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Schulze to lead MSO this weekend

March 17, 1999

Elizabeth SchulzeBy MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCEETTA / staff photographer

Elizabeth Schulze's first concert as music director designate of Maryland Symphony Orchestra should be an insightful experience.

First, the audience will be welcomed into the atmosphere that inspires her. Though she enjoyed the violin, an instrument she started playing at age 7, the orchestra is what stirs her most.

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"I always had a fiery passion for the orchestra. That's my instrument," says Schulze, 41, whose three-year contract begins July 1.

She will lead the orchestra Saturday, March 20, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 21, at 3 p.m., at The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown.


Concertgoers will hear works by some of the world's finest composers.

Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" is a work of incredible color, says Schulze, who has conducted selections from it for youth orchestras.

The piece represents "the grand Russian style of great color and power. He's really painting the pictures. It's very virtuosic for the orchestra," she says.

In direct contrast to the Stravinsky piece is Copland's "Quiet City," which will highlight principal trumpeter Charles L. Grab Jr. and principal English horn player David M. James.

Topping off the program will be Beethoven's "Symphony No. 3," which Schulze calls "one of the greatest pieces ever written." The piece represents his transformation from trying to be another Mozart to being himself.

"He moved music into another dimension," she says.

One hour before each of the concerts, Schulze will provide even more enlightenment. During Prelude, she will let the audience in on the secrets of the music and what performing the works entails.

"I really, really enjoy talking about the music. It's kind of fun when the conductors can give their own insights," she says.

The former associate conductor of National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., says this weekend's performances will have a different feel than the one she led as a candidate for the directorship.

"We're colleagues now," she says. "I'm hoping you will see and hear the very beginnings of what the orchestra will look like and sound like in the next couple years."

She is enthusiastic about her goals for MSO.

"I hope to continue to expand the audience," Schulze says, particularly with more families and young people. Part of that will involve going into schools to talk about the virtues of music.

"We have exciting ideas to develop our connection into the schools," she says.

-- A concert preview, in the director's words

-- MSO info at a glance

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