February 20, 2013
Vocal recitals are rare enough in Baltimore that even a program of familiar lieder would qualify as a novelty. A program of way-off-the-beaten-path songs? That's beyond cool. Magdalena Kozena, the high-profile, Czech mezzo-soprano, and her equally high-profile accompanist, the Russian-born, Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman, chose a fascinating sample of repertoire for their recital Sunday night presented by the Shriver Hall Concert Series . Four of the five composers on the bill came from the mainstream, but the works selected for this occasion did not. In Mussorgsky's song cycle "The Nursery," which evokes the alternately animated, awed and mischievous mindset of a child, Kozena offered an abundance of colorful vocal touches -- even a nose-thumbing gesture for good measure.
January 25, 2013
There is no shortage of pianists with pristine techniques today. There is even a decent supply of polished pianists who possess the rarer attribute of musicality. But Marc-Andre Hamelin still stands out from the pack. Critics have been known to sound more like fan club presidents when describing Hamelin performances, tossing off adjectives like "legendary," "fearless" and "electrifying," or even giving him the title "piano superhero. " Baltimore will get a chance to sample Hamelin's artistry when he makes his Shriver Hall Concert Series debut on Sunday.
February 16, 2012
I grew up in Baltimore, attended school here, and after graduating Hopkins, moved to New York City. I've spent my adult life working in New York, and I'm thinking of retirement in several years. The excitement and glamour of New York are counterbalanced by the high cost of participating in that excitement and glamour. Then there's the astronomical rents. Rents in Baltimore are retiree-friendly. There's the symphony, art museums and my extended family who live here. I am seriously considering Baltimore.
October 29, 2009
SUNDAY MEDUSA'S DAUGHTER: TODAY'S HEROINE IN GRAPHIC NOVELS: Author Jonathon Scott Fuqua and illustrator Steven Parke discuss their book about a teenage Medusa in the 1970s. It was simultaneously published as a novel, graphic novel and book for learning-challenged children. The discussion and signing takes place at 3 p.m. at The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Members are free, student tickets are $5 and non-members are $10. Call 410-547-9000 or go to thewalters.org. ADDICTION & ART: FLIP SIDES OF MADNESS AND OBSESSION: In this program, artists, performers and medical experts come together to explore the role art plays in addiction and recovery.
February 5, 2009
theater 'Fabulation': Though Fabulation is written by Lynn Nottage, author of Intimate Apparel, this satiric comedy about an upwardly mobile black woman who gets her comeuppance couldn't be more different in tone. Once the title character becomes bankrupt and pregnant, the story couldn't be more timely. See Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine, through March 8 at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. Tickets are $15-$60. Call 410-332-0033 or go to centerstage.org. Mary Carole McCauley history A slice of black Baltimore: Baltimore historian and author Philip J. Merrill shares his vast collection of African-American artifacts and memorabilia in A Slice of Historic Black Baltimore, an exhibit on display through March 1 at the Top of the World Observation Level, on the 27th floor of Baltimore's World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St. Merrill's exhibit highlights Baltimore residents, churches, schools and entertainment spots.
March 18, 2008
Almost every year, the Shriver Hall Concert Series presents an exceptional roster of artists, but the 2008-2009 roster looks even starrier than usual. The 80th birthday (it's in July) of nearly legendary pianist Leon Fleisher will be celebrated in several places and several ways next season. One of the most festive may well be at Shriver Hall on Oct. 5, when he'll collaborate in four-hand music with three former students - his gifted wife, Katherine Jacobson, playing Ravel; the formidable Yefim Bronfman, playing Dvorak; and one of best younger-generation pianists, Jonathan Biss, playing Schubert.