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MSO marks passings, celebrates 'new beginning'

April 03, 2005|by KATE COLEMAN

The Saturday evening performance of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's fourth MasterWorks concert began on a somber note.

Music Director and Conductor Elizabeth Schulze greeted the nearly full-house Maryland Theatre audience and said that the performance was dedicated to the memory of Margaret Waltersdorf, "a very good friend and supporter" of the orchestra.

She also announced that the ensemble would perform Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" in tribute to "this great man," Pope John Paul II, who died earlier Saturday.

After the piece, Schulze left the stage.

When she returned a few moments later, she raised her baton on the scheduled program, "Springtime in Europe."

"We are celebrating a new beginning," she had said during Prelude, before the concert.

The party started with Gioacchino Rossini's Overture to "La Cenerentola" - "Cinderella." Schulze had pointed out that the piece is typical of the composer's comic operas, providing opportunities for the musicians to show off.

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The next selection, Mozart's Concerto No. 5 in A Major for Violin, featured 18-year-old violinist Sandra Wolf-Meei Cameron. The Poolesville, Md., resident, who has traveled to New York City on weekends since she was accepted at age 10 in The Juilliard School's pre-college program, was en route to Hagerstown during Prelude. Schulze talked about the "rising star" in her absence, mentioning that the young violinist is as smart and sweet as she is talented.

Cameron, the rising star, performed with the energy of a shooting star.

She swayed and bobbed her head as the orchestra played. She leaned and dipped into the Mozart, her ponytail flying as she zigged and zagged. She closed her eyes, she smiled. Cameron - all 5 feet of her - danced with her violin and her music.

The audience responded with a prolonged and enthusiastic standing ovation.

Cameron hugged the beaming Schulze and bowed deeply.

"It's just like - wow," said a wide-eyed Robyn Cole, who is "13 and 7/12" years old.

"Wonderful," said Margery Ziegler of Hagerstown.

"She's magnificent," said Jerry Hammond, who has held season tickets for 12 or 14 years. "Her stage presence - I've never seen anything like it."

Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, was slated for the evening's second half.

The orchestra will perform the MasterWorks IV program again today at 3 p.m.

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