Musical Rewards in Intimate Spaces, with an emphasis on Schumann

Tim Smith was in attendance for our spectacular 2010-2011 Season Opener!  New Artistic Director Lura Johnson, in her first season of programming, was joined by superstars and Peabody Faculty members Anthony McGill and Amit Peled for a rousing trio concert in September 2010.  We had record crowds for this event, and Tim Smith was there to sum it all up:

“On the numerically cool Sunday of 10-10-10, I caught two concert halves, starting with Music in the Great Hall at Towson Unitarian Universalist, where the artistic director of that long-running series, the admirable pianist Lura Johnson, collaborated with two remarkable artists: clarinetist Anthony McGill and cellist Amit Peled. It was heartening to see such a large turnout for the occasion – one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen at this series.

The program opened with Schumann’s lyrical, sometimes bittersweet “Fantasiestucke” for clarinet and piano. McGill’s experience as a principal player in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra could be felt at every turn – he phrased the melodic lines like a great singer.

Johnson, whose accompaniment was equally telling, then backed Peled in a soaring account of Chopin’s G minor Cello Sonata. Peled’s richness of tone and openhearted phrasing yielded memorable results, especially in the haunting lyricism at the center of the Scherzo and throughout the poetic Largo. The cellist enjoyed polished, dynamic support from Johnson.”

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