Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony in Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3 featuring Time for Three, September 24-26
Program also includes selections from Brahms' Hungarian Dances and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4
Baltimore, Md. (July 24, 2009)-Music director Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3 featuring Time for Three, Brahms's Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3 and 10 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 on Thursday, September 24 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. These concerts will launch the season's celebration of the diverse folk and ethnic traditions that have enriched and inspired classical music over the centuries. Please see below for complete program information.
Time for Three first gained attention when they provided entertainment after a lightning strike caused the lights to go out in the middle of a Philadelphia Orchestra concert. The classically trained members of Time for Three combine elements of American jazz, rock and folk music in their highly energetic performances. Time for Three joins the BSO to perform Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3, inspired by the bluegrass music of her childhood home in eastern Tennessee. The piece, which plays off the Time for Three name, was written specifically for the group and highlights the group's chemistry and virtuosity.
A German composer, Brahms fostered a love of Hungarian gypsy music, which influenced many of his works. Hungarian Dances were originally piano improvisations on gypsy themes he heard while traveling central Europe. Of the 21 dances, Brahms orchestrated only three of them himself: Nos. 1, 3 and 10. Hugely popular, Hungarian Dances served to be his most profitable composition.
Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony opens in an ominous fanfare, representing Fate, a force he feels poisons and suffocates all happiness. Tchaikovsky orchestrated the piece following his disastrous marriage, and Fatum's fanfare is echoed throughout the work, signifying despair. Despite the presence of Fatum in the last movement, however, the music is joyous and hopeful. Drawing upon his roots, Tchaikovsky incorporates a Russian folk song a recurrent the theme.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world's leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California
In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her "Conductor of the Year."
A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms and Barber orchestral works. She is currently recording the Dvorák symphonies with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.
Time for Three
The groundbreaking trio Time for Three transcends traditional classification, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. The members-Zach De Pue, violin; Nick Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass-carry a passion for improvisation, composing and arranging, all prime elements of the ensemble's playing.
What started as a trio of musicians who played together for fun while students at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute for Music evolved into Time for Three (Tf3)-a charismatic ensemble with a reputation for limitless enthusiasm and no musical boundaries. Violinists De Pue and Kendall first discovered their mutual love of fiddling in the country western and bluegrass styles. Then bassist Meyer introduced them to his deep roots in jazz and improvisation. After considerable experimentation, the three officially formed Tf3. The ensemble gained instant attention in July 2003, during a lightning-induced power failure at Philadelphia's Mann Center for the Performing Arts. While technicians attempted to restore onstage lighting, Meyer and De Pue, who were both performing with The Philadelphia Orchestra, obliged with an impromptu jam session that included works as far a field from the originally scheduled symphony as "Jerusalem's Ridge," "Ragtime Annie" and "The Orange Blossom Special." The crowd went wild.
Tf3 has performed on many of the nation's impressive stages, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Joe's Pub in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The group recorded the soundtrack to the History Channel's production "The Spanish-American War", and in October 2009, on the E1 Entertainment (formerly Koch) label, will release its new CD, Three Fervent Travelers. Their first recording, titled Time for Three, was released in October 2002, followed by a second CD released in January 2006, We just burned this for you! In addition, Time for Three has released a monthly series of tracks for download.
Highlights of Tf3's past seasons include the Beethoven Society in Washington, D.C., Cerritos Center in Los Angeles, Joanne Woodward's Westport Playhouse, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Wyoming's Grand Teton Music Festival and Chicago's "Music in the Loft" series. The trio has performed with the Cleveland Pops, the San Francisco Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Sunshine Pops, New World Symphony and The Philly Pops.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Time for Three
Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)*
Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. - JMSH*
Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. - The Music Center at Strathmore
Marin Alsop, conductor
Time for Three † - Zachary De Pue, violin; Nicolas Kendall, violin; Ranaan Meyer, double bass
Brahms: Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3 and 10
Jennifer Higdon: Concerto 4-3 ‡
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
*Free pre-concert lecture with Jeff Counts, the BSO's Vice President of Artistic Planning and special guests Time for Three. Starting at 7:00 p.m. in the concert hall, the program is free to ticket holders. No reservations required.
† Denotes a BSO artist debut
‡ Denotes a BSO premiere
Tickets for these concerts range from $28 to $90. Tickets are available starting on September 1, 2009 through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.