Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Art-songs from the pop charts

The New York Times' Stephen Holden reviews performances by singer-songwriters Amos Lee and Rodney Crowell and the Brazilian-Polish baritone Paulo Szot, singing Latin American popular songs, in Lincoln Center's American Songbook series:

Holden is one of The Times' pop-music critics, but his review reads as if he were covering Lieder recitals. Which he was, actually: If a popular song outlasts its initial burst of popularity, and proves amenable to various interpretations in various settings, it becomes a "classic." Popular songwriters, from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim, already figure in today's art-song repertory.

If a contemporary pop song proves to be worth repeating and can make the transition from amplified, theatrical presentation to a more intimate, acoustic setting, in time it may find its way into classical or semi-classical recital programs. It's already happening with the music of Radiohead; and it's not hard to imagine some mezzo-soprano interpreting Joni Mitchell or some baritone dipping into the songbag of Willie Nelson.

Any song recitalists out there thinking about exploring recent pop repertory? Look into the songs of Kate and Anna McGarrigle. (Or has someone beat you to it?)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Violence and violins

The Richmond Symphony, University of Richmond Schola Cantorum and James River Singers explore "Music in Times of Civil Unrest," in print in Style Weekly, online at:

In the same issue, my review of the new disc of concertos by Beethoven and his forgotten contemporary, Franz Clement, by violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who performs on Jan. 31 at Virginia Commonwealth University:

Deep red in Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Symphony ran a $3.8 million deficit on an operating budget of $39.9 million in 2007-08, one of the largest shortfalls disclosed to date in a nationwide (soon to be worldwide?) flood of red ink swamping arts organizations.

the orchestra's endowment lost nearly $20 million in value last year, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Janelle Gelfand reports:

Friday, January 23, 2009

All synced up

The performance of John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts" at President Obama's inauguration was actually a recording. Violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero played along to the recording, inaudible to all but the few spectators seated near them, for the benefit of television cameras.

It was too cold for the musicians to give a reliably good live performance, The New York Times is told:

Appearing to give live performances of pre-recorded music is commonplace at big public events that are televised, assorted experts explain.

And no, Ma did not play the carbon-fiber cello, widely touted before the event.

Other than that . . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Richmond Symphony recasts series with move downtown next season

The Richmond Symphony is betting almost all its chips on the new downtown Richmond CenterStage theater complex, scheduled to open in September.

In a letter to patrons, the orchestra announces that next season it will move its mainstage Masterworks concerts back into the Carpenter Theatre (formerly Carpenter Center), presenting Saturday night and Sunday matinee performances. This will mark the end of Monday night concerts, which the symphony has staged since its debut in 1957.

Pops concerts also will return to the Carpenter Theatre, continuing on Saturday nights, with an additional Sunday matinee for the Christmas-season "Let It Snow!" program. The 1,750-seat venue will be used for a single performance of Handel’s "Messiah."

The symphony will discontinue its Kicked Back Classics casual concert series after this season, replacing it with a "Lollipops" series of educational family concerts, staged at the Carpenter Theatre on Saturday mornings.

The only subscription series to maintain a suburban presence will be four chamber-orchestra concerts. In recent years, they have been festivals centering on composers (Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Haydn). The series will be renamed "Metro Connection," with concerts at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland paired with performances at other, yet to be named venues in the metropolitan Richmond area.

David Fisk, the orchestra's executive director, writes that the changes follow audience "surveys and comments over the past 18 months." He adds: "[E]very effort is being made to assure that there is ample, safe, affordable downtown parking."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stravinsky's revenge

From Soho the Dog (

Review: inaugural music

The pundits’ verdict on President Obama’s inaugural address – low-key, straightforward, somber – applies as well to the event’s signature music: not the customary Sousa marches and ceremonial tunes, but the pieces unique to this occasion.

Aretha Franklin sang "America (My Country ’Tis of Thee)" as a church singer, rather than a jazz or pop song stylist. Age has lowered the 66-year-old singer’s top notes and some of her vocal flexibility; but she may have tempered the soulful flourishes in any case, because of the profound historical resonance of the ascension of this country’s first president of African descent. R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the occasion, so to speak.

John Williams’ new piece for the inauguration, an Air with Variations on the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" (best-known as the main theme of Aaron Copand’s "Appalachian Spring"), was comparably understated, contrasting sharply with the triumphalism and/or emotional button-pushing that characterize his film music. The short piece, played by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero, has a short stretch of jazzy busyness but for the most part seems to aim for plain-spokenness with a wistful, nostalgic undercurrent.

The most musical moments of the ceremony – to use "musical" in its broadest sense – were spoken, in the Rev. Joseph Lowery’s spiritually affirmative yet playful benediction, in which old-time country preaching (and quotation of James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Every Voice and Sing") evolved into jazz poetry.

Update: Williams "was falling over himself to convey messages about patriotism and solemnity and austerity and profundity" in his inauguration work, but wound up merely filling "downtime before the main event," writes Anne Midgette in The Washington Post:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Review: Richmond Symphony

Marc Taddei conducting
Jan. 19, St. Michael Catholic Church

Marc Taddei, of the fourth of nine candidates auditioning to be the next music director of the Richmond Symphony, leaves behind two high-romantic calling cards from Masterworks series performances of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony and the "Four Last Songs" of Richard Strauss.

Both works are products not of the 19th-century romantic age but of its afterlife in the early 20th century. The Strauss songs, completed in 1948, the composer’s last year, are overtly retrospective in their texts and their nostalgic musical style. The Rachmaninoff symphony, introduced in 1908, vividly echoes Tchaikovsky in its plush lyricism and dramatic orchestral gestures.

In the last of three performances of this program, Taddei, an American who in recent years has been conducting orchestras in New Zealand, interpreted the Rachmaninoff broadly, with moderate tempos and plenty of rubato in the big lyrical themes. His maintained fine balance between strings and winds, and left ample space for expressive solos by concertmaster Karen Johnson, clarinetist Ralph Skiano and other wind players.

In the Strauss, Taddei and the orchestra were joined by Melissa Citro, a soprano who sounds to be heading into a bright career singing Strauss and Wagner. Her tone is robust from top to bottom, and her phrasing is smooth. Her vocal color palette does not yet extend to some of the dark hues needed to fully express "September" and "Im Abendrot," the most ruminative of the "Four Last Songs;" but her treatment of the best-known of the four, "Beim Schlafengehen," was soulful and thrilling in its emotional climax.

Taddei obtained a richly expressive reading of Strauss’ orchestration, with Johnson, Skiano and French horn player Paul LaFollette contributing eloquent solos.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Met's turn

The Metropolitan Opera, which already had called off costly productions with iffy box-office potential, plans to cut staff salaries by 10 percent and asks for comparable concessions from its unionized workers. As the economy sours, the Met's general manager, Peter Gelb, resists raising ticket prices but fears a deficit rising to the "double-digit" millions, Daniel J. Wakin reports in The New York Times:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hard times for orchestras (con't.)

Grim news keeps coming from orchestras, trying to cope with the economic downturn.

The Philadelphia Orchestra, already without a music director, loses its president and CEO, James Undercofler, six months earlier than expected. His interim replacement, retired financier Frank P. Slattery Jr., working without pay, faces what one board member calls a "chaotic" administrative climate, Peter Dobrin reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Symphony lays off administrative staffers in an effort to cut $500,000 from its budget, the Baltimore Sun's Tim Smith reports:,0,1348943.story

Beethoven via 'Peanuts'

Schroeder, the piano maven of "Peanuts," was seriously into Beethoven. So was the comic strip's creator, Charles Schulz:

Virginia Symphony 2009-10

The Virginia Symphony will present 12 classical programs in its 2009-10 season, continuing to perform at its five existing mainstage venues in Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach despite its financial woes.

Music Director JoAnn Falletta, who along with administrative staffers recently took a 20 percent pay cut to help reduce the orchestra’s budget deficit, will conduct 10 of the 12 programs, including performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ "A German Requiem," Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony and premieres of works by Lowell Liebermann, Behzad Ranjbaran and Hampton Roads-based Adolphus Hailstork.

Guest conductor Jung Ho Pak will lead the premiere of a work by Roberto Sierra. Also scheduled are recent works by John Adams, John Tavener and Jack Gallagher.

Other major repertory includes Mendelssohn’s "Scottish" Symphony, Stravinsky’s "Firebird" Suite, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony and a Christmas-season performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Next season's guest soloists include pianists Jon Klibonoff (in Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 2), Benedetto Lupo (Beethoven’s "Emperor" Concerto) and Norman Krieger (Brahms’ Concerto No. 2); violinist Philippe Quint (Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons"); cellist Michael Daniels (Tavener’s Cello Concerto); and soprano Hila Plitman (Mozart’s "Exsultate, jubilate" and the Mahler Fourth).

Four of the orchestra’s principals also will perform as concerto soloists: Concertmaster Vahn Armstrong (Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Ranjbaran’s Concerto for Violin and Viola), associate concertmaster Yun Zhang (the Chen/He "Butterfly Lovers" Concerto), principal violist Beverly Kane Baker (the Ranjbaran concerto) and principal oboist Sherie Lake Aguirre (Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto).

Concerts will be staged at 8 p.m. Fridays in the Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News; 8 p.m. Saturdays at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk; 2:30 p.m. Sundays at Sandler Arts Center, Virginia Beach; 8 p.m. Thursdays at St. Bede Catholic Church, Williamsburg; and 8 p.m. Saturdays (except Feb. 12) at Regent University Theater, Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Symphony’s 2009-10 classical series dates and programs:

Sept. 11 (Ferguson Center), Sept. 12 (Chrysler Hall), Sept. 13 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falleta conducting. Stravinsky: "Fireworks;" Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor") (Benedetto Lupo, piano); Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5.

Sept. 24 (St. Bede Catholic Church), Sept. 26 (Regent University Theater) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Fauré: "Pelléas et Mélisande" Suite; Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto (Sherie Lake Aguirre, oboe); Jack Gallagher: Berceuse; Beethoven: Symphony No. 8.

Oct. 10 (Chrysler Hall) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. John Adams: "Slonimsky’s Earbox;" Brahms: "A German Requiem" (soloists TBA, Virginia Symphony Chorus).

Oct. 22 (St. Bede Catholic Church), Oct. 24 (Regent University Theater) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Respighi: "The Birds;" Behzad Ranjbaran: Concerto for Violin and Viola (premiere) (Vahn Armstrong, violin; Beverly Kane Baker, viola); Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish").

Oct. 30 (Ferguson Center), Oct. 31 (Chrysler Hall), Nov. 1 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Vivaldi: "The Four Seasons" (Philippe Quint, violin); Lowell Liebermann: work TBA (premiere); Stravinsky: "Firebird" Suite (1919 version).

Dec. 12 (Regent University Theater) – JoAnn Falletta conducting, Adolphus Hailstork: "The Gift of the Magi" (premiere) (Virginia Children’s Chorus, Todd Rosenlieb Dance); Handel: "Messiah" (soloists TBA, Virginia Symphony Chorus).

Jan. 8 (Ferguson Center), Jan. 9 (Chrysler Hall), Jan. 10 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falleta conducting. Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Norman Krieger, piano); Alexander Tcherepnin: "La Princesse Lointaine;" Richard Strauss: "Joseph’s Legend: Symphonic Fragment."

Jan. 29 (Ferguson Arts Center), Jan. 30 (Chrysler Hall), Jan. 31 (Sandler Center) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. John Tavener: Cello Concerto (Michael Daniels, cello); Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ("Choral") (soloists TBA, Virginia Symphony Chorus).

Feb. 11 (St. Bede Catholic Church), Feb. 12 (Regent University Theater), Feb. 14 (Sandler Center) – Matthew Kraemer conducting. Smetana: The Bartered Bride" Overture; Delius: "Walk to the Paradise Garden" from "A Village Romeo and Juliet;" Chen/He: "Butterfly Lovers" Concerto (Yun Zhang, violin); Puccini: Intermezzo from "Manon Lescaut;" Puccini, Mascagni: opera arias (Amy Colfield Williamson, soprano; Scott Williamson, tenor); Tchaikovsky: "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy-Overture.

March 26 (Ferguson Arts Center), March 27 (Chrysler Hall) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Josef Suk: "Scherzo fantastique;" Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Vahn Armstrong, violin); Dvořák: Symphony No. 8.

April 2 (Ferguson Arts Center), April 3 (Chrysler Hall) – JoAnn Falletta conducting. Mozart: "Exsultate, jubilate" (Hila Plitman, soprano); Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (Hila Plitman, soprano).

April 16 (Ferguson Arts Center), April 17 (Chrysler Hall), April 18 (Sandler Center) – Jung Ho Pak conducting. Roberto Sierra: work TBA (premiere); Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Jon Klibonoff, piano); Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4.

Subscription and ticket information: (757) 892-6366;

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eat your Messiaen and like it

Violinist Itzhak Perlman scolds an audience in West Palm Beach, FL, for its tepid response to Messiaen's Theme and Variations, then plays the piece again:

At least as interesting, to me at least, is critic Greg Stepanich's description of the violinist playing with a "tight sound . . . intensely focused but somewhat narrow." For most of his career, Perlman has been likened to Fritz Kreisler in the plummy sweetness of his fiddle sound and his romantic interpretive bent – impressions reinforced by his recordings, even of modern repertory.

I haven't heard him live for a few years. Has he departed from past practice?

Review: James Wilson

Jan. 13, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Richmond

Perhaps the most singular concert experience in recent Richmond history took place on Dec. 13, 2005, the night of "Bach in the dark," when James Wilson played three of the composer’s six suites for solo cello in a downtown chapel lit, barely, by a pair of candelabras.

Wilson belatedly completed the cycle in much brighter surroundings, and as he’s going through a stylistic evolution. In recent years he has taken up the baroque cello and endeavored to perform music of the period in the "historically informed" manner, playing with minimal vibrato, employing period techniques such as messa di voce (a swelling effect in the middle of a long note) and emphasizing the affectus, or stylized emotiveness, of slow or lyrical passages.

This interpretive shift is a work in progress, judging by Wilson’s performances of the suites in C major, BWV 1009; D minor, BWV 1008; and D major, BWV 1012. Playing on a modern cello – needed, he said, to cover the range of the D major Suite, written for a now-extinct five-stringed fiddle that reached higher pitches than the baroque cello can manage – Wilson produced massively sonorous yet austere bass notes and woodsy, at times almost folksy, higher-register tones.

His readings of sarabandes, the central slow movements of these suites of dances, were characterized by dark, brooding lyricism. Tempos were distended by long sighing effects and long resonations, and dynamic changes further contoured phrasing. All this can sound excessively mannered if you’re conditioned to modern string playing. Heard on its own terms, though, it packs quite an expressive punch – witness Wilson’s memorably profound readings of the allemande and sarabande of the Suite in D major.

The effect of the affectus and the rest was to draw the listener deep into both the mechanics and spirit of this music. Its formidable technical challenges were vividly audible, especially in the fingering adjustments required in the D major Suite; and the more varied colors and textures produced by period-style playing made one more appreciative of both the dance roots and the ingenuity and expressive depth of Bach’s creations.

Stray squeaks and squawks, and some mushy rhythms, suggested that Wilson may not yet be fully in command of period fiddle techniques – a process of simultaneously learning the old and unlearning the modern. But he clearly has the ears and sensibilities to master baroque performance style.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'Winterreise' canceled

A Jan. 19 University of Richmond performance of Schubert's song cycle "Die Winterreise" by baritone James Weaver and pianist Joanne Kong has been canceled. Weaver is ill.

Washington National Opera 2009-10

The Washington National Opera has announced a 2009-10 season of six mainstage productions, plus two concert performances of Wagner’s "Götterdämmerung" and concerts by tenor Plácido Domingo (the company’s general director) and the spousal duo of soprano Olga Borodina and bass Ildar Abdrazakov.

The WNO recently postponed plans to stage Wagner’s "Ring" cycle next season due to fallout from the economic downturn. Its 2009-10 schedule, mostly devoted to repertory staples, also may reflect bottom-line concerns.

Repertory, dates and casting to date for the productions, all in the Kennedy Center Opera House:

* Rossini’s "The Barber of Seville" (Sept. 12-20) – Simone Alberghini (Figaro), Silvia Tro Santafe (Rosina), Lawrence Brownlee (Almaviva) and Valeriano Lanchas (Bartolo); conducted by Michele Mariotti and Joseph Mechavich, directed by David Gately.

* Olga Borodina and Aldar Abdrazakov in concert (Oct. 3), Domingo conducting.

* Verdi’s "Falstaff" (Oct. 10-30) – Gordon Hawkins and Tim Mix (Ford), Elizabeth Bishop (Meg Page) and Nancy Maultsby (Mistress Quickly); conducted by Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

* Richard Strauss’ "Ariadne auf Naxos" (Oct. 24-Nov. 13) – Irène Theorin (Ariadne), Pär Lindskog and Ian Storey (Bacchus), Lyuba Petrova (Zerbinetta) and Kristine Jepson (the Composer); conducted by Heinz Fricke.

* Wagner’s "Götterdämmerung" in concert (Nov. 7 and 15) – Ian Storey (Siegfried), Irène Theorin (Brünnhilde), Alan Held (Gunther), Gordon Hawkins (Alberich), Bernadette Flaitz (Gutrune); conducted by Heinz Fricke.

* The Gershwins’ "Porgy and Bess" (March 20-April 3) – Lester Lynch and Eric Owens (Porgy), Morenike Fadayomi and Indira Mahajan (Bess), Terry Cook (Crown), Jermaine Smith and Daniel Beatty (Sportin’ Life), Alyson Cambridge (Clara); conducted by John Mauceri, directed by Francesca Zambello.

* Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro" (April 24-May 7) – Ildar Abdrazakov (Figaro), Veronica Cangemi (Susanna), Krassimira Stoyanova (Countess Almaviva), Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Trevor Scheunemann (Count Almaviva), Michèle Losier (Cherubino); conducted by Patrick Fournillier.

* "From My Latin Soul," concert by Plácido Domingo (May 1).

* Ambroise Thomas’ "Hamlet" (May 19-June 4) – Carlos Álvarez (Hamlet), Samuel Ramey (Claudius), Diana Damrau (Ophelia), Elizabeth Bishop (Gertrude), John Tessier (Laertes); conducted by Plácido Domingo, directed by Thaddeus Straussberger.

Details: (800) 876-7372;

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mendelssohn's Liebestod?

Did Felix Mendelssohn nurse a fatal passion for the "Swedish nightingale," Jenny Lind?

So one British scholar, Curtis Price, suggests, citing an affidativ from Lind's husband mentioning his destruction of "an 1847 missive from the composer to the soprano declaring passionate love for her, begging her to elope with him to America, and threatening suicide if she refused. Lind, one infers, did refuse. Several months later, Mendelssohn was dead," Jessica Duchen reports in The Independent:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mini-renaissance for vinyl

"Amid otherwise gloomy music sales numbers released by Nielsen Co. [for 2008], vinyl record sales doubled compared with the year before," Canwest News Service's Grant Surridge reports:

Surridge quotes Roy Trakin, editor of the music website Hits, as saying, "[S]trangely enough, it's the younger generation that are really kind of going back to [vinyl]" as "a nostalgic throwback to listening to music in a traditional way." I doubt that this is a mass movement; not long ago, I had to explain to a 20-something what records are and how they work.

Record sales numbers were miniscule compared with other formats – 1.88 million records sold in the U.S. in 2008, vs. 361 million CDs and 66 million digital albums.

The article doesn't say so, but I presume the Nielsen data don't include sales of used records.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Opera: Small is beautiful?

With opera companies cutting back and shutting down, does the medium's future lie in chamber opera? Could be, but that may require a change of scene from the large venues in which so many companies perform, Edward Ortiz writes in NewMusicBox:

Update: Small can also be impermanent. Anthony Amato, shuts down his venerable chamber opera company in New York because, at 88, he's ready to retire and fears the Amato Opera's "quality would suffer without his dedication," Daniel J. Wakin reports in The New York Times:

Cello workshop at VCU

Cellist Bonnie Hampton, a longtime faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory now teaching at the Juilliard School, will conduct a workshop on Feb. 21 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

The workshop includes master classes for young cellists and for chamber musicians, a cello choir and technique class and a solo recital by Hampton. Participants also may purchase tickets for the Jan. 21 Richmond Symphony concert, featuring the orchestra’s principal cellist, Neal Cary, playing Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B flat major, for the discounted price of $5.

Registration is open to cellists of all ages. Fees are $70 for participants, $40 for non-playing observers and educators. The deadline for registration is Jan. 12. Auditions to participate in master classes will be held on Jan. 24.

Details on the workshop:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Weimar soundbite

Leftist American and European pop culture has long been wedded to the notion that Weimar Germany is the template for Western society, that we are waiting for the social and economic hammer to fall, producing a right-wing backlash that will usher in the next Hitler – portrayed, successively, by Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The latest example of this dystopian genre – oddly, premiering on the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration as president – is “Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre’s 20th Century,” a cabaret-style musical described as a “punk Songspiel,” starring Lorre impersonator Jack Terricloth and his band, the World/Inferno Friendship Society.

Ben Sisario, in The New York Times, is not making this up:

Isn't this shtick getting pretty shopworn? And if, as the pundits predict, the political right is in for a long spell out of power, who will be the dystopians' new demons? Are Sarah Palin and Rick Warren scary enough to sustain this cultural cottage industry?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The last piano roll

QRS Music Technologies, the last manufacturer of piano rolls, ended 108 years of production on Dec. 31 with a copy of the Rodgers & Hart tune "Spring Is Here," The Buffalo News reports:

The piano roll, a scroll of perforated paper that activates the keys of a player piano, was a popular medium in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. Piano rolls provide some of the most listenable documents of the work of leading performers and composers of the period, notably Gustav Mahler, Feruccio Busoni, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Scott Joplin and George Gershwin.

QRS "is now a leading manufacturer of digitized and computerized player-piano technology that runs on CDs," The Buffalo News' Mark Sommer writes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

DG signs Wang

Yuja Wang, the Chinese-born pianist who created a sensation in her November 2007 appearance with the Shanghai Quartet and a solo recital three months later at the University of Richmond, will release her debut recording, "Sonatas and Etudes" (Liszt, Chopin, Scriabin, Ligeti) on Feb. 17 on Deutsche Grammophon.

The southpaw edge?

Left-handed pianists – from Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein to Richard Goode and Leif Ove Andsnes – may have an inherent advantage over right-handers. "All piano students must overcome the two hands’ resistance to work separately; by having to work harder on what’s essentially a right-handed instrument, the neurons of left-handed pianists get an extra workout and thus grow stronger," Pierre Ruhe writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Monday, January 5, 2009

A nostalgic top 25

Veteran critic Terry Teachout culls his list of favorite classical recordings to a top 25, in Commentary Magazine:

Teachout describes the exercise as "an occasion for nostalgia — and regret. My generation of music lovers (I was born in 1956) had access to records made by celebrated conductors, singers and instrumentalists who had been born as early as the 1830’s. But since I started writing about music for Commentary a decade-and-a-half ago, I have witnessed and chronicled the decline of the once-mighty classical-recording industry that preserved these performances for posterity. It may well be that performances of comparable quality and individuality continue to be given today, but if so, they will go unheard by the music lovers of tomorrow, for with rare exceptions they are not being recorded."

This elegy is not the first — Norman Lebrecht and others have written extensively, even obsessively, about the "end" of commercial classical recording. I think, à la Mark Twain, that reports of its demise are premature.

Major orchestras, such as the San Francisco, Chicago and London symphonies and Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, now produce and market their own discs; and a growing number of soloists, chamber ensembles, even composers, have begun recording for their own "boutique" labels.

The Metropolitan Opera and other companies are airing high-definition videos of their productions in movie theaters and elsewhere, and streaming video and audio of concerts continue to proliferate on the Internet — the Berlin Philharmonic joins the crowd this month. You can be sure that those performances will be captured and circulated, legitimately or otherwise. (The Met's HDTV broadcasts already are reappearing as EMI DVDs.)

Still, Teachout's list serves the always useful purpose of reminding listeners that some of the greatest recorded music predates the digital era. In that spirit, here are my 25 favorite monaural and early stereo (mostly pre-1960) classical recordings — at least as individual, not to say idiosyncratic, as Teachout's selections.

Like Teachout, I'll limit my choices to discs in circulation (in my case, via — and note with dismay that many great early recordings are not currently available.

In alphabetical order by composer, my top 25 classical oldies:

* Bach: "The Well-Tempered Clavier," Books 1 & 2 — Edwin Fischer (piano) (EMI Classics Références 67214).

* Bartók: "Contrasts," "Mikrokosmos" (excerpts) — Bela Bartók (piano), Joseph Szigeti (violin), Benny Goodman (clarinet) (Membran 223546).

* Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 ("Eroica") & 5 — Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Erich Kleiber (London/Decca 467 125).

* Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ("Choral") — Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Elsa Cavelti (mezzo-soprano), Ernst Haefliger (tenor), Otto Edelmann (bass), Lucerne Festival Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Tahra 2001).

* Beethoven: Piano Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 ("Archduke"); Brahms: Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8; Dohnányi: Serenade for string trio, Op. 10; Mozart: String Trio in E flat major, K. 563; Schubert: Piano Trio in B flat major, D. 898 — Jascha Heifetz (violin), William Primrose (viola), Emanuel Feuermann (cello), Arthur Rubinstein (piano) (Opus Kura 2062).

* Beethoven: Piano sonatas No. 17 ("Tempest"), No. 21 ("Waldstein"), No. 23 ("Appassionata"), No. 28; Bagatelle in E flat major, Op. 33, No. 1 — Walter Gieseking (piano) (VAI Audio 1088).

* Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, "Tragic" Overture; Richard Strauss: "Till Eulenspiegel;" Mozart: Symphony No. 36 ("Linz"); works by Mendelssohn, Wagner, Ravel, Bartók, De Falla — Emil Gilels (piano), Chicago Symphony, et al./Fritz Reiner (EMI Classics/Arkiv CD 62866).

* Brahms, Sibelius: Violin concertos — Ginette Neveu (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra/Issay Dobrowen & Walter Süsskind (EMI Classics 76831).

* Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 — Berlin Philharmonic/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Testament 1143).

* Chopin: 14 waltzes, Barcarolle in F sharp minor, Nocturne in D flat major — Dinu Lipatti (piano) (EMI Classics 66956).

* Debussy: "Pelléas et Mélisande" — Irène Joachim (mezzo-soprano), Jacques Jansen (baritone), et al.; Yvonne Gouverné Chorus & Orchestra/Roger Desormière (EMI Classics 45782).

* Dvořák: String Quartet in F major ("American"), Piano Quintet; Janáček: String Quartet No. 1 ("Kreutzer Sonata") — Smetana Quartet, Pavel Stepán (piano) (Testament 1074).

* Elgar: Violin Concerto, "Enigma" Variations — Yehudi Menuhin (violin), London Symphony/Edward Elgar (EMI Classics 66994).

* Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4; Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 — Joseph Szigeti (violin), London Philharmonic/Thomas Beecham (EMI Classics/Arkiv CD 64562).

* Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish"), "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Overture & incidental music — London Symphony/Peter Maag (London/Decca 466 990).

* Mussorgsky: "Pictures at an Exhibition;" works by Chopin, Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninoff ("The Sofia Recital") — Sviatoslav Richter (piano) (Philips 464 734).

* Rachmaninoff: Piano concertos Nos. 1-4, "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" - Sergei Rachmaninoff (piano), Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski & Eugene Ormandy (RCA Victor 61658).

* Ravel: "Daphnis et Chloé," "Rapsodie espagnole," "Pavane pour une infante défunte" — London Symphony/Pierre Monteux (Decca 000624802).

* Schubert: Symphony No. 5, String Quintet — Isaac Stern & Alexander Schneider (violins), Milton Katims (viola), Pablo Casals & Paul Tortelier (cellos); Prades Festival Orchestra/Pablo Casals (Sony Classical 58992).

* Schubert: String quartets in D minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden"), G major, D. 887 — Busch Quartet (EMI Classics 61589).

* Richard Strauss: Orchestral works — New York Philharmonic/Willem Mengelberg ("Ein Heldenleben"); Boston Symphony/Serge Koussevitzky ("Also sprach Zarathustra"); Alfred Wallenstein (cello), New York Philharmonic/Thomas Beecham ("Don Quixote"); Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski ("Death and Transfiguration"); Chicago Symphony/Frederick Stock ("Aus Italien") (RCA Victor/Arkiv CD 60929).

* Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; works by Beethoven, Liszt, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Roy Harris — Boston Symphony/Serge Koussevitzky (EMI Classics/Arkiv CD 75118).

* Wagner: "Tristan und Isolde" — Kirsten Flagstad (soprano), Ludwig Suthaus (tenor), et al.; Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler (EMI Classics 85873).

* Wagner: "Die Walküre" (Act 1) — Lotte Lehmann (soprano), Lauritz Melchior (tenor), Emanuel List (bass), Vienna Philharmonic/Bruno Walter (EMI Classics 345832).

* "The Very Best of Victoria de los Angeles" (arias by Puccini, Bizet, Mozart, Wagner, Gounod, Catalani, others) — Victoria de los Angeles (soprano), various accompanists (EMI Classics 75888).

And now (like Teachout, no doubt), I await "I can't believe you left out [insert your favorites]" comments.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Last look at 2008 centenarians

Alex Ross wraps up a year of reassessments of the two great centenarian composers of 2008, Elliott Carter and Olivier Messiaen, in The New Yorker:

Whither (or wither) City Opera?

Having lost the much-touted Gerard Mortier as its general director, lost a season to the renovation of its home theater, and lost enough money over time to be saddled with a huge deficit, where does the New York City Opera go from here?

The question is of more than passing interest to music-lovers in these parts. Former Richmond Symphony maestro George Manahan is the City Opera's music director, and the company has been a springboard for Richmond-bred singers such as Pamela Armstrong and William Ferguson, as it has for many other young American voices.

Anthony Tommasini ponders the City Opera's future in The New York Times:

Update: City Opera snags George R. Steel, formerly executive director of Columbia University's Miller Theater and, since October, general director of the Dallas Opera, as its new general manager:

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bless our hearts and gerunds

Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker writes: "Bloggers, bless their hearts, are becoming the new-old curmudgeons, thinking hard before writing, still insisting on complete sentences with more than 140 characters, clinging to their gerunds, participles and semicolons. Many are camouflaged renegades from (or appendages to) newspapers, not so much new breeds as Darwinian adapters to a new environment." (via Romenesko)

I keep forgetting what gerunds are, but I'm sure I cling to them.

I also note Parker's use of "bless their hearts," a possibly loaded Southernism. As a Virginia matron explained to Slate's Dahlia Lithwick: "If you want to sound like a real Virginian, you just say, 'Bless your heart' after every single sentence. Doesn't matter how mean it is! You just turn to your hairdresser and say, 'I hate this goddamn, stupid haircut, bless your heart,' and you're from Virginia!"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Haydn year

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Joseph Haydn's death (May 31, 1809). We shall see and hear how the commemoration compares with other recent musical anniversaries, notably the Mozart 250th-birthday bash of 2006.

I'll go out on a pretty sturdy limb and predict that string quartets and choral groups will make more of the Haydn year than other ensembles. A revival of a Haydn opera by any major American company would be a big surprise. In orchestra programming, this season's Richmond Symphony Haydn Festival is unique in this region, and even these programs are heavily garnished with works of Mozart, Beethoven and other composers.

I had a bit to say about the relative neglect of Haydn in reviewing the first concert of the symphony festival . . .

. . . and I expect to expand on those thoughts as the year progresses.

Meanwhile, The Guardian's Stephen Moss starts out his Haydn year with rather muted praise and a road trip to the composer's old haunts:

This blog, by the way, owes its name to Haydn, at least indirectly. "Letter V" is the nickname sometimes attached to his Symphony No. 88 in G major.

January 2009 calendar

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, group and other discounts may be offered.


* In/around Richmond: James Wilson, artistic director of the Richmond Festival of Music, plays three of Bach’s suites for solo cello, Jan. 13 at First Unitarian Church. . . . Marc Taddei, fourth of the Richmond Symphony’s music-director candidates, leads “Sinfonia del Fuego,” a pops concert focused on the Argentine tango, Jan. 10 at the Landmark Theater, and conducts Richard Strauss and Rachmaninoff, Jan. 16, 17 and 19 at three area churches. . . . Erin Freeman conducts the symphony in a Kicked Back Classics celebration of Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday, Jan. 22 and 25 at The National, and leads the orchestra, the University of Richmond’s Schola Cantorum and the James River Singers in “Music in Times of Civil Unrest,” Jan. 30 at UR’s Modlin Arts Center. . . . Violinist Rachel Barton Pine plays at Virginia Commonwealth University on Jan. 31.

* New and/or different: Ilan Volkov conducts the National Symphony in George Crumb’s “A Haunted Landscape,” Jan. 15-17 at Washington’s Kennedy Center. . . . Billy Joel’s Elegy receives its Virginia premiere from the Roanoke Symphony, alongside works by Debussy, Britten, Smetana and Rachmaninoff Jan. 19 at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. . . . Emmanuel Krivine conducts the National Symphony in “Apex” by Pascal Dusapin, as well as works of Ravel and Berlioz, Jan. 22-24 at the Kennedy Center. . . . The new-music ensemble Rêlache performs on Jan. 27 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. . . . Ryan Brown conducts Opera Lafayette in a rare revival of Pierre Alexandre Monsigny’s “Le Déserteur” (1769), Jan. 29 at the Kennedy Center.

* Star turns: Norwegian virtuoso Leif Ove Andsnes takes on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Symphony, Jan. 15-17 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Radu Lupu, the celebrated Romanian pianist, plays Beethoven and Schubert, Jan. 20 at the UVa. . . . Conductor-composer André Previn anticipates his 80th birthday (coming in April) with his ex-wife, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and the National Symphony, Jan. 31 at the Kennedy Center.

* Bargain of the month: The Richmond Symphony, University of Richmond Schola Cantorum and James River Singers in "Music in Times of Civil Unrest," Jan. 30 at the Modlin Center. (Free; tickets required)

* My picks: JoAnn Falletta conducting the Virginia Symphony in “The Ring Without Words,” Lorin Maazel’s arrangement of highlights from Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, Jan. 9-11 at various Tidewater venues. . . . The Richmond Symphony’s “Sinfonia del Fuego,” featuring bandoneon player Raul Jaurena, violinist Karen Johnson and the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Jan. 10 at the Landmark Theater. . . . James Wilson’s all-Bach recital, Jan. 13 at First Unitarian Church. . . . Radu Lupu’s Beethoven-Schubert recital, Jan. 20 at UVa.

Jan. 3 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Strauss Symphony Orchestra of America
Sascha Göetzel conducting
Ingeborg Schöpf, soprano
Michael Baba, tenor
Company members from Budapest Ballet & International Champion Ballroom Dancers

“Salute to Vienna: America’s New Year’s Concert,” works by Strauss family
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 8 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 9 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 10 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Philippe Jordan conducting
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”)
Schumann: Cello Concerto
Lynn Harrell, cello
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 9 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Jan. 10 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 201 E. Bremelton Ave., Norfolk
Jan. 11 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Wagner-Maazel: “The Ring Without Words”
(757) 892-6366

Jan. 10 (8 p.m.)
Landmark Theater, Main and Laurel streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony Pops
Marc Taddei conducting
Raul Jaurena, bandoneon
Karen Johnson, violin
Latin Ballet of Virginia
Ana Ines King directing
“Sinfonia del Fuego,” jazz, tango and classical program
(804) 788-1212

Jan. 11 (4 p.m.)
Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Second Sunday South of the James:
Ben Houghton, piano
Works by Haydn, Debussy, Gershwin, Prokofiev, others
Donation requested
(804) 272-9541

Jan. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
First Unitarian Church, 1000 Blanton Ave. at the Carillon, Richmond
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
James Wilson, cello
Bach: Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009
Bach: Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Bach: Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012
(804) 519-2098

Jan. 15 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 16 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 17 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov conducting
Stravinsky: “Jeu de cartes”
George Crumb: “A Haunted Landscape”
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 16 (8 p.m.)
Second Baptist Church, River and Gaskins roads, Richmond
Jan. 17 (8 p.m.)
First Baptist Church, Boulevard at Monument Avenue, Richmond
Jan. 19 (8 p.m.)
St. Michael Catholic Church, 4491 Springfield Road, Glen Allen
Richmond Symphony
Marc Taddei conducting
Richard Strauss: “Four Last Songs”
Melissa Citro, soprano
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
(804) 788-1212

Jan. 16 (8 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna
Keith Phares, baritone
Patricia Risley, mezzo-soprano
Kim Pensinger Witman, piano
Program TBA
(877) 965-3872

Jan. 17 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony
Daniel Meyer conducting
Bernstein: “Three Dance Episodes” from “On the Town”
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Brahms: Symphony No. 1
(888) 945-2468 (

Jan. 18 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Dvořák: Terzetto in C major
Britten: “Phantasy” Quartet for oboe, violin, viola and cello
Brahms: String Sextet No. 2, Op. 36
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 19 (7:30 p.m.)

Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 8 N. Laurel St., Richmond
Greater Richmond Children's Choir
Grace and Holy Trinity Adult Choir
Riverview Baptist Sanctuary Choir
"A Celebration of Unity Concert," sacred and secular songs honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
Donation requested
(804) 359-5628

Jan. 19 (8 p.m.)
Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre, Orange Avenue at Williamson Road
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Billy Joel: Elegy
Britten: “Four Sea Interludes” from “Peter Grimes”
Handel: Hornpipe from “Water Music”
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise
Smetana: “The Moldau” from “Ma Vlast”
Debussy: “La Mer”
(540) 343-9127

Jan. 20 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Radu Lupu, piano
Beethoven: Sonata No. 9 in E Major , Op. 14, No. 1
Beethoven: Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2
Beethoven: Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (“Pathétique”)
Schubert: Sonata in B flat major, D.960
$12-$28 (waiting list)
(434) 924-3984

Jan. 22 (6:30 p.m.)
Jan. 25 (4 p.m.)
The National, Seventh and Broad streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Richmond Symphony Chorus

Erin Freeman conducting
Richmond Shakespeare actors
“Music for Poe,” program marking bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth

Trad.: Dies irae (Gregorian chant)
David Baker: "Fantasy on Themes from 'The Masque of the Red Death' "
Verdi: Introduction and "Witches' Chorus" from "Macbeth"
Gesualdo: "Morro Lasso"
Mozart: Dies irae from Requiem
Fauré: Pavane
Robert Wendel: "The Pit and the Pendulum"
Grieg: "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from "Peer Gynt"
Gounod: "Funeral March of a Marionette"
Saint-Saëns: "Danse macabre"
(804) 788-1212

Jan. 22 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 23 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 24 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Emmanuel Krivine conducting
Pascal Dusapin: “Apex”
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Yundi Li, piano
Berlioz: “Symphonie fantastique”
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 24 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Yevgeny Sudbin, piano
Haydn: Sonata in B minor Hob XVI:32
Haydn: Sonata in C Major, Hob.XVl/50
Medtner: “Two Fairy Tales,” Op. 20, No. 1; Op. 51, No. 3
Chopin: Mazurka No. 2 in D Major, Op. 33
Chopin: Mazurka No. 4 in B minor, Op. 33
Ravel: “Gaspard de la Nuit”
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)

Jan. 25 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Guitar Series:
Sam Dorsey, classical guitar
Program TBA
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 25 (3:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Chamber Orchestra of Charlottesville
Kate Tamarkin conducting
Wagner: “Siegfried Idyll”
Vivaldi: Concerto for Oboe, RV 447
Aaron Hill, oboe
George Walker: “Lyric for Strings”
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K.550
(434) 924-3984

Jan. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Rohan De Silva, piano
Beethoven: Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30, No. 3
Bartók: Sonata for Solo Violin, Sz 117, BB 124
Prokofiev: Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94a
Sarasate: “Carmen Fantasy”
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 27 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Program TBA
(434) 924-3984

Jan. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
American Theatre, 125 E. Mellen St., Hampton
Spanish Brass
Program TBA
(757) 722-2787

Jan. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Opera Lafayette
Ryan Brown conducting
Pierre Alexandre Monsigny: “Le Déserteur”
Dominique Labelle (Louise)
William Sharp (Alexis)
John Lescault, actor
Catherine Turocy, stage director
in French and English
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Erin Freeman conducting
UR Schola Cantorum
Jeffrey Riehl directing
James River Singers
Christopher Lindbloom directing
“Music in Times of Civil Unrest”
Verdi: “Un ballo in maschera” (Prelude, Act 2)
Curulli (arr.): “Ashokan Farewell”
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a (second and third movements)
Barber: Adagio
Virgil Thomson: Fugue and Chorale on “Yankee Doodle” (1944)
Schoenberg: “Friede Auf Erden”
Haydn: “Mass in Time of War” (Agnus Dei and Dona Nobis Pacem)
Free; tickets required
(804) 289-8980

Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 W. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Peter Mark conducting
Puccini: “Tosca”
Mary Elizabeth Williams (Tosca)
Michael Hayes (Cavaradossi)
Stephen Kechulius (Scarpia)
Marc Astafan, stage direction
in Italian, English captions
(866) 673-7282

Jan. 31 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
Matthew Hagle, piano
Program TBA
Pine conducts free string master class, 4 p.m. Jan. 30 at Singleton Center
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Roby Lakatos Ensemble
Classical, jazz, gypsy music
(804) 289-8980

Jan. 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Vocal Arts Society:
Sarah Coburn, soprano
Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
Martin Katz, piano
Program TBA
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 31 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
André Previn conducting
Haydn: Symphony No. 104 (“London”)
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Previn: Double Concerto for violin, contrabass and orchestra
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Roman Patkolo, double-bass
Richard Strauss: “Der Rosenkavalier” Suite
(800) 444-1324