February 22, 2010

Hopkins Symphony Orchestra plays with fire and water

The theme of “fire and water” ties together three Hopkins Symphony Orchestra events—two of them free—taking place from Thursday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, Feb. 28, on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus.

At noon on Thursday, pianist, improviser and composer Lee Pui Ming offers Soundings, an informal free workshop on improvisation, with audience involvement. The hour of spontaneous music-making, some fire-y and some watery, is co-sponsored by Homewood Arts Programs and takes place in the SDS Room of the Mattin Center.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, music director Jed Gaylin and the HSO present the orchestra’s 18th annual Concert for Children and Families. The program includes Stravinsky’s Fireworks and the famous first movement of Beethoven’s explosive Symphony No. 5, during which the audience will hear “ta-ta-ta-TAAAA” as Beethoven intended it. They’ll also hear it with P.D.Q. Bach’s play-by-play sports commentary, narrated by WBJC-FM classical music program director Jonathan Palevsky and WYPR-FM sports commentator Milton Kent. After the performance, the audience will be invited onstage to meet the musicians and see their instruments up close. This free concert takes place in Shriver Hall Auditorium. No tickets or reservations are needed.

On Sunday, Feb. 28, Lee Pui Ming gives a 2 p.m. pre-concert talk about her work. At 3 p.m., she joins Gaylin and the orchestra for the world première of her partly improvised, partly composed concerto she comes to shore: a journey for piano and orchestra. The program also includes Stravinsky’s Fireworks and the complete Beethoven Symphony No. 5. The concert takes place in Shriver Hall Auditorium. Admission is free for Johns Hopkins students; $8 for other students, seniors (60+) and Johns Hopkins affiliates; $10 general admission.

Toronto-based Lee Pui Ming maintains a busy international composing, performing and recording career. She has appeared as an improvising pianist at jazz festivals from Vancouver to Berlin and written a commission for the Yoko Ono Project.

For information about HSO programs, call 410-516-6542, e-mail hso@jhu.edu or go to www.jhu.edu/jhso.