Baltimoreans are editing volumes on composersWe would...


Baltimoreans are editing volumes on composers

We would know so much more about the music of Bach, Beethoven and other great composers if someone had written a book on the subject while they were still alive. That thought has occurred many times to Baltimore composer and percussionist Stuart Saunders Smith, who is also professor of music at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. To help ensure that opportunity isn't missed with today's composers, Mr. Smith and his wife Sylvia are editing a new series on contemporary American composers for New York's Excelsior Press.

Plans call for the publication of 30 titles on 30 composers through the '90s, at the rate of three a year. The first volume, on Morton Feldman and edited by Thomas De Lio, music professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, is expected out in December. Books to follow will deal with the music of Aaron Copeland, Milton Babbitt, Conlon Nancarrow, Robert Erickson and Harry Partch, among others.

Mr. Smith says the series focuses on innovators -- composers who have made lasting contributions to music -- and differs from the standard biography by emphasizing in-depth musical analysis.

"This is for the musician so he or she can understand the inner workings of the music and interpret it with greater authority," he says. "As the century winds down, it's time to take stock and look at what's the important music of our time."

Choral concerts

Sam Gordon, head of the UMBC music department and a choral conductor and tenor with an international career, has launched a new performance series of sacred chamber music from the Renaissance to the present. Presented Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in Charlestown Chapel in Catonsville, the Harmonia Sacra series will feature soloists from the UMBC music faculty and the Maryland Camerata, UMBC's resident choir. The first concert, Oct. 16, will be a program of German Baroque music.

Also scheduled are:

*Nov. 20: Music of Haydn and Mozart.

*Feb. 26: Musical devotions for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

*April 16: Divine hymns and canticles of Purcell and Britten.

Subscriptions are $20, $16 students and senior citizens, with individual tickets at $7 general and $5 students and seniors. Call 455- 942.

Architectural debates

"The Baltimore Conference," featuring a group of innovative architects who will meet with critics and theorists to debate architectural issues, will be held on four Tuesdays in October and November at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The conference -- sponsored by the Center for Architecture and Interior Design at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and the Baltimore chapter of the American Institute of Architects -- will culminate in a daylong roundtable program on Dec. 8.

Featured lecturers are Neil Denari on Oct. 16, Laurie Hawkinson and Henry Smith-Miller on Oct. 30, Wes Jones on Nov. 13 and Ken Schwartz and Judith Kinnard on Nov. 27. All lectures begin )) at 7:30 p.m. in the BMA auditorium. The roundtable program, to take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the same location, will convene the previous lecturers along with Peter Eisenman, Patrick Pinnell, Allan J. Plattus, Herbert Muschamp, Michael Hays and Arnold Lehman.

Admission to individual lectures is $10; the roundtable is $95. Various discounts are availble. Call 225-2219.

Dance residencies

The competition for the Baltimore Dance Commissioning and Residency Program is on, offering area dance companies the chance to win two-week residencies with either Lisa de Ribere or Jennifer Muller, nationally known choreographers. Each of the two winning companies will also perform a newly created work by one of the choreographers for presentation during Artscape '91.

To be eligible companies must be based in Baltimore city or in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties, have at least six dancers, have operated continuously for a minimum of a year and have had at least 10 weeks of rehearsals and/or performances. Deadline is Nov. 9. For applications call 396-4575, weekdays only.


*Act Two Dinner Theatre for "Gypsy." Call is for men, women and children for acting, dancing and singing roles. At the theater, Oct. 15 and 16. Times are 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for children, 8:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. for adults. Call 686-1126.

*Spotlighters for "Run for Your Wife." Needed are six men and two women of all ages. At the theater, Oct. 21 and 22, 7 p.m. Call 243-8626.

*Vagabond Players for "The Country Girl." Needed are six men, 25 and up, and two women, one late teens to mid 20s, one 30s. At the theater, Oct. 22 and 23, 7:30 p.m. Call 563-9135.

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