Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Update on Shriver Hall's Renovation

Posted by: Catherine Cochran

The Johns Hopkins University is anticipating Shriver Hall will be ready to re-open in early 2019.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Benjamin Beilman and Orion Weiss Give World Premiere of Rzewski's "Demons" this Saturday

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Composer Frederic Rzewski's "Demons", commissioned by Music Accord, receives its world premiere this Saturday in a recital by violinist Benjamin Beilman with pianist Orion Weiss. 

The composer shares the following program note:

Demons was commissioned by Music Accord, Inc., and written in the spring and summer of 2017 for Benjamin Beilman. It is dedicated to Angela Davis.

In Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name (1871), the character Kirillov kills  himself in order “to become God”. Inspired by the Russian Nihilist movement of the 1860’s, and specifically by the charismatic figure Nechayev, Dostoyevsky’s book is a study of the self-destructive forces present in the Russian society of his time. It foreshadows Lenin and the Revolution of 1917, as well as the ideas of Nietzsche and Freud, and had a deep influence on writers like Thomas Mann, whose “Doctor Faustus” is a similar study of modern Germany.

While it is futile to try to express musical ideas in words, it is possible to say that my piece is a meditation on similar trends in the world of today. In early         November 2016, I had the honour to assist at a spectacular performance of my composition “Coming Together” of 1972 at the San Francisco Conservatory, with Angela Davis as the speaking soloist, a few days before the presidential elections. There was a public discussion that followed. Davis seemed to know the results already. She said that, if the Left had done its job, the present situation would not have arisen.

These and similar ideas were all going through my head as I was writing “Demons” a few months later. I am not religious, and don’t know much about devils and such, but as an artist I cannot help feeling sensitive to whatever it is that awakens these ideas in humans, causing them to go crazy. I am not sure that scientists or doctors understand these things any better than writers or  musicians. Perhaps, on the contrary, although we cannot explain them in rational terms, we can nevertheless throw some light on them, in our own way.

My piece is in four movements, and so is a kind of sonata, like the piece that  preceded it, “Notasonata”, written for Jennifer Koh. There are periodic references to two songs throughout the piece: “Iroes”, made popular in the 1990’s by the singer Maria Dimitriadis, and a song that became known during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s (notably as performed by Barbara Dane), “Freedom Is A Constant Struggle”, which also provided the title for the recent book of Angela Davis.

Thanks to a new generation of classical musicians like Benjamin Beilman, there is a revival of interest among younger players in new music that in some way continues the classical tradition. One can only hope that this trend will           continue. Although Marx’s analysis of capitalism as a ruthless system  following its relentless course independently of human will continues to be valid, there are nonetheless reasons to think that alternatives are possible. As Mark Twain put it, prophecy is really hard, especially when it’s about the future.

Frederic Rzewski, © 2018

Commissioned by Music Accord for Benjamin Beilman. Comprised of top classical Music Presenting Organizations throughout the United States, Music Acord is a consortium that commission news works in the chamber music, instrumental recital and song genres. The consortium’s goal is to create a significant number of new works and to ensure presentation of these works in venues throughout this country and, if the occasion arises, internationally. For more information, please go to


Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Baltimore Sun Shares 2018 Venues & Stellar Jansen Trio Review

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The Baltimore Sun has published an article highlighting the upcoming SHCS venues for the remainder of the 2017-18 season along with a fantastic review from the December 10 SHCS performance featuring violinist Janine Jansen, pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, and cellist Torleif Thedéen.

Click Here to read the article sharing these updates and a review of “one of the best performances” Tim Smith heard this year!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Venues for Winter/Spring 2018 Subscription Series Concerts

Posted by: Catherine Cochran

Dear Patron,

We’re writing with an update on our Subscription Series concerts in winter/spring 2018. As you will recall, Johns Hopkins University moved the expected completion date of renovations in Shriver Hall from January 2018 to July 2018.

We are happy to announce the following locations for our winter/spring Subscription Series concerts. Each venue has a lovely concert hall and free parking. Driving directions and parking details are posted here and maps are forthcoming. This information will also be included in each pre-concert email to ticket-holders. 

      Sunday, January 28     Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (Pikesville)

      Sunday, March 11       Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College (Towson)

      Sunday, March 25       Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (Pikesville)

      Sunday, May 6            Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (Pikesville)

      Sunday, May 20          The Gordon Center for the Performing Arts (Owings Mills)

While the venue of these events has changed, the artists, programs, and 5:30pm start time remain as announced. The Discovery Series performances are unaffected.

In mid-January, we will be in touch with you about your seating location and tickets for each of these performances. We will make every effort to seat subscribers in locations analogous to those you enjoyed this fall at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and to seat single-ticket-buyers in your requested location(s).

We are deeply grateful to you for your continued loyalty and flexibility during SHCS’s season “on the road.” We’re delighted to be working with the terrific teams at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Goucher College, and The Gordon Center to ensure you have an outstanding experience.

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming concert!

With warmest regards,

Edward F. McCarthy                                      Catherine Cochran
Chair                                                                Executive Director


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Remembering a Cherished Board Member

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Harriet Panitz
Shriver Hall Concert Series mourns the passing of our dear friend and colleague Harriet Panitz. Harriet served as a SHCS Director from 1984 to 2017, including 20 years as Vice Chair. As the Governance Committee’s longtime head, she recruited many current and former Directors, helping shape our current leadership. She will be remembered by all of us for her great service, galvanizing leadership, and lively spirit. We express heartfelt condolences to the entire Panitz family. 


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