Letter V
Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
985 Entries

Musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have reached a settlement with the orchestra and its corporate parent, the Woodruff Arts Center, ending a lockout of the musicians that began 2½ months ago.

The new four-year contract, negotiated with the participation of federal mediators, calls for a 77-member orchestra in the first year, with a “goal” of 81 players in year two, and “commitments” to complements of 84 musicians in year three and 88 “by the end of year four,” according to a statement released by the Atlanta Symphony.

Musicians’ salaries will increase by 6 percent over the four years. They agreed to pay higher premiums for their healthcare plan.

“Over the last several difficult weeks of negotiations, both sides recognized that we all share the same goals and aspirations,” Virginia A. Hepner, chairman and CEO of the Woodruff Center, said in the statement. “[W]e all want a world class orchestra that the musicians and city are proud of and one that has long-term financial stability. We believe this new agreement is one that will allow us to achieve those goals.”

“This agreement brings the restoration of a harmonious relationship within everyone’s grasp based on work we must do together to restore missing positions in the Orchestra while stabilizing and advancing the financial position of the Woodruff Arts Center and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” said Paul Murphy, the orchestra’s associate principal violist and president of the musicians’ negotiating team.

The symphony’s board has committed to “additional, extraordinary financial support [that] gave us important flexibility as we finalized the new agreement,” Hepner said. The orchestra, which has operated in the red for 12 years running, ran a $2 million deficit on an operating budget of $37 million in its 2014 fiscal year, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Atlanta Symphony will launch its 70th anniversary season on Nov. 13 and 15, with Robert Spano, its music director, conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with soloists and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, with concertmaster David Coucheron as soloist.
13 days ago | |
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Steven Smith conducting
with Richard King, French horn
Nov. 8, Richmond CenterStage

Interpreting romantic music is very subjective business, for the performer and listener alike.

How subjective? Well, consider this: Of the 29 movements in Tchaikovsky’s seven symphonies (Nos. 1-6 plus “Manfred”), only two carry an unmodified tempo indication. In all the others, the composer engages in the Italianate music-speak equivalent of “yes, but:” from the relatively straightforward allegro non troppo (fast but not too fast) to the likes of andantino marziale, quasi moderato (a bit slower than a walking pace and martial, sort of moderate).

In Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, highlight of the Richmond Symphony’s latest Masterworks program, conductor Steven Smith, faced with a succession of composer entreaties to modify tempos in the first two movements, settled on the old-time romantic formula of “speed up when loud, slow down when soft.”

This resulted in some felicities – resolutely brassy fanfares, lusciously upholstered waltzes, highly lyrical solos – but at high cost. The music meandered, with bursts of energy followed by interludes of quiet that threatened to dip into lassitude. The fabric of the orchestration frayed; melodies dulled; accompanying figures in the woodwinds leaped into undue prominence; tension dissipated.

These shortcomings extended into the scherzo, one of those aforementioned two movements with a straight tempo indication: allegro. Here, moderately paced string pizzicato lacked brightness (dare I say “pluck?”) while wind interjections sounded terse rather than playful.

The finale salvaged this performance. Tchaikovsky marked it allegro con fuoco – fast and fiery – and Smith and the orchestra delivered accordingly and brilliantly. So much so that at least one listener let loose an exclamation during the performance. A roaring ovation erupted after it was over.

Richard King, principal French horn player of the Cleveland Orchestra, was the evening’s guest soloist, playing Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat major. This is very early Strauss – he was 18 when he wrote it – and it sounds more like Schumann or “Flying Dutchman”-vintage Wagner than like the tone poems that Strauss produced later.

King seemed to have that more mature (and to an orchestral musician, more familiar) Strauss in mind as he played with a bright sonority and a rather declamatory tone. It was a gratifying display of solo horn playing (a few flubs and smeared phrases notwithstanding), but King’s performance lacked the warmth and shaded color needed in music of German high-romantic style.

The program opened with “Lumen” (2007) by the Polish-born, Chicago-based composer and percussionist Marta Ptaszynska. The piece, audibly influenced by Ptaszynska’s mentor, Witold Lutoslawski, as well as by Bartók, is described by the composer as a musical realization of the properties of “gradually unfolding light, such as a beam of light traveling through a crystal prism.”

Surprisingly, perhaps, much of the orchestration is darkly colored and ominously heavy – perhaps a sonic backdrop for the “luminous and radiant sounds . . . full of luminous colors” that Ptaszynska seeks to represent. The motto that she gave the work, via Dylan Thomas – “Light breaks where no sun shines” – accurately describes what the listener senses in this piece.

Smith, who conducted the premiere of “Lumen” with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony in 2008, showed complete command of its busy orchestration and kaleidoscopic welter of tone colors.

The Richmond Symphony, notably its string players, percussionists, pianist Russell Wilson and harpist Lynnette Wardle, treated Ptaszynska’s score to a performance of edge-of-the-seat concentration.

If only some of the warm, hefty lower-string tone lavished on “Lumen” had returned in the Tchaikovsky.

* * * 

UPDATE (Nov. 18) – During his appearance with the Richmond Symphony, Richard King told Zachary Lewis of The Plain Dealer that he is relinquishing his position as principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra after 17 years. “I’m getting pretty tired,” King said:

http://www.cleveland.com/musicdance/index.ssf/2014/11/cleveland_orchestras_richard_k_1.html

King will continue playing with the orchestra. 
13 days ago | |
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James Wilson, the cellist who serves as artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, counters the doomsayers on the future of classical music, at least on the small scale of chamber music: “[A] quick glance around Richmond proves . . . that chamber music is thriving — besides CMSCVA you can find Classical Revolution RVA, Richmond Chamber Players, the Oberon Quartet and the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble.”

Their audiences are attracted by “the intensity of the music, and the thrill of sitting close to musicians tearing into it,” Wilson writes in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/their-opinion/james-wilson-getting-real-with-chamber-music/article_fc364a6f-df09-5c98-8b3d-5b077eaeff4d.html
14 days ago | |
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Squabbles between performers and their critics have entertained onlookers for as long as performers have been critiqued.

Whole books have been written on the subject: Nicolas Slonimsky’s “Lexicon of Musical Invective,” sampling denunciations of acknowledged masterpieces, is probably the best-known. My favorite is a much less widely circulated title, “The Music Monster,” Charles Reid’s biography of the mid-19th-century London music critic James William Davison, who found fault with most every significant composer of his time except Mendelssohn.

The next such book presumably will mention Dejan Lazic, a Croatian-born pianist whose 2010 recital at the Kennedy Center was the subject of a largely negative review by The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120503272.html

In September, Lazic wrote to The Post, asking that the review be removed from its online archives. The review, which the pianist described as “simply over the top in sheer negativity and toxicity” and “in my opinion defamatory,” is one of the top entries shown after a Google search of his name, Lazic wrote:

http://www.dejanlazic.com/

Midgette’s response:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2014/11/04/laffaire-lazic-a-pianist-and-reviewer-face-off/

Especially striking is the pianist’s justification of his request by citing the “right to be forgotten” law enacted last year in the European Union countries. This may the first case of a professional performer asserting this right. (Be careful what you wish for.)

Lazic doesn’t bolster his case by citing the infamous review of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto by the Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick, excoriating the piece as music that “stinks to the ear.” Pungent as Hanslick’s assessment was, the Tchaikovsky concerto survived and continues to thrive.

Google search results for “Dejan Lazic,” as of this date: (1) “Pianist Dejan Lazic Defends His Takedown Request By Pointing Out That The WaPo Reviewer Is Really Mean” (www.techdirt.com) and other “in the news” citations; (2) Lazic’s website, whose home page leads with his letter to The Post; (3) Midgette’s 2010 review.

In a search of “Dejan Lazic” on the Bing search engine, the Midgette review is not on the first page. One of the top results, though, is an article by Jay Gabler on the Minnesota Public Radio website titled “Why does pianist Dejan Lazic want to be forgotten?”
(http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2014/11/04/dejan-lazic-right-forgotten?refid=0)
17 days ago | |
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Nov. 6
noon-2 p.m. EST
1700-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Richard Strauss: “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks”
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/
Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)

Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Charles Mackerras (Linn)

Dvorák: Dumka in
D minor, Op. 35
Lada Valešová, piano (Avie)

Milhaud: “Suite provençale”
Lille National Orchestra/Jean-Claude Casadesus (Naxos)

Past Masters:
Gershwin: Piano Concerto
in F major
Earl Wild, piano
Boston Pops/Arthur Fiedler
(RCA Victor)
(recorded 1961)

George I. Gurdjieff: “Sayyid chant and dance” No. 3/
Hymn No. 7
Komitas Vardapet: “Chinar es”
Anja Lechner, cello; François Couturier, piano (ECM)
19 days ago | |
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Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, accompaniel by pianist David Zobel, will “Journey through Venice” in a recital at 8 p.m. EST (1000 UTC/GMT) Nov. 4 at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The performance can be heard on a free live webcast from medici.tv:

http://www.medici.tv/#!/joyce-di-donato-david-zobel-a-journey-through-venice-carnegie-hall

DiDonato’s program includes arias by Vivaldi and Rossini, Venice-inspired songs by Fauré and Hahn and British composer Michael Head’s “Three Songs of Venice.”

The recital is the first of four Carnegie Hall programs to be webcast and streamed this fall. Those concerts, all at 8 p.m. EST (1000 UTC/GMT):

Nov. 18 – Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and her Mutter Virtuosi ensemble, playing Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and the U.S. premiere of André Previn’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

Nov. 22 – Violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Yuja Wang, playing Schumann Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 121; Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100; Ravel’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor; and Respighi’s Violin Sonata in B minor.

Dec. 9 – Pianist Daniil Trifonov, playing works by Beethoven and Liszt and Liszt arrangements of Bach.

All four concerts, in addition to being webcast live, will be available as streams for 90 days after the events.
19 days ago | |
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Jonathan Biss, piano
Miriam Fried, violin
Nov. 2, University of Richmond

Family chamber ensembles are common in classical music, at home if not in public. Violin-and-piano duos of kin have had special prominence in concert history. Violinist Yehudi Menuhin performed and recorded with his pianist son, Jeremy. More recently, pianist Claude Frank played in a duo with his violinist daughter, Pamela; and the Shaham siblings, violinist Gil and pianist Orli, have performed together while pursuing solo careers.

The mother-and-son duo of violinist Miriam Fried and pianist Jonathan Biss – he, as the more stellar artist of late, taking top billing – surveyed three eras of music for their instrumental combination before a sparse but appreciative audience in the Camp Concert Hall of the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center.

Their finest collaboration came in the second half of the program, devoted to Beethoven’s Sonata in G major, Op. 96. This work, written at the same time as the epic “Archduke” Trio, is among Beethoven’s most lyrical and least portentous mature chamber works; it frequently anticipates the tuneful, gemütlich chamber music of Schubert.

Fried was especially attuned to its Schubertian qualities, her fiddle singing the sonata’s extended melodies like an accomplished Lieder vocalist. Biss also accentuated lyricism and color, and showed a deft hand in the folk-dance references that crop up repeatedly in the piece, although his tone at times overbalanced the violin’s.

That tendency was even more pronounced in Mozart’s Sonata in E flat major, K. 302. Although this is one of the earliest sonatas to give the violin real parity with the piano, the piano of Mozart’s time (known in our time as the fortepiano) produced a smaller, drier tone than the modern concert grand. Biss’ best efforts at reining in the UR Steinway’s volume to match that of Fried’s Stradivarius were not quite successful.

The two musicians’ sound and style were in near-perfect accord in Brahms’ Sonata in A major, Op. 100, and the Violin Sonata of the Czech early modernist Leoš Janácek.

Biss and Fried gave a warm, mellow account of the Brahms, but without excessively slowing tempos or wallowing in the music’s lyricism, the treatment to which this composer’s music is so often subjected.

In the Janácek, they achieved a nice balance between starkness, the customary tone of voice of this composer’s thematic pronouncements, and the late-romantic lyricism that resonates as he develops his musical material.
20 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: 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. . . . Opera Roanoke stages Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” Nov. 22 at the Jefferson 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 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
members of Sigma Alpha Iota
vocal, instrumental works TBA
free
(804) 646-7223
www.richmondpubliclibrary.org

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
$10-$78
pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.
(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 (4 p.m.)
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 125 N. Augusta St., Staunton
Staunton Music Festival:
Carsten Schmidt, harpsichord
J.S. Bach: 24 preludes and fugues
pre-concert talk at 3 p.m.
$22
(540) 569-0267
www.stauntonmusicfestival.org

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
J.S. Bach: Sinfonia from Cantata 29
Vierne: Organ Symphony No. 3 in F sharp minor – cantilène and intermezzo
Healey Willan: Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue
Brahms-Stipe: Symphony No. 4 in E minor – scherzo and passacaglia
Dupré: “Variations on a Noël
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.)
Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave., Roanoke
Opera Roanoke
Scott Williamson conducting
Mozart: The Abduction from the Seraglio”
Adelaide Muir Trombetta (Konstanze)
Brian Downen (Belmonte)
Zachary James (Osmin)
Anna Sterrett (Blonde)
Kelly Burns (Pedrillo)
David Johnson (Kelim Pasha)
in English
$25-$100
(540) 345-2550
www.operaroanoke.org

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
22 days ago | |
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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/
24 days ago | |
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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 strong 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.
26 days ago | |
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