgan State University Choir had the whole audience in its hands last night at the Grand Hall of the Philharmonia, a regal room that has welcomed a lot of great music and music-makers since the 1830s. But this was the first time an African-American chorus and the embracing sounds of venerable spirituals and contemporary gospel songs filled the place. "This concert is so unusual for us," said Dmitri Izotov, a young Russian who listened intently along the side of the well-filled hall.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 22, 2003
After last week's doses of intense, internalized drama and heart-on-sleeve emotions, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is offering a somewhat lighter slice of Russian music this week for its second program in the Vivat! St. Petersburg festival. Not lighter in quality, mind you. Yuri Temirkanov's choices emphasize the melodic wealth, brilliant orchestration and wry wit that distinguish so much of the Russian repertoire. Two items on the bill hardly lack for exposure - Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paginini and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet score.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | January 19, 2003
Call it the Russian winter of Baltimore. Next month, the citywide Vivat! St. Petersburg festival will find musical groups large and small in a Russian mode for nearly three weeks. But you don't have to wait until then to feel a blast of Russian music and musicians. The Shriver Hall Concert Series will present three hotshot players -- Siberian-born violinist Vadim Repin tonight, accompanied by Moscow-born pianist Boris Berezovsky, today; St. Petersburg-born keyboard virtuoso Arcadi Volodos next Sunday.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 24, 2002
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra trotted out some Russian warhorses for its season finale Wednesday night and gave them all a satisfying ride. Music director Anne Harrigan's choices ranged from the soothing to the biting. On the latter side was Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, with its layers of torment, irony and resignation. There are lighter ideas in the score, of course, but, as happens in so many of the composer's works, a bittersweet aftertaste invariably lingers. Gavriel Lipkind, a young Israeli cellist with assorted competition awards and international performance credits behind him, brought terrific skills to the concerto.
FEATURES
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 29, 2000
The verdict is in. Yuri Temirkanov whacked it out of the park last Thursday -- and out of the county last night. Out-of-town critics, this one included, agreed wholeheartedly with the Baltimoreans who gave the Russian conductor a 12-minute standing ovation at the end of his inaugural concert as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony brought out the best in leader and players alike. Still, one concert does not a honeymoon make, and Temirkanov had something to prove.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 16, 1999
I began Saturday evening at the Kennedy Center at 5 p.m. listening to Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam perform Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, and then hurried down the center's grand foyer to make a 7 p.m. curtain for the Washington Opera's new production of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov."Sometime in that seven-hour period, I realized I was spending the evening listening to nothing but Russian music of the last 125 years. That, in turn, led to some speculation about the possibility that -- musically, at least -- we will remember the century about to end as the "Russian Century."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 16, 1999
I began Saturday evening at the Kennedy Center at 5 p.m. listening to Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam perform Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, and then hurried down the center's grand foyer to make a 7 p.m. curtain for the Washington Opera's new production of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov."Sometime in that seven-hour period, I realized I was spending the evening listening to nothing but Russian music of the last 125 years. That, in turn, led to some speculation about the possibility that -- musically, at least -- we will remember the century about to end as the "Russian Century."
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By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 9, 1997
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra audiences are in for "a good dose of Russian melancholia," says pianist Andre Watts, featured artist with the BSO this weekend.Watts will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, and the orchestra, under guest conductor Jerzy Semkow, will perform Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony No. 6 in B minor.Though their composers belonged to different centuries, the pieces were written less than a decade apart. The "Pathetique" (given its title by Tchaikovsky's brother and manager, Modest)
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 15, 1998
It was a glorious party.But it was more than that -- it was Russian musical culture reasserting itself.And even more, it was Yuri Temirkanov's 60th birthday.Even though 60 makes Temirkanov, the music director-designate the Baltimore Symphony, a spring chicken compared to some other conductors, St. Petersburg celebrated his Dec. 10 birthday with festivities that one celebrant described as a three-day party with a three-and-a-half-hour gala concert sandwiched in."Great artists like Yuri deserve such honors because they are the leaders of our culture," said conductor Mariss Jansons, one of Temirkanov's oldest friends and the man who shared conducting duties for the concert with Alexander Dmitriev.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 19, 1998
It wasn't what I heard at the Tchaikovsky Competition this summer in Moscow that made me worry about musical standards in Russia. It is what I smelled.Imagine sitting in the Meyerhoff to listen to the world's best young pianists and the entire hall smelling as the bathrooms used to at Memorial Stadium on a sultry August afternoon.The Tchaikovsky - which includes contests in piano, violin, cello and voice - is held every four years to honor Russia's greatest composer. For pianists, particularly, it is the world's most prestigious contest.
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