Western Maryland College's seventh annual Sundays of Note season of live performances promises to be the liveliest ever, with the PeabodyRagtime Ensemble, the Vladimir Lande/Jos Cueto Ensemble, the violin and piano duo of Ann and Isidor Saslav, and the Phoenix Repertory Dance Company.
The first and last performances will take place in Alumni Hall, but the Lande/Cueto Ensemble's performances, both in honor of the 200th anniversary of the composer's death, will be in a "salonsetting" in the more intimate McDaniel Lounge.
One of Baltimore's most popular performing groups, the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble, will return to the Alumni Hall Mainstage Sunday as the first offering of the 1991-1992 Sundays of Note season.
Led by tuba player Edward Goldstein, the ensemble has earned numerous awards and citations and has represented Baltimore as its official ambassadors to the Soviet Union. Playing the bold and romantic music of America in the 1880s through the 1940s -- Dixieland, big band, blues, and most notably, the ragtime compositions of Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, and their contemporaries -- the septet "reaches the very soul of the original performers with arrangements that are passionate and abandoned in a manner approaching jazz," according to a reviewer for MarylandMusician.
The ensemble, comprised primarily of graduates of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, is a longtime area favorite, having received honors such as "Baltimore's Best for Elegant Entertaining (Party Music)" from Baltimore magazine and first place in the 1985 Baltimore City Jazz Quest.
The group's greatest achievement so far would have to be its two-week tour of the Soviet Union in late 1987, where they played to sellout crowds. The ensemble has since been invited toreturn to the U.S.S.R. for more performances in prestigious concert halls in Moscow, Vladimir and other cities.
On Nov. 10, the program will move to McDaniel Lounge for a "Mainly Mozart" ensemble performance by renowned violinist Jos Cueto and oboist Vladimir Lande. The duo's selections will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death.
Margaret Boudreaux, assistant professor of music and department chair, said McDaniel Lounge is an appropriate setting for such music, because of the small forces it requires and the rather detailed structures it reveals.
"The lounge is preferable for chamber music because it offers a uniquely intimate 'salon' setting," Boudreaux said. "This kind of music was usually played in people's living rooms, or in rooms they called salons. That's where it was meant to be heard."
A native of Puerto Rico, Cueto has performed all over the world and has received critical acclaim for his work both as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed as a guest artist with the KennedyCenter Chamber Players, the Washington Chamber Society and the Festival Chamber Players at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico.
A member of the string faculty at St. Mary's and Goucher colleges, Cueto is concertmaster of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra and Concert Artists ofBaltimore. In addition, he is a violin and chamber music artist in residence at the University of Maryland Baltimore County with Trio Americas.
A native of Leningrad, Lande served as principal oboist with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra from 1984 to 1989. He has won several prestigious prizes and performed throughout Europe, and been involved in a number of recordings with orchestras and ensemble groups.
Currently, he performs with Concert Artists of Baltimore and the Baltimore Opera Orchestra. Lande teaches at St. Mary's College and the Washington Conservatory.
The timeless works of Mozart will again be the focus of the first Sundays of Note performance of 1992, when Ann and Isidor Saslav make their Western Maryland College debut on Feb. 23, also in McDaniel Lounge.
Having performed in duo recital and as double concerto soloists around the world for more than 20 years, the Saslavs have created a remarkable record of praise for their vivid, unpretentious musical style.
Violinist Isidor Saslav has been concertmaster for three of America's leading orchestras: the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Minnesota and Baltimore symphonies. He also has performed at the Casals festival in Puerto Rico and has worked with such luminaries as Arthur Rubenstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Zubin Mehta and Sir John Barbirolli.
He is concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Opera Orchestra.
Pianist Ann Heiligman Saslav has soloed with the Baltimore, Houston, San Antonio and New Zealand orchestras, as well as with the Akron Symphony and Concert Soloists of Philadelphia. Her recitals, lectures, and musical residencies have taken her throughout the United States.
She has a strong interest in music education for children and has developed a series of concerts for children called Adventures with the Arts.
Next April 5, the audience's attention willfocus on the expressiveness of dance as the Phoenix Repertory Dance Company returns for its second appearance in the Sundays of Note series.
Established in 1983 as a professional modern dance group in residence at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, the company is home to some of the region's best dancers. It performsworks by bothcompany members and visiting choreographers.
Under the artistic direction of Carolyn Hess, Phoenix has created an active repertory of more than 30 dances, including choreography by Jos Limn, James Waring, Hannah Kahn, Daniel West, Victoria Uris, Dan Wagoner, Daniel McCusker, Beth Corning and Janet Soares. Several of these works were created specifically for the company.
Each year, Phoenix also premiers at least one new work commissioned by a notable out-of-town choreographer. Phoenix has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Richmond Dance Invitational, the Baltimore Theatre Project, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and numerous other art centers.
The Sundays of Note series is sponsored jointly by the WMC Department of Music, the WMC College Activities Programming Board and the Peggy and Yale Gordon Trust.
The CAP Board is a volunteer student organization that coordinates social, cultural and educational opportunities for the Western Maryland community.
The Peggy and Yale Gordon Trust was established primarily to provide support for various cultural and educational institutions in and around metropolitan Baltimore. Implementing concert career opportunities for young emerging artists, as well as established artists is a continuing activity of the trust.
All performances in the series begin at 2 p.m. Sundays in thehistorically renovated Alumni Hall or in McDaniel Lounge. Admission is $5; students 18 and younger are admitted free.
Information/tickets: 857-2265 or 876-2055, Ext. 265.