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Shriver Hall plans a stellar season

The Baltimore Sun

For its 42nd season, the Shriver Hall Concert Series will present a lineup that, even by this organization's perennially high standards, looks exceptional.

The 2007-2008 roster of visiting artists ranges from leading pianists and singers to a famed marionette company and even a high-profile jazz band.

The subscription series, held at Shriver Hall on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University, will open Sept. 30 with the excellent Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet playing music by Samuel Barber, Darius Milhaud and others.

A prize-winning ensemble of German musicians, Trio Jean Paul, will perform works of Haydn, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich on Oct. 14.

Top-drawer pianist Yefim Bronfman will give a recital Dec. 9 featuring works by Schumann, Balakirev and others. Nathan Gunn, one of the most in-demand baritones of the day, will sing a recital of American repertoire Jan. 13, accompanied by his wife, pianist Julie Gunn.

Alban Gerhardt, the much admired young cellist, will explore music of Beethoven, Chopin and Janacek with pianist Cecile Licad on Feb. 3.

The Alban Berg Quartet, a star of the chamber music world for more than 35 years, will offer a program of Haydn, Schubert and the ensemble's namesake Feb. 24.

Two mighty keyboard works, Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata and Bach's The Art of the Fugue, will be tackled by the unusually incisive pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard on March 16.

There will be a rare change of venue to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for the subscription series finale April 13, 2008 -- an appearance by one of Britain's most valued music institutions, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, performing works by English baroque composers.

Several nonsubscription events will also be presented by the Shriver Hall Concert Series, starting with a performance by brilliant trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on Sept. 8.

Austria's famed Salzburg Marionette Theatre will present unique versions of two operas, The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel (the latter in an abridged version for children) Nov. 17-18.

And the leading Wagnerian tenor of our time, Ben Heppner, will make his Baltimore debut in a recital Dec. 2.

Shriver Hall's recently launched Discovery Series of free performances held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, continues next season with appearances by the young Parker String Quartet Oct 6, buzz-generating soprano Measha Brueggergosman on Nov. 3, up-and-coming cellist Efe Baltacigil on Feb. 9 and sitar artist Nishat Khan on April 12, 2008.

For more information, call 410-516-7164.

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