A Little Lunchtime Music


A Little Lunchtime Music


October/November, 2015
Volume 3, Issue 9

Dear Reader,

The Peabody Institute, located
in the cultural heart of Mount Vernon

Any day or night, just few steps from Baltimore’s Washington Monument, you’ll hear the trill of scales on the piano or Mozart on the violin.

It’s a welcome sound, synonymous with Mount Vernon, and it’s been going on ever since the Peabody Institute was founded in 1857.

About 600 graduate and undergraduate students attend the Peabody Institute each year.

The school is known for its gifted student performers and prepares them for careers as professional musicians. Performances are naturally part of their curriculum — this year alone, there will be nearly 1,000 concerts and recitals!

A Peabody student performer

But did you know you can enjoy many of these concerts for free?

Peabody’s Thursday Noon Recital Series showcases student musicians who are hand-picked by faculty. “These students are performing at a very high level and among the most advanced performers at Peabody,” says Director of Marketing Tiffany Lundquist. “Some are already started on their professional careers.”

The 50-minute lunchtime concerts, usually held in the beautiful Miriam A. Friedberg concert hall, are comprised of shorter works, such as sonatas, pieces by classical greats and contemporary composers.”You get a little taste of everything,” Lundquist adds.

This semester’s list of Thursday Noon Recitals are below — and with the health benefits of classical music ranging from lowering your blood pressure, improving your sleep, and even reducing instances of aggression on the Autobahn, you’d be foolish not to partake in these performances. The Peabody also offers a free lecture symposium and $5 Jazz nights (which make for a perfect and inexpensive date). Support and enjoy our talented Mount Vernon neighbors!

Thursday Noon Recitals This Semester

Date Type Time Cost
Oct. 22 Guitar Noon FREE
Oct. 29 Woodwinds Noon FREE
Nov. 5 Jazz Noon FREE
Nov. 12 Percussion Noon FREE
Nov. 19 Strings Noon FREE
Dec. 3 Voice Noon FREE
Dec. 10 Chamber Music Noon FREE


Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Alphabetical Order


Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website


Gotta Dance


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website


Valentina Lisitsa

Mozart and Mendelssohn
Friday, Oct 23, 2015 | 8 PM
Sunday, Oct 25, 2015 | 3 PM
The Meyerhoff

Joshua Weilerstein, conductor
Valentina Lisitsa, piano

Making their BSO subscription debuts, two rising stars showcase their talents. YouTube sensation Valentina Lisitsa brings passion and drama to Mozart’s D-minor piano concerto. Joshua Weilerstein leads the BSO in Mendelssohn’s evocative musical reminiscence of the Scottish highlands and also Prospero’s Rooms, which channels the gothic energy of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death” and is composed by Baltimore’s own Christopher Rouse.

Tickets start at $33 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office at 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.


Bernstein Symphony No. 3
‘Kaddish’ Recording

Marin Alsop, conductor
Claire Bloom, narrator
Kelley Nassief, soprano
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The São Paulo Symphony Choir
The Maryland State Boychoir
The Washington Chorus
Members of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra

This cd is available for $15 at the BSO online store.


Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | 410-332-0033 | Website


Secret Garden

The Secret Garden
Oct 30-Nov 29

Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

“A show about courageous children who show lost adults how to deal with their pasts and embrace their gifts.”
– The Chicago Tribune

Orphaned in a cholera epidemic, 10-year-old Mary Lennox travels from India to her new home in England where she is taken in by her distant and detached uncle, Archibald Craven, who is still grieving from the loss of his wife a decade earlier. Secrets of the past haunt the corners of the Craven manor, and soon Mary can only find refuge in a mysteriously locked garden that becomes her kingdom and her oasis. A lush, Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning musical based on the classic novel of the same name, The Secret Garden is an enchanting story about the pains and joys of growing up, and the beauty that often grows in the places we least expect.

Click here for tickets.


Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street | 410-396-5430 | Website


Writers LIVE: D. Watkins, The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America
Thursday, October 22, 2015 | 6:30 PM

D Watkins

D. Watkins, a native son of the east side (the beast side) of Baltimore, has survived the kind of life in urban America that has claimed the lives of many of his friends and family members. He writes with the compassion and unsentimental clarity of a survivor — of a man who is passionately determined to stop the cycles of violence and suffering that have long been inflicted on his community. Watkins’ debut book, The Beast Side, is a rare, highly personal dispatch from the streets.

When his older brother was shot down by business rivals, Watkins took over his drug racket, earning enough to continue his education. He eventually earned a master’s of education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Baltimore. He now teaches creative writing at Coppin State University.

Location: Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Writers LIVE: Wil Haygood, Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America
Thursday, November 5, 2015 | 7 PM

Wil Haygood

Thurgood Marshall brought down the separate-but-equal doctrine, integrated schools, and not only fought for human rights and human dignity but also made them impossible to deny in the courts and in the streets. In this new biography, award-winning author Wil Haygood details the life and career of one of the most transformative legal minds of the past 100 years.

Using the framework of the dramatic, contentious five-day Senate hearing to confirm Marshall as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, Haygood creates a provocative and moving look at Marshall’s life as well as the politicians, lawyers, activists and others who shaped – or tried to stop – the civil rights movment of the 20th century.

Wil Haygood is currently the Wiepking Visiting Distinguished Professor in the department of media, journalism and film at Miami University (Ohio). For nearly three decades he was a journalist, serving as a national and foreign correspondent at the Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and then at the Washington Post, where he wrote the story “A Butler Well Served by this Election,” which became the basis for the award-winning motion picture The Butler, directed by Lee Daniels. He is also the author of biographies of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Wil Haygood’s appearance at the Pratt Library is sponsored by Congressman Elijah E. Cummings.

MahoganyBooks will have copies of the author’s books on sale at the event.

Location: Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a generous grant from PNC Bank.


Grace & St. Peter’s Church
707 Park Avenue | 410-539-1395 | Website


Music for Strings: Dvorák, Schoenberg, Murphy
Saturday, October 17, 2015 | 8 PM
Sunday, October 18, 2015 | 3 PM

Nicole Murphy

Antonín Dvořák, Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22
Arnold Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht
Nicole Murphy, Featured Composer, World Premiere

Join Symphony Number One for an evening of sensational music for strings! Opening the second program of the season is one of Dvořák’s most popular orchestral works, his Serenade for Strings. Conductor Jordan Randall Smith will then delve into Arnold Schoenberg’s hauntingly beautiful Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), arranged for string orchestra. Composed originally for string sextet, the one movement work is based on the poem of the same name by Richard Dehmel.

The highlight of the program will be a world premiere for string orchestra by award-winning Australian composer Nicole Murphy.

Tickets $5-15 available by clicking here.


Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website


Baltimore’s Next “Poe Toaster” Auditions
Saturday, November 7 | 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM

Hosted by the Maryland Historical Society, in partnership with Poe Baltimore

Poe Toaster
Click here for a printable poster!

Do you have what it takes to become Baltimore’s Next “Poe Toaster”?

Beginning in the 1930s, a mysterious individual began visiting Edgar Allan Poe’s original gravesite at Westminster Hall every year on the author’s birthday, January 19th. Later dubbed the “Poe Toaster,” the man began a tradition in which he would sneak into the cemetery at night while dressed in black clothing, a wide-brimmed black hat, and a white scarf.

Upon arriving at Poe’s grave, the toaster would place 3 roses beside it before opening a bottle of cognac. The roses are believed to be in memory of the three individuals buried at the site of the Poe Monument: Poe, Maria Clemm, and Virginia Poe. After toasting Poe with a glass of cognac, the man would then place the bottle next to the grave before disappearing into the night. Sadly, the “Poe Toaster” has not appeared since 2009, but never fear, this long held Baltimore tradition will be reclaimed this fall.

On November 7, the Maryland Historical Society and Poe Baltimore are teaming up to host the Baltimore’s Next “Poe Toaster” Competition. Along with their friends at Westminster Hall and The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe, the organizations aim to revitalize the bygone tradition of the “Poe Toaster”, but with a new twist!

Each finalist will be given 3 minutes to perform as their own original vision and interpretation of the “Poe Toaster”. This performance could be anything within the bounds of the imagination – a dramatic reading, song, interpretive dance – you name it, as long as it’s connected to our dear friend Edgar. Three celebrity judges will comment on the performances, but the audience will ultimately decide on the winner. The newly dubbed “Poe Toaster” will then have the honor of “toasting” Poe, however he or she so chooses, at Poe’s gravesite at Westminster Hall for his birthday in January 2016, as well as other events throughout the city during the year.

Entries must be received by October 23. Click here for complete rules and submission details. To watch the November 7 competition, get tickets here.


The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website


A Taste of Cherry
Thursday, October 22, 2015 | 6:45 PM

Taste of Cherry

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s classic macabre film (1997, 95 min. Farsi with subtitles) explores the complex views Iranian citizens hold about life, culture, and religion, as the protagonist, Mr. Badii, drives around Tehran. Following the screening, film critic and filmmaker Godfrey Cheshire will lead a talk. Presented in partnership with the Maryland Film Festival. This program is held in conjunction with the upcoming special exhibition Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts.

Location: Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201


Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website


Zombie Prom

Oct 16-Nov 8, 2015

Music: Dana P. Rowe
Book & Lyrics: John Dempsey
direction: Kristen Cooley
musical direction: Michael W. Tan

Synopsis: This girl loves ghoul rock and roll Off Broadway musical is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour. History comes to his rescue while a tuneful selection of original songs in the style of 50s hits keeps the action rocking across the stage.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Sept 17, 2015 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Talk Back with Cast & Director: Nov 1, 2015 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: Oct 16, 17, 18; 22, 23, 24, 25; 30, 31, Nov 1; 6, 7, 8 (Ten Spot Thursday: Oct 22, 2015 at 8 PM).


The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website


Peabody on the Court Music Series
Friday, November 6, 2015 | 12 PM to 1 PM

This Peabody on the Court concert features violinist Alan Choo, whose playing has been described as “an intoxicating brew of poetry and dare-devilry.” Held on the Renaissance Sculpture Court, these free concerts are presented on select First Fridays in partnership with the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Violinist Alan Choo has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Symphony, the Singapore Festival and Chinese Orchestras, and the Baltimore Baroque Band. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore, and subsequently earned two Master of Music degrees at the Peabody Conservatory-one in Violin Performance and another in Early Music.

Drop-In Art Activities: Landscapes
Saturday, November 7 & Sunday, November 8 | 11 AM to 4 PM Saturday and Sunday

Explore landscapes, cityscapes, and seascapes! Paint places you wish to visit, create a city, and make a collage of the world around you.

Every weekend join us in our studios and create artful projects related to the collection and special exhibitions. Check out our monthly themes and visit often to participate in a different project each weekend. No registration required — drop in, make, and take a fantastic work of art home with you!

*November 7 & 8: Seaside Scenes
*November 14 & 15: Fantastical Cities
*November 21 & 22: On the Horizon
*November 28 & 29: Torn Paper Landscapes

Pearls on a String

Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts
Sunday, November 8, 2015 – Sunday, January 31, 2016

The first international loan exhibition of Islamic art to foreground stories about people, Pearls on a String emphasizes the role of human relationships in inspiring and sustaining artistic creativity. This exhibition comprises more than a hundred works in all media from a geographic area that spans the Bay of Bengal to the Mediterranean. The works on view date from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century: a period marked by the global movement of ideas and technologies and increased interaction among cultural and religious communities.

Pearls on a String pivots around three protagonists who embodied the spirit of their time and realized their patron’s ambitions through individual initiative and a network of personal relationships. In all three episodes, the patron confronts alternative literary and religious traditions along with new technologies and modes of artistic expression. Each protagonist offers his patron a creative means of incorporation and synthesis, embracing an ever-changing early modern world through the written word, painted image, and ingeniously engineered object.

The exhibition was organized by the Walters Art Museum in partnership with the Asian Art Museum, and will be on view at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco February 25 through the May 8, 2016.

The Pearls on a String exhibition and related programming have been generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating Fifty Years of Excellence; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Gary Vikan Exhibition Endowment Fund; Ellen and Edward Bernard; Douglas and Tsognie Hamilton; the Herb Silverman Fund; and anonymous donors.

Photo: Govardhan (attrib.), Abu al-Fazl Presenting the Akbarnama to Akbar, from the Akbarnama (detail), Mughal India, ca. 1600-1603. (C) The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (In 03.176b).

Until next month,

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

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