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Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
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A New Zealand fur seal seems to be settling in on the waterside VIP steps of the Sydney Opera House in Australia. The male seal, which is thought to be 3 or 4 years old, has been dividing its time between sunning itself at the opera house and going for swims in the Sydney harbor.

Tourists, naturally, are delighted.

Nonee Walsh of the Australian Broadcasting Company quotes a wildlife officer as saying that the visitor apparently “has found other seals that it can associate with” and predicts that it “will remember how comfortable it was [at the opera house] and it will probably come back every year” . . .

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-02/seal-suns-itself-on-steps-of-sydney-opera-house-vip-steps/5785810

(via www.slippedisc.com)
21 days ago | |
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Steven Smith conducting
Oct. 1, Richmond CenterStage

To launch this season’s chamber-orchestra concerts, Richmond Symphony Music Director Steven Smith pairs two works from 18th-century classicism, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 in C major (“Linz”) and the Overture Domenico Cimarosa’s opera “Il matrimonio segreto” (“The Secret Marriage”), with two prime examples of 20th-century neoclassicism, Stravinsky’s Concerto in E flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”) and the “Trittico botticelliano” (“Botticelli Triptych”) of Respighi.

At an invitational reception and performance, I heard a generous sampling of the program, which will be reprised in several guises in coming days.

As Smith observed, Cimarosa’s overture is closely related in style and content to music of Mozart, his contemporary; several elements of the overture, in fact, sound to have been “borrowed” from Mozart’s operas. Both the overture and symphony received stylish, propulsive performances, enhanced by finely detailed string and wind playing.

Stravinsky’s debts to old classical style are audible in “Dumbarton Oaks,” but the piece is unmistakably modern in its harmonic language, even more so in its rhythms. Played by a small string and wind contingent, its transparent scoring and rhythmic language, clearly indebted to swing-era jazz, were especially evident, and quite infectious.

“Trittico botticelliano” is arguably Respighi’s most brilliant small-scaled orchestration, with enchanting nature effects and unusually (for this composer) pastel-shaded colorations. Smith and the orchestra gave a technically impressive and affectionate account of the score.

The Richmond Symphony will play excerpts of these works in the first Rush Hour Concert of the season, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Gottwald Playhouse of Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets; and will perform the program in full in the Metro Collection season-opener, 3 p.m. Oct. 5 in Blackwell Auditorium of Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St. in Ashland. Tickets: $20. Details: (800) 514-3849 (ETIX); www.richmondsymphony.com
22 days ago | |
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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: Steven Smith conducts the Richmond Symphony in the first of the season’s Rush Hour and Metro Collection chamber-orchestra concerts, including music of Mozart, Stravinsky, Respighi and Cimarosa, Oct. 2 at Richmond CenterStage and Oct. 5 at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland; and the opening of the Masterworks series, Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony (No. 2) with soloists and the Richmond Symphony Chorus, Oct. 18-19 at Richmond CenterStage. . . . Virginia Opera presents its season-opening production, Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Oct. 3 and 5 at Richmond CenterStage (also Oct. 11-12 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax). . . . Small Trunk Opera stages a free performance of Arthur Sullivan’s first comedy, “Cox and Box,” Oct. 4 in the Gellman Room of the Richmond Public Library. . . . The Russian men’s chorus Lyra performs on Oct. 12 at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bon Air. . . . The Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia opens its 2014-season with two programs of Viennese and Viennese-inspired music, a free concert on Oct. 25 in the Richmond Public Library’s Gellman Room and a ticketed concert on Oct. 27 at Bon Air Presbyterian Church. . . . The New York Brass Arts Trio performs in a Rennolds Chamber Concerts program, Oct. 25 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Singleton Arts Center.

* Noteworthy elsewhere: Soprano Elizabeth Futral sings Barber’s “Knoxville, Summer of 1915” with the Roanoke Symphony, Oct. 5 at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. . . . Opera Lafayette presents the first U.S. staging of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera-ballet “Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour, ou Les Dieux d’Égypte” (“The Celebrations of Marriage and Love, or the Gods of Egypt”), Oct. 6 at the Kennedy Center in Washington. . . . David Zinman conducts Washington’s National Symphony in Schoenberg, Richard Strauss and, with pianist Angela Hewitt, Mozart, Oct. 9-11 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Pianist Simone Dinnerstein plays Schumann, Bach and Schubert, Oct. 10 at The Barns at Wolf Trap in Northern Virginia. . . . Pianist Jon Nakamatsu joins the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet for a Tuesday Evening Concerts program of Mozart, Hindemith and Thuille, Oct. 14 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. . . . Violinist Cho-Liang Lin performs and leads the Virginia Symphony in an all-Mozart program, Oct. 17-19 at venues in Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. . . . St. Lawrence String Quartet and pianist Pedja Muzijevic play works of Beethoven, Korngold and Amy Beach, Oct. 24 at the Library of Congress in DC. . . . Violinist Midori joins Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony in a program of Schumann, Mendelssohn and Mozart, Oct. 30 (also Nov. 1) at the Kennedy Center.

Oct. 1 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Terry Austin directing
program TBA
$7
(804) 828-6776
www.arts.vcu.edu/music

Oct. 1 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Oct. 2 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Symphony Pops
Benjamin Rous conducting
Spectrum, guest stars
“A Night in Motown”
$25-$93
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 1 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 2 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 4 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Halls conducting
Poulenc: Organ Concerto in G minor
J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
Paul Jacobs, organ
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 in B flat major (“Lobegesang”)
Tamara Wilson & Twyla Robinson, sopranos
Paul Appleby, tenor
The Washington Chorus
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 2 (6:30 p.m.)
Gottwald Playhouse, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Oct. 5 (3 p.m.)
Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St., Ashland
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Cimarosa: “Il matrimonio segreto” Overture
Stravinsky: Concerto in E flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”)
Respighi: “Trittico botticelliano”
Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425 (“Linz”)
$20
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 3 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 5 (2:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting
Stephen Sondheim: “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Stephen Powell (Sweeney Todd)
Phyllis Pancella (Mrs. Lovett)
André Chiang (Anthony Hope)
Amanda Opuszynski (Johanna)
Jake Gardner (Judge Turpin)
Diana DiMarzio (beggar woman)
Javier Abreu (Pirelli)
Scott Ramsey (Beadle)
David Blalock (Tobias)
Adrian Smith (Jonas Fogg)
Brian Mextorf (bird keeper)
Ron Daniels, stage director
in English, English captions
$15.25-$103.95
(866) 673-6782
www.vaopera.org

Oct. 5 (3 p.m.)
Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre, Orange Avenue at Williamson Road
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Beethoven: “Egmont” Overture
Barber: “Knoxville, Summer of 1915”
Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Elizabeth Futral, soprano
$32-$52
(540) 343-9127
www.rso.com

Oct. 4 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Small Trunk Opera
Arthur Sullivan: “Cox and Box”
cast TBA
in English
free
(804) 646-7223
www.richmondpubliclibrary.org

Oct. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Opera Lafayette
Ryan Brown conducting
Rameau: “Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour, ou Les Dieux d’Égypte” (“The Celebrations of Marriage and Love, or the Gods of Egypt”)
Calire Debono (Orthésie, Ori)
Jeffrey Thompson (Osiris, Aruéris)
Ingrid Perruche (Mirrine, Memphis)
François Lis (Canope, un Égyptien)
Aaron Sheehan (le Plaisir, Agéris, un Berger égyptien)
Kelly Ballou (l’Amour, une Égyptienne)
Laetitia Spitzer Grimaldi (l’Hymen, une Bergère égyptienne)
William Sharp (le Grand Prêtre, un Égyptien)
Kyle Bielfield (un Berger égyptien)
Catherine Turocy, Anuradha Nehru & Seán Curran, choreographers
in French, English captions
$20-$95
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Myssyk conducting
program TBA
$7 in advance, $10 day of event
(804) 828-6776
www.arts.vcu.edu/music

Oct. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Dover Quartet
Glazunov: “Five Novelettes,” Op. 15
Mozart: Quartet in D major, K. 499 (“Hoffmeister”)
Schubert: Quartet in A minor, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”)
$32
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Belgrade Philharmonic
Muhai Tang conducting
Khachaturian: “Masquerade” Suite
Stevan Hristic: “The Legend of Ohrid”
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major
$15-$55
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Oct. 9 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 10 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 11 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
David Zinman conducting
Schoenberg: “Five Pieces for Orchestra,” Op. 16
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K. 482
Angela Hewitt, piano
Richard Strauss: “Also sprach Zarathustra”
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Ray Chen, violin
Julio Elizalde, piano
Mozart: Violin Sonata in A major, K. 305
Sarasate: “Habanera,” “Playera,” “Zigeunerweisen”
Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”)
$25
(202) 985-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Oct. 9 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Pops
Jack Everly conducting
Christina Bianco & Ted Keegan, vocalists
“Broadway Standing Ovations”
$45-$115
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Oct. 10 (7 p.m.)
Hanover Arts & Activities Center, 500 Center St., Ashland
Hanover Concert Band
Karla Bloom directing
Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale
David Sinden directing
pops concert marking 25th anniversary of band
program TBA
donations accepted
(804) 789-0536
www.hanoverconcertband.org

Oct. 10 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Jae Sinnett Trio
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
works by Sinnett, others TBA
$22-$57
(757) 594-8752
www.fergusoncenter.org

Oct. 10 (8 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, Trap Road, Vienna
Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Schumann: “Kinderszenen”
J.S. Bach: “French Suite” No. 5 in G major, BWV 816
Schubert: Sonata in B flat major, D. 960
$40
(877) 965-3872 (Tickets.com)
www.wolftrap.org

Oct. 11 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 12 (2 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting
Stephen Sondheim: “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Stephen Powell (Sweeney Todd)
Phyllis Pancella (Mrs. Lovett)
André Chiang (Anthony Hope)
Amanda Opuszynski (Johanna)
Jake Gardner (Judge Turpin)
Diana DiMarzio (beggar woman)
Javier Abreu (Pirelli)
Scott Ramsey (Beadle)
David Blalock (Tobias)
Adrian Smith (Jonas Fogg)
Brian Mextorf (bird keeper)
Ron Daniels, stage director
in English, English captions
$44-$98
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.vaopera.org

Oct. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Pan-American Symphony Orchestra
Sergio Alessandro Buslje conducting
“The Soul of Tango”
Piazzolla: works TBA
Emilio Teubal: piano improvisations
$40-$50
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Christ the King Lutheran Church, 9800 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Lyra
Russian Orthodox chants and folk songs TBA
donation requested
(804) 272-2995
wsww.ctkrva.org

Oct. 12 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Debussy: Sonata for flute, viola, and harp
Ives: Piano Trio
Saint-Saëns: Fantasie, Op. 124, for violin and harp
Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major, Op. 70, No. 1 (“Ghost”)
$36
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 14 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Jon Nakamatsu, piano
Mozart-Hasel: Fantasy for mechanical organ, K. 608
Mozart: Quintet in E flat major, K. 452, for piano and winds
Hindemith: “Kleine Kammermusik,” Op. 24, No. 2
Thuille: Sextet in B flat major, Op. 6, for piano and winds
$12-$33
(434) 924-3376
www.tecs.org

Oct. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Young Concert Artists Series:
Yun-Chin Zhou, piano
Haydn: Sonata in E flat major, Hob. XVI:49
Liszt: “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude”
Ravel: “La Valse”
Trenet-Weissenberg: “Six Songs”
Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36
$35
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Danish String Quartet
Mendelssohn: Capriccio in E minor, Op. 81, No. 3
Shostakovich: Quartet No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 117
Beethoven: Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131
$35
(202) 985-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Oct. 15 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Jeremy Filsell, organ
Jongen: “Sonata Eroica,” Op. 94
Dupré: “Évocation (poème symphonique),” Op. 37
Hampton: “Everyone Dance”
Rachmaninoff-Fuilsell: Symphonic Dances
$15
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 17 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Oct. 18 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Oct. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
Cho-Liang Lin, violin & director
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K. 218
Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
$25-$107
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 18 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 19 (3 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”)
Michelle Areyzaga, soprano
Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing
$10-$78
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 18 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 19 (2:30 p.m.)
American Theatre, 125 E. Mellen St., Hampton
Hampton Roads Philharmonic
Peter Brindle conducting
program TBA
$20
(757) 722-2787
www.hamptonarts.net

Oct. 18 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 19 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Mendelssohn: “A Midsuumer Night’s Dream” Overture
Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Chee-Yun, violin
Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)
$28-$84
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Oct. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Vocal Arts DC:
Matthew Rose, bass
Vlad Iftinca, piano
Purcell-Britten: “Job’s Curse,” “Let the Dreadful Engines of Eternal Will”
Loewe: “Archibald Douglas”
Schubert: “Schwanengesang”
$50
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 20 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Chamber Music Series:
Ayn Balija, viola
Rob Patterson, clarinet
Shelby Sender, piano
Prokofiev: “Scenes from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ”
Mozart: Trio in E flat major, K. 498 (“Kegelstatt”)
Brahms: Sonata in E flat major, Op. 102, No. 2
$15
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Oct. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
American Theatre, 125 E. Mellen St., Hampton
Habaneros Quintet
Cuban and Latin-American works TBA
$25-$30
(757) 722-2787
www.hamptonarts.net

Oct. 23 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 24 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 25 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
John Mauceri conducting
“Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton”
$20-$88
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Oct. 24 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU BrassFest:
Nautilus Brass Quintet
program TBA
free
(804) 828-6776
www.arts.vcu.edu/music

Oct. 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra
Peter Wilson conducting
Kevin Bennear, baritone
“Symphonic Masquerade, an Evening of Suspense and Romance”
Johann Strauss II: “Die Fledermaus” Overture
Broadway selections TBA
$30-$75
(434) 979-1333
www.theparamount.net

Oct. 24 (8 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, Trap Road, Vienna
Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano
Kim Pensinger Witman, piano
songs by Brahms, Ives, Rachmaninoff, Lee Hoiby
$35
(877) 965-3872 (Tickets.com)
www.wolftrap.org

Oct. 24 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Pedja Muzijevic, piano
Beethoven: Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Amy Beach: Piano Quintet in F sharp minor, Op. 67
Korngold: Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 34
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
www.loc.gov/concerts

Oct. 24 (8:15 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
BSO Off the Cuff:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting & speaking
Richard Strauss: “Ein Heldenleben”
$32-$95
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Oct. 25 (11 a.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony LolliPops
Kaitaro Harada conducting
“Beethoven Lives Upstairs”
$10-$12
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 25 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Nurit Pacht & Guillaume Pirard, violins
Melissa Reardon, viola
James Wilson, cello
Mary Boodell, flute
Carsten Schmidt, piano
“Neo-Vienna”
Onate Narbutaite: “Winter Serenade”
Arvo Pärt: “Mozart Adagio”
Alfred Schnittke: “Mozart à la Haydn”
Matthew Burtner: “(dis)integrations”
Judith Shatin: “Fledermaus Fantasy”
free
(804) 519-2098
www.cmscva.org

Oct. 25 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
New York Brass Arts Trio
program TBA
$34
(804) 828-6776
www.arts.vcu.edu/music

Oct. 25 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Richmond Ballet
Virginia Symphony & Virginia Symphony Chorus
conductor TBA
soloists TBA
Orff: “Carmina Burana”
$30-$107
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 25 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 26 (2 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman conducting
Copland: “Quiet City”
Stravinsky: Concerto in E flat major (“Dumbarton Oaks”)
Copland: “Appalachian Spring”
Stravinsky: suites Nos. 1 and 2 for small orchestra
$25-$60
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.fairfaxsymphony.org

Oct. 26 (3 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
UR Schola Cantorum & Women’s Chorale
Jeffrey Riehl & David Pedersen directing
program TBA
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Oct. 26 (4 p.m.)
Theatre House, Castleton Farms, 664 Castleton View Road, Rappahannock County
Stefano Greco, piano
wind ensemble
J.S. Bach: “Goldberg Variations” for piano and in wind-ensemble arrangement by John R. Bourgeois
$20-$40
(866) 974-0767
www.castletonfestival.org

Oct. 26 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
Christopher Rouse: “Rapture”
Scriabin: “Poem of Ecstasy”
Richard Strauss: “Ein Heldenleben”
$32-$95
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Oct. 26 (4 p.m.)
Mansion at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Anthony McGill, clarinet
Christopher Shih, piano
program TBA
$32
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Oct. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Nurit Pacht & Guillaume Pirard, violins
Melissa Reardon, viola
James Wilson, cello
Mary Boodell, flute
Carsten Schmidt, piano
Stephen Henley, organ
“Austro-Hungarian Waltz”
Johann Strauss II-Schoenberg: “Roses from the South”
Haydn: Quartet in C major, Op. 76, No. 3 (“Emperor”)
Korngold: Waltz for piano
Webern: Piece for string trio
Dohnányi: Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1
$25
(804) 519-2098
www.cmscva.org

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 8 N. Laurel St., Richmond
Richmond chapter, American Guild of Organists:
Grant Hellmers, Beth Melcher, Charles Lindsey, Beth Melcher Davis, Larry Heath, John DeMajo & Cheryl Van Ornam, organ
“Organ Spooktacular”
works by J.S. Bach, Howells, Langlais, Anderson, Mancini, others
donation accepted
(804) 359-5268
www.richmondago.org

Oct. 28 (8 p.m.)
Williamsburg Library Theatre, 515 Scotland St.
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg:
Horszowski Piano Trio
Haydn: Piano Trio in C major, Hob. XV:27
John Harbison: Piano Trio No. 2 (“Short Stories”)
Schumann: Piano Trio in F major, Op. 80
$15
(757) 229-0385
www.chambermusicwilliamsburg.org

Oct. 29 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Vox Luminus
Lionel Meunier directing
anon. (12th cen.): “Lamentation de la Vierge au Croix”
Monteverdi: “Vorrei Baciarto, o Fili,” “Alcun non mi consigli,” “Lamento della ninfa”
Della Ciaia: “Lamentatio Virginis in Depositione Filii de Cruce”
D. Scarlatti: “Stabat Mater à 10”
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
www.loc.gov/concerts

Oct. 30 (7 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

Oct. 30 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Ensemble Del Niente
George Lewis: new work TBA (premiere)
Lewis: “Assemblage”
Georg Friedrich Haas: “in vain”
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
www.loc.gov/concerts

Oct. 30 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Hannu Lintu conducting
Beethoven: “Leonore” Overture No. 3
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1
Conrad Tao, piano
Andrew Balio, trumpet
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major
$32-$95
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org
23 days ago | |
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Remembering Christopher Hogwood, the British harpsichordist, conductor and musicologist who died on Sept. 24. His recordings of Mozart and Haydn with the Academy of Ancient Music in the 1970s and ’80s ushered the period-instruments, historically informed performance movement beyond the Renaissance and baroque into the classical period. We’ll also hear Hogwood leading the two modern-instruments ensembles with which he was most closely associated: the Basel Chamber Orchestra in Stravinsky and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Martinu.

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

Handel: “Messiah” – “The trumpet shall sound”
David Thomas, bass; Michael Laird, trumpet
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood (L’Oiseau Lyre)

Stravinsky: “Pulcinella” Suite
Basel Chamber Orchestra/Christopher Hogwood (Arte Nova)

Haydn: Symphony No. 94 in G major (“Surprise”)
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood (L’Oiseau Lyre)

Martinu: Sinfonietta (“La Jolla”)
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra/Christopher Hogwood (London)

Mozart: Mass in C major, K. 317 (“Coronation”)
with “Epistle” Sonata in C major, K. 278
Emma Kirkby, soprano; Catherine Robbin, contralto; John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Michael George, bass
Winchester Cathedral Choir; Winchester College Quiristers
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
(L’Oiseau Lyre)

Mozart: Adagio in E major, K. 261
Simon Standage, violin
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood (L’Oiseau Lyre)
24 days ago | |
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Alexander Paley & Pei-Wen Chen, piano
Rebecca Zimmerman, cello
Charles West, clarinet
Sept. 27-28, St. Luke Lutheran Church

This year’s Paley Music Festival concluded with another near-marathon performance, this time of Beethoven and Brahms: two sonatas for cello and piano and two trios for clarinet, cello and piano – altogether, nearly three hours of music. As with the opening-night concert, a near-capacity audience turned out, but with a good deal of attrition during intermission.

The Richmond-bred cellist Rebecca Zimmerman, now based in Chicago, joined clarinetist Charles West and Paley in the Sept. 28 finale. Zimmerman’s instrument, which has rich bass tone but much less presence in its high register, was not ideally combined with the bright-sounding Cristofori piano that Paley played. The cellist also proved to be less assertive a player than Paley (not many performers match him on that score).

In Beethoven’s Sonata in A major, Op. 69, and Brahms’ Sonata in F major, Op. 99, their most complementary work came in the slow movements, especially the adagio cantabile of the Beethoven, in which both Zimmerman and Paley captured the music’s wistful lyricism. Their treatment of the Brahms adagio, while lyrical and nuanced, did not quite live up to the composer’s modifier, affettuoso.

Zimmerman’s full-bodied bass lines enhanced both Beethoven’s Trio in E flat major, Op. 38, and Brahms’ Trio in A minor, Op. 114. West’s technique was faultless in both works; his slightly reticent expressiveness in the Brahms suited this music’s unique character – intimate and soulful, but at a certain emotional distance. Paley moderated his projection nicely in the Brahms trio.

The threesome played with liveliness and engagement in the Beethoven, a six-movement work that is a hybrid of the classical-period serenade and the weightier but more concise chamber works for which this composer is better-known.

The program of Sept. 27 was given over entirely to Arnold Schoenberg’s piano-four hands transcription of the overture and key arias and ensembles from Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville,” played by Paley and his spouse, Pei-Wen Chen.

Most four-hands scores of the 19th and early 20th centuries (this one dates from 1903) were made for amateur pianists to play at home. It’s hard to imagine this one appealing to that clientele. Most of it requires not just professional, but virtuosic, technical ability, and it’s so speedy and note-heavy that two players at the same keyboard seem to risk elbowing each other to the point of bruising. (Four-hands piano as rugby – another novel idea from Schoenberg?)

A larger problem, from a public-performance standpoint, is that most of the tunes are played in the high register, with just a few melody lines in ensemble numbers given to the lower keys. So it’s as if the opera is sung almost entirely by sopranos and mezzos. And, of course, without words.

The no-words issue was only partially addressed by a synopsis printed in the program book and brief summaries of the action spoken between numbers by Paley.

The festival’s first season at St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church was successful in drawing crowds (mid-point attrition notwithstanding), also in showcasing the church sanctuary’s excellent acoustic, which I find comparable to that of Camp Concert Hall at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center. String players, especially, should take note of a fine venue that has not been widely used to date.
25 days ago | |
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Alexander Paley, piano
Sept. 26, St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church

In concert, Alexander Paley sometimes brings to mind some unstoppable natural phenomenon – a tsunami, maybe. Fortunately, there are no known cases of people unfiguratively being swept away and drowned by music.

The only potential casualty of Paley’s performances of two long keyboard suites by Jean-Philippe Rameau and the 24 études of the Op. 10 and Op. 25 sets by Frédéric Chopin would have been the pianist himself. Paley came out of it apparently unscathed; after nearly three hours of high-intensity performing, he was soon back at the keyboard for an impromptu coaching session with some of the young piano students invited to sit in the front pews for the second half of the concert.

Opening night of the 17th annual Paley Festival was the most intimate session of music-making since the first festival was staged in a downtown Richmond bookstore. In the sanctuary of St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, most listeners were seated within 15 feet of the pianist. The brightness of the room’s acoustic and the church’s Cristofori piano lent even more presence to the performance.

Rameau and Chopin, composers of markedly different musical eras and sensibilities, proved to be quite complementary voices, at least in Paley’s hands.

He treated the baroque dances of Rameau’s suites in A minor and G minor, from “Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin” (1726-27), rather like miniature tone poems – in one instance, the allemande opening the A minor Suite, like a pre-echo of the modern Parisian chanson.

This music was written, of course, for the harpsichord; and this piano’s tonal character, especially the “twang” of bass notes at high volume, at times recalled the sound of the antique, plucked-string keyboard. Paley also was scrupulous in his treatment of French baroque ornamentation, moderating tempos so that Rameau’s flourishes sounded clearly and without crowding. These were, nevertheless, unashamedly pianistic performances – thoroughly convincing and deeply absorbing ones at that.

And not entirely as obscure as listeners might have expected: In the middle of the Suite in G minor, what should appear but a brilliant little number, “La Poule” (“The Hen”), that Ottorino Respighi used (titled, in Italian, “La Gallina”) in his orchestral suite “Gli Uccelli” (“The Birds”). Paley’s pecking effects were even more vivid than Respighi’s.

The Chopin études, which range expressively from thunderous to dreamy in mood, and from densely solid to prismatically wispy in texture, might have been written for a pianist of Paley’s technique and temperament. Each set seemed to burst forth under his hands – he barely paused for breath between numbers – with extraordinary urgency and unbridled spirit.

“He plays Chopin like a god,” one listener said. Almost literally so in the more emphatic études, such as the first and last of Op. 10. There, and elsewhere, it was as if “let there be light” were pronounced in musical tone.

The Paley Music Festival continues with Alexander Paley and Pei-Wen Chen playing Schoenberg’s piano four-hands transcription of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 and Paley, cellist Rebecca Zimmerman and clarinetist Charles West playing sonatas and trios of Beethoven and Brahms at 3 p.m. Sept. 28, both at St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7757 Chippenham Parkway. Admission by donation. Details: (804) 665-9516; www.paleyfestival.info
27 days ago | |
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Christopher Hogwood, one of the leading figures in period-instruments and historcally informed orchestral performance, has died at 73.

Hogwood, a Cambridge University-educated harpsichordist, played in the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in the 1960s. In 1967, he and David Munrow co-founded the Early Music Consort. Hogwood founded Britain’s Academy of Ancient Music in 1973 and led the ensemble until 2006.

He served as artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston (1986-2001) and music director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (1988-92) and Mostly Mozart Festival of London’s Barbican Centre (1983-85). He also was principal guest conductor of the Basel Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland.

Hogwood held academic posts at Cambridge; the Royal Academy of Music; King’s College, London; Gresham College, London; and Harvard and Cornell universities in the U.S.

His activities as a musicologist included serving as chairman of the ongoing new edition of the complete works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

Hogwood was a prolific recording artist, once dubbed the “Karajan of early music.” Perhaps the best-known of his more than 200 recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music were their pioneering period-instruments cycle of the Mozart symphonies and acclaimed accounts of Handel’s “Messiah” and Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” In later recordings with modern-instruments orchestras, he essayed modern repertory ranging from Stravinsky and Martinu to Barber and Copland.

An obituary by Barry Millington in The Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/sep/24/christopher-hogwood
28 days ago | |
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A special program, with studio guests: pianist Alexander Paley and his spouse and piano four-hands partner, Pei-Wen Chen. They will be joined by cellist Rebecca Zimmerman and clarinetist Charles West in the 17th annual edition of Paley’s Richmond festival, Sept. 26-28 at a new location, St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7757 Chippenham Parkway.

During the show, we’ll survey the festival’s history, discuss the music to be featured this year, and hear some of the pianists’ live and studio recordings – including a sample from a soon-to-be-released disc of suites by the 18th-century French master Jean-Philippe Rameau, played by Paley on piano.

Sept. 25
noon-2 p.m. EDT
1600-1800 UTC
1700-1900 GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Chopin: Sonata in B minor, Op. 58 – scherzo
Alexander Paley, piano (Blüthner)

Chopin: Étude in F major, Op. 25, No. 3
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano (Decca)

Rameau: Suite in G minor (“l’Egyptinne”) – excerpt
Alexander Paley, piano (Harmonia Mundi France)

Dvorák: “From the Bohemian Forest” – “Silent Woods”
Alexander Paley &
Pei-Wen Chen, piano four-hands
(2004 Paley Festival, live recording)

Rossini: “The Barber of Seville” Overture
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Claudio Abbado (Deutsche Grammophon)

Past Masters:
Rachmaninoff: Symphony
No. 3 in A minor
Philadelphia Orchestra/
Sergei Rachmaninoff
(Dutton Laboratories)
(recorded 1939)

Prokofiev: “Romeo and Juliet” – excerpts
Alexander Paley, piano (Blüthner/Hänssler Classic)
30 days ago | |
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Sept. 22, University of Richmond

The new-music sextet eighth blackbird has presented some formidable challenges to ears and sensibilities in its decade in residence at the University of Richmond. “Pattycake,” the program launching its 11th UR season, proved to be not exactly easy listening, but a good deal easier than usual for the non-specialist to absorb.

The program was anchored by two pieces about rhythm, freed from overlays of melody and harmony. Sean Griffin’s “Pattycake” (2007) tasks four performers with a physically complex take on the children’s hand-clapping game. Tom Johnson’s “Counting Duets” play numbers games, garnished with some tricks of dynamism and a bit of ballroom dance. Both were great fun to watch and hear. I suspect they were exhausting for the artists to prepare, but they seemed spontaneous and almost effortless in performance.

Johnson’s pieces kept unlikely company, being interspersed with four études by György Ligeti in arrangements by two members of the ’birds, flutist Tim Munro and pianist Lisa Kaplan. Kaplan’s treatments of the rhythmically driven “Fanfares” and “Entrelacs” (études Nos. 4 and 12, respectively) fit more comfortably alongside the Johnson duets. Munro’s enlargements of the intricately colored and deeply moody “En Suspens” and “Automne à Varsovie” (études Nos. 11 and 6), ingenious as they are, departed too far in tone and mood from Johnson’s droll rhythmic exercises.

An even less likely combination of pieces, which the ’birds call “Songs of Love and Loss,” combine “Duo for Heart and Breath” (2012) by Richard Reed Parry of the Montreal rock band Arcade Fire and Kaplan’s arrangement of Bon Iver’s “Babys” with Munro’s instrumental arrangements of 17th-century vocal pieces by Claudio Monteverdi and Carlo Gesualdo.

Parry’s duo, whose tempo is determined by pianist Kaplan’s heartbeat (she wore a stethoscope) and violinist Yvonne Lam’s breath rate, was in this performance a mellow and deliberately paced minimalist prelude. Lam played her violin with no vibrato; in the following Monteverdi, she played viola with ample vibrato – a reversal of historical and modern performance practices.

An even more radical reversal in this set: The early music is “hard” and the contemporary music is “easy” (relatively, anyway).

The Gesualdo arrangement underlined the eccentricity of this composer with bell-like and sliding/winding-down effects. Kaplan’s “Babys” arrangement – building on the insistent and gnarly groove of Bon Iver’s instrumental introduction to the song – returned to the steady state of Parry’s piece, with an intense, lyrical climax from cellist Nicholas Photinos.

Photinos also took on David Little’s “and the sky was still there” (2010) for cello and electronics, written for the violinist and electronica artist Todd Reynolds. The piece sets sections of an account by Amber Ferenz of her experiences as a closeted lesbian in the “don’t ask/don’t tell”-vintage U.S. Army to a sonically eventful and complex soundtrack. In this performance, amplified electronics overbalanced the cello (amplification is frequently troublesome in UR’s acoustically bright Camp Concert Hall), and parts of the narration were lost in the mix.

Rounding out the program, another chamber work with pop origins: “Number Nine” (2013) by Gabriella Smith, a thickly textured tone poem that rises out of, and eventually returns to, an instrumentalization of the rhythms and pitches of “number nine,” as it was vocalized and repeated before the song “Revolution 9” on The Beatles’ “White Album” of 1968.

“I also incorporated many other ‘Revolution 9’ references, weaving their collage fragments into ‘Number Nine’s’ continuously evolving arc,” the composer writes in a program note. The collage is so dense and the fragments so fragmentary that few listeners would feel able to hum along.

On first hearing, “Number Nine” struck me as a Platonic shadow (as in Plato’s allegory of the cave: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave) of the high-concept progressive rock song, complete with drum solo (which Matt Duvall mercifully dispatched in much less than a period-authentic 20 minutes). A pretty accurate shadow, I’d say – maybe even preferable to the real thing, at least for those of us who overdosed on the real thing 40 years ago.
31 days ago | |
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As popular music has become “more a nostalgic, preservative practice rather than one anticipating and demanding change, classical music comes to fresh, forward-looking life,” longtime British rock critic Paul Morley writes in an essay for The Observer. Morley describes his migration to the classics as “a move to where the provocative, thrilling and transformative ideas are, mainly because modern pop and rock has become the status quo” . . .

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/sep/21/pop-belongs-last-century-classical-music-relevant-future-paul-morley

His playlist: Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral Music,” Debussy’s Cello Sonata, Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza V,” Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, Webern’s “Slow Movement” and Earle Brown’s “Times Five.” The earliest of them, the Mozart, dates from 1785; the latest, the Berio, from 1966; and there’s nothing from the 19th century.

Plenty of thrills and transformations yet to come, it seems.

(via www.artsjournal.com)
31 days ago | |
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