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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 3, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 28
Three Days of Nonstop Piano Performances

Leon Fleisher

Shriver Hall Concerts celebrates its 40-year legacy this weekend

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

When Murray Perahia first performed in the Shriver Hall Concert Series, the Grammy-winning pianist had not quite hit the big time. Perahia's 1971 concert at Shriver, in fact, found the young prodigy wearing an old pair of brown shoes because he simply couldn't afford new black ones.

Like Perahia, many emerging artists have used the chamber music series as a significant steppingstone in their careers and later returned to the series as undeniable stars.

To help celebrate the Shriver Hall Concert Series' 40th anniversary and its legacy of presenting great pianists, the music institution will host a Piano Celebration on April 7, 8 and 9 that will include nonstop recitals, lectures, exhibits and demonstrations.

Kit Armstrong

The event will feature some of the world's most renowned pianists, including Leon Fleisher, Krystian Zimerman and jazz great McCoy Tyner, the last surviving member of the legendary John Coltrane quartet. It will also present emerging artists such as Kit Armstrong, the 14-year-old prodigy who began formal composition and piano studies at the age of 5.

The speakers will include The New York Times' chief art critic, Michael Kimmelman; David Dubal, an internationally renowned lecturer, scholar and writer; and Michael Beckerman, a professor of music at New York University.

Venues are on the Homewood campus and at the adjacent Baltimore Museum of Art.

Malcolm Bilson

The Shriver Hall Concert Series traces its roots to 1965, when a dedicated band of Johns Hopkins faculty members led by Ernst Bueding hatched the idea of bringing world-class music at affordable prices to the area. The group was allowed to use the university's 1,100-seat Shriver Hall for its opening concert by Jean-Pierre Rampal and Robert Veyron-Lacroix. Due to the concert's success, the group was permitted to continue to use the facility rent-free.

In its first few years of existence, the concert series was run by the university's Office of Special Events. Today, the private nonprofit series is run by new executive director David Baldwin, a governing board and a dedicated staff who are responsible for the planning and operation of the series. Baldwin, who joined the musical series in January, was most recently director of ICM Artists, London Ltd., a management agency.

Baldwin said both the music series and the upcoming Piano Celebration are unique.

Krystian Zimerman

"There is no other series like this in the area, one that brings such a consistent quality of chamber music and international soloists," Baldwin said. "And this Piano Celebration will be unlike any other of its kind. I don't know of any program that is doing something as concentrated as this, activities and performances every hour for three days."

Both individual-event tickets and passes are available; for details, go to or call 410-516-7164.


Shriver Hall Concert Series Piano Celebration

Friday, April 7

5 to 6 p.m. David Dubal, lecture. BMA's Meyerhoff Auditorium

8 p.m. Krystian Zimerman, piano performance. Homewood's Shriver Hall Auditorium

Saturday, April 8

10 to 11 a.m. Michael Beckerman, professor of music at New York University, lecture. BMA's Meyerhoff Auditorium

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of The New York Times, lecture. BMA's Meyerhoff Auditorium

2 to 3:30 p.m. Malcolm Bilson, piano, lecture/recital. BMA's Meyerhoff Auditorium

4:30 to 6 p.m. Kit Armstrong, piano performance. BMA's Meyerhoff Auditorium

8 p.m. Leon Fleisher, piano performance. Homewood's Shriver Hall Auditorium

Sunday, April 9

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. David Dubal, internationally renowned lecturer, scholar and writer, special brunch. Homewood's Glass Pavilion

3 p.m. Fazil Say, piano performance. Homewood's Shriver Hall Auditorium

8 p.m. McCoy Tyner, piano performance. Homewood's Shriver Hall Auditorium


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