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Pro Musicis' Robinson Makes Time For Giving

October 04, 1987|DANIEL CARIAGA

No one ever said the musical life wasn't complicated. But Sharon Robinson, the young veteran Pro Musicis cellist, has simplified things for herself.

She compartmentalizes. In a successful trio with her husband, violinist Jaime Laredo, and pianist Joseph Kalichstein, she tours "three or four times a year--each time for part of a month."

As part of the Laredo and Robinson duo, she devotes another block of time in each season to touring and performing. As soloist, both with Pro Musicis and on her own, Robinson also keeps busy. But she schedules vacations and at-home time as rigorously as she plans concerts, rehearsals and practice time.

"Though music is at the center of my life, I don't ever want to feel chained to the career," Robinson said last week from her home in Vermont, where she was coming to the end of her annual monthlong vacation. "I must have time for myself, for study, for reflection, for my garden."

That garden, not far from the town of Guilford (near Brattleboro), may be neglected in the next three months: Robinson and Laredo don't expect to get back to Vermont until Christmas. In a number of places they will appear together, playing Brahms (the Double Concerto), Rozsa (the Sinfonia Concertante, which they perform for the first times this season) or Richard Strauss ("Don Quixote," in which Laredo plays viola).

France, where she launches a first-ever Pro Musicis season in Paris, and Japan, where husband and wife participate in opening concerts at the new Pablo Casals Hall, are just two of their destinations. And in California, in April, the Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson trio will give world-premiere performances of a trio by Ellen Taafe Zwillich.

Wednesday night Robinson plays in Los Angeles, opening the 1987-88 season of Pro Musicis concerts at the County Museum of Art. Also under Pro Musicis auspices, she will play outside the musical community at the Union Rescue Mission downtown and in the AIDS children's ward at County-USC Medical Center.

"I asked for these assignments--to play for the homeless and for AIDS victims," Robinson says. "At this stage in my career, I feel it is important that I am giving more than I am taking. I don't want to get so greedy that I grab every engagement just because it's there."

A 12-year Pro Musicis artist, Robinson believes that the international organization begun by Father Eugene Merlet has the right idea about putting music into all parts of the community as well as into the concert hall.

"The kind of uplift I get every single time I play in a hospital, a prison or a nursing home is something that happens very seldom on the concert stage," she claims.

Assisted by her longtime pianistic partner, Margo Garrett, Robinson will play sonatas by Rachmaninoff and Debussy, suites by Rorem and Leonard Bernstein and shorter pieces by Marcello and Chopin at her Bing Theater recital, Wednesday at 8 p.m.

OTHER OPENINGS: A 23rd season at San Diego Opera opens Saturday, in Civic Theatre, when the company presents the first of four performances of Verdi's "Rigoletto," conducted by Edoardo Muller and staged by Robert Tannenbaum. The title role will be sung by John Rawnsley, in his San Diego debut; Hei-Kyung Hong will be Gilda; Diego d'Auria, the Duke of Mantua. Among the remaining cast members will be Jefferey Wells (Sparafucile) and Carlos Chausson (Monterone). Subsequent performances are scheduled Oct. 13, 16 and 18.

The Los Angeles Master Chorale begins its season this year not in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion but in a church in Newport Beach. Two Nakamichi concerts, featuring reduced forces of the Chorale and its Sinfonia Orchestra, will be given, Friday at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach and Saturday at the Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo. At these two concerts, to be conducted by music director John Currie, Bach's B-minor Mass will be sung by a 30-member chorus. Subsequent Nakamichi concerts are scheduled, in the same places, Jan. 15-16, Feb. 12-13 and April 29-30. The Chorale's Music Center season opens Nov. 7.

A 28th season for the Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society opens Monday night in Laguna Beach High School Auditorium with an appearance by the Westwood Wind Quintet, also 28 years old this year. The quintet's program of 20th-Century music includes works by Luciano Berio, Carl Nielsen, Samuel Barber and Ingolf Dahl. Subsequent series concerts will be given by five international string quartets: the Guarneri (Nov. 9), the Emerson (Feb. 21), the Hagen (March 22), the Takacs (April 11) and the Colorado (April 27).

And, finally, the Master Chorale of Orange County opens its new season Saturday night at 8 in Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center with a mini-festival devoted to music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Conducted by music director Maurice Allard, the choir will offer excerpts from "Cats," "Evita," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Jesus Christ Superstar," and a complete performance of "The Requiem," complete with staging and dancing.

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