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Mar. 01 2019

First Impression: You Hear About These On the Radio

By John Scherch | Posted in First Impression, Host Blogs, New Music | No Comments

Many of the ensembles I write about on this series are also underwriters of WBJC, which means you get to hear about their performances on our air. You’ll be hearing about a decent few of them this month; in fact, if you get to read this on its publishing day, the first of March, you’ll find some new music to see this evening! Other ensembles and music series that you hear on the radio pop up several times this month.

BERGAMOT QUARTET AT ST. DAVID’S AND ELSEWHERE

The St. David’s First Friday series continues this evening featuring the Bergamot Quartet performing a program of all female composers, including Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, Ledah Finck (remember, local entities are in bold!), Jessie Montgomery, and Soo Yeon Lyuh. The concert tonight is at 7:30 at St. David’s Church, 4700 Roland Avenue in Roland Park. Tomorrow evening, the quartet heads to DC to perform in a masterclass given by the Kronos Quartet at the Freer Gallery. Keep up with the quartet’s busy schedule on their website!

CLASSICAL BATTLE OF THE BANDS

The Baltimore chapter of Classical Revolution, an organization dedicated to bringing new audiences to classical music by performing in unexpected venues, will host a classical Battle of the Bands at The Crown’s Red Room on Wednesday, March 6th at 7 PM, featuring ensembles from Peabody Conservatory and frequent performers with Classical Revolution. Musicians will compete for the title of “Best Classical Bar Musicians!” This event will not likely feature new music, but the organization does an excellent job bringing classical music to audiences who are new to the style (full disclosure: I’ve performed with them before and will most likely be at the show). The Crown is located at 1910 North Charles Street in Station North, above a Korean restaurant.

TWO CHANCES TO SEE NEW MUSIC AT THE BSO

You’ll be hearing about new music happening at the BSO twice this month on our air, as they will perform John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 the weekend of March 8-10 and a BSO-commissioned world premiere, Roxanna Panufnik’sAcross the Line of Dreams: Harriet Tubman and Rani Lakshmibai from March 14-16. The Adams, written for violinist Leila Josefowicz (who will be the soloist on the performances) will be paired with Rimsky-Korsakov’s classic. The Panufnik is a work for chorus and orchestra which will feature the University of Maryland Concert Choir; also on the program will be Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Aaron Coplan’s Appalachian Spring, and Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Chôros No. 10.

A NEW SONG CYCLE ON A TRUCK

Soprano Kerry Holahan and pianist Susan Zhang will perform the song cycle “She Who Continues” by Natalie Draper at the inaugural Boulanger Initiative Women Composers Launch Festival in Washington, D.C. on March 8, 2019 (International Women’s Day). Their program also includes songs by Florence Price and Cécile Chaminade and will be performed in The Concert Truck, a mobile concert vehicle founded by Zhang and her partner Nick Luby. They will be parked at Blind Whino, located at 700 Delaware Avenue SW, and the performance begins at 2:45 PM.

THIS MONTH IN OUTCALLS

The Baltimore classical music scene’s finest pop export Outcalls (led by sopranos Melissa Wimbish and Britt Olsen-Ecker) have two shows in town this month and then will be going on tour. On March 9th at 8, they will be part of Raindeer’s album release party at Metro Gallery in Station North (corner of Charles and Lanvale), and on the 16th at 7 they will headline the musical portion of That’s What She Said, a “girls to the front” evening of comedy and music featuring unapologetically female-driven content at Motor House (corner of North and Howard), the site of many classical events that have featured appearances by Marin Alsop, Du Yun, and others. The group will then embark on a tour to the midwest and southeast starting March 23.

Also make sure to look for Melissa and Britt performing with UrbanArias in the following months—watch this space!

A LIVING GUITAR RECITAL AT PEABODY

Peabody GPD candidate and preparatory guitar faculty member Sean Brennan will perform his final student recital on March 10th in Griswold Hall, featuring a program of all living composers, including works by Marek Pasieczny, Leo Brouwer, Nigel Westlake, Lorenzo Palomo, Kevin J. Cope, and Andrew Norman, the latter in an arrangement by the guitarist himself. The recital is at 4 PM and will be streamed on Facebook.

NOW HEAR THIS

Peabody new music ensemble Now Hear This‘s next concert will be on Friday, March 15th at 7:30 PM.

HEAVY LIGHT AT UNION CRAFT BREWING

My original intent when I started this series was to limit “new music” to compositions from within the past ten years, but I certainly don’t want to gatekeep away any 21st century music, nor do I want to limit myself from promoting ensembles I think deserve the attention! Pique Collective will perform Steven Mackey’s 2001 work Heavy Light, for electric guitar and chamber ensemble, at Union Craft Brewing in Medfield on March 22nd at 8 PM. This will feature the debut of Pique’s baby grand piano, which will then live at Union for use by Pique and other Baltimore musicians! The show is free, and the first 25 guests (doors are at 7) receive a drink ticket!

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.

PEABODY MODERN ORCHESTRA PERFORMS U.S. PREMIERE

The Peabody Modern Orchestra, under the direction of Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles Joseph Young, performs the U.S. premiere of Peabody faculty member and Pulitzer winner Du Yun’s Where We Lost Our Shadows at the Kennedy Center on March 31 at 5 PM, as part of DIRECT CURRENT, the Kennedy Center’s new two-week celebration of contemporary culture.

If I’m missing anything, you can reach me 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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