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Steven Smith conducting
with Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano
Nov. 9, Richmond CenterStage

Kate Lindsey, the most promising operatic singer to come out of Richmond in a generation, charmed a hometown crowd in a program of French opera and operetta arias that played to her strengths as a voice and personality.

The 32-year-old mezzo-soprano, born and reared in Chesterfield County, these days works on a professional circuit of major opera companies and orchestras. Lindsey is especially in demand for “trouser” roles as boys or young men, such as the composer in Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” which she performed over the summer at Britain’s Glyndebourne Opera.

In this homecoming concert with the Richmond Symphony, Lindsey applied fluid, flexible and finely nuanced tone to “Enfin, je suis ici” (“Finally, I am here”) from Massenet’s “Cendrillon” and “Death of Ophelia” from Berlioz’s “Tristia.”

The balance of her program was lighter or more folk-inflected fare – four of Canteloube’s “Songs of the Auvergne,” a sampler of arias by Offenbach, and “Shenandoah” as an encore – providing her with several opportunities for theatrics, and well as letting her caress straightfowardly lyrical melodies.

Although she was positioned under the Carpenter Theatre’s proscenium arch, the acoustical “sweet spot” of the hall’s stage, Lindsey’s voice, especially in her low register, did not project as strongly it needed to alongside the orchestra. Conductor Steven Smith kept the instrumentalists in reasonable balance with Lindsey, and several solo players – oboist Gustav Highstein, bassoonist Thomas Schneider, clarinetist Ralph Skiano, cellist Neal Cary, concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto – shared the spotlight with the singer.

In an onstage conversation with Smith, Lindsey endeared herself to her fellow Richmonders with a homey greeting (“Hey, y’all!”), reminisced about her youth in Chesterfield, and thanked everyone from her parents and teachers to the symphony’s music librarian, Matt Gold.

Smith filled out Lindsey’s French program with three Spanish-accented orchestral staples from French composers: the Prelude to Bizet’s “Carmen,” Debussy’s “Ibéria” and Ravel’s “Alborado del gracioso.” As he has in past concerts, the conductor showed himself to be exceptionally fluent in French repertory, especially in production of orchestral tone color and well-judged dynamics.
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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: The University of Richmond’s Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival presents five free concerts of music by 23 composers, with performances by eighth blackbird and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Nov. 1-2 at UR’s Modlin Arts Center. . . . Virginia Commonwealth University stages its annual Flamenco Fiesta of guitar and dance, Nov. 1-3 at the Singleton Arts Center. . . . Kate Lindsey, the stellar mezzo-soprano from Richmond, comes home to join Steven Smith and the Richmond Symphony in a program of French music, Nov. 9 at Richmond CenterStage. . . . The symphony’s principal clarinetist, Ralph Skiano, plays the Copland Concerto in a program also featuring music of Ives, Kraus and Dvorák, Nov. 24 at Randolph-Macon College. . . . Former Richmond Symphony music director Mark Russell Smith returns to conduct the Virginia Opera production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (in English), with performances on Nov. 8, 10 and 12 at Norfolk’s Harrison Opera House; Nov. 15 and 17 at the Sandler Arts Center in Virginia Beach; and Nov. 22 and 24 at Richmond CenterStage. (Note: No Fairfax shows for this production.) . . . VCU-based clarinetist Charles West and pianist Yin Zheng play works of Brahms, Joseph Horovitz and Dana Wilson, Nov. 14 at the Singleton Center. . . . Pianist Peter Serkin joins the Shanghai Quartet in Dvorák’s Piano Quintet in A major, on a program also featuring the rarely heard String Quartet in E minor of Verdi and a recent work by Bright Sheng, Nov. 15 at UR’s Modlin Center.

* Noteworthy elsewhere: The new Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg presents concerts by the Philip Glass Ensemble in Glass’ “Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation” on Nov. 1, the Sphinx Virtuosi on Nov. 3 and an all-Russian program by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han on Nov. 17. (The Glass show is sold out; but it’s a big venue, and some seats may be available if you turn up.) . . . JoAnn Falletta, music director of Hampton Roads’ Virginia Symphony, leads the Irish Chamber Orchestra in concerts with flutists James and Jeanne Galway, Nov. 1 at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and Nov. 2 at George Mason University in Fairfax. . . . Multiple productions of two choral masterworks in the anniversary year of their composers: Two productions of Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem,” by The Washington Chorus on Nov. 3 at the Kennedy Center, and by the Baltimore Symphony and Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Nov. 16 at Strathmore in the Maryland suburbs of DC . . . And the Verdi Requiem, by the Choral Arts Society of Washington, Nov. 10 at the Kennedy Center; by the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra and UVa University Singers on Nov. 16 at the University of Virginia’s Old Cabell Hall and Nov. 17 at Monticello High School; and by the National Philharmonic and Chorale, Nov. 23 at Strathmore. . . . Older choral music on a smaller scale, as Britain’s Ensemble Plus Ultra sings music of the Spanish baroque, Nov. 12 at UVa’s Old Cabell Hall. . . . Two leading authors on music speak in lecture-concert presentations at Washington’s Library of Congress: “Wagner and Verdi at the Piano,” featuring the noted biographer of Franz Liszt, Alan Walker, on Nov. 9; and a Wagner-Mozart-Brahms program with Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, on Nov. 23. (Both are free, but tickets are required.) . . . Pianist Marc-André Hamelin surveys the contrasting romantic voices of Field, Medtner and Schubert, Nov. 25 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Chanticleer, the men’s vocal ensemble, brings its popular Christmas program back to the region, on Nov. 30 at George Mason University in Fairfax.


Nov. 1 (2:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
performers TBA
works by Joo Won Park, Matthew McCabe, Heather Stebbins, Devin Frenze, Jonathan Harvey, Gordon Fitzell
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
eighth blackbird
Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
works by Dan Trueman, Tom Lopez, Anthony Cheung, Alexandra Gardner
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonweath University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Flamenco Fiesta:
Miguelito, guitar
program TBA
$10-$15
(804) 828-6776
www.vcumusic.org

Nov. 1 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Irish Chamber Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Harty: “In Ireland”
Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 314
James Galway, flute
Hammond: “Carolan Variations”
James & Jeanne Galway, flutes
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”)
$27-$87
(855) 337-4849
www.fergusoncenter.org

Nov. 1 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Philip Glass Ensemble
Glass: “Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation”
$40-$60 (waiting list)
(540) 231-5300
www.artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 1 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 2 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Kristjan Järvi conducting
Enescu: “Romanian Rhapsody” No. 1
Barber: Violin Concerto
Jennifer Koh, violin
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 2 (11 a.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
performers TBA
works by Christopher Chandler, Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, Judith Shatin, Alex Temple, Matthew Burtner
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 2 (2 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
performers TBA
works by Christopher DeLaurenti, Jonathan Harvey, Joo Won Park, Mark Snyder, Mark Zaki, Eli Stine
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 2 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Sigma Alpha Iota members
program TBA
free
(804) 646-7723
www.richmondpubliclibrary.org

Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival:
Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
eighth blackbird
works by Benjamin Broening, Russell Pinkston, Kaija Saariaho, Peter Swendsen
free
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonweath University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Flamenco Fiesta:
Richard Marlow, guitar
program TBA
$10-$15
(804) 828-6776
www.vcumusic.org

Nov. 2 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Irish Chamber Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Harty: “In Ireland”
Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 314
James Galway, flute
Hammond: “Carolan Variations”
James & Jeanne Galway, flutes
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)
$37.50-$75
(888) 245-9468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu

Nov. 2 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Danish String Quartet
Haydn: Quartet in B flat major, Op. 76, No. 4 (“Sunrise”)
Ligeti: Quartet No. 1 (“Metamorphoses”)
Ligeti: Nocturnes
Abrahamsen: Quartet No. 1
Abrahamsen: “10 Preludes for String Quartet”
Beethoven: Quartet in F minor, Op. 95 (“Serioso”)
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert/1314-preview.html

Nov. 3 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonweath University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Flamenco Fiesta:
Suenos Gitanos
Flamenco del Sur
program TBA
$10-$15
(804) 828-6776
www.vcumusic.org

Nov. 3 (3 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
Benjamin Rous conducting
“Ahoy, Matey!”
program TBA
$15
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Nov. 3 (3 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Sphinx Virtuosi
works by Bach, Vivaldi, Ginastera, Pärt, Glass
$20-$30
(540) 231-5300
www.artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
The Washington Chorus & orchestra
Julian Wachter directing
Britten: “War Requiem”
Jessica Muirhead, soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor
Christopher Burchett, baritone
Children’s Chorus of Washington
Joan Gregoryk directing
$15-$70
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 5 (8 p.m.)
Williamsburg Library Theatre, 515 Scotland St., Williamsburg
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg:
Adaskin String Trio
Sally Pinkas, piano
Herzogenberg: Piano Quartet in A major
Roland Manuel: String Trio
Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60
$15 (waiting list)
(757) 229-0385
www.chambermusicwilliamsburg.org

Nov. 7 (8 p.m.)
Crossroads Community Church, 7575 Richmond Road, Williamsburg
Nov. 9 (8 p.m.)
Regent University Theater, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
Benjamin Rous conducting
Barber: “School for Scandal” Overture
Ives: “Country Band March”
Ives: “The Unanswered Question”
Barber: “Second Essay”
Bernstein: “Three Dance Episodes from ‘On the Town’ ”
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F major
Michah McLaurin, piano
$22-$67
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Nov. 7 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 9 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
John Storgårds conducting
Britten: “Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge”
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1
Sol Gabetta, cello
Schumann: Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”)
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Sphinx Virtuosi
program TBA
$25
(202) 985-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 10 (2:30 p.m.)
Nov. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Mark Russell Smith conducting
Mozart: “The Magic Flute”
Kenneth Plenk (Tamino)
Nadine Sierra (Pamina)
Heather Buck (Queen of the Night)
Kenneth Kellogg (Sarastro)
David Pershall (Papageno)
Ryan Connelly (Monostatos)
Amanda Opuszinski (Papagena)
Natalie Polito (First Lady)
Courtney Miller (Second Lady)
Sarah Williams (Third Lady)
Michael Shell, stage director
in English, English captions
$46-$114
(866) 673-7282
www.vaopera.org

Nov. 8 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
I-Jen Fang, percussion
Robert Jospé, drums
Daniel Sender, violin
Abé: “Wind Across Mountains”
Ichiyanigi: “Rhythm Gradation”
Martin: “Choros”
Harper: “Dances for Outcasts”
Shatin: “Sic Transit”
Sor: “Variations on a Theme from Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ ”
Corea: “La Fiesta”
$15
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Nov. 8 (8:15 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
women of Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Marin Alsop conducting & speaking
“Off the Cuff”
Holst: “The Planets”
$44-$78
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 9 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Bizet: “Carmen” Prelude
Canteloube: “Songs of the Auvergne” (excerpts)
Massenet: “Enfin, ju sisi ici” from “Cendrillon”
Berlioz: “La mort d’Ophelie”
Chabrier: “Je suis Lazuli”
Offenbach: Overture & arias from “The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein”
Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano
Debussy: “Ibéria”
Ravel: “Alborada del gracioso”
$10-$76
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Nov. 9 (2 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Alan Walker, speaker
Valerie Tyron, piano
“Wagner and Verdi at the Piano”
Verdi-Liszt: “Rigoletto” Paraphrase
Verdi-Liszt: “Miserere du Trovatore”
Wagner-Liszt: Ballade and “Spinning Song” from “The Flying Dutchman”
Mozart-Liszt: Confutatis and Lacrymosa from Requiem
Allegri-Mozart-Liszt: Miserere and Miserere from “Ave verum corpus”
Wagner-Liszt: “Isolde’s Liebestod” from “Tristan und Isolde”
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert/1314-preview.html

Nov. 9 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Janice Hamer & Mary Azrael: “Lost Childhood, a Concert Opera”
Michael Hendrick (Judah)
Christopher Trakas (Manfred)
in English
$28-$84
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 10 (4 p.m.)
St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church, 11300 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Drew Seigla, tenor
Ben Miller, piano
works by Handel, Schubert, Verdi, Britten; musical theater songs
donation requested
(804) 272-8588
www.stmatmidlo.com

Nov. 10 (4 p.m.)
Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Second Sunday South of the James:
Barbara Gregory & Deborah Seidel, flutes
Karmalita Bawar, piano
works by Frederick Werle, Jean Rivier, Geoff Warren, Ian Clarke, Vivian Fine, Allan Blank
donation requested
(804) 272-7514
www.bonairpc.org

Nov. 10 (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. 10 (4 p.m.)
St. Francis Catholic Church, 125 N. Augusta St., Staunton
Staunton Music Festival:
Carsten Schmidt, harpsichord
Bach: “English Suites” in F major, E minor, A minor
Bach: fantasias in C minor, A minor, D minor
$20
(800) 838-3006
www.stauntonmusicfestival.com

Nov. 10 (3 p.m.)
Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave., Roanoke
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Weber: “Der Freischütz” Overture
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1
Vijay Vinkatesh, piano
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
$29-$52
(540) 343-9127
www.rso.com

Nov. 10 (7 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Jeffrey Siegel, piano
“Keyboard Conversations: The Glory of Beethoven”
Beethoven: Sonata in F major, Op. 10, No. 2
Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (“Appassionata”)
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat major, Op. 110
$19-$38
(888) 245-9468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu

Nov. 10 (4 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Choral Arts Society of Washington & orchestra
Scott Tucker directing
Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, visual producer
“Legacy and Life”
Steven Stucky: “Take Him, Earth”
Verdi: Requiem
soloists TBA
$15-$75
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Jewish Synagogues Combined Choirs
Juanita College Concert Choir
Jason Love directing
“Voices of the Holocaust: Kristallnacht Commemoration 2013”
program TBA
$36-$54
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 12 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Ensemble Plus Ultra
vocal works by Victoria, Morales, Francisco Guerrero, Bernardino de Ribera
$12-$33
(434) 924-3376 (UVa box office)
www.tecs.org

Nov. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Enso String Quartet
Richard Strauss: Quartet in A major, Op. 2
Puccini: “Chrysanthemums”
Puccini: 3 minuets
Verdi: Quartet in E minor
$32
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 13 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonweath University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble
VCU University Band
Charles West directing
works by Henry Fillmore, Dan Welcher, Richard Strauss, Percy Grainger
$7
(804) 828-6776
www.vcumusic.org

Nov. 14 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonweath University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Charles West, clarinet
Yin Zheng, piano
Brahms: Sonata in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1
Joseph Horovitz: Sonatina
Dana Wilson: “Liquid Ebony”
$7
(804) 828-6776
www.vcumusic.org

Nov. 14 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 16 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Neeme Järvi conducting
Kodály: “Hary Janos” Suite
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2
Alice Sara Ott, piano
Prokofiev: “Romeo and Juliet” (excerpts)
$10-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Michael Fabiano, tenor
Danielle Orlando, piano
works by Donizetti, Puccini, Massenet, Verdi, Richard Strauss, others
$50
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Shanghai Quartet
Verdi: Quartet in E minor
Bright Sheng: “Dance Capriccio” (2011)
Dvorák: Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81
Peter Serkin, piano
$36
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 17 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Opera
Mark Russell Smith conducting
Mozart: “The Magic Flute”
Kenneth Plenk (Tamino)
Nadine Sierra (Pamina)
Heather Buck (Queen of the Night)
Kenneth Kellogg (Sarastro)
David Pershall (Papageno)
Ryan Connelly (Monostatos)
Amanda Opuszinski (Papagena)
Natalie Polito (First Lady)
Courtney Miller (Second Lady)
Sarah Williams (Third Lady)
Michael Shell, stage director
in English, English captions
$24-$110
(866) 673-7282
www.vaopera.org

Nov. 15 (8 p.m.)
Eisenhower Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kathleen Battle, soprano
Cyrus Chestnut, piano
“Something to Sing About”
works by Joplin, Gershwin, Ellington, others
$29-$65
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 16 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Nov. 23 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Virginia Symphony
Benjamin Rous conducting
Stravinsky: “Apollon Musagete”
Bach: Concerto for oboe d’amore
Sherrie Aguirre, oboe d’amore
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
$22-$105
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Nov. 16 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Nov. 17 (3:30 p.m.)
Monticello High School, 1400 Independence Way, Charlottesville
Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra
Michael Slon conducting
Verdi: Requiem
Christina Pier, soprano
Lucille Beer, mezzo-soprano
Scott Six, tenor
Mark Owen Davis, baritone
UVa University Singers
$10-$40
(434) 924-3376
www.cvillesymphony.org

Nov. 16 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman conducting
Grieg: “Peer Gynt” Suite No. 1
Larry Alan Smith: Concerto for soprano saxophone and strings
Carrie Koffman, saxophone
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
$25-$60
(888) 245-9468 (Tickets.com)
www.fairfaxsymphony.org

Nov. 16 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kit Armstrong, piano
Liszt: “Fantasy and Fugue on the theme B.A.C.H.”
Liszt: Elegies
Liszt: “Mephisto Waltz”
Bach-Armstrong: chorale preludes TBA
Armstrong: “Fantasy on B.A.C.H.”
Bach-Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542
$40
(202) 985-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 16 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
Britten: “War Requiem”
Tamara Wilson, soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Ryan McKinny, baritone
University of Maryland Concert Choir
Peabody Children’s Chorus
$36-$99
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 17 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
David Finckel, cello
Wu Han, piano
Prokofiev: Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119
Shostakovich: Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40
Scriabin: “Five Preludes” for solo piano
Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19
$20-$30
(540) 231-5300
www.artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 17 (4 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Washington Symphonic Brass
“From Bach to Classic Rock”
program TBA
$22-$44
(888) 245-9468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu

Nov. 22 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 24 (2:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Virginia Opera
Mark Russell Smith conducting
Mozart: “The Magic Flute”
Kenneth Plenk (Tamino)
Nadine Sierra (Pamina)
Heather Buck (Queen of the Night)
Kenneth Kellogg (Sarastro)
David Pershall (Papageno)
Ryan Connelly (Monostatos)
Amanda Opuszinski (Papagena)
Natalie Polito (First Lady)
Courtney Miller (Second Lady)
Sarah Williams (Third Lady)
Michael Shell, stage director
in English, English captions
$18-$104
(866) 673-7282
www.vaopera.org

Nov. 22 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Chamber Singers
Michael Slon directing
program TBA
free
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Nov. 23 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Barbara Banyasz & Nancy van Auken, piano four-hands
Liszt: “Weinachtsbaum” (“Christmas Tree”)
free
(804) 646-7223
www.richmondpubliclibrary.org
 
Nov. 23 (2 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Alex Ross, speaker
Margaret Lattimore, mezzo-soprano
Daniel Hobbs, piano
Wagner: “Wesendonck Lieder”
Mozart: “Ch’io mi scordi di te?”
Brahms: 4 Lieder
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)
http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert/1314-preview.html

Nov. 23 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Verdi: Requiem
Ariana Zukerman, soprano
Maragaret Mezzacappa, mezzo-soprano
William Davenport, tenor
Kevin Deas, bass
National Philharmonic Chorale
$28-$84
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Nov. 24 (3 p.m.)
Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St., Ashland
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Kraus: Symphony in E minor
Copland: Clarinet Concerto
Ralph Skiano, clarinet
Ives: Symphony No. 3 (“The Camp Meeting”)
Dvorák: “Czech Suite”
$20
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Nov. 24 (3:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Wind Ensemble
William Pease & Andrew Koch directing
program TBA
$10
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Nov. 25 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Baroque Orchestra
David Sariti, violin & leader
program TBA
free
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Nov. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
John Field: “Andante inédit” in E flat major
Medtner: Sonata in E minor, Op. 25, No. 2 (“Night Wind”)
Schubert: 4 impromptus, D. 935
$60
(202) 985-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Nov. 29 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 30 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting
Matthew Morrison, guest star
$20-$85
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Nov. 30 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Chanticleer
“A Chanticleer Christmas”
$25-$50
(888) 245-9468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu
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Oct. 26, Richmond Public Library

The Aeolus Quartet – violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Gregory Luce and cellist Alan Richardson – opened the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia’s 2013-14 season, “Aspects of Time,” in performances over the weekend at the Ellen Glasgow House and in the Gellman Room of the Richmond Public Library.

I was unable to attend the Oct. 25 Glasgow House gala because it conflicted with the eighth blackbird-Agua Dulce Dance Theatre evening of premieres at the University of Richmond (scroll down for review); but did make it to a sampler of string quartet history that the Aeolus staged before a full house at the library.

The sampler included movements of the three works played the night before – Haydn’s Quartet in D major, Op. 76, No. 5; Beethoven’s Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1 (first of the “Razumovsky” set); and Christopher Theofanidis’ “Ariel Ascending” – as well as bits of Beethoven’s Quartet in B flat major, Op. 18, No. 6, and Sibelius’ “Voces intimae” (“Intimate Voices”) Quartet and “Black Bend,” a miniature tone poem by Dan Visconti.

The ensemble, which performed for the Chamber Music Society two years ago, nicely balances warm, robust tone with sharp focus and high energy. Its members also are audience-friendly musical guides in their spoken introductions. Adding to their local appeal, cellist Richardson is Richmond-bred.

The Haydn and Beethoven selections gave sound evidence that the Aeolus’ musicians, like many young string players, have absorbed the technical and interpretive lessons of the historically informed performance (HIP) movement, without going full tilt into its more provocative or pedantic practices.

In the slow movement of the Sibelius, a wrenching memento of the composer’s battle with throat cancer, the group reverted to a more traditionally romantic string style. And the foursome proved expert in the more virtuosic, color-centric and effects-laden techniques of contemporary music in the Theofanidis and Visconti pieces.

The finale of “Ariel Ascending” showcased the Aeolus’ technique as the players negotiated its jittery figures and generally frenetic energy (Ariel’s ascent doesn’t quite break the speed of sound, but comes close). Violinists Tavani and Shapiro audibly relished the nature and train-whistle effects in “Black Bend,” Visconti’s evocation of a famous train wreck on a river bend in northern Ohio.

“Black Bend,” which appears to exist in string quartet, quintet and orchestra versions, is a bluesy delight clearly indebted to country-bluegrass fiddling – the whistle effects recall Lester Flatt’s in the Flatt & Scruggs rendition of “The Wreck of the Old 97.”

Visconti’s 7-minute piece is one of the finest examples of folksy classicism this side of Peter Schickele. You can see and hear the Aelous perform a bit of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLL6wwMsAn0
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Tonia Moxley of The Roanoke Times previews the opening of the new, $100 million Center for the Arts, and the new academic focus on the arts, at Virginia Tech:

http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/2259834-12/100-million-tech-center-set-for-grand-opening.html
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with Agua Dulce Dance Theatre
Oct. 25, University of Richmond

The new-music sextet eighth blackbird opened its 10th season in residence at the University of Richmond with the premiere of Amy Beth Kirsten’s “Colombine’s Paradise Theatre,” perhaps the most subtle and elusive music-theater work that the group has staged to date.

Kirsten’s dream-like opus is based on commedia dell’arte, whose theatrical format and archetypal characters were developed in 16th-century Italy. Colombine is commonly its lead female character. Here, she hovers between life and death, torn between the fantasy of romance with Harlequin, the prankish seducer, and reality, represented by Pierrot. The Harbinger, a presence more than a character, “serves as a guide as well as a witness to Colombine’s struggle,” Kirsten writes in her program note.

The story is told primarily through mime-like movement. Dialogue is limited to three poems, adapted from the work of Isabella Andreini (1562-1604), a leading actress of commedia dell’arte, recited by Colombine with greater emphasis on rhythm and expression than on the words themselves.

True to the tradition of these itinerant theatrical troupes, the staging (by Mark DeChiazza) is skeletally minimal – basically, metal towers and chairs draped in patterned fabric. The costumes of Colombine and Harlequin are traditional; Pierrot is garbed in a white jumper not unlike the suits of hazardous-material disposal teams (minus the face mask). The Harbinger is not costumed.

Members of eighth blackbird double as actors and music-makers. Pianist Lisa Kaplan plays Colombine. Percussionist Matthew Duvall is Pierrot. Harlequin is portrayed by flutist Tim Munro, shadowed by clarinetist Michael Maccaferri and violinist Yvonne Lam. Cellist Nicholas Photinos is the Harbinger.

Rhythmic breathing and expressive exhalation figure almost as much as instruments and vocalizations in Kirsten’s composition.

Theatrically, the piece is a tour de force for Munro, whose leering stage presence and sinewy movements makes one wonder whether he might have opted for modern dance instead of playing the flute. Kaplan effectively conveys Colombine’s life/death, fantasy/reality state, often in near-stasis as she lies on the floor in a “nest” formed by her costume. Duvall’s Pierrot is a physically and emotionally distant figure, more engaged in playing percussion instruments, perched precariously on a high ladder, than in acting per se.

As eighth blackbird has frequently staged in Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire,” one wonders whether “Colombine’s Paradise Theatre” is destined to be a companion piece. Pairing the two would be fascinating, if exhausting for the six performers.

Another premiere shared the bill of this program: “passing through,” a piece staged by the Agua Dulce Dance Theatre, a troupe led by dancer-choreographers Alicia Díaz and Matthew Thornton, both on the UR faculty (he is also a martial artist).

The 20-minute piece is billed as a collaborative work, also created by video artists KimSu Theiler and Alexis Raskin, sound designer Oliver Lyons, lighting designer Patrick Kraehenbuehl and composer Andrew Clay McGraw. McGraw, director of UR’s Gamelan Raga Kusuma, an Indonesian-style gamelan orchestra, and members of that ensemble form the pit band for this production.

According to Díaz, “passing through” is the product of a creative process that continued through “the end of tonight’s show.” (And will resume in subsequent performances?) To its credit, it doesn’t play like a committee effort or work in progress.

The story line, if that’s the right term, is “the process of becoming, taking shape and then moving on,” we’re informed in the program note. Nebulous? To be sure.

The piece begins with “inception,” a slow-motion, mirror-image dance by a female duo, which segues into “fire,” a more frenzied set of movements by a male dancer with a video fire backdrop. “Forming” and “passing through,” the most eye-catching sections, are plays of physical movement and striking lighting effects.
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Lang Lang, the Chinese superstar pianist, will perform on Feb. 15 at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville.

Tickets, priced from $65.50 to $250, will go on sale at 10 a.m. today (Oct. 25) at the Paramount box office, 215 E. Main St. on the downtown mall.

For more information, call (434) 979-1333, or visit the theater website, www.theparamount.net
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with soloists, Richmond Symphony Chorus
Steven Smith conducting
Oct. 19, Richmond CenterStage

Like certain locusts, the Verdi Requiem arrives every seven years or so on Richmond Symphony programs. This year, there’s also the anniversary factor: 2013 is the bicentenary of Verdi’s birth. The Requiem has been treated to a variety of interpretations over the years, but performances have been remarkably consistent in quality.

A concert chorus rarely gets to be more dramatic than in this piece, and there’s no better concert showcase for Italianate operatic voices. This time around, the solo quartet – soprano Kelley Nassief, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Feinstein, tenor Marco Panuccio and bass Kevin Deas – proved to be unusually complementary, with Nassief and Feinstein producing especially fine duet-singing in several of the most emotionally potent sections of the Mass.

Deas, who performs frequently with this orchestra, was a sonorous if rather stoic presence; Panuccio contributed the most Italianate accents, singing with heated intensity even in the tenor’s most quiet passages.

Intense quiet was one of the most effective tones of voice in this choral performance. From the opening “Requiem” through the conclusion of the Mass, the Symphony Chorus created striking effects of shadowed tone and distance in its sotto voce singing. In louder and more turbulent passages, notably the recurrent Dies Irae, the choristers projected energy and passion, and demonstratred gratifying attention to detail in more complex sections.

Erin R. Freeman, who this season is dividing her time between the Richmond Symphony, where she is associate conductor and director of the Symphony Chorus, and a new post as director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, prepared the Richmonders well for the Verdi Requiem. She also sang with her charges in the weekend performances.

Steven Smith, the orchestra’s music director, showed an interesting sensibility in his first go at a major Italian score in four seasons in Richmond. Under his direction, this Requiem emphasized the lyrical, emotional and spiritual. The drama, in the Dies Irae and elsewhere, was not especially hard-edged.

A temperate Verdi Requiem? Relatively so, and surprisingly effective in its aversion to excess.
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with New York Chamber Soloists
Oct. 12, Virginia Commonwealth University

At the beginning of the second half of the VCU Rennolds Concerts performance by pianist Menahem Pressler and the New York Chamber Soloists, the ensemble’s clarinetist, Allen Blustine, turned to the audience:

“Anyone here have perfect pitch?”

Few if any hands went up.

“Good,” he said.

’Nuff said, I’d say, about the intonational (and other) problems that plagued the wind ensemble in Mozart’s Divertimento in B flat major, K. 439b, and Quintet in E flat major, K. 452, for piano and winds during the first half of the program.

The four wind players also joined the pianist in Beethoven’s Quintet in E flat major, Op. 16, for piano and winds to close the program; but like a number of concertgoers, I left before that performance.

Pressler, the longtime pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, was the star of this outing. He turns 90 later this year. Age has robbed him of some facility – he dropped some notes and muddled some figurations in six bagatelles from Beethoven’s Op. 33 set and of Mozart’s great Rondo in A minor, K. 511; but his tone production remains crystalline, and the musicality developed and deepened over a 70-year career more than compensated for technical flaws in his performances.

Especially so in the Mozart rondo, a work that could be cited as proof of the comment (attributed to Artur Schnabel) that Mozart is too easy for children and too hard for adults. Introducing the rondo, Pressler recalled the great pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski observing that pianists choosing to play K. 511 in competitions inevitably lost.

Pressler himself delayed adding the piece to his repertory until he was in his 80s. “I have to play this piece,” he told the audience. “If I fail, I fail.”

His performance was a tutorial on how to handle the ambiguities of minor-key Mozart. While playful, as a rondo should be, and as Mozart almost always is in his keyboard music, Pressler also captured the rueful, “if only” tone that pervades this remarkable work.

The Mozart rondo tends to tower over other works with which it’s programmed. In this program, it towered even higher.
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In a concert commemorating the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, Riccardo Muti will conduct the Chicago Symphony in the Verdi Requiem in a live webcast beginning at 8:15 p.m. (Eastern time).

Joining Muti and the orchestra are soprano Tatiana Serjan, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, tenor Mario Zeffiri, bass Ildar Abdrazakov and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, directed by Duain Wolfe.

The live stream is here:

http://cso.org/res/VerdiRequiem/

After Oct. 10, the performance can be viewed on demand, at:

http://cso.org/Verdi

* * *

The Richmond Symphony is offering pairs of free tickets for furloughed federal employees to performances of Verdi’s Requiem, at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 and 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets. To claim tickets, bring federal ID to the box office.
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I was unable to make it to Virginia Opera's season-opening production of Verdi's "Falstaff." Here's Roy Proctor's review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/entertainment-life/opera-review-falstaff/article_c4578489-2110-5b2d-badb-05b887b8e6c3.html
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