Peruvian maestro will lead off season; Artists series announces schedule for Alumni Hall


The Naval Academy Department of Music has announced details of the Vice Admiral Eliot and Miriam Bryant Distinguished Artists Series for the 1999-2000 season.

On Oct. 7, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will travel to the academy's Alumni Hall under the direction of Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the Peruvian conductor of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon.

Annapolitans will remember Harth-Bedoya as the young maestro who made a strong impression in March 1998, conducting the Annapolis Symphony in works by Ginastera, Prokofieff and Schumann as part of the local orchestra's conductor search.

Harth-Bedoya was offered the ASO conductorship, but his unwillingness to take up a bicoastal career led to Leslie Dunner's appointment in spring 1998.

The Peruvian is said to be in line for the associate conductorship of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a position recently vacated by Daniel Hege, who left to take over the Syracuse Symphony in New York.

Harth-Bedoya will conduct a program of favorites: the bristling overture to Mikhail Glinka's opera, "Russlan and Ludmilla," Tchaikovsky's ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 1, and the cataclysmic 5th Symphony of Beethoven.

The pianist will be 17-year-old Orion Weiss, a student at the Cleveland Institute who performed Shostakovich's 1st Piano Concerto as a last-minute substitute for Andre Watts at a Baltimore Symphony subscription concert in March.

On Nov. 8, the Alumni Hall stage will come alive with leaping dancers, flashing sabers, brilliant costumes and the sound of Russian balalaikas as the dancers, chorus and orchestra of the Don Cossacks Ensemble present music and dance from the Russian folk tradition.

On Jan. 12, the Ballet de L'Opera de Bordeaux will present a masterwork from the Franco- Russian classical ballet tradition: Sergei Prokofieff's "Romeo and Juliet." With interludes like the wrenching, violent "Death of Tybalt," this extraordinary score has taken its place as one of the major works of the 20th century.

On Feb. 29, the London City Opera will return to Alumni Hall with Mozart's "Magic Flute" to be sung in English with a full chamber orchestra on stage.

Exotic beasts, deft comedy, hyper-hormonal bird catchers, Masonic allegory, and some of the most glorious music ever written come together to form this most magical of operas.

The season will conclude April 8, when conductor Tom Hall will lead the Academy Glee Club, the Goucher College Chorus and members of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio, "Elijah."

Once a staple of the choral repertoire and a favorite of British choral societies across the realm, "Elijah's" domestic popularity has been resuscitated in recent years as America's civic choirs have fallen in love anew with Mendelssohn's stately arias and choruses.

All Alumni Hall concerts in the Distinguished Artists Series will begin at 7: 30 p.m.

Subscription information: 800-874-6289 or 800-US4-NAVY. Information about other Naval Academy music and performing arts events: 410-293-2439.

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