Music in the Great Hall, the chamber series held at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, will open its 36th season with a new artistic director. Lura Johnson, a fine pianist and teacher, succeeds another fine pianist and teacher, Adam Mahonske, who, five years ago, succeeded the founder of the series, yet another fine pianist and teacher, Virginia Reinecke.
"I'm really delighted to be asked to come on board," says Johnson, who studied at Peabody with Leon Fleisher and performs regularly throughout the Baltimore/DC area. "I have lots of ideas for bringing in more people to experience really well-performed chamber music."
"She's incredible," Reinecke says of the new artistic director. The organization "is really going to take off now."
Mahonske programmed the 2009-2010 season before stepping down recently (Johnson's programming imprint will be felt the next year). The series opens with ...
the colorful baroque ensemble Harmonious Blacksmith performing works by Handel.
Pianist Clipper Erickson will focus on American music in his recital. Another recitalist, Hans Kristian Goldstein, a cellist who won the Yale Gordon/Peabody Concerto Competition, will play works by Bach, Brahms, Ligeti and others.
The excellent mezzo Delores Ziegler will offer lieder by Robert and Clara Schumann, as well as Brahms. And Qing Li, the BSO's principal second violin, will be accompanied by Mahonske in a season-closing recital that features Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata.
PHOTO OF LURA JOHNSON (by Katya Chilingiri) COURTESY OF LURAJOHNSON.COM