Letter V
Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
968 Entries

Classical performances in and around Richmond, with selected events elsewhere in Virginia and the Washington area. Program information, provided by presenters, is updated as details become available. Adult single-ticket prices are listed; senior, student/youth, group and other discounts may be offered.

SCOUTING REPORT

* In and around Richmond: Pianist Jonathan Biss and violinist Miriam Fried play sonatas of Mozart, Janácek, Brahms and Beethoven, Nov. 2 at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center. . . . The new-music sextet eighth blackbird and composers Joo Won Park and Annie Gosfield headline this year’s Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, Nov. 7-8 at UR’s Modlin Center. . . . Richard King, principal French horn player of the Cleveland Orchestra, joins Steven Smith and the Richmond Symphony in Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1, on a program also featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, Nov. 8 at Richmond CenterStage, while Tom Schneider, the symphony’s principal bassoonist, performs Peter Schickele’s Bassoon Concerto alongside works of Beethoven and David Diamond, Nov. 13 at Richmond CenterStage and Nov. 16 at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. . . . The St. Lawrence String Quartet performs in the next Rennolds Chamber Concerts program, Nov. 15 at the Singleton Arts Center of Virginia Commonwealth University. . . . Daniel Stipe opens this season’s Repertoire Recital Series of the Richmond chapter, American Guild of Organists, Nov. 18 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. . . . Virginia Opera’s production of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore” comes to Richmond CenterStage on Nov. 21 and 23, following three performances – Nov. 7, 9 and 11 – at Norfolk’s Harrison Opera House.

* Noteworthy elsewhere: Violinist Midori joins Washington’s National Symphony for the Schumann Violin Concerto, performed with symphonies of Mendelssohn and Mozart, Nov. 1 at the Kennedy Center in Washington and Nov. 2 at the Ferguson Arts Center of Christopher Newport University in Newport News. . . . Washington National Opera stages Puccini’s “La Bohème” in 13 performances between Nov. 1 and 15 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. . . . The Brentano String Quartet plays Mozart, Bartók and Schubert, Nov. 2 at Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg. . . . Pianist Yuja Wang plays Ravel with the China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Nov. 3 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Riccardo Chailly conducts the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, with guest violinist Nikolaj Znaider, in a program of Mendelssohn and Bruckner, Nov. 5 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard plays Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, Nov. 7 at the Library of Congress in Washington. . . . Richard Egarr leads Britain’s Academy of Ancient Music in the four orchestral suites of Bach, Nov. 8 at Strathmore in the Maryland suburbs of DC. . . . Jeff Midkiff introduces his Double Concerto for mandolin, violin and orchestra with the Roanoke Symphony, Nov. 9-10 at the Jefferson Center and Nov. 11 at Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center. . . . The Prazak Quartet plays an all-Czech program, Nov. 11 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. . . . Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Jirí Belohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic for a program of Janácek, Liszt and Dvorák, Nov. 14 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax. . . . Pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays the rarely heard Piano Concerto of Ferrucio Busoni with Rossen Milanov and the National Symphony, Nov. 20-22 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and her Mutter Virtuosi play Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and more, Nov. 23 at the Kennedy Center.


Nov. 1 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Mauro Correa, guitar
Susan Davis, flute
Sheri Oyan, saxophones 
Ivy Haga, bassoon
Roland Karnatz, clarinet
arrangements of works by Villa-Lobos, Tom Jobim, Pixinguinha, Luis Gonzaga, others
free
(804) 646-7223
www.richmondpubliclibrary.org

Nov. 1 (7 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
University Singers
UVa Chamber Singers 
Michael Slon directing 
Virginia Glee Club 
Frank Albinder directing 
Virginia Women’s Chorus 
KaeRenae Mitchell directing
works TBA by Eric Whitacre, Franz Biebl, others
$10
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 1 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 2 (2 p.m.)
Nov. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 8 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 9 (2 p.m.)
Nov. 10 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 12 (7:30 p.m.) 
Nov. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 15 (1:30 and 7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington
Washington National Opera
Philippe Auguin conducting
Puccini: “La Bohème”
Saimir Pirgu/Alexey Dolgov (Rodolfo)
Corrine Winters/Tatiana Monogarova (Mimi)
John Chest/Trevor Scheunemann (Marcello)
Alyson Cambridge/Leah Partridge (Musetta)
Joshua Bloom/Musa Ngqungwana (Colline)
Steven LaBrie/Christian Bowers (Schaunard)
Donato DiStefano (Benoit/Alcindoro)
Jo Davies, stage director
in Italian, English captions
$25-$310
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW, Washington
Windsbach Boys Choir
works TBA by Bach, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Schütz, others
$20-$30
(202) 347-2635
www.epiphanydc.org

Nov. 1 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 in D major (“Reformation”)
Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor
Midori, violin
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 1 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 2 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic & Chorale
Stan Engebretson conducting 
Mozart: “Ave verum corpus” 
Mozart: “Exsultate, jubilate”
Mozart: Requiem 
Danielle Talamantes, soprano
Magdalena Wór, mezzo-soprano
Robert Baker, tenor
Chistopheren Nomura, baritone
$28-$84
(301) 581-5800
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 2 (4 p.m.)
Hershey Arts Center, Collegiate School, 103 N. Mooreland Road, Richmond
Richmond Philharmonic
Peter Wilson, violin & conducting
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons”
Grofé: “Grand Canyon” Suite
$8 in advance, $10 at door (individual)
$16 in advance, $20 at door (family)
(804) 673-7400
www.richmondphilharmonic.org

Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Jonathan Biss, piano
Miriam Fried, violin
Brahms: Sonata in A major, Op. 100
Mozart: Sonata in E flat major, K. 302
Janácek: Violin Sonata
Beethoven: Sonata in G major, Op. 96
$36
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 2 (7 p.m.) 
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 in D major (“Reformation”)
Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor
Midori, violin
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)
$27-$87
(757) 594-8752 
www.fergusoncenter.org

Nov. 2 (2 p.m.)
Fife Theatre, Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
Brentano String Quartet
Mozart: Quartet in B flat major, K. 458 (“Hunt”)
Bartók: Quartet No. 3
Schubert: Quartet in D minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”)
$20-$45
(540) 231-5300 
www.artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 3 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Albemarle Ensemble
Debussy: “Petite Suite”
Robert Paterson: Wind Quintet
Lutoslawski: Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon
Poulenc: Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone 
Lowell Liebermann: “Fantasy on a Fugue by J.S. Bach,” Op. 27
$15
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 2 (4 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Scott Tucker directing
J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor
$15-$75
(800) 444-1324 
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra
Lü Jia conducting
Qigang: “Wu Xing” (“The Five Elements”) 
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Yuja Wang, piano
Dvorák: Symphony No. 8 in G major
$19-$75
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 4 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Quicksilver
“Early Moderns: 17th Century Italy and Germany”
works TBA by Neri, Bertali, Castello, Fontana, Weckmann, others
$15 
free master class at 3 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Avanti Orchestra of Friday Morning Music Club
Pablo Saelzer conducting
Schubert: “Overture in the Italian Style”
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
Somang Jeagal, piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major
free; tickets distributed before concert
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 5 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig
Riccardo Chailly conducting
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Nikolaj Znaider, violin
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7
$38-$105
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 6 (8 p.m.)
live-streamed from open grounds, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
TechnoSonics XV: Found Sound:
Joo Won Park, digital composer
other performers TBA 
works TBA 
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 6 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 7 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Haydn: Symphony No. 49 in F minor (“La passione”)
Prokofiev: Sinfonia concertante, Op. 125
Claudio Bohórquez, cello
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor
$10-$85 
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Vocal Arts DC:
Pretty Yende, soprano
pianist TBA 
songs and arias by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Debussy, Liszt, Meyerbeer, Giménez
$50
(800) 444-1324 
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 7 (2:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
eighth blackbird
Jane Rigler, Joo Won Park, Matt Grey, composer-performers
“Those We Hold Dear”
Matthew McCabe: work TBA
Heather Stebbins: “minim”
Joo Won Park: “Receding Hairline”
Andrew Smith: “Sustaining the Silence”
Cory Kaspryzk: work TBA 
Eric Lyon: “Spaced Images with Noise and Lines” 
Benjamin Broening: “Twilight Shift”
free
(804) 289-8980 
www.thirdpractice.org

Nov. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
eighth blackbird 
Jane Rigler, flute
Christopher Chandler: “Smoke and Mirrors”
Jacob TV: “Tatata”
Joo Won Park: “Receding Hairline”
Maurice Wright: “Soliloquies; echoes”
Eve Beglarian: “Well-Spent” 
Jane Rigler: “two seaming” 
Kyong Mee Choi: “Tender Spirit I”
free
(804) 289-8980
www.thirdpractice.org

Nov. 7 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk 
Nov. 9 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony 
JoAnn Falletta conducting 
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
Prisca Benoit, piano
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major
$25-$107 
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Nov. 7 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 9 (2:30 p.m.) 
Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting
Gilbert & Sullivan: “H.M.S. Pinafore”
Jake Gardner (Sir Joseph Porter)
Christopher Burchett (Captain Corcoran)
Cullen Gandy (Ralph Rackstraw) 
Matthew Scollin (Dick Deadeye)
Brian Mextorf (Bill Bobstay)
Keith Brown (Bob Becket) 
Shannon Jennings (Josephine)
Courtney Miller (Cousine Hebe)
Margaret Gawrysiak (Little Buttercup)
Nicola Bowie, stage director
in English, English captions
$19-$99
(866) 673-7282
www.vaopera.org

Nov. 7 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
TechnoSonics XV: Found Sound:
Annie Gosfield, piano & electronica 
Kojiro Umezaki, shakuchai
Garrett Mendelow, percussion
other performers TBA 
works TBA by Gosfield, Umezaki, Ted Coffey, Matthew Burtner, others
free
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Ébène Quartet
Haydn: Quartet in F minor, Op. 20, No. 5
Mendelssohn: Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
jazz selections TBA 
$32
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 7 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano 
J.S. Bach: “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” Book 1 (selections)
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat major, Op. 110 
Brahms: “Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel,” Op. 24
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
www.loc.gov/concerts

Nov. 8 (2:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
Duo Klang
Sarah Plum, violin
Adam Vidiksis, Christopher Trapani, Mark Snyder, composer-performers
other performers TBA
Tom Flaherty: “Airdancing”
Jeff Herriot: “after time: a resolution”
Adam Vidiksis: “Mitochondrial Dreams”
Thomas Cuifo: “Ujjayi”
Mark Snyder: “The Invalid’s Sonnet and Nostalgia”
Christopher Trapani: “ Really Coming Down”
free
(804) 289-8980
www.thirdpractice.org

Nov. 8 (7:30 p.m.) 
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond 
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival: 
Duo Klang
Sarah Plum, violin
Adam Vidiksis, Christopher Trapani, Mark Snyder, composer-performers
other performers TBA
Nina Young: “Kolokol”
Mikel Kuehn: “Rite of Passage”
Charles Nichols: “Il Preto Rosso”
Jane Rigler: “The Calling”
Elizabeth Hoffman: “frôTH”
Eric Moe: “The Sun Beats the Mountain Like a Drum”
free
(804) 289-8980
www.thirdpractice.org

Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Marta Ptaszynska: “Lumen”
Richard Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat major
Richard King, French horn
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX) 
www.richmondsymphony.com

Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Luke Frazier conducting
“I’ll Be Seeing You: a World War II Love Story”
works by Gershwin, Kern, Carmichael, Ellington, others, with readings of Frazier family letters written during World War II
$25-$60
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com) 
www.fairfaxsymphony.org

Nov. 8 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington 
Beatrice Rana, piano
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825
Chopin: Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
Scriabin: Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, Op. 19
Prokofiev: Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82
$38
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 
Academy of Ancient Music
Richard Egarr, harpsichord & director
J.S. Bach: Suites Nos. 1-4, BWV 1066-69 
$25-$55
(301) 581-5800
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 9 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Chamber Singers
Michael Slon directing
program TBA 
free
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 9 (3 p.m.)
Nov. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave. SW, Roanoke
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Bizet: “L’Arlesienne” – Farandole
Jeff Midkiff: Double Concerto for mandolin, violin and orchestra (premiere)
Jeff Midkiff, mandolin
Akemi Takayama, violin
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major (“Pastoral”)
$32-$52
(540) 343-9127
www.rso.com

Nov. 9 (7 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Jeffrey Siegel, piano
“Keyboard Conversations: Three Great Bs – Bach, Beethoven and Bartók”
J.S. Bach: chorale prelude TBA 
Beethoven: Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 78
Bartók: “Romanian Folk Dances”
other works TBA
$24-$40
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu

Nov. 11 (7 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra
Steven Smith conducting
“Side by Side”
De Falla: “The Three-Cornered Hat” Suite No. 2 
Stravinsky: “The Firebird” Suite
free
(804) 788-4717
www.richmondsymphony.com

Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Prazak Quartet
Jakub Jan Ryba: Quartet No. 2 in D minor
Janácek: Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”)
Smetana: Quartet No. 1 in E minor (“From My Life”)
$12-$33
(434) 924-3376
www.tecs.org

Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Hall, Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Bizet: “L’Arlesienne” – Farandole
Jeff Midkiff: Double Concerto for mandolin, violin and orchestra (premiere)
Jeff Midkiff, mandolin
Akemi Takayama, violin
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major (“Pastoral”)
$35-$55
(540) 231-5300
https://artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Orion Weiss, piano
Salzburg Marionettes
Schumann: “Papillons”
Schumann: “Blumenstück,” Op. 19
Schumann: Novelette, Op. 21, No. 8 
Debussy: “La boîte à joujoux” 
$45
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 12 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble
University Band
Terry Austin directing
program TBA
free
(804) 828-6776
www.vcu.edu/music

Nov. 13 (6:30 p.m.)
Gottwald Playhouse, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Nov. 16 (3 p.m.)
Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St., Ashland
Richmond Symphony 
Steven Smith conducting
David Diamond: “Rounds”
Peter Schickele: Bassoon Concerto
Tom Schneider, bassoon
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major
$20
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Nov. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
UR Wind Ensemble
David Niethamer directing
program TBA 
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 13 (8 p.m.)
Crosswalk Community Church, 7575 Richmond Road, Williamsburg
Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Regent University Theater, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony 
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Milhaud: “Le boeuf sur le toit”
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor
Sara Buechner, piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major
$23-$63
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Nov. 13 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Lera Auerbach: “Eterniday – Homage to W.A. Mozart” 
Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 314
Aaron Goldman, flute
Stravinsky: “Le Sacre du printemps” (“The Rite of Spring”)
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Christina & Michelle Naughton, piano duo
Brahms: “Variations on a Theme by Haydn”
Debussy: “En blanc et noir”
Lutoslawski: “Variations on a Theme of Paganini”
Stravinsky: “Le Sacre du printemps” (“The Rite of Spring”)
$32 
(800) 444-1324 
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 14 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Czech Philharmonic
Jirí Belohlávek conducting
Janácek: “Taras Bulba”
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)
$42-$70
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu

Nov. 14 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting & speaking
“Beyond the Score: Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre du printemps’ – Savage or Sacred?”
$10-$50
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 14 (8:15 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
“Off the Cuff: Shostakovich 5 – Notes for Stalin”
Didi Balle, playwright
Jared McLenigan, Richard Poe & Tony Tsendeas, actors
$32-$95
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
St. Lawrence String Quartet
program TBA
$34
(804) 828-6776
www.vcu.edu/music

Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Nov. 16 (3:30 p.m.)
Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Road
Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia
Kate Tamarkin conducting
Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385 (“Haffner”)
Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 4 in G major (“Mozartiana”)
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor
Gleb Ivanov, piano
$10-$45
(434) 924-3376 
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
American Festival Pops Orchestra
Anthony Maiello conducting
Norma Douglas Zimdahl, vocalist
“Lights, Camera, Action!”
works TBA from film, television, musical theater
$29-$48
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu

Nov. 16 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington 
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Esther Oh, soprano
Spohr: “Six German Songs”
Schubert: “The Shepherd on the Rock”
Schubert: “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”)
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (“Trout”)
$36
(800) 444-1324 
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 16 (5 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
The Washington Chorus & orchestra
Julian Wachner conducting
Beethoven: “Missa solemnis”
Julia Sophie Wagner, soprano
Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor
Morris Robinson, bass 
$15-$70 
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 16 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
Tchaikovsky: “Marche slave”
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor
Boris Gitburg, piano
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
$40-$99
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Grove Avenue at Three Chopt Road, Richmond
American Guild of Organists Repertoire Recital Series:
Daniel Stipe, organ
program TBA 
donation requested
(804) 288-2867
www.richmondago.org

Nov. 20 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 21 (8 p.m.) 
Nov. 22 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
National Symphony Orchestra
Rossen Milanov conducting
Stravinsky: “The Firebird” Suite
Busoni: Piano Concerto
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Washington Men’s Camerata
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 21 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 22 (7 p.m.)
Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Road
Richmond Symphony
conductor TBA
Robbin Thompson, Susan Greenbaum & Donna Meade, vocalists
“Richmond’s Finest”
program TBA
$35
(804) 261-2787
www.artsglenallen.com

Nov. 21 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 23 (2:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting
Gilbert & Sullivan: “H.M.S. Pinafore”
Jake Gardner (Sir Joseph Porter)
Christopher Burchett (Captain Corcoran)
Cullen Gandy (Ralph Rackstraw) 
Matthew Scollin (Dick Deadeye)
Brian Mextorf (Bill Bobstay)
Keith Brown (Bob Becket)
Shannon Jennings (Josephine)
Courtney Miller (Cousine Hebe)
Margaret Gawrysiak (Little Buttercup)
Nicola Bowie, stage director 
in English, English captions
$20.33-$105.93 
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.vaopera.org

Nov. 21 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
University Singers
Michael Slon directing
program TBA 
$15
(434) 924-3376 
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 21 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Ensemble Caprice
Matthias Maute & Sophie Larivière directing
“New World Baroque: Music from Latin America and Iberia” 
works TBA by De Murcia, Falconieri, Fernandes, Ortíz, De Araujo, Martín y Coll, DeSalazar, De Bailly, Zipoli 
free; tickets required 
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster) 
www.loc.gov/concerts

Nov. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 23 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Opera
conductor TBA
casts TBA
“Opera Scenes”
Mozart: “Cosí fan tutte,” “Don Giovanni”
Bizet: “Carmen”
Kurt Weill: “Street Scene”
Marc Blitzstein: “Regina”
Johann Strauss II: “Die Fledermaus”
Gilbert & Sullivan: “The Mikado”
free
(804) 828-6776
www.vcu.edu/music

Nov. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Hall, Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
Cantus
Theatre Latté Da
Peter Rothstein, Erick Lithke & Timothy C. Takach: “All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914”
$20-$45
(540) 231-5300
https://artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 22 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
Bernstein: “Chichester Psalms”
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Cathedral Choral Society
Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 (“Jeremiah”)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major
$40-$100
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 23 (6 p.m.) 
Siegel Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Broad and Harrison streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
community musicians
Keitaro Harada conducting
“Come and Play”
Grieg: “Peer Gynt” Suite No. 1 – “In the Hall of the Mountain King”
Johann Strauss II: “Thunder and Lightning Polka”
Vignieri: “An American Hymn”
Piazzolla-Harada: “Libertango”
Brahms-Parlow: Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”) – finale
Anderson: “Sleigh Ride”
free; $10 registration fee for performers
(804) 788-4717
www.richmondsymphony.com

Nov. 23 (3:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Baroque Orchestra
David Sariti, violin & director 
program TBA 
$10
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Nov. 23 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin & director 
Mutter Virtuosi
Sebastian Currier: “Ringtone Variations”
Mendelssohn: Octet
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons”
$35-$100
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 28 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 29 (8 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting
Sutton Foster, guest star
$20-$88
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 29 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Seraphic Fire
“Christmas Carols by Candlelight”
$30-$50
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu
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“Lorin Maazel: His Life and Music,” a retrospective on the eminent conductor from the Society for Ethical Culture in New York, will be streamed live on Oct. 31 on the website of the Castleton Festival, the event that Maazel and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, founded in 2009 at their estate in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

The conductor died in July, in the midst of the 2014 festival.

The online broadcast will begin at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time (1630 UTC/GMT) here:

http://www.castletonfestival.org/
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Oct. 27, Bon Air Presbyterian Church

In preparation for its 10th anniversary season, the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia polled its patrons on their favorite music. Music from Vienna topped the poll, so the society launched its new season with Viennese and related – sometimes rather distantly related – repertory.

I couldn’t make it to “Neo-Vienna,” an Oct. 25 program at the Richmond Public Library that sampled contemporary takes on Viennese tradition and style. The subsequent offering, “Austro-Hungarian Waltz,” proved to be a wide-ranging, at times thrilling, survey of Viennese classicism, romanticism and modernism, with a couple of echoes from contemporary composers.

The anchor of the program was Haydn’s Quartet in C major, Op. 76, No. 3, known as the “Emperor” from theme of its adagio, which became known in Haydn’s time as the “Emperor’s Hymn” and several generations later as “Deutschland über alles.” Violinists Guillaume Pirard and Nurit Pacht, violist Melissa Reardon and cellist James Wilson (artistic director of the society) played the quartet with extraordinary energy and dynamism. The music’s elegance remained intact, but in an interpretive context far different from that of “standard” 18th-century classical performance.

The difference was most pronounced in the opening allegro and concluding presto. These outer movements were played with headlong propulsiveness and slashing accents, vividly anticpating the energy and intensity levels of Beethoven. Haydn’s menuetto was treated to an earthy reading, underlining its roots in the Ländler, the Central European hill-country folk dance that was the ancestor of the minuet and waltz. Only the “Emperor” theme and variations fell short in this performance, played a bit too briskly and consequently sounding too glib.

The string players made a comparably striong impression in the allegro agitato movement of Brahms’ Quartet in B flat major, Op. 67, part of “Evolution of the Waltz,” a medley of dance works by Viennese composers works, from Mozart to Schoenberg. Schmidt gave a well-paced and detailed performance of Schoenberg’s “Six Short Pieces,” Op. 19, concluding the waltz medley. Despite his best efforts, it sounded quite anti-climactic after the surging Brahms quartet performance.

The four fiddlers, joined by pianist Carsten Schmidt and organist Stephen Henley, polished a neglected gem in Schoenberg’s arrangement of “Roses from the South,” one of the most sumptuous of the waltzes of Johann Strauss II.

Flutist Mary Boodell, Schmidt and the string foursome, led by Pirard, delved into another dance style popular in old Vienna, the gypsy dance, in a technically dazzling, rhetorically florid reading of Franz Doppler’s “Pastoral Fantasy in the Hungarian Style.”

The contemporary pieces were “Moz-art” (1978) by the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke, a broadly humorous, at times almost slapstick, send-up of Viennese classical style and compositional technique, played for maximum humor and display of technique by violinists Pacht and Pirard (the former also whistling); and “mozart-adagio” (1992) by Arvo Pärt, a piano-trio fantasy on the the adagio from Mozart’s Piano Sonata in F major, K. 280, that doesn’t so much gild Mozart’s lily as subject it to fun-house mirror distortions. Pirard, Wilson and Schmidt realized Pärt’s often rarified effects nicely and clearly echoed Mozart whenever they could.
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Spook-prep for the day before Halloween, including the rarely heard, extra hair-raising choral version of Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain.” 

Oct. 30
noon-2 p.m. EDT
1600-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Zelenka: Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor
Heinz Holliger & Maurice Bourgue, oboes; Klaus Thunemann, bassoon; Klaus Stoll, double-bass; Christiane Jaccottet, harpsichord (ECM)

Mussorgsky: “St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain”
Anatoli Kotcherga, bass-baritone
Berlin Radio Choir; South Tyrol Children’s Choir
Berlin Philharmonic/
Claudio Abbado
(Sony Classical)

Schubert: “Erlkönig”
(orchestration by Max Reger)
Thomas Quasthoff, baritone
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Claudio Abbado (Deutsche Grammophon)

Liszt: “Totentanz”
Jorge Bolet, piano
London Symphony Orchestra/Iván Fischer (Deutsche Grammophon)

J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
George Ritchie, organ (Raven)

Past Masters:
Tartini: Sonata in G minor (“The Devil’s Trill”)
David Oistrakh, violin; Vladimir Yampolsky, piano (EMI Classics)
(recorded 1956)

Dukas: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Jesús López-Cobos (Telarc)

Boccherini: Sinfonia in D minor, Op. 12, No. 4 (“La casa del diavolo”)
Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini (Naïve)
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Christopher Falzone, the Richmond-bred piano prodigy who became an internationally celebrated virtuoso, died on Oct. 21 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was 29.

Falzone, who grew up in the suburbs of Richmond, won the Young Musicians Foundation Competition when he was 8 years old, and the following year performed in a televised concert as the soloist in the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. He went on to win numerous honors and perform internationally.

Joanne Kong, the Richmond pianist who taught Falzone from the age of 4 until his late teen years, said, “He was one of the most remarkably gifted young pianists with whom I’ve worked. What was most striking to me was his ability to communicate with an audience, and his ability to get to the essence of the music. That’s something you can’t teach.”

After graduating from Monacan High School in Chesterfield County, Falzone enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his principal teachers were Leon Fleisher and Claude Frank. He graduated from Curtis in 2008. Fleisher said of Falzone, “[T]here is scarcely anything beyond his means and his musical awarenesses.”

In 2004, he was the recipient of a $15,000 Gilmore Young Artist Award. In 2009, he was a gold medalist in the fourth International Piano Competition in Memory of Emil Gilels at the Odessa National A. V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music in Ukraine and winner of the Martha Argerich Les Virtuoses du Future competition in Switzerland. In 2010, he won the Grand Prix International Piano Competition: XX-XXI Century in Orléans, France.

Falzone performed as a recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with many orchestras in the United States and Europe.

He appeared several times as a soloist with the Richmond Symphony, most recently in 2005, playing Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto (No. 26).

He also was a composer and arranger, notably of solo-piano versions of piano concertos and chamber works.

Here is a video, posted in 2013, of Christopher Falzone performing his solo transcription of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh0BALM_DZY

And a 2012 posting of his remarkable concert performance of Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata (in F minor, Op. 57):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8TMkeQVZZA

*  *  *

POSTSCRIPT (Oct. 28): There is a dismaying array of conflicting views circulating online regarding the circumstances leading to the death of Christopher Falzone. None strike me as pertinent, except to those who were close to him; and the discussion is taking a voyeuristic turn that does no service to his artistic legacy. He was a brilliant pianist with extraordinary musical sensibility. He died too soon. Enough said.
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The Richmond Symphony is one of 12 recipients in the latest round of $7,500 grants from the Music Alive program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, which finances one-week residencies by composers with small- and mid-market U.S. orchestras. The Richmond grant is for a residency by composer Laura Schwendinger in the 2015-16 season.

Schwendinger, a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, was the first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize. Her works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, soprano Dawn Upshaw, violinist Janine Jansen, cellist Matt Haimovitz, the JACK Quartet and other leading artists.

The composer’s Richmond residency will feature a performance of her “Waking Dream” (2009) for flute and chamber orchestra.
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Oct. 23
noon-2 p.m. EDT
1600-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Haydn: Symphony No. 93 in D major
Les Musiciens du Louvre, Grenoble/Marc Minkowski
(Naïve)

Ligeti: Quartet No. 1 (“Métamorphoses nocturnes”)
Hagen Quartet
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Berlioz: “Lélio” – “Fantasia on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ ”
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Michael Tilson Thomas
(RCA Victor)

Past Masters:
Mahler: Symphony No. 1
in D major
Czech Philharmonic/
Karel Ancerl
(Supraphon)
(recorded 1964)

Dvorák: “Silent Woods”
Alisa Weilerstein, cello;
Anna Polonsky, piano
(Decca)
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with soloists, Richmond Symphony Chorus
Steven Smith conducting
Oct. 18, Richmond CenterStage

Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony (No. 2) may be the most challenging work that Steven Smith has undertaken in his four years (and counting) as music director of the Richmond Symphony.

The piece is long, lasting about an hour and 20 minutes. Its big outer movements, veering between tempestuous and softly lyrical, at times otherworldly, passages, can seem episodic or internally disjointed. It is scored for a very large orchestra, with double or triple the standard complements of winds, brass and percussion, including several offstage ensembles, with chorus, organ and two vocal soloists in its conclusion.

So, the Mahler Second is an epic job of traffic control for the conductor. All the more so with an orchestra, like Richmond’s, that must bring in a large number of extra players to muster a band of this size, meaning that the conductor must meld an ensemble from musicians not used to playing together.

Moreover, this is not a piece that speaks fluently if you just play and sing the notes. It is more spiritually charged than many overtly religious works; and it requires deep immersion in Austro-German romantic style, especially the long arcs of phrasing and expression that are uniquely characteristic of this style.

In the first of two performances of the “Resurrection,” Smith showed a firm grasp of most of the demands this music makes. He paced the symphony unerringly, and with great sensitivity to its extraordinary dynamic range, from earth-shatteringly loud to a level of quiet that is almost sensed more than heard. He maintained fine balance between string sections not much larger than the orchestra’s usual complement and oversized wind and percussion sections. He obtained idiomatically Viennese waltz tempos in the second and third movements.

The only shortcoming was a slackening of tension in quiet sections, especially in the first movement, “Totenfeier,” a sprawling funeral march that, along the way, poses a query in tone: “Wherefore hast thou lived? Wherefore hast thou suffered? Is it all some great, fearful joke?” The questions are posed in lyrical music, but need to retain some audible edge.

The orchestra performed splendidly, both en masse and in solos and ensembles. An 11-member French horn section paced the band in expressive sonority. The percussion section, with two sets of timpani and plentifully employed bass drum and cymbals, was suitably emphatic but never coarsely loud. Lower strings sounded with impact and plenty of bite. English horn player Shawn Welk, oboist Gustav Highstein, flutist Mary Boodell, trombonist John Sipher and violinist Daisuke Yamamoto contributed characterful solos.

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Feinstein proved to be an ideal Mahler singer in “Urlicht,” the solo song preceding the symphony’s “Resurrection” finale, and blended beautifully with a richly sonorous soprano, Michelle Areyzaga, in that finale.

The Richmond Symphony Chorus, prepared by Erin R. Freeman, was in generally fine fettle but sounded distant, as it usually does when pushed to the back of the Carpenter Theatre stage and fronted by a large orchestra. The male choristers’ exclamatory passages, more than faintly echoing Wagner’s “Tannhäuser,” projected better than massed choral sections.

A performance of great concentration and gripping tonal drama was rewarded with a lengthy ovation.

The program repeats at 3 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets. Tickets: $10-$78. Details: (800) 514-3849 (ETIX); www.richmondsymphony.com
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Oct. 16
noon-2 p.m. EDT
1600-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

D.J. Sparr: “Woodlawn Drive”
New Music Raleigh (Centaur)

Bartók: “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez (Deutsche Grammophon)

Rachmaninoff: Étude-tableaux in B minor, Op. 39, No. 4; Élegie in E flat minor, Op. 3, No. 1; Étude-tableaux in E flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5
Yuja Wang, piano (Deutsche Grammophon)

Beethoven: “Leonore” Overture No. 1
Tonhalle Orchestra, Zürich/David Zinman (Arte Nova)

Past Masters:
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor
Berlin Philharmonic/
Eugen Jochum (Deutsche Grammophon)
(recorded 1953)

Domenico Scarlatti: sonatas in F minor, K. 386-387
Mikhail Pletnev, piano (Virgin Classics)
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Norman Lebrecht, on his Slipped Disc blog, invited readers to list the top 10 composers or works they never wanted to hear again and those they considered worthy of more exposure. I couldn’t resist joining in the fun.

Scroll down to comments for my and others’ honor rolls:

http://slippedisc.com/2014/10/10-works-or-composers-we-need-to-hear-more/

And my and others’ dishonor rolls:

http://slippedisc.com/2014/10/10-works-you-never-want-to-hear-again/

Begging the question, “Who cares if you listen?” (borrowing the title given a Milton Babbitt commentary on another issue)? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s useful to know the likes and dislikes of those of us who publicly assess musical performances.

As a reviewer, I try to take music as it comes, whatever it is – with one exception.

That would be No. 1 on my dishonor roll: Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony. I have heard it played by some of the greatest orchestras and conductors (starting with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, in concert in the 1960s), and I have always loathed it. So, when I retired from doing music journalism for money, I granted myself the privilege of never again having to endure the piece.

Is the “Pathétique” a masterpiece? Yes.

Should you trust any judgment I would make about a performance of it? No, and you won’t have occasion to.

UPDATE (Oct. 11): Conductor Leonard Slatkin weighs in:

http://slippedisc.com/2014/10/10-works-a-maestro-doesnt-need-to-conduct-again/
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