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Feb. 01 2019

First Impression: Local Entities in Bold

By John Scherch | Posted in First Impression, Host Blogs, New Music | 1 Comment

Happy February, everyone! As the updates from last month proved, we are always learning about new happenings in new music, and I’m sure I didn’t catch everything. I shall be trying my best to keep this convenient location on the internet for Baltimore-related new music as up to date as possible!

You may have noticed some of the names and organizations in last month’s post in boldface. I did that simply to highlight local artists and organizations, as this is focused on new music that either goes on in our area or is made by people from it; if ever I am wrongly boldfacing someone’s name or if I’ve failed to do so, send me an email (jscherch@wbjc.com), as with any correction or update you need me to make. Let’s have a look at what’s going on in February and beyond!

BSO PROGRAMS PREMIERES

As of today (February 1), you still have two opportunities to see a new piece given its US premiere by the BSO; tonight and tomorrow, their program will consist of Helen Grime’s Percussion Concerto, featuring Colin Currie, who premiered the work in London, also under Marin Alsop.

In March, the BSO will perform John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 alongside the famous Rimsky-Korsakov work, as well as a new BSO-commissioned work by Roxanna Panufnik.

ST. JOHN’S WESTERN RUN PARISH FEATURES ICARUS QUARTET

The St. John’s Western Run Parish Music in the Valley series’ next performance features icarus Quartet, consisting of two pianists and two percussionists, performing works by Paul Lansky, Alex Weiser, Brad Lubman, and a premiere by Michael Laurello. The show is Sunday, February 3 at 5:30.

…NOT NEW MUSIC, BUT…

So this particular concert doesn’t feature any new music on it, but the soprano Katie Procell is a singer you should keep your eye on, as she specializes in new and only slightly less new music. On her concert I Have a Song to Sing O! she and her friends, pianist Valerie Hsu, tenor Ricardo Garcia, and bass-baritone Drew Holcombe will perform a free program of Gilbert & Sullivan at First & Franklin Presbyterian Church on February 2nd (tomorrow night!) at 8 PM.

COLUMBIA ORCHESTRA GIVES U.S. PREMIERE

Ten years after its world premiere, Guillaume Connesson’s cello concerto receives its U.S. premiere for the celebration of Columbia Orchestra Music Director Jason Love‘s 20th year with the orchestra, where he will yield the podium to guest conductor Glenn Quader so he can perform the solo cello part. Also on the program will be Joan Tower’s second Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman and one of Love’s (and my own) favorite standards, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The concert will be Saturday, February 9th at 7:30.

THIRD PRACTICE PERFORMS A PROGRAM OF MARIAN WORKS

Third Practice returns this month with Clothed in Sun, a program exploring the Marian tradition over more than five centuries of music. Alongside well-loved works by Josquin, Purcell, Poulenc and others, we are excited to be presenting the premieres of two newly commissioned pieces: Allison M. Clendaniel’s Fountain and James-David Stoker Johnsen-Young’s Magnificat. The concert also features music by little-known baroque composer Giovanni Felice Sances, including his haunting Stabat Mater, and the 2017 Ave verum corpus of Faye Chiao. The concert is Sunday, February 24th at 3 PM at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda.

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF ARNOLD SALTZMAN’S HALEVI

The combined forces of the American University Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and Chamber Singers are joined by the Strathmore Children’s Chorus and guest soloists Janice Meyerson and Baltimore-based baritone Rob McGinness to perform the North American premiere of Arnold Saltzman’s A Choral Symphony: Halevi. Completed in 2017, this large-scale composition is a lush and evocative symphonic setting of English translations of texts by the twelfth century Hebrew poet Judah Halevi. One afternoon only, February 24th at 4:30 PM at The National Presbyterian Church in DC.

NEW MUSIC AT ST. DAVID’S

This evening, soprano and Peabody faculty member Ah Young Hong will perform a recital (featuring no new music, but she performs a lot of new music which I encourage checking out); next First Friday (March 1), the Bergamot Quartet offers an exciting program of contemporary music including works by Pulitzer Prize winners Caroline Shaw and Julia Wolfe, as well as works by Jessie Montgomery, Soo Yeon Lyuh, and Bryce Dessner.

A SHRIVER HALL BALTIMORE PREMIERE

The Hagen Quartet is one of today’s most distinguished ensembles, praised by The Los Angeles Times as “the ideal string quartet.” Opening with Dvořák’s tenderhearted Cypresses, they are joined by the astonishing composer and world-class clarinetist Jörg Widmann for the premiere of his own quintet and Mozart’s glorious clarinet quintet on Sunday, March 24 at 5:30 PM in Shriver Hall.

OUTCALLS ANNOUNCE NEW SHOWS

Classically infused feminist pop band Outcalls, led by sopranos Melissa Wimbish and Britt Olsen-Ecker, have two shows coming up on February 9th and March 9th. Witness the impressive results when classical musicians start an indie rock band!

As always, if I’m missing anything, leave a comment below or send me an email at jscherch@wbjc.com.

John Scherch

About

The newest announcer and WBJC's evening and Listener's Choice host, a former heavy metal program director and erstwhile enthusiast, and Peabody graduate in voice and pedagogy, both of which he still practices. Full bio here.

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