The Hopkins Symphony Orchestra will close its 2003-2004 season with "Open Spaces," a program evoking the Wild West, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, in Shriver Hall, located on Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
Music Director Jed Gaylin will lead the orchestra of Johns Hopkins students, faculty and staff and Baltimore-area musicians in the brilliant ballet suite from Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid, as well as Copland's An Outdoor Overture and Alexander Borodin's In the Steppes of Central Asia. Violinist Amy Beth Horman will join the orchestra as soloist in Carl Nielsen's Violin Concerto.
Billy the Kid follows the notorious outlaw across the open prairie, into a frontier town, to a Mexican dance and then to a late-night card game under the stars. The music dramatically portrays the gun battle in which Billy is mortally wounded, and the townspeople's celebration over his capture. When Billy dies, the closing scene returns to the expanse of the open prairie.
As their titles suggest, An Outdoor Overture and In the Steppes of Central Asia also portray open spaces. Copland's overture celebrates the outdoors in both country and city, even imagining a band concert in a park on a gentle summer evening. Written in 1867, Borodin's work tells of a caravan making its way through the vast desert that leads to the "Rooftop of the World" in Nepal and to what in his day were considered the exotic mysteries of the Far East.
Carl Nielsen's Violin Concerto does not tell as specific a story as the other pieces on the program, but conveys the free, open spirit of the composer's native Denmark and his love of nature.
The Washington Post has hailed the young American violinist Amy Beth Horman as "having the stuff of greatness." After debuting with the National Symphony Orchestra at age 16, she studied at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris. Her return to the United States has brought solo and recital engagements throughout the East Coast and regular performances with the Amadeus Orchestra. In 2000, Horman won the Deane Sherman Award as one of Maryland's most promising young artists.
A free pre-concert discussion by Peabody Conservatory faculty member Sharon Levy starts at 7 p.m. Tickets to the performance are $10 general admission; $8 senior citizens and students; $8 Johns Hopkins faculty, staff and alumni; free for Johns Hopkins students with ID. Free parking on campus.
At 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, Hopkins Symphony Orchestra will also join the Hopkins Choral Society and the Baltimore School for the Arts Chamber Choir for a performance of the Mozart Requiem under the baton of Mark Hardy, at the Johns Hopkins Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St., in Baltimore. For information on either performance, call 410-516-6542, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.jhu.edu/jhso.
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