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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

February 29, 2008
CONTACT: Heather Egan Stalfort
(410) 516-0341 ext. 17

Astral Winds Quintet to Appear at Evergreen

The 55th anniversary season of Evergreen Museum & Library's Music at Evergreen concert series continues with the Astral Winds woodwind quintet at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 21.

The ensemble will perform works by Maurice Ravel, Jennifer Higdon, Malcolm Arnold, and Carl Nielsen. The concert is followed by a meet-the-artists reception.

The performance will be held in the Carriage House at Evergreen Museum & Library, 4545 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. Tickets are $20 for the public, $15 for members and $10 students with valid ID. Advance tickets are available at www.missiontix.com or by calling 410-516-0341. Cash or check only at the door. Group tickets are available by phone only at 410-516-0341. Complete concert information is available online at www.museums.jhu.edu.

One of the program's featured works is Maurice Ravel's majestic and magical Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917), which draws upon and pays homage to French music of the 17th and 18th centuries in general and the great composer Francois Couperin (1668-1733) in particular. Originally written for solo piano in six movements, four of the six (Prelude, Fugue, Menuet, and Rigaudon) were later orchestrated by the composer with the wind instruments playing a highly dominant role, as brought out in an effective transcription for wind quintet by horn legend Mason Jones.

In contrast is Autumn Music (1995), a 14-minute work in a single movement by Philadelphia-based composer Jennifer Higdon. The pastoral but challenging piece was written as a companion to Samuel Barber's famous woodwind quintet, Summer Music (1956). Higdon is professor of composition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is one of the most important young composers in the country.

Also on the program is Malcolm Arnold's popular Three Shanties, Op. 4 (1943), cunningly scored with exuberance and inventiveness. Carl Nielsen's Quintet for Winds, Op. 43 (1922) is one of the Danish composer's most characteristic works, and one of the major works for winds composed in the 20th century.

Astral Winds was founded in 2003 with assistance from Astral Artistic Services, a Philadelphia non-profit organization that assists the careers of the nation's most gifted classical musicians. The international ensemble brings together five woodwind artists with rich backgrounds as soloists, chamber musicians, orchestral players and teachers: Jasmine Choi, flute; Katherine Needleman, oboe; José Franch-Ballester, clarinet; Larisa Gelman, bassoon; and Paul LaFollette, horn.

Members of Astral Winds are winners of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Yamaha Young Artist Competition, and the International Double Reed Society's Gillet-Fox Competition. They hold positions in the Baltimore Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, and the Carolina Chamber Symphony.

The final concert this season:

Friday, April 11, 8 p.m.
First prize winner, 2005 Young Concert Artists
International Auditions

Russian pianist Gleb Ivanov is "eerily like the ghost of Horowitz. ...His talent is larger than life" (The Washington Times). In the past few years, this young pianist has made debuts in major venues in New York, Washington, Paris and Boston, to rave reviews praising his virtuosity and musicality. The program includes: Haydn's Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI: 48; four songs by Schubert in Liszt transcriptions: Standchen, Gretchen am Spinnrade, Aufenthalt, and Die Forell; Chopin's Nocturne in B major, Op. 9, No. 3 and Scherzo No. 3 Op. 39 in C sharp minor; and Mussorgsky/Horowitz's By the Water and Pictures at an Exhibition.

The concert will be held in the Evergreen Carriage House. Advance tickets are available at www.missiontix.com or by calling 410-516-0341.