Sunday, January 31, 2010

'Sea Orpheus' reviewed

I couldn't make it to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies' "Sea Orpheus" Jan. 29 at the University of Richmond. Angela Lehman-Rios reviewed the performance for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:


The Washington Post's Anne Midgette exposes the "dirty secret" of classical recording: Sales of only 1,000 copies in any given week vaults a recording to the top of the Billboard chart:

A Ninth for its 90th

Hampton Roads' Virginia Symphony marks its 90th anniversary with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Lee Teply reviews the concert in The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk:

NOTE: The Jan. 30-31 repeat performances have been postponed due to weather conditions. No word yet on rescheduling.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Called on account of snow

The Capuçon-Angelich Trio concert scheduled for Jan. 30 at Virginia Commonwealth University has been canceled due to the snowstorm and hazardous driving conditions.

The storm also has caused postponement of the Jan. 30 Richmond Symphony Pops concert. The program, "Simply Sinatra," has been rescheduled for May 29.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Settlement in Seattle

Musicians of the Seattle Symphony, who had been preparing to go on strike, have accepted cuts in pay and benefits in a new contract with the financially stressed orchestra, Janet I. Tu reports in The Seattle Times:

More money woes a few miles north of Seattle, as the Everett Symphony calls off the rest of its season:

The other Caruso didn't last as long

Charles Anthony, an 80-year-old tenor who has sung subsidiary roles and served as an understudy at the Metropolitan Opera since 1954, retires after portraying the Emperor Altoum in Puccini's "Turandot" tonight.

Anthony (real name: Charles Anthony Caruso – no relation to the other Caruso) recalls a career of 2,927 performances at the Met in an interview with The New York Times' James Barron:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Concerto Competition winners

Pianist Kimberly Hou and violinist Annika Brynn Jenkins are first-place winners of this year's Richmond Symphony Orchestra League Concerto Competition.

They will receive cash prizes and will perform in the symphony's LolliPops concert at 11 a.m. Feb. 20 at the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage.

Other winners: In the piano category, Anthony Feldman, second place; Marika Yasuda, honorable mention. In the instrumental category, flutist Hannah Hammel, second place; cellist Elise Linder, third place; guitarist Max Hiner and violinist Jee Eun Hong, honorable mention.

A sensible view of 'young audiences'

"I don’t believe that young audiences are the future. I believe in young people being exposed to classical music so that when they’re slightly older they will be able to come from a money and time standpoint," Zarin Mehta, the New York Philharmonic's executive director, tells Igor Toronyi-Lalic in an article on the orchestra and its new music director, Alan Gilbert, in The Times of London:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Earl Wild (1915-2010)

Earl Wild, the pianist from Pittsburgh who embodied both the limitless technique and onstage flair of the 19th-century virtuoso, has died at the age of 94.

In a career that began with performances in the late 1920s on the then-new medium of radio and continued until a final concert in 2008, Wild mastered virtually all of the piano repertory. He was most widely celebrated for his performances of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and other finger-busters of the late-romantic period; he also was one of the most fluent interpreters of Gershwin. He made some 800 recordings.

Allan Kozinn's obituary of Wild in The New York Times:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lagging indicator

Support for the performing arts is, in the parlance of economists, a lagging indicator.

When household budgets are stressed, tickets to concerts, theatrical and dance events are among the first discretionary purchases that most people forgo. When unemployment rates hit double digits and people are losing their homes, charitable giving gravitates toward food banks and family services, and away from the arts.

Even among the most committed and affluent arts patrons, a drop in net worth and lower returns on investments usually translate to buying fewer or cheaper seats and making smaller contributions. That effect is compounded by reduced income from endowments, not just for the few arts groups that have endowments but for the many that receive support from foundations whose grants are funded by endowment income. And when corporate profits shrink, or local firms are absorbed in mergers, corporate donations decline.

The U.S. economy may have begun recovering from the 2008-09 crash; but it’s going to be some time before indices of personal wealth – salaries, home prices, the values of investment portfolios – regain lost ground; and even longer before income from savings and investments rebound. (I saw an ad the other day promoting "1.84 percent!" on a 12-month certificate of deposit – ! indeed.)

Performing-arts groups also face sharp reductions or elimination of grants and fees for educational and community services from state and local governments, which are reeling from budget shortfalls. (Currently, the Richmond Symphony receives about $300,000 – 8 percent of its operating budget – from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and local governments, says David Fisk, the orchestra’s executive director.)

The financial stress that arts organizations are enduring will continue for several years after the economy turns around. The recession that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was over by 2003; but, Fisk observes, arts groups did not see contributions and grants return to pre-9/11 levels until 2005-06.

The current "Great Recession" is deeper and broader, and promises to have more long-term impact on the arts.

The advocacy group Americans for the Arts publishes a National Arts Index, tracking trends in attendance, contributions and other measures of the health of arts organizations. Its latest report, incorporating data from 2008, shows a decline of 4.2 points from the 2007 level, 7.1 points since 1999:

The index reinforces the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2008 study, "Public Participation in the Arts," reporting declining attendance and aging audiences for the performing arts:

The NEA study was conducted before the current recession. The latest National Arts Index reflects early effects of the downturn, and predicts that declines in attendance and contributions will continue at least until 2011.

The index’s researchers find that "demand for the arts lags capacity" – i.e., there are more arts groups, performances and venues than the existing and likely future market can bear – and that patronage of the arts is not keeping up with "other uses of audience members’ time, donor and funder commitment." They also report that more people are manifesting their interest in the arts as at-home practitioners, while fewer are behaving as consumers, buying tickets to performances or purchasing works of art.

* * *

From these and other studies, and from ongoing, generally negative budgetary reports by arts groups, we can draw these inferences:

* There will be fewer performing-arts groups, especially those employing professional artists, in the future than there have been in the recent past.

* Professional performance organizations, especially those with high overhead such as orchestras and opera companies, will merge; or groups will broaden their geographical base to fill voids left when other groups go under.

* The number of resident, salaried professional artists will decline and more groups will employ free-lancers. More classical instrumentalists will work as actors, opera singers and jazz musicians do, taking gigs when and where they can find them, depending more on teaching or non-artistic work for steady income.

* Performing-arts groups will stage fewer and less ambitious productions, and will perform to smaller audiences. Patrons of "high" art forms such as symphony and opera will be older and more conservative in their tastes.

* A greater share of arts groups’ budgets will come from "earned revenue" – ticket sales, fees for classes and workshops. Ticket prices will rise, especially for professional-level productions.

* Government grants for arts groups, especially at state and local levels, will decline sharply or disappear altogether. Big corporate donations will be harder to come by, especially in communities whose large firms are based elsewhere. Foundation grants already have gravitated away from general-operating support and toward specific ends, notably education; that trend will become more pronounced. Arts groups will be more dependent than ever on individual contributions.

* "Long-distance" spending on performing arts – buying tickets for the Metropolitan Opera's telecasts in movie theaters, subscribing to online streaming of concerts by major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic – will increase, often replacing purchases of tickets to local performances.

* * *

This region is a good place to watch these trends at work.

A couple of professional troupes – the Baltimore Opera, the Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke – have already shut down. The two largest arts groups in Hampton Roads, the Virginia Opera and Virginia Symphony, are in bad shape financially. The Washington National Opera has pared its 2010-11 season to five productions (down from seven in 2008-09) and is taking fewer chances with repertory; its plan to stage Wagner’s "Ring" cycle has been put off indefinitely.

Two questions (among many others that could be posed): Five or 10 years from now, will there be one professional opera company performing in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia? Will both the Richmond Symphony and Virginia Symphony continue to be professional orchestras with salaried musicians who live in Central Virginia and Hampton Roads?

* * *

POSTSCRIPT 1: Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Manshel, an attorney working with nonprofit organizations, discusses the financial viability of U.S. symphony orchestras. Manshel focuses on the Cleveland Orchestra's situation. His bottom line: The salaries of musicians and staff are too high to be sustained:

POSTSCRIPT 2: The Philadelphia Inquirer's Peter Dobrin sounds out leaders of the Philadelphia Orchestra on the ways it may address its financial woes. Among the options, bankruptcy reorganization:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New gigs for Manahan

George Manahan, music director of the Richmond Symphony from 1987-98 and the New York City Opera for the past 12 years, has been appointed music director of the American Composers Orchestra, beginning next season.

The ACO, founded in 1977 and based in New York, specializes in modern and contemporary music. In recent years, the ensemble has focused its programming on the works of emerging and mid-career American composers.

Manahan has worked extensively with living composers, performing and recording orchestral pieces and operas by Steve Reich, Tobias Picker, Sheila Silver, Todd Machover, David Lang, Charles Wuorinen and others, and is celebrated for his lucid, colorful interpretations of 20th-century repertory. During his Richmond Symphony tenure, the orchestra won four ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.

He will conduct the ACO's three 2010-11 concerts presented by Carnegie Hall in Zankel Hall, as well as workshops and readings of new works by young composers.

Manahan "has everything it takes to lead an orchestra that tackles so much new and innovative American music – the clarity of technique, tremendous score reading abilities, omnivorous and stylistic diverse interests, and the energy and the intellect to tackle one of the toughest conducting ‘gigs’ in the orchestra world," says Michael Geller, the ACO's executive director.

Next fall Manahan also will become director of orchestral studies at the Manhattan School of Music, from which he graduated in 1976.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Classical punishment (again)

Add the West Park School in Spondon, Derby, England, to the list of institutions that use classical music to punish miscreants and deter further misbehavior:

Besides dissing a cornerstone of Western art, using classical music as punishment is so day-before-yesterday. It's high time musical disciplinarians exercised more imagination and initiative.

The universe of off-putting music is vast: polka bands, mandolin orchestras, Hawaiian steel guitar, Rudy Vallee, Tiny Tim, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Mongolian throat-singing, field recordings from Karaoke bars.
One dose of "The Ethel Merman Disco Album," and the threat of repeat performances, would turn any juvenile delinquent into a model citizen.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review: Richmond Symphony

Marc Taddei conducting
Jan. 16, Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage

In his return tryout as one of the final three candidates for music director of the Richmond Symphony, Marc Taddei plays up the "wow" factor in an all-Russian program.

Well, an almost all-Russian program: Modest Mussorgsky composed "Pictures at an Exhibition" as a piano suite; Maurice Ravel’s orchestration, introduced in 1922 (41 years after Mussorgsky’s death), is more French than Russian in its tone-coloring and dynamic contouring, and bears little resemblance to the orchestral language of Mussorgsky (which Ravel probably never heard) or Rimsky-Korsakov (whose revisions of Mussorgsky’s scores were, and still are, more familiar).

In the first of two weekend performances, Taddei led a vividly colorful reading of "Pictures." Aside from a brisk, rather terse statement of the opening processional, the performance breathed and danced naturally. His well-judged pacing and sense of swing in dance rhythms also propelled performances of Prokofiev’s "Lieutenant Kijé" Suite and the "Polovtsian Dances" from Borodin’s "Prince Igor."

All three pieces owe their popularity to tonal brilliance and high-impact brassy, percussive and (in the Borodin) choral climaxes; and the conductor, orchestra and the Richmond Symphony Chorus didn’t skimp on the sonic thrills. But there are rewarding subtleties in the Prokofiev and Ravel’s orchestration, and Taddei made room for most of those finer details, especially contrasts of bright and dusky colors in "Pictures."

The orchestra’s solo voices – trumpeter Rolla Durham, double-bassist Paul Bedell, violist Molly Sharp, clarinetist Ralph Skiano and, especially, saxophonist Roland "Dusty" Dowdy – exploited these openings to excellent effect.

The chorus, with voice parts mixed rather than positioned separately, delivered a full-throated account of Borodin’s "Polovtsian Dance with Chorus." It lacked the bassy heft of an idiomatically Russian ensemble, but that probably was due to the brightened acoustic of the renovated Carpenter Theatre. The hall’s new sound also was the likely culprit in barely audible offstage solos by trumpeter Durham in the introduction of "Lieutenant Kijé."

The program repeats at 3 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Carpenter Theatre. Tickets: $17-$72. Details: (800) 982-2787 (Ticketmaster);

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dotage or evolution?

The classical-music world is going through round of hand-wringing over the aging, and resulting shrinking, of its audience. It began with a National Endowment for the Arts study, "Public Participation in the Arts," published in 2008:

Subsequent studies, by the League of American Orchestras and others, suggest that attendance of classical music events has fallen by as much as 30 percent over the past generation, and that the highbrow audience is older than ever.

Seemingly alarming stuff. "Seemingly," because researchers and analysts have downplayed or overlooked several factors:

1. The audience for every art form (and most everything else) is aging, because the population is aging – particularly the affluent, white and Asian population that is the core audience for classical music. That’s the downside. The upside is that these people are living longer. Many 60-year-old symphony and opera patrons will still be alive and mobile for another 20 to 30 years.

2. Classical music is rapidly evolving beyond the Bach-to-Rachmaninoff repertory that has been "traditional" and the performing configurations (orchestras, opera companies, concert choirs, string quartets, etc.) that play and sing this repertory. Recent decades have seen the rise of mini-orchestral chamber ensembles of strings, winds, piano and percussion – eighth blackbird, in residence at the University of Richmond, is a prominent example – that play little if any of the formerly standard classical repertory and draw audiences that don’t regularly attend symphony and opera. These groups, and even more exotic configurations such as electroacoustic and all-percussion ensembles – now lumped under the label "alt-classical" – may transform classical music, and the audience for it, as radically as the symphony orchestra did in the 19th century.

3. Classical-music media are also evolving rapidly. Many communities are losing their classical radio stations, and airtime devoted to classical music is shrinking on public radio stations. But satellite radio, new digital-radio channels and web-based audio services are filling that void. Listeners have vastly more access to classical music on their computers than they ever had on their radios.

4. The audience for music of all kinds is more fragmented and eclectic in its listening habits than it ever has been. Formerly "popular" music styles have shattered into numerous sub-genres whose audiences are no larger than those for formerly "esoteric" or "niche" musics. (Locally, the Richmond Symphony and Virginia Opera play to larger audiences than most pop-music concerts.) I addressed this phenomenon in more detail two years ago in "Your Niche or Mine?" posted on NewMusicBox:

5. Comparisons of performing-arts attendance and other leisure-time spending in the 2000s vs. the 1980s and ’90s that don’t take into account the lack of growth in middle-class incomes, alongside inflation in the costs of healthcare, energy and other basics, aren’t telling the whole story. Changing taste is one thing; diminished ability to afford what you like is another.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Orchestras going silent?

"A strike or other work stoppage is becoming increasingly likely" as musicians and management of the Cleveland Orchestra appear to have reached an impasse in negotiations on salary reductions, Zachary Lewis reports in The Plain Dealer:

There's also talk of a musicians' strike at the Seattle Symphony, whose executive director, Thomas Philion (who held the same position with the Richmond Symphony in the 1980s) is leaving:

Management of the Long Beach (CA) Symphony threatens curtailment of the current season and cancellation of the 2010-11 season if its musicians don't agree to wage concessions:

All three orchestras are running in the red: Cleveland's current operating deficit is about $2 million; Seattle's is about $1 million (with $4 million in accumulated debt). The president of the Long Beach Symphony Association says the orchestra expects to "run out of cash and exhaust our secured line of credit by the end of January."

They aren't alone: Big deficits are reported by the New York Philharmonic ($4.6 million, its highest ever), Detroit Symphony ($3.7 million) and Indianapolis Symphony ($2.8 million). The Philadelphia Orchestra projects a $7.5 million deficit this season, and the Baltimore Symphony expects to be deep in the red. The Honolulu Symphony has gone bankrupt. Many other orchestras, including Hampton Roads' Virginia Symphony, are under severe financial strain.

UPDATE 1: The Cleveland Orchestra's musicians have gone on strike, just as the orchestra was to have begun a residency at Indiana University. More from The Plain Dealer's Zachary Lewis:

UPDATE 2: The Cleveland Orchestra and its musicians settle on a new contract:

UPDATE 3: The Long Beach Symphony and its musicians come to terms:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: Pacifica Quartet

Jan. 14, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

When the Pacifica Quartet replaced the Guarneri Quartet in residence at New York Metropolitan Museum of Art this season, did anyone think to subject the audience to a blindfold test? It would take a pretty sensitive set of ears to tell the two apart, especially in the core classical-romantic repertory.

Like the Guarneri, the Pacifica – violinists Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson, violist Masumi Per Rostad and cellist Brandon Vamos – favors a plummy, almost orchestral-scale collective sound with espressivo as its default expressive mode and moderato as its default tempo. The Pacifica is more firmly centered in pitch than the Guarneri was in its later years; the Pacifica seems to dote on fine balances of internal details and sometimes sounds most animated when playing very quietly. (Those latter attributes are probably what made its recordings of Elliott Carter’s quartets such a critical triumph.)

In its VCU performance – making up for a November appearance that was canceled after Ganatra suddenly fell ill – the Pacifica sampled Mendelssohn, whose quartets it has already recorded, and Shostakovich and Beethoven, whose quartets it will play in cycles in coming months.

The program opened with a richly expressive, generally mellow account of Mendelssohn’s Quartet in E flat major, Op. 12, that, to my ears, peaked in a quicksilver treatment of the canzonetta.

The foursome played Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 8 with a richness and tonal warmth arguably more suited to Brahms. The darkness was there – how could it not be? – but the Pacifica’s interpretation was short on bone-chilling starkness. The third-movement waltz was more mordant than demonic, and the famous "knocks on the door" of the fourth movement, while insistent, weren’t really ominous.

The group’s reading of Beethoven’s Quartet in B flat major, Op. 130, performed with the "Great Fugue" (Op. 133) as its finale, was animated and tonally refined except in the early going of the fugue, but emphasized the episodic nature of this piece. Curiously, the Pacifica paced the cavatina, marked adagio, more briskly than the third movement, marked andante.

'Sea Orpheus' premieres

The Jan. 29 concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist Angela Hewitt at the University of Richmond will feature the premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies' "Sea Orpheus." This final installment of the orchestra's New Brandenburg Project is a contemporary companion piece to Bach's "Brandenburg" Concerto No. 5, with similar orchestration and, as in the Bach, prominent roles for flute, violin and piano.

"Sea Orpheus" was inspired by the poems of George Mackay Brown. ""There are three movements, played without a break, all based on a Gregorian chant, 'Tantum Ergo Sacramentum', which is subject to constant transformation processes, and is present throughout in some form," the composer says. "This is the first time I have attempted to write a strictly neoclassical work, and, as well as from the 'Brandenburg' Concerto, I have borrowed techniques from Bach's 'Musical Offering' and 'The Art of the Fugue.' "

Maxwell Davies is known for works rooted in English and Scottish history and lore, notably "Eight Songs for a Mad King" and "An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise." Since 2004 he has been Master of the Queen's Music.

"Sea Orpheus" will receive further performances on the Orpheus-Hewitt tour in North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York, culminating in a Feb. 6 concert at Carnegie Hall.

Orpheus and Hewitt will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in Camp Concert Hall of UR's Modlin Arts Center. For ticket information, call (804) 289-8980 or visit

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: The Rose Ensemble

Jan. 13, University of Richmond

Many Americans grew up thinking that the "melting pot" – the meeting of people of different races and nationalities and their eventual melding into a new culture – was a distinctively American phenomenon. Actually, a lot of other places beat us onto the stove, some by thousands of years.

The Rose Ensemble, a Minnesota-based early music group, explored, in "Cantigas from the Land of Three Faiths," the music of one of the largest and most diverse of the world’s melting pots, the Mediterranean littoral, whose lands were points of encounter among European, African and Asian cultures and Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.

The historical focal point of the program was medieval Spain and the music of its Sephardic Jews, but many of the selections came from elsewhere – Italy, North Africa, Anatolia and the Bedouin Arab migration routes.

The program’s musical heart may have been two pieces: "Porke yorash," a Sephardic tune from Morocco and/or Turkey (and/or who really knows where?), which would not sound out of place sung in a synagogue or a souk, or, with modern orchestral dressing, grafted onto "Scheherazade" or made into another "Romanian Rhapsody;" and "Ghaetta," a popular dance tune in 14th-century Italy that, to modern ears, sounds more Levantine or Arabic than European.

The mixed geographical and cultural roots of these and other selections are not surprising, considering the history of the Mediterranean empires – Egyptian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman – with their many ethnic groups traveling within and beyond their borders, trading tunes as well as foods and fabrics.

The Rose Ensemble’s 10 singers and four instrumentalists (two in vocal-instrumental roles) were both communicative – translations from Ladino, the medieval Spanish-Sephardic language, and other tongues were printed but often proved unnecessary – and stylistically versatile, as performers had better be in a program ranging from the polyphony of Palestrina to dances of the Bedouin. The singers mostly avoided the low-vibrato straight tone commonly employed in early music, presumably because the lyrics of most pieces so clearly demanded expressive, sensual treatment.

Many listeners, I suspect, left the concert wanting to hear more of the work of Juan del Encina, an early 16th-century Spanish composer whose enticing melodies are garnished with a rhythmic character that we would now call swing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How not to keep a secret

Following the retirement of Stanley Drucker as principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic at the end of last season, the orchestra is auditioning potential successors in concerts. After last weekend's performances of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony, in whose adagio the solo clarinet plays a prominent role, a New York Times critic asked for the name of the soloist. The philharmonic's press office would not name him.

"[T]he orchestra has invited a series of guest clarinetists to sit in, to test their mettle and see how they relate to the rest of the orchestra," James Oestreich writes on The Times' Arts Beat blog. "That is standard practice in the business. But the orchestra is treating public performances as if they were private auditions, not wanting to give one player a leg up over others through any sort of outside judgment."

The Times learned that the guest clarinetist was Burt Hara, principal clarinetist of the Minnesota Orchestra. Discovering his identity was not very difficult, I suspect. When 100-odd musicians know a secret, it's not a secret for long.

Washington National Opera 2010-11

The Washington National Opera is paring its 2010-11 season to five productions, four of them repertory staples, with some major names as sweeteners: Topping the list, soprano Deborah Voigt starring in Richard Strauss' "Salome" and bass-baritone James Morris starring in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale."

The company also is sponsoring concert performances by tenor Juan Diego Flórez on Feb. 27 and baritone Bryn Terfel on March 12 in its Plácido Domingo Celebrity Series. Domingo, WNO's general director, will conduct both concerts. He also will star in the company's first production of Gluck's "Iphegénie en Tauride."

The coming season of WNO productions, all in the Kennedy Center Opera House:

* Verdi: "Un ballo in maschera" (Sept. 11-25), starring Salvatore Licitra alternating with Frank Porretta (Riccardo), Luca Salsi alternating with Timothy Mix (Renato), Tamara Wilson alternating with Iréne Theorin (Amelia), Micaëla Oeste alternating with Monica Yunus (Oscar); directed by James Robinson; Daniele Callegari conducting.

* Richard Strauss: "Salome" (Oct. 7-23), starring Deborah Voigt (Salome), Richard Berkeley-Steele (Herod), Daniel Sumegi (Jokanaan), Dorris Soffel (Herodias); director TBA; conducted by Heinz Fricke.

* Puccini: "Madame Butterfly" (Feb. 26-March 19), starring Ana María Martínez alternating with Catherine Naglestad (Cio-Cio San), Alexey Dolgov alternating with Thiago Arancam (Pinkerton), Hyung Yun alternating with Michael Chioldi (Sharpless), singer(s) TBA (Suzuki); directed by Ron Daniels; conducted by Philippe Auguin alternating with Plácido Domingo.

* Gluck: "Iphegénie en Tauride" (May 6-29), starring Domingo (Oreste), Patricia Racette (Iphegénie), Simone Alberghini (Thoas), singer TBA (Pylade); directed by Emilio Sagi; conducted by William Lacey.

* Donizetti: "Don Pasquale" (May 13-27), starring James Morris (Don Pasquale), Ekaterina Siurina (Norina), Dwane Croft (Dr. Malatesta), singer TBA (Ernesto); directed by Leon Major; conducted by Domingo alternating with conductor TBA.

Ticket information: (800) 876-7372;

Monday, January 11, 2010

Composer to the rescue

Voters in Croatia have elected Ivo Josipovic, a pianist and composer, as the country's new president. Josipovic, who also practices law, "carries moral authority at home and abroad and won the ballot because he represents bland decency," while his opponent, mayor of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, "is endlessly embroiled in political and financial dirt," The Guardian's Ian Traynor writes:

Opera board backs CEO

The Jan. 10 meeting of the Virginia Opera board turns out to have been a move by some Hampton Roads-based members to oust Gus Stuhlreyer, the company's general director and CEO.

After a 2½-hour public debate over the organization's finances and direction, Stuhlreyer was retained by a vote of 41-6. Among those voting to fire him was Edythe Harrison, the Virginia Opera's founding president, Teresa Annas reports in The Virginian-Pilot:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Debt looms at Virginia Opera

The Virginia Opera calls a special meeting of its board to ponder shrinking ticket sales and contributions and an accumulation of debt that now stands at $1.3 million, Teresa Annas reports in The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk:


"Sometimes you have to trust the music," Christina Scheppelmann, director of artistic operations at the Washington National Opera, tells The Washington Post's Anne Midgette:


Saturday, January 9, 2010

From rebel to patriarch

Pierre Boulez, confrontational advocate of the post-World War II musical avant garde turned courtly elder statesman of modernism, is profiled by Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Interpretation vs. dictation

Veteran pianist Byron Janis rejects the still-prevailing view that musicians should adhere strictly to the written score. "The score is really a blueprint for our creative talents and, consequently, our interpretive options abound," Janis writes in The Wall Street Journal:

The "fidelity" issue is one of the biggest cans of worms in classical music. In the romantic era of the 19th and early 20th centuries, musicians read composers' scores as blueprints, or even as suggestions. Performers felt free to alter the designs and reject the suggestions. Mahler, for example, reorchestrated the symphonies of Beethoven and Schumann. Other interpreters made cuts to tighten up scores. Tempos, dynamics and phrasing were altered freely, not to say promiscuously.

Composers of the romantic era seemed to invite interpretive intervention. In the 16 movements of the four Brahms symphonies, only two are simply marked "andante" and "allegro" (both in the Third Symphony). In all 29 movements of Tchaikovsky's seven symphonies (the six numbered ones and "Manfred"), modifiers, qualifiers and characterizations are attached to tempo markings.

The advent of sound recording, enabling composers to document performances of their scores, did not eliminate interpretive wiggle room, because, as Janis observes in his essay, composers themselves are wigglers.

Stravinsky, who famously disdained "interpretation" of his scores, conducted a number of recordings of "The Rite of Spring." Of the four I've heard, each differs noticeably from the others. A Swedish Radio Symphony performance from 1961 is so measured in tempos and "romantic" in phrasing and expression that it sounds like Stravinsky channeled through Rachmaninoff. Rehearsal of that performance was recorded, too, and the composer got what he asked for. So which "Rite" is right? The score or this one of several composer-led recordings?

You can hear deviations from the printed score in recordings by other composers. Some, like Elgar, took plentiful interpretive liberties with their scores; any conductor today who performed the "Enigma Variations" as the composer recorded the work would be savaged by colleagues and critics. Other composers, like Hindemith and Richard Strauss, were more scrupulous in following their own instructions.

Janis' revisitation of the issue of interpretation is timely. Musical birthdays being marked this year include the 200th of Chopin and Schumann, the 150th of Mahler and the 100th of Barber – all composers whose music invites active collaboration by living interpreters. Chopin and Schumann all but demand it; Mahler, who presumed to rewrite Beethoven, deserves it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Climate change

In a recent post on her blog, The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette uses the red state/blue state political divide as an analogy for the traditional/modern-contemporary divide in art-music:

Fair enough, I guess. We’ve become accustomed to the politicization of everything (one’s choice of big-box discount stores, action-movie plot lines, celebrities’ love lives); and, of course, many (most?) Washingtonians are inclined to view all subjects through the prism of politics.

A better analogy in this case, though, might be climate. Performers and their audiences inhabit the same planet – the music known as "classical" and its vehicles for performance (orchestras, opera companies, chamber ensembles, choirs, etc.) – but they inhabit different climate zones. Those acclimated to Tchaikovsky might melt should they be transported suddenly to Varèse, or freeze if transported suddenly to Monteverdi. The musical traveler might feel discomfort even within the same zone – Bach with vibrato vs. Bach with straight tone, for instance.

Consider last November’s Masterworks concerts of the Richmond Symphony, whose audiences heard Bright Sheng’s "Nanking! Nanking!" alongside César Franck’s Symphony in D minor – the former, a contemporary score full of dissonance and violent expressiveness, whose themes are drawn from a non-Western (Chinese) musical tradition and whose protagonist is an exotic instrument, the pipa (Chinese lute); the latter, a 19th-century score that’s traditionally orchestrated, with hummable tunes, easily grasped musical gestures and few if any rough edges of instrumentation or expression. All that these compositions have in common is that they were written for a symphony orchestra, and that both can be perceived as ominous in mood. It’s hard to imagine that many listeners fully appreciated, or got into the spirit of, both works.

Suppose the Franck symphony had been played alongside a piece of comparable mood and not wildly dissimilar orchestration, harmonic language and emotional tone – Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, say – but that the Mozart had been played on 18th-century-style instruments, adhering to historically informed performance practices and with the pitch lowered by a quarter-tone. Would listeners have fully absorbed and appreciated both performances? I suspect discomfort would have kicked in, though not as radically.

What if "Nanking! Nanking!" had been played alongside a Western piece of comparable turbulence in which lute or some other bright plucked-string tone figured prominently? Some "battle" music from the late-17th or early 18th centuries, say, or Bartók’s "Miraculous Mandarin," which is couched in the semi-Asian dialects of Hungarian and other Balkan musics and sounds "Chinese" in ways that other European chinoiserie does not? Less discomfort, I’m guessing, or maybe more consistent discomfort.

So, unless you’re attending an all-somebody program (and the composer’s musical language did not evolve significantly over time – e.g., Schubert, not Beethoven), acclimation will be required. It helps if the performers prepare listeners for changes in musical climate through verbal introductions or demonstrations, and helps even more if they give compelling performances. Ultimately, though, acclimation is a product of ear and attitude adjustment on the listener’s part.

Like other travelers, the listener should pack carefully for the trip and check the weather forecast.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Incommunicado (sort of)

An infernal pest has invaded Letter V's e-mail account, so I've deactivated it temporarily. Once pest control is successfully completed, you'll again see "e-mail Letter V" to the right. Meanwhile, if you need to reach me, I'm in the phone book.

Think of this as a brief return visit to the 20th century.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2010 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/youth, group and other discounts may be offered.

NOTE: Hazardous driving conditions and travel disruptions from the Jan. 30 snowstorm have led to cancellations and postponements of events throughout Virginia and the Washington area. Check with presenters or venues before attending.


* In and around Richmond: The Pacifica Quartet, whose November concert was canceled on short notice due to a player’s illness, is rescheduled for Jan. 14 at Virginia Commonwealth University. . . . Richmond Symphony music-director finalist Marc Taddei returns to conduct Mussorgsky, Borodin and Prokofiev, Jan. 16-17 at the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage. . . . The symphony, sans conductor, plays Mozart’s "Gran Partita" and, with violinist Karen Johnson, Astor Piazzolla’s "Four Seasons of Buenos Aires," Jan. 22 at KingsWay Community Church in Midlothian and Jan. 24 at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. . . . Another set of "Seasons," Tchaikovsky’s, is played by pianist Ruta Smedina-Starke, Jan. 23 at the Richmond Public Library. . . . Pianist Angela Hewitt and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra collaborate in Bach and Stravinsky, Jan. 29 at the University of Richmond. . . . The Capuçon-Angelich Trio – violinist Renaud Capuçon, cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Nicholas Angelich – performs on Jan. 30 at VCU.

* New and/or different: The Rose Ensemble explores music from the Jewish, Islamic and Christian cultures of medieval Spain, Jan. 13 at the University of Richmond. . . . Flutist Jeremy McEntire and pianist Charles Hulin introduce a new work by Richmond composer Allan Blank, Jan. 24 at the University of Richmond. . . . Pipa (Chinese lute) player Wu Man gives a solo concert and lecture-demonstration on Jan. 24 at the University of Virginia. . . . Clarinetist Jon Manasse performs in the Virginia premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s Clarinet Concerto with David Stewart Wiley and the Roanoke Symphony, Jan. 25 at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. . . . Ensemble Sequentia, the medieval-music group led by Benjamin Bagby, samples early German music on the "Rheingold" saga, Jan. 28 at the Library of Congress in Washington. . . . Angela Hewitt and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra give the first performance of Peter Maxwell Davies' "Sea Orpheus," Jan. 29 at the University of Richmond. . . . National Symphony double-bassist Ira Gold plays a solo concert, alongside a master class and workshop, Jan. 31 at VCU.

* Star turns: Violinist Nikolaj Znaider marks the centenary of Elgar’s Violin Concerto, performing with the same Guarneri fiddle that Fritz Kreisler played at the concerto’s premiere in 1910, with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony, Jan. 7-9 at the Kennedy Center in Washington. . . . Pianist Emanuel Ax joins Michael Stern and the National Symphony in the least familiar of the Beethoven concertos, the Second, Jan. 14-16 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Manahem Pressler, the pianist who anchored the Beaux Arts Trio, is joined by violinist Alexander Kerr, violist Kim Kashkashian and cellist Antonio Meneses in Mozart and Dvořák, Jan. 21 at the Library of Congress. . . . Pianist Jeremy Denk performs on Jan. 23 at the Kennedy Center (waiting list for tickets). . . . Pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 with Gunther Herbig and the Baltimore Symphony, Jan. 23 at Strathmore in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. . . . Pianist Radu Lupu plays Janácek, Beethoven and Schubert, Jan. 27 at Strathmore. . . . Leon Fleisher plays Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 4 for the left hand with the National Philharmonic, Jan. 30-31 at Strathmore.

* Bargain of the month: The Vermont-based cellist Dieuwke Davydov joins pianist Pamela McClain in two of the modern chamber standards for the cello, the Shostakovich and Debussy sonatas, plus Bruce Adolphe’s "Couple," Jan. 24 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Richmond. (Free)

* My picks: Znaider, Slatkin and Elgar, Jan. 7-9 at the Kennedy Center. . . . The Rose Ensemble’s "Cantigas from the Land of Three Faiths," Jan. 13 at the University of Richmond. . . . The Pacifica Quartet, Jan. 14 at VCU. . . . Pressler and friends, Jan. 21 at the Library of Congress. . . . Radu Lupu, Jan. 27 at Strathmore. . . . Hewitt and Orpheus, Jan. 29 at the University of Richmond.

Jan. 2 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
The Strauss Symphony of America
Niels Muus conducting
Akiko Nakajima, soprano
Karl Michael Ebner, tenor
Vienna Dance Project members
"Salute to Vienna"
program TBA
(301) 581-5100

Jan. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Steven Isserlis, cello
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Britten: Cello Sonata
Schumann-Isserlis: Violin Sonata No. 3
Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 7 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 8 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 9 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin conducting
Elgar: Violin Concerto
Nikolaj Znaider, violin
Holst: "The Planets"
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Norman Scribner directing
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 8 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Jan. 9 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 201 E Brambleton Ave., Norfolk
Jan. 10 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
Norman Krieger, piano
Tcherepnin: "La Princesse Lointaine"
Richard Strauss: Symphonic Fragment from "Josephslegende"
(757) 892-6366

Jan. 9 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Bizet: "Carmen" (concert presentation)
Kendall Glade, Carmen
Theresa Santiago, Micaela
Dan Snyder, Don José
Dean Elzinga, Escamillo
Eliot Pfanstiehl, host-narrator
in French
(301) 581-5100

Jan. 10 (4 p.m.)
Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Second Sunday South of the James:
Ben Houghton, piano
Mozart: Sonata in A minor, K. 333
Liszt: "Liebestraum"
William Bolcom: "Serpent’s Kiss"
works from American musical theater
Donation requested
(804) 272-9514

Jan. 10 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Brahms: Sonata in E minor, Op. 38, for cello and piano
Brahms: Sonata in E flat major, Op. 120, No. 2, for viola and piano
Brahms: Sonata No. 3 for violin and piano, Op. 108
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 10 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Norman Scribner directing
"Choral Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
program TBA
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
The Rose Ensemble
"Cantigas from the Land of Three Faiths," medieval Spanish music
(804) 289-8980

Jan. 14 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Pacifica Quartet
Mendelssohn: Quartet in E flat major, Op. 12
Shostakovich: Quartet No. 8
Beethoven: Quartet in B flat major, Op. 130
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Opera on the James:
"Three Tenors Encore"
Gerardo Ramos, Jin Ho Hwang & Scott Ramsay, tenors
program TBA
(434) 979-1333

Jan. 14 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 15 (1:30 p.m.)
Jan. 16 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Michael Stern conducting
Barber: Symphony No. 1
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2
Emanuel Ax, piano
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 16 (6 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Festival of Winds and Percussion
program TBA
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 16 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 17 (3 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Marc Taddei conducting
Prokofiev: "Lieutenant Kijé" Suite
Borodin: "Polovtsian Dances"
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin Freeman directing
Mussorgsky-Ravel: "Pictures at an Exhibition"
(800) 982-2787 (Ticketmaster)

Jan. 17 (3 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 201 E. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk
Virginia Symphony
Matthew Kraemer conducting
Family Classics: "Happy Birthday, Mozart"
(757) 892-6366

Jan. 21 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 22 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 23 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Iván Fischer conducting
Mozart: Symphony No. 38 ("Prague")
Mahler: "Das Lied von der Erde"
Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano
Stig Andersen, tenor
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 21 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue S.E., Washington
Manahem Pressler, piano
Alexander Kerr, violin
Kim Kashkashian, viola
Antonio Meneses, cello
Mozart: Piano Quartet in E flat major, K. 493
Dvořák: Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 87
Free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)

Jan. 22 (8 p.m.)
KingsWay Community Church, 14111 Sovereign Grace Drive, Midlothian
Jan. 24 (3 p.m.)
Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, 205 Henry St., Ashland
Richmond Symphony
Mozart: Serenade No. 10 in B flat major, K. 381 ("Gran Partita")
Astor Piazzolla: "Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas" ("The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires")
Karen Johnson, violin
(800) 982-2787 (Ticketmaster)

Jan. 23 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Ruta Smedina-Starke, piano
Tchaikovsky: "The Seasons"
(804) 646-7223

Jan. 23 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Jeremy Denk, piano
program TBA
$40 (waiting list)
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)

Jan. 23 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Gunther Herbig conducting
Beethoven: "Coriolan" Overture
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Schumann: Symphony No. 4

(410) 783-8000 (Baltimore Symphony)

Jan. 24 (3 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Jeremy McEntire, flute
Charles Hulin, piano
Allan Blank: new work TBA
other works TBA
(804) 289-8980

Jan. 24 (3 p.m.)
Virginia Center Commons, 10101 Brook Road (U.S. 1 north), Glen Allen
Central Virginia Wind Symphony
Mike Goldberg directing
Robert DeLutis, clarinet
program TBA
(804) 342-8797

Jan. 24 (4 p.m.)
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 8706 Quaker Lane, Richmond
Dieuwke Davydov, cello
Pamela McClain, piano
Shostakovich: Cello Sonata
Debussy: Cello Sonata
Bruce Adolphe: "Couple"
(804) 272-0992

Jan. 24 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Guitar Series:
Richmond Guitar Quartet
Adam Larabee, banjo, mandolin & guitar
program TBA
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 24 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Wu Man, pipa
program TBA
Free lecture-demonstration, "Pipa music & history," at 2 p.m.
(540) 924-3376

Jan. 25 (8 p.m.)
Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre, Orange Avenue at Williamson Road
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting
Mozart: "The Marriage of Figaro" Overture
Gershwin: Lullaby for strings
Lowell Liebermann: Clarinet Concerto
Jon Manasse, clarinet
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8
(540) 343-9127

Jan. 26 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Europa Galante
Fabio Biondi conducting & violin
Telemann: "Overture à quatre" in F major
Telemann: Concerto for flute, violone, cello and strings in A major
Vivaldi: "The Four Seasons"
(540) 924-3376

Jan. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Carolina Ullrich, soprano
Marcelo Amaral, piano
Wolf: "Italianische Liederbuch" (excerpts)
Turina: "Tres Poemas"
songs by Haydn, Schubert, Richard Strauss, Fernando Obradors, Reynaldo Hahn
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 27 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Radu Lupu, piano
Janácek: "In the Mist"
Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 ("Appassionata")
Schubert: Sonata in A major, D. 959
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)

Jan. 28 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 29 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Iván Fischer conducting
Bernstein: "On the Town – Three Dance Episodes"
Tchaikovsky: "Lensky’s Aria" (arr. cello & orchestra)
Tchaikovsky: "Rococo Variations"
Misha Maisky, cello
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 28 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue S.E., Washington
Ensemble Sequentia
Banjamin Bagby directing
"The Rheingold Curse: a Germanic Saga of Greed and Revenge"
Free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)

Jan. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Bach: Clavier Concerto in D minor
Stravinsky: Piano Concerto in D major
Angela Hewitt, piano

Peter Maxwell Davies: "Sea Orpheus" (premiere)
(804) 289-8980

Jan. 29 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 201 E. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk
Jan. 31 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ("Choral")
soloists TBA
Virginia Symphony Chorus
Robert Stroup directing
(757) 892-6366

Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Capuçon-Angelich Trio
Beethoven: Variations on "Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu"

Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
Brahms: Piano Trio in C major, Op. 87
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony Pops
Erin Freeman conducting
Steve Lippia, vocalist
"Simply Sinatra"
(800) 982-2787 (Ticketmaster)

Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Chamber Orchestra of Charlottesville
Kate Tamarkin conducting
Britten: Serenade for tenor, horn and strings
Joseph Gaines, tenor
Ian Zook, horn
Elgar: Serenade for strings
Haydn: Symphony No. 104 ("London")
(540) 924-3376

Jan. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Anne Schwanewilms, soprano
Malcolm Martineau, piano
program TBA
(800) 444-1324

Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 31 (3 p.m.)

Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Mussorgsky: "Night on Bald Mountain"
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 4 for the left hand
Leon Fleisher, piano
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 ("Pathétique")
(301) 581-5100

Jan. 31 (3 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Ira Gold, double-bass
program TBA
workshop follows
$10 (concert), $25 (concert & workshop)
Free master class at 11 a.m.
(804) 828-6776

Jan. 31 (2:30 p.m.)
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave., Roanoke
Opera Roanoke Sunday Concerts:
Kallen Esperian, soprano

pianist TBA
program TBA
(540) 982-2742