Menu

Children’s music performer launches new season of Strathmore’s “Backyard Theater”

  • Published in Music

Little Miss Ann opens a new season of “Backyard Theater for Kids” at the Mansion at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTOLittle Miss Ann opens a new season of “Backyard Theater for Kids” at the Mansion at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO  Elementary school teachers often spend time singing to or with students, but not everyone ends up a professional singer.

Ann Torralba did. With a Masters in special education, Torralba spent seven years teaching public elementary school students “on the spectrum.”

She often bought her guitar to class and joined a band while in graduate school.

“But I never thought I’d play professionally,” Torralba said. “I had very little formal training.”

A Chicago resident, Torralba now occasionally goes on the road as “Little Miss Ann,” and one of her out-of-town gigs will be at the Mansion at Strathmore, as part of its “Backyard Theater for Kids” summer music series, which she launches on July 5.

Read more...

Composer of 'Iron and Coal,' to premiere at Strathmore

Jeremy Schonfeld, lyricist/composer of 'Iron and Coal,' to premiere at Strathmore Jeremy Schonfeld, lyricist/composer of 'Iron and Coal,' to premiere at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO  Even those individuals who were alive after the Holocaust had to come to terms with the loss of loved ones and community, lingering feelings of depression and anxiety, and survivors' guilt.

Gustav Schonfeld was one of those individuals. Later a physician and professor in the United States, he was only 10 when imprisoned at Auschwitz, the most-notorious Nazi concentration camp. He spent a year there before liberation, but by then had also survived another camp and the Warsaw Ghetto.

Read more...

Local businessman leads efforts to stem opioid epidemic

  • Published in Local

H. David Meyers plays the oboe with 67 other musicians to raise funds in the fight against the opiod epidemic. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKNORTH BETHESDA — H. David Meyers, a Rockville-based businessman turned on the local news one day and saw his secretary Carin Miller.

Miller, founder of the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, was on television raising awareness for a cause that is personal to her – the opioid epidemic. While Meyers knew his secretary was an advocate, it was not until he saw her on television that he came up with an idea – to host a benefit concert for her organization.

On Tuesday, Meyer who is a classically-trained oboist along with 67 other musicians played a benefit concert at Strathmore Music Center to raise awareness for opioid and heroin addiction – something state, local and federal officials have called an epidemic. All proceeds from the concert will go to MHAA, which helps those addicted to opioids and heroin to seek treatment and promote awareness for the issue to combat the stigma of drug abuse.

“We have several fundraisers throughout the year, this is a grand event that I never would have thought would happen, but Mr. H. David Meyers was kind enough to host this beautiful concert for us,” Miller said.

Read more...

Once he was just flamenco and now Cigala is a whole lot more

  • Published in Music

Diego el Cigala sings various genres of music at The Music Center of Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTODiego el Cigala sings various genres of music at The Music Center of Strathmore.  COURTESY PHOTO  Ask people the key component in flamenco, and they’ll likely say, dance. Experts will reply that dance is only one of five elements – and singing is another.

One who illustrates the centrality of singing in flamenco is Diego el Cigala, who will appear at The Music Center of Strathmore, under the co-sponsorship of Strathmore and Washington Performing Arts.

Becoming a flamenco singer was a foregone conclusion.

“It was never a conscious decision,” el Cigala said. “I am a flamenco singer since I can remember. I won my first contest at 11 or 12 years old and started to work really early, so there was never a moment where I said: ‘Now I am going to be a singer.’”

Read more...

Strathmore CEO announces retirement

  • Published in Music

Eliot PfanstiehlEliot Pfanstiehl Courtesy PhotoWhen Eliot Pfanstiehl was first hired in 1981 to convert the Mansion at Strathmore in Bethesda into an arts center, he heard the same thing over and over again: “Why bother?”

After all, the Kennedy Center was the place to perform for artists and productions visiting the Washington, D.C. area, and with a population of roughly 500,000, and Montgomery County was considered nothing more than a bedroom community for people working in the District. As far as the arts were concerned, Pfanstiehl said, the area was “prehistoric.”

37 years later, however, the County’s population has surpassed 1 million, and the Strathmore, with its concert hall and education center, hosts 160 concerts each year, of which most, he said, draw audiences large enough to fill 80 to 85 percent of Strathmore’s 1,976 seats. Both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the National Philharmonic call the Mansion their local home, and the eclectic concerts staged at Strathmore are as varied, culturally speaking, as the residents of Montgomery County are, he said.

Read more...

Singers link Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday in Strathmore concert

  • Published in Music

Catherine Russell 16 Print 1 copyCatherine Russell, jazz singer to perform with John Pizzarelli. COURTESY PHOTOFor Grammy Award-nominated jazz singer Catherine Russell, juxtaposing the music of Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday in her upcoming Strathmore concert was a given, as was performing with jazz guitarist and bandleader and vocalist John Pizzarelli.

It is to Pizzarelli who Russell attributes the idea of blending those world-class vocalists in one program. 

 “It's a natural fit since Sinatra was a great admirer of Billie Holiday and her unique singing style,” said Russell. “Both singers came up working as vocalists during the Swing Era, with big bands, before leading their own groups.”

Read more...

County pushes development

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — The County Council unanimously approved the Grosvenor-Strathmore Area Minor Master Plan Tuesday in the latest of a series of steps to encourage development around Metro stations.

The plan will allow for more commercial and residential development around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station on MD-355 in North Bethesda to focus the County’s demand for more housing around mass transit.

Read more...

Strathmore concert highlights diversity in Jewish music

  • Published in Music

Yasmin Levy 3 1 copyLadino singer Yasmin Levy collaborates with Klezmatics at Strathmore.   COURTESY PHOTO  The concert series currently playing out at the Music Center of Strathmore is celebrating global music and divergent cultures.

“The thematic thread through Strathmore’s 2017-2018 season is ‘Windows,’ concerts in which international artists share the sonic riches of their heritage and homeland,” said Joi Brown, vice president of programming. “This is our effort to showcase music that reflects different perspectives, places, cultures, and eras.”

However, the Nov. 7 concert highlights the musical diversity within one culture alone.

It pairs Israeli singer Yasmin Levy, who performs primarily in Ladino – Judeo-Spanish language – with the Klezmatics, an ensemble that sings classical klezmer music from Eastern Europe.

“I started to sing songs in Ladino, then modern, Spanish and flamenco and moved to Turkish and Persian songs and Brazilian tango,” said the Jerusalem-born Levy.

Read more...

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conquers MoCo

  • Published in Music

P4010213 copy Baltimore SymphonyMarin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. COURTESY PHOTO  The story of Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” has had a lasting cultural impact.

Many literary critics and authors consider the classic book by the 17th-century Spanish writer to be the first modern novel, with an immense influence on language that continues to the present day. Consider the expression “tilting at windmills” or the word “quixotic.”

“Don Quixote” and Cervantes’s dramatic life also have inspired other works in many artistic genres – including short stories, novels, ballets, operas, classical music pieces, plays, films, and of course, the hit Broadway musical “Man of La Mancha.”

Among the classical music pieces that have drawn inspiration from “Don Quixote” is the eponymous tone poem by Richard Strauss for cello, viola, and orchestra, which will be part of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s program for their Oct. 21 concert at the Music Center at Strathmore.

Read more...

Sponsor supports NIH charities while patrons enjoy blockbuster movies

Comcast XFinity Film Festival image courtesy of the Comcast Xfinity Film Festival copyThe Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival returns to Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO    “Blockbuster” describes the movies presented each summer in the Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival and hosted at Strathmore. This year, “Disney’s “Moana” (PG) will show on Aug. 24; “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (PG-13) on Aug. 25; and “The Lego Batman Movie” (PG) on Aug. 26, the final day of the event.

But the term could also apply to the technology behind the festival. The screen the films are projected on, in digital cinema, is the only nine-foot-tall, 52-foot-wide inflatable movie screen within 1000 miles, said Bob Deutsch, founder and CEO of DTA Global, which produces the free event.

Comcast, the global media and technology corporation, underwrites it.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed