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Take a Friend to the Orchestra Month

Next month will be the third year for Take a Friend to the Orchestra Month, a yearly celebration inaugurated by blogger Drew McManus at Adaptistration. The idea is that average people throughout the country invite friends who don't regularly participate in live classical music events to attend a performance. If you want to take part, let Drew know: he usually mentions some of the experiences people have.

Here is a list of appropriate concerts in the Washington and Baltimore area during the month of April. The Ionarts staff has marked our recommendations for what we think the most satisfying events will be:

April 5 to 7 (Thu, Fri, Sat)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall
With Leonard Slatkin conducting and pianist Yundi Li

"Very pleasing Ravel selection, plus the fireworks of Yundi Li, although the the first Liszt piano concerto may not be great for beginners"
April 19 to 21 (Thu, Fri, Sat)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall
With Jiří Bĕlohlávek conducting and violinist Christian Tetzlaff

"An exciting selection of Czech music, both famous and intriguingly obscure, as well as a Mozart concerto, by Christian Tetzlaff, perhaps not flashy enough for the average concert-goer"

April 1, 3 pm ("Symmetry and the Golden Ratio")
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)
With conductor James Judd and author Mario Livio
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

"Bach's third Orchestral Suite, Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, and Mozart's famous Symphony No. 40 -- the perfect program for the neophyte, provided that Mario Livio does not speak for too long"
April 12, 13, 15 (Thu, Fri, Sun)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)
With Yan Pascal Tortelier (conductor) and Horacio Gutiérrez (piano)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

"Beethoven's Emperor Concerto and pieces by Berlioz and Vaughan Williams make this a pretty Romantic program"

Also April 14 (Sat) at Strathmore Music Center (North Bethesda)
April 20 to 22 (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)
Vivaldi, Four Seasons, and Piazzolla, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

"This is a program guaranteed to please any new listener -- the Vivaldi classic and the tango sounds of Piazzolla"

Also April 19 (Thu) at Strathmore Music Center (North Bethesda)
April 26, 2 pm ("Young and Brilliant")
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)
With Michael Christie and Orion Weiss

"Young conductor and pianist mean reduced ticket prices ($20 and $30), and interesting selections by Copland and Schubert, with the Ravel piano concerto"
Continue reading this article.
April 1 (Sun, 4 pm)
J. S. Bach, St. John Passion
Washington National Cathedral Combined Choirs and Baroque Orchestra
Washington National Cathedral
"Top of the line... but too long, too choral, and too monotonous (I can't believe I have to say that...) for the neophyte"

April 1 (Sun, 5 pm)
Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic
Music by Britten, Offenbach, Kazik
Schlesinger Concert Hall (Alexandria, Va.)

April 7 (Sat, 8 pm)
National Philharmonic: Mendelssohn's Elijah
Music Center at Strathmore
"Kids of ages 7 to 17 get a free ticket when with an adult paying full price."

April 21 (Sat, 8 pm)
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
George Mason University Center for the Arts (Fairfax, Va.)

April 22 (Sun, 1 pm)
1 pm
American Youth Philharmonic
George Mason Center for the Arts

April 28 (Sat, 8 pm)
National Philharmonic with Soovin Kim (violin)
Music Center at Strathmore
"A pleasing program for the neophyte, including Rossini's Barber of Seville overture, Mendelssohn's violin concerto, and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Kids of ages 7 to 17 get a free ticket when with an adult paying full price, too."

April 1 (Sun, 3 pm)
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, with Leonard Slatkin
Music by Mozart, Schumann, Warlock, Ginastera
George Washington Masonic National Memorial (Alexandria, Va.)

April 15 (Sun, 3 pm)
Concertante [FREE]
National Academy of Sciences (2100 C Street NW)
"This is really a chamber music concert, but with a larger group, it squeaks by for consideration: Richard Strauss’s Capriccio Suite, Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night, and Johannes Brahms’ String Sextet. Excellent programming, too -- introduction to music would be necessary, so go with a friend who can explain what to look for!"

April 22 (Sun, 5 pm)
Inscape Chamber Orchestra
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer (Bethesda, Md.)
"The program is called Vienna Redux, and the music by Debussy, Mahler, Schoenberg, Strauss may be a bit much for a true newcomer. If you think your guest has what it takes, this should be good."

April 24 (Tue, 8 pm)
Fessenden Ensemble
Music by Bartók, Elgar
St. Columba's Episcopal Church
"Bartók, although much loved at Ionarts, is almost guaranteed to turn off an untrained ear"

April 27 (Fri, 8 pm)
Australian Chamber Orchestra, with Pieter Wispelway, cello
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
"This is a very pleasing program, which will be well performed."

April 19 (Thu, 7:30 pm)
El Camino de Santiago
La Fenice, with Jean Tubéry and Arianna Savall
La Maison Française

April 29 (Sun, 6:30 pm)
Academy of Ancient Music [FREE]
Music by J. S. Bach, Handel, and Telemann
National Gallery of Art
"Catch this group on its latest U.S. tour. Now under the direction of harpsichordist Richard Egarr. Not to be missed, but watch out for the harpsichord. Believe it or not... virgin ears don't like it much!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One you missed:

Marine Chamber Orchestra
2 p.m., Sunday, April 15
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center
Northern Virginia Community College
Alexandria, Va.

Director Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Colburn, conducting

Love is in the Air

Richard Wagner
Siegfried Idyll
Aulis Sallinen

Chamber Music III, The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juanquixote, Opus 58 (1985-86)
SSgt Charlie Powers, cello soloist
Manuel de Falla

El Amor Brujo (1915, 1925)

Introduction and Scene

In the Cave–The Night

Song of Pained Love

The Apparition

Dance of Terror

The Magic Circle–

The Fisherman’s Romance
At Midnight–The Spells

Ritual Fire Dance


Song of the Will-O’-the-Wisp


Dance of the Game of Love

Finale–The Bells of Daybreak

SSgt Sara Dell’Omo, mezzo-soprano