MSO Brings Pianist Leon Fleisher and Soprano Brandie Sutton to Shore

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The culmination of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD, will occur in April on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. On Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD and on Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m. at the Convention Center in Ocean City, MD, the MSO will present, “Heavenly Music: Mahler and Leon Fleisher.”  The concerts will feature Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, performed by Leon Fleisher. The concert will conclude with Gustav Mahler’s heavenly Symphony No. 4.

Leon Fleisher began playing the piano at the age of 4 and gave his first recital at the age of 6. After winning the Queen Elizabeth competition in Belgium in 1952, he achieved international acclaim over the next decade and made many recordings, some considered “definitive.” In the mid 1960’s, however, Fleisher was stricken with a debilitating condition of his right hand which forced him to withdraw from public performance and concentrate on conducting. In 1970 he was appointed Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and in 1973 became Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

His condition was final diagnosed as focal distonia and eventually treated with Botox, with considerable relief. He was able to return to Carnegie Hall for a historic recital in 2003. His disc, “Two Hands,” was well received and extensively praised by the critics. In 2007, he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honors award and has continued his long association with many prestigious institutions, including the Tanglewood Music Center, Peabody Conservatory, the Curtis Institute and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada.

Hailed by The New York times for her “warm, ample voice” and “distinctive earthy coloring,” and by Opera News for her “sumptuous, mid-weight soprano,” Brandie Sutton began her professional career with a solo recital in the province of St. Maarten and many presentations of Handel’s Messiah around the United States. She later made her debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in a solo recital in Washington, DC, and her Manhattan recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall in Lincoln Center.

Sutton has toured and soloed with the internationally-acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey and with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the baton of Damien Sneed. Most recently, she was one of Aretha Franklin’s picks in her national competition to find the next opera star to sign to her label. Sutton believes that she was blessed with a gift from God. She continues to work hard to develop and perfect this gift and share it with the world.

The MSO will host two optional post-concert gourmet dinners after the April concerts. The dinner in Wye Mills, which will be served in the Atrium of the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College, is being created in the college’s teaching kitchen by Easton’s chef Erin O’Shea from Mason’s – Redux 2017. The dinner in Ocean City will be served at the Clarion Hotel. The cost for both dinners is in addition to the concert ticket price and reservations are required.

​The MSO, whose mission is “to enrich life in the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of live classical music,” is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc. Tickets to the concerts and post-concert dinners are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

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