BSO Family Concert Brings Live Illustration, Narration and Orchestration to Babar the Elephant, April 21

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In a concert including live illustrations and narration, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra invites families to experience French author Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant in a whole new way on Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

In a concert including live illustrations and narration, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra invites families to experience French author Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant in a whole new way on Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. As part of BSO’s Family Concert series, this concert will feature the talents of conductor Cristian Macelaru, award-winning cartoonist Angie Jordan and beloved narrator Rheda Becker. While Ms. Jordan illustrates the story live onstage, the BSO will perform lively, lighthearted music by French composer Francis Poulenc. Orchestral instruments will reveal the many different characters found in Babar’s journeys as he strives to do what is best for every creature in the animal kingdom. Children age five and up are welcome to attend. Please see below for complete program details.

Cristian Macelaru, conductor
Cristian Macelaru has established an exciting and highly regarded presence through his thoughtful interpretations, poise and energetic conviction on the podium. He began his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2010-2011 season and was then named Assistant Conductor last fall. This season, Mr. Macelaru also conducts the Baltimore, Houston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.

During the 2010-11 season, Mr. Macelaru made his debut conducting the Houston Grand Opera in performances of Madama Butterfly. Previous seasons have also seen him with the Pittsburgh and San Diego Symphony Orchestras, Banatul Philharmonic, DaCamera of Houston, Syzygy ensemble, Oberlin Orchestra and at the Sarasota Music Festival. With a passion for diverse repertoire, Mr. Macelaru led the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in the US premiere of Colin Matthews’ Turning Point in 2010, as part of the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.

An accomplished violinist from an early age, Mr. Macelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons. Formerly, he held the position of Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he was Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Larry Rachleff and Conductor for the Opera Department.

Mr. Macelaru has participated in the prestigious conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, and completed his main studies at Rice University under the tutelage of Larry Rachleff.

Rheda Becker, narrator
Rheda Becker made her debut in 1974 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has since appeared with the Orchestra frequently as narrator in works by Britten, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Schuller, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. In addition to guest performances with symphony orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Becker has performed with chamber ensembles at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Boston’s Gardner Museum, the Library of Congress and the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. She was the narrator in world premieres by the composers Ernst Krenek, Earl Kim, Robert Hall Lewis and Jonathan Holland.

She has been a frequent guest soloist at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Performances have included the role of Joan in Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, Walton’s Façade, Hindemith’s Herodiade, Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis, Krenek’s They Knew What They Wanted and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish.” She has also served on the faculty of the conservatory. Ms. Becker is recorded on the BIS label with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, performing a narrated version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Act II.

Angie Jordan
A multi-award winning artist and author, Angie Jordan is one of the world’s first digital artists. She creates innovative digital caricatures as the world's first iPad caricaturist.

Ms. Jordan’s two books are sold worldwide to artists wanting to learn her tricks of the trade. She recently taught hundreds of artists about iPad caricatures at her packed seminar at the 2011 International Society of Caricature Artists Convention. Ms. Jordan also brings her live digital caricature presentations to many schools and colleges.

A graduate of Kutztown University, Ms. Jordan has won many awards and has published her art in magazines, newspapers and military brochures. She has been featured on television and radio performing her cartoons and caricatures. She has also made appearances across the nation drawing at private parties, trade shows, conventions and special events and working with companies including Google, Coca Cola, Citrix and more.

BSO Family Concert: Babar the Elephant
Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 11 a.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Cristian Macelaru, conductor
Rheda Becker, narrator
Angie Jordan, cartoonist

Rimsky-Korsakov: “Flight of the Bumble Bee” from Tsar Sultan
Saint-Saëns: “Elephant” and “Royal March of the Lion” from Carnival of the Animals
Poulenc: Babar

Tickets range from $12 to $20 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or

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Alyssa Porambo
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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