BWW Reviews: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 2012 Concert a Huge Success
I also want to mention some theater-related concerts coming to the Meyerhoff. Coming February 22-24 will be "The Best of Broadway with Ashley Brown" with Jack Everly conducting. Brown is the original Broadway MARY POPPINS.
Starring as soloists will be Micky Dolenz, yes, THAT Micky Dolenz from "The Monkees", playing the role of Wilbur Turnblad. Tony winner for DROWSY CHAPERONE, Beth Level, will play Velma Von Tussle, they'll be two former members of the Broadway cast Paul Vogt (Edna) and Marissa Perry (Tracy), and straight from PORGY AND BESS on Broadway, NaTasha Yvette Williams, will play Motormouth Maybelle. Get your tickets soon for this one.
For subscriptions, call 410-783-8000 or visit www.BSOmusic.org/subscribe.
A new restaurant has opened across the street from the Meyerhoff, "Aladdin Kabob" at 58 Biddle Street. It features a nice variety of items from Kabob specials, curry dishes, Indian items to pizza to chicken wings. Visit www.alladinkabob.com or call 443-708-1112.
Maestra Alsop Discusses Bernstein's "Kaddish" at the Owings Mills Jewish Community Center
On September 19, 2012, the Maestra took time from her busy schedule to take part in a discussion of Leonard Bernstein's "Kaddish" with Chazzan Emanuel Perlman of Chizuk Amuno Congregation. Over two hundred attended an interesting discussion of the piece and learned a little about Alsop's relationship with the composer.
Part of the BSO's American Music Festival, the performances of "Kaddish" were intentionally scheduled to coincide with the Jewish High Holidays. Perlman mentioned that the prayer, used when one is in mourning, never mentions God or death, nor is it mentioned in the Bible.
Perlman had a list of questions for the Maestra. But before she gave him a chance to start, she related her love for Bernstein began when her parents took her when she was nine to Lincoln Center for one of his famous "Young People's Concerts" televised on CBS. She was so enamored that she told her father that she wanted to be a conductor. She had two posters in the bedroom, one of the Beatles and one of Bernstein. "He was my first crush", she added.
She continued that the first time she met him was when she was a Conducting Fellow with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood. He gave her lessons just three years before he died. She also traveled with him to Japan.
Alsop stated that music is the voice of the human soul. She played excerpts of the work and one could see her imagining she was conducting. She finds it transformative. Bernstein she added finished the work after the assassination of President Kennedy and it was premiered at the Kennedy Center.
When asked if "Kaddish" connected with other religions, she quickly said yes. She commented, "All of his music has religious underpinnings. "Chichester Psalms" was written for a Cathedral in England and sung in Hebrew. Even his "Mass" has many lyrics in Hebrew."
It was interesting to hear that Bernstein had thought of changing his name because of his experience with prejudice, but he refused. She added, "He brought a humanity to his music."
She was pleased to announce that two of Bernstein's children, Jamie and Alex, will be in attendance for the concerts Sept. 28-30. Also performing with the BSO will be the Washington Chorus, the Maryland State Boys Choir, soprano Kelley Massif, and narrator, actress Claire Bloom.
"Kaddish" will be performed Friday night Sept. 28 and Sunday afternoon Sept. 30 at the Meyerhoff and Saturday night, Sept. 29 at Strathmore Hall in Rockville, MD.
Photos: Yanbin Chen with Andrew Balio
Yanbin Chen with Balio poster
Cantor Perlman with Maestra Alsop
Grammy winner Tony Prendatt, Maestra Alsop, and Cantor Perlman
Photo Credit: Charles Shubow
BSO Offers Open Rehearsal as part of Free Fall Baltimore 2012
Here's your chance to attend a free Open Rehearsal of the BSO to be held on Friday, October 19 at 10 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Audience members can obseved the interaction between conductor Juanjo Mena, pianist Benedetto Lupo and the the BSO musicians as they perform Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3, and Dvorak's Selections from Slavonic Dances, Op. 72.
To reserve free passes, visit www.bsomusic.org and complete the electronic form.