July 1, 2012
TOM ROBERTS, 75, Smithsonian's 'Mr. Anonymous' The name "Tom Roberts" appears on no plaque in the Smithsonian Institution's musical instruments collection. At no concert, even when Mr. Roberts was in attendance, did Smithsonian chamber musicians reveal that he was one of their greatest benefactors. Among museum curators, he was known as "Mr. Anonymous. " Only a few of his closest acquaintances knew that for nearly two decades, Mr. Roberts owned one of the most prized instruments in the world — the "Hellier" violin crafted by Antonio Stradivari at the end of the 17th century.
June 9, 2012
Carl Leo Dietrich, who had been chairman of the music department at what is now McDaniel College and later was a founder of the Columbia Orchestra, died May 24 of a fall at his Naples, Fla., home. The former Columbia resident was 85. "His influence of joyful exuberance is still very much a part of the spirit of music-making here in the department today," said Dr. Margaret Boudreaux, who succeeded Mr. Dietrich as department chair in 1991. "He was my immediate predecessor as chair, and the person that hired me," said Dr. Boudreaux.
February 29, 2012
My earliest memories of music are of my grandmother singing “Once in Royal David City,” as she drove me the half-hour from our house to her apartment, and of listening to my mother's classical record colllection. The minute I took ballet, my friends and I played her 33-rpm recording of Tchaikovsky's “Swan Lake” and “Nutcracker Suite,” and performed in our dining room, where the table was kept to the side. We marched to clear red plastic 45-rpm recordings of John Philip Sousa and sang endlessly Gilbert and Sullivan's “I'm Called Little Buttercup” from records with pictures printed on them.
January 14, 2012
The classical music world, ever on the hunt for bright young stars with box office snap, still has some reliably surefire veterans. One of them is Itzhak Perlman, the most popular, widely recognized violinist since Heifetz. Tickets for Perlman's guest stint as soloist and conductor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have been scarce for some time, even though, as was the case at his 2010 guest stint with the ensemble, Perlman is doing minimal fiddling. People still want to experience his musicianship, still want to let him know how much he means to them.
July 22, 2011
When he was in his early teens, Andrew Grams saw the sci-fi hit "Jurassic Park. " The visual side of the movie wasn't the only thing that left an impression. "The trumpet theme from the score stuck in my head for the entire summer," said Grams, the Maryland-born conductor who, now in his early 30s, will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this week in music from that film and others scored by John Williams. "Hearing the music today takes me back," he said, "and I hope it will do that for other people, help them remember who they were when they first saw the movie and heard the music.
May 22, 2011
On a YouTube video, Tona Brown is first seen playing some Bach on the violin. Then she breaks into song, delivering "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" in a full-throated mezzo-soprano voice. That Rodgers and Hammerstein classic makes a particularly fitting anthem for Brown, who has faced her share of hurdles. None of them, it seems, have fazed this transgender musician who moved to Baltimore about a year ago. "You can't tell me I can't do something," Brown says with a broad smile, interviewed on a warm afternoon in the rowhouse she shares with a roommate half a block from Lake Montebello.