Strathmore celebrates its silver anniversary

The Baltimore Sun

The 25th anniversary of Strathmore will offer newly created works, a 17-concert history of keyboard music, a celebration of Broadway songs and more.

Strathmore, which started out in a historic Montgomery County mansion in 1983, expanded in 2005 to include the Music Center where the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra makes its second home. (The BSO's Strathmore season was previously announced.) The center and the mansion will be much in use for the 2008-2009 anniversary season.

Among the highlights is the area premiere of Theresienstadt, a program named for the concentration camp where notable Czech/Jewish musicians were interned. Vocal and instrumental music by composers who were sent from Theresienstadt to their deaths at Auschwitz will be performed April 30, 2009, in a concert at the Music Center featuring stellar mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter, violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Bengt Forsberg.

Other notable classical artists include the Warsaw Philharmonic (with pianist Valentina Lisitsa), the vocal ensemble Chanticleer, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (with violinist Julia Fischer), the Post-Classical Ensemble (in its first children's program) and the Bach Sinfonia (performing Purcell's King Arthur).

Concerts by Bernadette Peters, Tommy Tune and other stage veterans will salute the Broadway musical throughout the season. Pop stars at the center include Natalie Cole and such vintage performers as Arlo Guthrie, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Fabian and Neil Sedaka. An original Strathmore production of holiday songs and narrative called Take Joy will premiere in December.

Musical activity at the mansion includes a three-century survey of keyboard-based music and styles, running from October to April. Artists include J. Reilly Lewis, Soheil Nasseri, Baltimore's Monument Piano Trio and the duo of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/pianist William Bolcom and mezzo Joan Morris.

For more information on the 2008-2009 Strathmore season, call 301-581-5100 or go to strath

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