Youth inspired by MSO

October 22, 2000|By MEG H. PARTINGTON

Youth inspired by MSO

In a program that displayed the literary aspects of music, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra inspired its audience on Sunday.

"The word 'scintillating' came to mind," said Meg Biser, 15, a sophomore at Smithsburg High School who attended the concert at The Maryland Theatre with other students from her school.

"I thought it was pretty cool," said Nicole Senz, 15, a sophomore at Smithsburg High who plays violin.

The students also attended Thursday's MSO rehearsal, which Meg thought was beneficial.

"It helps a lot with your own technique," said Meg, a cellist.

"I particularly liked the conductor's style," said Liang Zhang of Washington, D.C., describing Music Director Elizabeth Schulze, adding that he had never seen a woman conductor. He attended the concert with two friends, Jeffrey Waite and Louis Harris, also from the nation's capital.

"They play very crisply and clean," Waite said. "I'm very impressed."

Harris is a friend of the new concertmaster, Leonid Sushansky. Asked if he could pick out Sushansky's sound, Harris said, "He's good enough that I wouldn't be able to."


In its concerts Friday at Frostburg State University and Saturday and Sunday at The Maryland Theatre, the orchestra performed Brahms' "Tragic Overture;" Schumann's Concerto for Piano in A minor; and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathetique."

Piano soloist Robert DeGaetano, who was featured in the Schumann concerto, received rave reviews.

"He was great. He was wonderful," said Madge Carey, who traveled by bus to the concert with some fellow residents of Quincy Village Retirement Community in Quincy, Pa.

"Schumann's is one of my favorite concertos," said Carol Miller, also a resident of Quincy Village, who taught piano lessons for 47 years. "It's marvelous."

Describing the Schumann piece in her preconcert lecture, Schulze said "The last movement is a killer." Her comment was supported during the performance, when DeGaetano wiped his face with a white handkerchief between bouts of furious playing, his eyes intensely fixed on the keyboard.

"I particularly liked the pianist," Zhang said. "The timing was so accurate," he said, describing the flow between DeGaetano and the orchestra.

"I'm very impressed with the Maryland Symphony," said Miller, who frequently attended Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts when she lived in the Pittsburgh area.

Schulze said MSO concerts have been difficult to get through in the absence of trumpeter Robert W. Grab, who died March 22. He played second trumpet since the orchestra's founding in 1982, and the seat was named in his honor.

"We do miss him, and you will know the orchestra is playing from its heart for you," Schulze said.

Facing a standing ovation at the end of Sunday's concert, Schulze placed her hand over her heart as her eyes welled with tears.

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