Marin Alsop Leads BSO, University of Maryland Wind Orchestra and Morgan State University's Magnificent Marching Machine in John Corigliano's "Circus Maximus," March 18-21
NPR's Scott Simon narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf in the third week of BSO Under the Big Top Festival
Baltimore, Md. (February 2, 2010) - BSO Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, members from Morgan State University's Magnificent Marching Machine and the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra in John Corigliano's monumental Symphony No. 3, "Circus Maximus" on Thursday, March 18 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program also includes David T. Little's Screamer and Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, narrated by the host of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, Scott Simon. (Scott Simon will narrate the March 18, 19 & 20 performances; longtime BSO education concert narrator, Rheda Becker, will narrate the performance on March 21.) These concerts are part of the centerpiece of the Orchestra's 2009-2010 season, the BSO Under the Big Top Festival. Please see below for complete concert details.
John Corigliano's Symphony No. 3, "Circus Maximus" explores the aural extremes, swinging "…dramatically from apocalyptic chaos to pastoral serenity to urban turmoil to farce, each mood pushing or pulling against the next." (The Austin Chronicle). Scored for a gigantic wind ensemble, woodwinds, eight percussionists, but no string section, this massive orchestra is divided into a stage band and a surround-sound band stationed throughout the hall. The composer describes his inspiration for this dramatic piece: "The parallels between the high decadence of Rome and our present time are obvious. Entertainment dominates our reality, and every-more-extreme 'reality' shows dominate our entertainment. Many of us have become as bemused by the violence and humiliation that flood the 500-plus channels of our television screens as the mobs of imperial Rome, who considered the devouring of human beings by starving lions just another Sunday show. The shape of my 'Circus Maximus' was built both to embody and to comment on this massive and glamorous barbarity."
New Jersey-based composer and percussionist David T. Little takes a farcical look at a circus that spins out of control in Screamer. In this work, Little says he endeavors to, "…[do] my best to combine the best of the light and dark elements that the circus has to offer.
Finally, Marin Alsop takes a work most often heard in programming for children, Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, and treats adults to Prokofiev's most famous work. Different instruments represent Peter and his troupe of animal friends in this programmatic masterpiece.
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, which mirrored her ongoing success in the United Kingdom, where she served as the Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 2002?2008 and now holds the title of Conductor Emeritus. In 2005, Marin 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 and in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Maestra Alsop is a regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also appears frequently as a guest conductor with many distinguished orchestras worldwide. After a highly successful 12-year tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony, Ms. Alsop continues her association as conductor laureate. She also continues as music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she became a prizewinner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition.
Scott Simon, narrator
NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon hosts Weekend Edition Saturday. Mr. Simon joined NPR in 1977 as chief of its Chicago bureau. Since then, he has reported from all 50 states, covered presidential campaigns and eight wars. In 2002, Mr. Simon took leave of his usual post at Weekend Edition Saturday to cover the war in Afghanistan for NPR. He has also reported from Central America on the continuing wars in that region; from Cuba on the nation's resistance to change; from Ethiopia on the country's famine and prolonged civil war; from the Middle East during the Gulf War; and from the siege of Sarajevo and the destruction of Kosovo. He has received numerous honors for his reporting. His work was part of the Overseas Press Club and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards NPR earned for coverage of Sept. 11 and its aftermath. He was part of the NPR news teams that won Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for covering the war in Kosovo as well as the Gulf War. In 1989, he won a George Foster Peabody Award for his weekly radio essays.
Morgan State University's Magnificent Marching Machine
The Magnificent Marching Machine has entertained audiences during performances at MSU Football Games, National Football League Games, Presidential Inaugurations, World Series, National Playoff Games, and in regional and local television appearances. This ensemble has performed throughout the United States and in Bermuda. The ensemble has also made a cameo appearance in the movie "Head of State" featuring actor-comedian Chris Rock and appeared on Tom Joyner's television show.
University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
The University of Maryland Wind Orchestra primarily consists of advanced music majors performing the most challenging works for small wind and percussion ensembles. The Wind Orchestra rehearses on the same schedule as the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, enabling the exchange of players between the two groups as dictated by repertoire demands. The Wind Orchestra is led by Michael Votta, Director of Wind Activities.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.-The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, March 19, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.-Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.-JMSH
Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.-JMSH
Marin Alsop, conductor
Scott Simon, narrator (March 18, 19 & 20)
Rheda Becker, narrator (March 21 performance only)
Members of Morgan State University's Magnificent Marching Machine
Melvin N. Miles, director
Members of the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
Michael Votta, director
David T. Little: Screamer
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
Corigliano: Symphony No. 3, "Circus Maximus"
Tickets for these concerts range from $26 to $85. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.