One of the interesting things about being a BSO musician is the opportunity to meet other musicians who work around the area for other musical groups and/or as faculty members for institutions like Peabody and Towson University. It is always refreshing to get to know musicians who may have other interests, talents and concerns from BSO musicians. Many of our "extra" and substitute musicians are incredibly talented; in many cases they play instruments like piano or saxophone, for which there are no permanent positions in the BSO. We BSO musicians often wind up performing chamber music and other gigs with them outside the BSO. (A current favorite among many of us is Lura Johnson, pianist extraordinaire.)
A few years ago a woman named Eva Mengelkoch called me: she was setting up a new chamber music series at the Cylburn Mansion, located in Cylburn Arboretum near Sinai Hospital in North Baltimore. After many phone calls, we were able to put together an inaugural concert for this new series, lining up Ken Goldstein and Karin Brown from the BSO, along with Karin's husband, Dan Levitov. Eva performed as the pianist in that concert.
Since then (this was approximately 5 or so years ago, I think) Eva's series has established itself. My quartet, the Atlantic String Quartet, has performed there many times. This coming week, on the evening of May 12, Rebecca Nichols, Karin Brown and Bo Li will join Eva for another concert. We will be playing the Franck Piano Quintet with Eva and Beethoven's String Quartet Opus 59, #1.
Eva is a versatile musician. Just a week and a half ago, she was the soloist in a Pro Musica Rara concert at Towson University's Fine Arts Center on the fortepiano for a Mozart Piano Concerto. She is a pleasure to work with; we are rehearsing again with her this week at Towson, where she is on the faculty.