Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Chorus Perform Brahms’ German Requiem, June 10–13

Music Director Marin Alsop leads the BSO in Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Brahms’ A German Requiem to conclude the 2009-2010 season

Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in its final concerts of the 2009-2010 season on Thursday, June 10 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 13 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The program includes Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Brahms’ A German Requiem, featuring The Washington Chorus, soprano Janice Chandler-Etemé and baritone Stephen Powell.

Brahms’ A German Requiem is regarded as his deepest and most reflective piece, composed as a memorial for both his mother, Christine Brahms, and his mentor, composer Robert Schumann. Writing and playing music was Brahms’ method for coping with grief, and this is evident throughout the piece. Violas, cellos and the double bass provide a dark, mournful sound for the first movement entitled “Blessed are they who mourn.” The sorrowful tones continue until the last movement, “Blessed are the dead,” where a harp interjects, symbolizing both Brahms’ success over sadness and newfound musical knowledge. The Grammy Award-winning Washington Chorus, under Music Director Julian Wachner, will collaborate with the BSO in A German Requiem. Soprano Janice Chandler-Etemé, whose voice The Baltimore Sun describes as “one of the loveliest soprano voices on earth,” is also featured, as well as Stephen Powell, known for his crisp, powerful baritone voice.

Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is delicately scored for the orchestra to convey the imagery and nostalgia of the lyrics. It begins with Barber’s recollection of his innocence and naïveté, then transitions into an illustration of a sad reality. While he was composing this piece, both his father and aunt became fatally ill. Just as in Brahms’ Requiem, Barber’s work ends with a sense of triumph over grief and sorrow. Soprano Janice Chandler- Etemé will also perform in this work.

Classical Concert: Brahms’ German Requiem
Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.— The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, June 11, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.— Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.— Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Marin Alsop, conductor
Janice Chandler-Etemé, soprano
Stephen Powell, baritone
The Washington Chorus
Julian Wachner, music director

Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Brahms: A German Requiem

Tickets for these performances range from $25 to $80 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or


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