Baltimore's growing reputation as a major center for classical guitar activity is certain to be enhanced by the excellent schedule of performances planned for the coming season.
International stars of the highest caliber are slated to play a dozen concerts of great variety in almost as many sites.
Highlight of the schedule will be the appearance of hometowner Manuel Barrueco as guest soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Jan. 15-17.
Mr. Barrueco came out of his native Cuba in the 1960s to graduate and become a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory. The Baltimore County resident now occupies the highest rung of the classical guitar ladder and spends much of his time on world tours.
With the BSO, Mr. Barrueco will play the popular Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo on the three days in January. On Jan. 27, Mr. Barrueco and the BSO will perform the same program at Queen Anne's County High School on the Eastern Shore.
Mr. Barrueco also will conduct his annual series of master classes with selected students at the Peabody. Those sessions are free to the public.
The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society has scheduled a handsome four-concert series with highly regarded Richard Cobo, David Tanenbaum, David Leisner and the flamenco guitar-dance team of Paco De Malaga and Ana Martinez appearing.
"It's a most exciting time for the guitar fan," said Mike Kirkpatrick, president of the BCGS, "and that's it's as it should be. The Peabody has a tremendous guitar teaching program, and now we're able to present some of the finest players in the world to augment it."
Other internationally known performers scheduled include Alice Artzt with the Alice Artzt Trio; David Starobin, another Peabody product; and Carlos Barbosa-Lima, renowned for his South American stylings.
* Friday, 7:30 p.m., College of Notre Dame: Michael Cedric Smith, guitar coordinator at Brooklyn College, will present a master class at LeClerc Hall. General admission is $7, $5 for students and senior citizens.
* Saturday, 7 p.m., College of Notre Dame: Michael Cedric Smith performs in concert. General admission, $5; senior citizens, $3; Notre Dame students, free.
* Sunday, 3 p.m., United Methodist Church, Mount Vernon Place: Richard Cobo in concert. Individual tickets, $12; subscriptions to the four BCGS-sponsored concerts are on sale now for $36 at 4607 Maple Ave., Baltimore 21227. Call (410) 242-2744.
* Nov. 15, 3 p.m., Walters Art Gallery: David Tanenbaum in concert as part of BCGS series.
* Jan. 15-17: Manuel Barrueco with BSO at the Meyerhoff. Jan. 15 and 16, 8.15 p.m. Jan. 17, 3 p.m. Ticket information, (410) 783-8000.
Mr. Barrueco's master classes at Peabody Conservatory, free to the public, are as follows: Oct. 16, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., North Hall; Nov. 5, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., North Hall; Dec. 4, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Leakin Hall.
* Jan. 20, 8.15 p.m., Friedberg Concert Hall, Peabody Conservatory: David Starobin with baritone Patrick Mason in "A Sixties Retrospective." Ticket information, (410) 659-8124.
* Feb. 5, 8 p.m., Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St.: Alice Artzt Trio (Ms. Artzt, Raymond Burley, Michel Rutscho). Call (410) 516-0341.
* Feb. 7, 3 p.m., Walters Art Gallery: David Leisner in concert as part of BCGS series.
* March 28, 3.30 p.m., Baltimore Museum of Art: Peabody faculty member Nathaniel Gunod with Pro Musica Rara. Reservations and information, (410) 821-8730.
* April 24, 8 p.m., Walters Art Gallery: Flamenco guitarist Paco De Malaga and dancer Ana Marinez as part of BCGS series.
* April 25, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St.: Brazilian classical guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima and flutist Paula Hatcher. Two performances. General admission, $14. Call (410) 516-7157 for information.