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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces Its 2006/2007 Season

(All dates are for the Strathmore performances unless otherwise noted.)

This Tuesday, the Baltimore Symphony announced its 2006-2007 season. Presenting it were Music Director Designate, Marin Alsop, and their new President, W. Gar Richlin and other assorted members of the BSO community. Maestra Alsop outlined her take on her directorship, the most important element of which she said was to connect with the audience, the residents of Baltimore and beyond, to develop a feeling of a cultural ownership society with fellow Marylanders. Just one part of this will be future collaborations with the Peabody School of Music – featuring their staff as soloists and composers as well as working with the students and their orchestra. One such program, promising the involvement of over 500 musicians, will be Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in January 13th of 2007. Education in the arts, too, will feature prominently – including a concert with Johns Hopkins professor of astronomy and author of “The Golden Ratio” Dr. Mario Livio that will deal with symmetry (March 29th) as part of the Explorer Series. The future audience gets commitment from the new boss, too: Marin Alsop will conduct a Family Concert (“Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm!”) on March 4th (Baltimore only) 2007.

With and through the “Soulful Symphony” series, Darin Atwater will continue to celebrate himself; as composer, conductor, and soloist. On paper it looks like a comically blatant way of self-promotion under the guise of fostering African-American participation in classical music – and it probably is. But if you are interested in hearing his latest “Hip-Hop Symphony” said to “represent music’s powerful ability to unite people through a common art form” (a sentence so reprehensibly fluffy, you’d think I didn’t even need to comment on it), you know where to go on May 18th of 2007. Not entirely Ionarts’ cup of tea are Jack Everly’s Superpops. The idea of singing cowboys (sometime recently) is intriguing enough for us to stay away – singing von Trapp (great-grand)children (October 26th)… well,… there must be a market, somewhere. (As big as for Il Divo, though?)

Associate conducter Andrew “constantly confused” Constantine presented his program of… uuuh… well, I forgot the name, but it’s with brass. I think. And maybe percussion, is that right? Anyway, it’ll be some time in September. Or October. He gets infinite credit, though, for devising a Classical Kids Family Concert in which he’ll indulge the lads and lasses, ages 7 to 12, with the sexual innuendo that hides behind Dvořák’s Wood Dove and some Má Vlast selections (Smetana). Title: “Czech it Out!” (I’ve punned worse; can’t assign blame there.) Apparently cut from the adult program the lecherously seductive Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček) – the latter will take place on October 13th and is the one you should really bring your 12-year-old to, if you want them to be focused and interested in classical music like they have never been before!

Concertmaster Jonathan Carney let his hair down a little and presented himself from a very different side than one usually sees in the concert hall… charming with a dashing stubble and casual in his appearance. Playing the achingly beautiful Piazzolla tango “Death of an Angel” really well with his string-playing colleagues only helped.

Absolute highlights from the next season and musical acquaintances from past seasons will be published on Ionarts later this week, and other concerts of interest will be announced in the monthly and weekly cultural calendars.

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