Friday, February 27, 2015

Conductor reshuffle (con't.)

Another US orchestra joins the crowd recruiting new maestros.

Mei-Ann Chen, music director of the Memphis Symphony, who has been winning high praise in her guest-conducting appearances (among them, a Richmond Symphony performance last season:, will leave the financially troubled Memphis orchestra next year. Her departure was not unexpected:

Chen continues as music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, which she took over in 2011 after the retirement of its founder, the Richmond-born conductor Paul Freeman.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Play it again, ASAP

An object lesson in how to introduce an audience to new music – play it, talk a bit about it, then play it again – as the Jack Quartet gives the first US performance of Georg Friedrich Haas’ Quartet No. 8. A review by The New York Times’ Zachary Woolfe:

In 1904, Gustav Mahler was invited to conduct the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam in his new Fourth Symphony. He did so twice in one concert, which turned out to be one of the most warmly received performances of his music in his lifetime.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Musician named UR president

Dr. Ronald Andrew Crutcher, president emeritus of Wheaton College in Massachusetts and a musician with a wide-ranging academic and performing career, has been elected by the University of Richmond Board of Trustees as the university’s next president.

He will succeed Edward L. Ayers on July 1.

Dr. Crutcher is an alumnus of Miami University of Ohio, the University of Bonn, the State Academy of Music in Frankfurt, Germany, and Yale University. At Yale, he was the first cellist to earn a doctorate of musical arts.

He was vice president of academic affairs and dean at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1990-94) and director of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin (1994-99). He served as provost at Miami of Ohio (1999-2004), after which he spent 10 years as president of Wheaton.

He also has held leadership positions with the Association of American Colleges & Universities, the American Council on Education and other academic groups.

As a performing cellist, he played in the Cincinnati, New Haven and Greensboro symphony orchestras and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn. He also has sung as a tenor soloist. He currently is the cellist of the Klemperer Trio.

Dr. Crutcher served on the boards of the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera Association, the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. He was president of Chamber Music America from 1996 to 2000.

In addition to serving as president of UR, Dr. Crutcher will be a professor of music.

His wife, Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher, is a cross-cultural mentoring consultant, helping to establish mentoring relationships among people of varied racial/ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, religious and sexual-orientation backgrounds.


Faced with ever-escalating costs for the classic instruments of Stradivarius, Guarneri, Amati and other Italian makers of the 17th and 18th centuries, now routinely fetching seven- or even eight-figure prices, string musicians often strike deals for extended loans or leases of the instruments with the collectors, investors or institutions that own them.

A useful arrangement – while it lasts.

Since 2002, violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann has played the Lady Inchiquin Stradivarius, an instrument once owned by Fritz Kreisler, on a lease with a German bank. Then the bank shut down. The company clearing up its affairs is putting the Strad up for sale, but at a price Zimmermann can’t or won’t pay.

Just before engagements with the New York Philharmonic, the violinist has returned the Strad, Monica Houston-Waesch and Jennifer Smith report in The Wall Street Journal:

Meanwhile, Alexander Pavlovsky, first violinist of the Jerusalem Quartet (which performed last week at the University of Virginia), is “desperately looking for a new instrument,” according to an appeal sent out by the group. The Pressenda violin that Pavlovsky had been playing for 10 years has been taken back by its owner and will be sold.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Richmond Symphony 2015-16

In its 2015-16 season, the Richmond Symphony will mark the 150th anniversary year of the births of the two leading Scandinavian masters of the symphony, performing the Second Symphony of Finland’s Jean Sibelius and Fourth Symphony (“Inextinguishable”) of Denmark’s Carl Nielsen.

The coming season also will feature the first performances by the symphony of three Russian works: the Sixth Symphony of Shostakovich and two rarities, Tchaikovsky’s “Manfred” Symphony, based on the dramatic poem by Lord Byron, and Mussorgsky’s “St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain,” the choral version of “Night on Bald Mountain,” which in addition to the choral part employs Mussorgsky’s own orchestration, markedly different from the commonly heard Rimsky-Korsakov scoring.

Other major works programmed for the coming season’s Masterworks concerts include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the September season-opening concerts, and spring performances of Brahms’ Second Symphony, Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” Suite, Samuel Barber’s First Symphony and Ravel’s complete “Daphnis et Chloé,” the ballet score for orchestra with chorus that the composer characterized as a symphonie choréographique (choreographic symphony).

Contemporary works scheduled next season are “Point – Line – Plane” by Zachary Wadsworth, the Richmond-born composer now living in Canada; “Waking Dream” by Laura Schwendinger, a Wisconsin-based composer who will visit Richmond for a residency underwritten by the Music Alive: New Partnerships program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA; “Urban Sprawl” by the Ohio-based composer Clint Needham; and “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” perhaps the most popular of John Adams’ concert pieces.

The Nielsen, Sibelius and Brahms symphonies will be introduced by Steven Smith, the Richmond Symphony’s music director, and the Tchaikovsky by guest conductor Victor Yampolsky, followed by full performances of the works, in a new Casual Fridays series of one-hour concerts at the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage, also the venue for Masterworks, Pops and LolliPops concerts.

Program highlights of the Metro Collection series of Sunday matinees at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland include Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Haydn’s Symphony No. 92 (“Oxford”), Beethoven’s First Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”).

The Rush Hour series, Thursday evening casual concerts featuring selections from the Metro Collection programs, will move to a new venue, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond’s
North Side.

Next season’s guest soloists include violinist Philippe Quint (playing Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Concerto in D major) and pianists Orion Weiss (Liszt’s Concerto No. 2) and Orli Shaham (Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3).

Five of the symphony’s principals also will perform as soloists: concertmaster Daisauke Yamamoto (Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2), flutist Mary Boodell (Schwendinger’s “Waking Dream”), clarinetist Jared Davis (Weber’s Concerto No. 2), cellist Neal Cary (Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme”) and oboist Gustav Highstein (Richard Strauss’ Concerto in D major).

The Richmond Symphony Chorus, directed by Erin R. Freeman, will perform in the Beethoven Ninth, Mussorgsky’s “St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain and Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé,” as well as the “Let It Snow!” pops concerts and Handel’s “Messiah.”

Singers from Virginia Opera Emerging Artists will join the symphony in a New Year’s Masterworks program featuring dance pieces and operetta arias by Johann Strauss II. Dancers from the School of the Richmond Ballet will join the symphony and its associate conductor, Keitaro Harada, in a performance of Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals” in the LolliPops series of Saturday morning family concerts.

Harada also will conduct the first Metro Collection and Rush Hour programs of the season, and will lead the orchestra in live accompaniments of two films: F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent horror classic “Nosferatu” in a “Science Fiction Double Feature” opening the pops series, and the animated film “The Snowman” in the LolliPops series.

For a 2015-16 season brochure or more information, call the Richmond Symphony’s patron services desk at (804) 788-1212 or visit its website:

The symphony 2015-16 programs:

8 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. Sundays at Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
Saturday – $171-$522 (adult), $95-$522 (child)
Sunday – $86-$261 (adult), $48-$261 (child)
single tickets: $10-$78 (adult/child), $9-$78 (senior)

Steven Smith conducting, unless listed otherwise

Sept. 12-13
John Adams: “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”
Berlioz: “King Lear” Overture
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)
soloists TBA
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing

Oct. 17
Zachary Wadsworth: “Point – Line – Plane”
Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major
Philippe Quint, violin
Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 (“Inextinguishable”)

Nov. 14
Sibelius: “Tapiola”
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major
Orion Weiss, piano
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major

Jan. 9-10
Richard Strauss: “Der Rosenkavalier” Suite
Johann Strauss II: “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”
arias, Viennese dance pieces TBA
Virginia Opera Emerging Artists, vocalists

Feb. 6
Victor Yampolsky conducting
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
Tchaikovsky: “Manfred” Symphony

March 5-6
Mussorgsky: “St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain”
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor
Orli Shaham, piano
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6

April 2
Copland: “Appalachian Spring” Suite
Laura Schwendinger: “Waking Dream”
Mary Boodell, flute
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major

May 14-15
Charles Tomlinson Griffes: “The White Peacock”
Barber: Symphony No. 1
Ravel: “Daphnis et Chloé” (complete)
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing

6:30 p.m. Fridays at Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
subscriptions: $90-$180 (adult); $48-$180 (child)
single tickets: $10-$50 (adult/child), $9-$50 (senior)

Steven Smith, host & conductor, unless listed otherwise

Oct. 16
Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 (“Inextinguishable”)

Nov. 13
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major

Feb. 5
Victor Yampolsky, host & conductor
Tchaikovsky: “Manfred” Symphony

April 1
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major

3 p.m. Sundays at Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland
subscriptions: $68 (adult), $40 (child)
single tickets: $20 (adult), $18 (senior), $10 (child)

Steven Smith conducting, unless listed otherwise

Oct. 25
Keitaro Harada conducting
Bartók: Divertimento for string orchestra
Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major
Jared Davis, clarinet
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

Jan. 17
Ives: “The Unanswered Question”
Tchaikovsky:”Variations on a Rococo Theme”
Neal Cary, cello
Clint Needham: “Urban Sprawl”
Haydn: Symphony No. 92 in G major (“Oxford”)

Feb. 21
Stravinsky: Octet
Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto in D major
Gustav Highstein, oboe
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major

May 8
Fauré: “Pelléas et Mélisande” Suite
Ravel: “Mother Goose” Suite
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”)

condensed versions of Metro Collection programs
6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Overbrook Road at Ownby Lane
tickets: $15

Steven Smith, host & conductor, unless listed otherwise

Oct. 22 (see Oct. 25 Metro Collection)
Keitaro Harada, host & conductor

Jan. 14 (see Jan. 17 Metro Collection)

Feb. 18 (see Feb. 21 Metro Collection)

May 5 (see May 8 Metro Collection)

7:30 p.m. at Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
tickets: $20-$50 (adult), $12-$50 (child)

Erin R. Freeman conducting

Dec. 4
Handel: “Messiah”
soloists TBA
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing

8 p.m. Saturdays (3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6) at Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
subscriptions: $86-$261 (adult), $48-$261 (child)
single tickets: $10-$78 (adult/child), $9-$78 (senior)

Keitaro Harada conducting

Oct. 24
“Science Fiction Double Feature”
F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film “Nosferatu,” with live orchestra accompaniment
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (extra $10 charge)

Dec. 5-6
“Let It Snow!” holiday program
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin R. Freeman directing
special guests TBA

Feb. 27
“Music of Earth, Wind and Fire & The King of Pop”
Jeans ’n Classics

April 30
“Steve Lippia’s Centennial Celebration: a Frank Sinatra Tribute”
Steve Lippia, vocalist

11 a.m. Saturdays at Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
subscriptions: $42 (adult), $34 (child)
single tickets: $17 (adult), $12 (child)

Keitaro Harada conducting

Oct. 31
“Halloween Spooktacular”

Nov. 28
“The Snowman,” animated film with live orchestra accompaniment

Jan. 30
Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”
Sara Valentine, actor & director
Kimberly Schroder, soprano
Michael Boudewyns, actor

March 19
“Carnival of the Animals”
School of the Richmond Ballet

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Schmidt dates postponed

Because of weather-related travel issues, the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia has postponed harpsichordist Carsten Schmidt’s Feb. 21 lecture-recital at the Richmond Public Library and Feb. 22 performance of Book 1 of J.S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier” at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter. New dates will be announced later.

The society will contact purchasers of tickets for the Feb. 22 concert regarding refunds or exchanging tickets for the new date.

For more information, call (804) 519-2098 or visit the society’s website,

NSO joins conductor reshuffle

Christoph Eschenbach, music director of Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, will relinquish the post in 2017 after seven seasons, becoming the orchestra’s conductor laureate. With Eschenbach’s coming departure, the NSO joins the New York Philharmonic in searching for a new music director in the next two years, The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette writes:

Washington and New York are among the highest-profile cases in an international reshuffle of orchestras’ artistic leadership.

In the U.S., music directors of the San Diego Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra have already announced their departures in the next two years. Osmo Vänskä’s current contract with the Minnesota Orchestra runs out in 2016, but it’s hard to imagine Minnesota letting him go (besides which, he recently married the orchestra’s concertmaster). New music directors took over this season at the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra.

In Europe, the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin and London Symphony are in the midst of recruiting new chief conductors, and the Vienna State Opera has yet to replace Franz Welser-Möst after his sudden resignation last September.

And several other major ensembles’ conductors may be on the way out, willingly or not.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Acoustics to order

The New Yorker’s Alex Ross profiles acoustical designer John Meyer and samples Meyer’s Constellation sound system, which can customize reverberation time and clarify and enrich musical sound and speech, turning listener-unfriendly spaces into concert venues – and mask the din of restaurants, so diners can converse without shouting.

Constellation is costly, “running into the high six figures;” and while it “never seemed obviously fake or too good to be true,” the system gave Ross “a sense of being ensconced in an audio cocoon.”


Monday, February 16, 2015

Weather shuts down concerts

Because of the snowstorm, all University of Richmond classes and events for the evening of Feb. 16, including a recital by organist Bruce Stevens, have been canceled. Stevens has rescheduled his program, at Cannon Memorial Chapel on the UR campus, to 3 p.m. March 1. Admission is free.

A jazz concert by saxophonist Al Regni and pianist Allen Farnham at Virginia Commonwealth University also has been canceled, as VCU announced its closure on the evening of Feb. 16 and all day Feb. 17.

Other performances in coming days are likely to be canceled or postponed because of the weather, especially in central and western Virginia, where the heaviest snowfall is expected, followed by extremely cold temperatures until the weekend.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Symphony's Ellington concert

I was unable to attend the Richmond Symphony’s
Feb. 14 Duke Ellington program. It was quite a performance, to judge from Markus Schmidt’s review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

'No Sibelius plays itself'

During this year’s sesquicentennial of Jean Sibelius’ birth, there will be a lot of discussions about the composer and his often elusive music.

Few talks will be more intelligent or insightful than the Finnish musicologist Vesa Sirén’s conversation with Simon Rattle, chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. (Rattle and the orchestra have just concluded concert cycles of Sibelius’ seven symphonies and Violin Concerto, staged in Berlin and London.)

The interview is posted on the website of the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat:énVesa+Sir%C3%A9n+keskustelevat+tunnin+Sibeliuksesta/v1422851745584

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Maazels: Outstanding Virginians

Lorin Maazel, the conductor and Castleton Festival founder who died last July, and his widow and festival co-founder, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, are recipients of this year’s Outstanding Virginian award, given by the Virginia General Assembly.

Mrs. Maazel accepted the award on Feb. 10 in presentations on the floors of the Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate, followed by a reception at the Governor’s Mansion.

The Maazels were recognized for establishing the Castleton Festival at Castleton Farms, their estate in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern Virginia.

Lorin and Dietlinde Maazel “have brought many of the finest musicians in the world to Virginia for the enjoyment of its citizens, and have created a music festival in Virginia that trains thousands of young people in a variety of musical disciplines,” state Sen. Mark Obenshain said in making the Senate presentation. Gov. Terry McAuliffe lauded the couple’s “significant contribution to the cultural fabric of Virginia.” 

When the Maazels were approached about the award, “we suggested that this year would be appropriate, because it would be Lorin’s 85th year,” Mrs. Maazel said in an interview earlier this week. “As it turned out, this is the first time the award has given to someone posthumously.”

Founded in 2009 after Lorin Maazel finished his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Castleton Festival stages opera, orchestral, chamber and other performances each summer. It draws more than 250 young professional singers, instrumentalists and practitioners of theatrical stagecrafts to work with established artists.

It has become one of Virginia’s prime summer cultural events. The festival is also the largest private employer in rural Rappahannock County.

Lorin Maazel, who in a career of more than 70 years had performed with most of the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies, started the Castleton Festival as a way of “giving back” to his profession. As well as being its artistic leader, he was the festival’s chief teacher, involved himself deeply in its management and financed much of it himself.

When he died in the middle of last year’s festival, “we had to regroup completely – start, really, from scratch,” Dietlinde Maazel said. The festival board “approached me to step up as executive and artistic director,” she said. “There were necessarily personnel changes in the administration and board, and the board stepped up financial support rapidly” to make up for the loss of her husband’s income.

Rafael Payare, a former Castleton conducting fellow and winner of the 2012 Malko Conducting Competition, was named the festival’s principal conductor. He will be joined in the 2015 festival by Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, and Salvatore Percacciolo, who as part of Castleton’s 2014 conductors’ seminar program took over music direction of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” when Lorin Maazel’s declining health forced him to step aside.

Early last year, Maazel and Wynton Marsalis, the jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader, agreed to add a jazz component to Castleton’s training and performance programs. Marsalis will perform this summer with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and join seven members of the orchestra in working with 42 participants selected by audition from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Duke Ellington program for jazz musicians at secondary school level (grades 9-12).

“Wynton had been looking for a proper summer home for the program,” Mrs. Maazel said. “Lots of festivals, understandably, were sort of throwing themselves at him; but he wanted something that would be more than a sidelight to a festival’s regular offerings. What he saw at Castleton was what he had been looking for.”

In her new leading role, Dietlinde Maazel will be drawing on her various professional experiences. Although she is most widely known as a stage and film actress, “I also trained as a violinist,” she noted. “And I teach a Lieder [art-song] program at Rutgers University.” All those art forms will figure in Castleton’s programming.

“We also will shifting our focus slightly from [being] a producing entity and to being more an education and [professional] training program,” she said.

The 2015 Castleton Festival, running from July 2 to Aug. 2, will feature the premiere of Derrick Wang’s “Scalia/Ginsburg,” a comic one-act on the opera-loving Supreme Court justices, paired with Ravel’s one-act comedy “L’heure espagnole” (“The Spanish Hour”), both directed by Maria Tucci, as well as productions of Gounod’s opera “Romeo et Juliette” and Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town,” the latter directed by Mrs. Maazel.

Payare and Luigi will conduct two orchestra concerts, and the jazz program participants will present four concerts in addition to the Marsalis-Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performance.

For a complete Castleton 2015 schedule, visit the festival’s website:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Classical Grammy Awards

The classical winners of 2015 Grammy Awards collected their prizes and exited the proceedings before the telecast began. (Musn’t scare the children or risk the ratings.) Most mass media will ignore them or consign them to the fine print. Here’s the honor roll:

• Orchestral Work: John Luther Adams: “Become Ocean”Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Ludovic Morlot (Canteloupe)

• Orchestral Performance: John Adams: “City Noir”St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/David Robertson (Nonesuch)

[John Adams and John Luther Adams are not the same composer.]

• Opera Performance: Marc-Antoine Charpentier: “La descente d’Orphée aux enfers”Boston Early Music Festival Vocal and Instrumental ensembles/Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs (cpo)

• Choral Performance: “The Sacred Spirit of Russia”Conspirare/Craig Hella Johnson (Harmonia Mundi)

• Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: “In 27 Pieces – the Hillary Hahn Encores”Hilary Hahn, violin; Cory Smythe, piano (Deutsche Grammophon)

• Classical Instrumental Solo: “Play”Jason Vieaux, guitar (Azica)

• Classical Vocal Solo: “Douce France”Anne Sophie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; et al. (Naïve)

• Classical Compendium: Harry Partch: “Plectra and Percussion Dances”Partch (Bridge)

• Best Engineered Album: Michael Bishop, for Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4, “Dona nobis pacem,” “The Lark Ascending”Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Robert Spano; et al. (ASO Media)

• Classical Producer of the Year: Judith Sherman, for nine recordings

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Review: 'Salome'

Virginia Opera
Ari Pelto conducting
Feb. 6, Richmond Center Stage

Regieoper – “director’s opera” – strikes again in Virginia Opera’s current production of Richard Strauss’ “Salome,” although on this occasion more with a tack hammer than a bludgeon.

Stage director Stephen Lawless moves this story from the lifetime of Jesus to a bomb-scarred Middle Eastern palace in the present or recent past. The director’s premise, as stated in his program note, is that “the events in this piece could only happen in a world where people have nothing left to lose,” and that “the chaos and destruction of current events match the milieu of [Oscar] Wilde’s original [play] and Strauss’ opera.”

Whether the inhabitants of Palestine in the reigns of the Roman Emperor Augustus and his local vassal, the Tetrarch Herod, had nothing left to lose is a question we’d best leave to theologians. Lawless’ change of time frame creates some incongruities, notably in the costumes of the Jews and Nazarenes attending a banquet at Herod’s court.

As to the milieu of Wilde and Strauss, that would be Western Europe in the Belle Epoque of the late-19th and early 20th centuries, when the people who could afford to attend Wilde’s play, and, later, Strauss’ opera, had a great deal to lose, and were reminded of it regularly by terrorist bombings and assassinations, revolutionary polemics and brushfire wars that threatened to metastacize into great-power confrontations – all very resonant in our time, although I doubt many would consider our epoque quite as belle as the pre-World War I years.

Wilde, Strauss and other creative figures of the time were upsetters of the established order, challenging the manners and mores of polite society. “Salome” was one of the era’s most noteworthy artistic scandals. In its early years, the opera was banned in Vienna, partially censored in London, and withdrawn after one performance in New York.

Its eroticism, by today’s standards, barely rates a PG. In many recent stagings, Salome’s “Dance of the Seven Veils” has concluded with the singer or (more commonly) dancer nude or in a flesh-toned body suit. Virginia Opera stays in G-rated territory: The dance is performed by Salome and six dancers in matching costumes, with few veils shed and no one left unclothed.

The Salome of this production, Kelly Cae Hogan, boasts a potent dramatic soprano voice and the ability to sustain it at high intensity for long stretches of music, as this role requires. Her characterization, however, is joltingly schizophrenic.

In the early going, her Salome is a bratty teenager retaining some little-princess pre-teen mannerisms. Once Salome becomes smitten by Jochanaan (John the Baptist), held captive by Herod, she becomes rather coarsely vixenish and, after he scornfully rejects her, quite vividly unhinged. Hogan is at her best, both vocally and dramatically, in making a true mad scene of Salome’s soliloquy with the severed head of Jochanaan (the price she exacts from an unwilling Herod before she will dance for him).

Michael Chioldi is a stoic Jochanaan with stentorian tones perfectly suited to the character’s sternly judgmental pronouncements and ominous prophecies.

Alan Woodrow, as Herod, and Samuel Levine, as Narraboth, the guards’ captain who is dangerously infatuated with Salome, essay their psychological traumas more consistently, at fever-pitch, with vocalizations to match. Katharine Goeldner, as Herodias, Herod’s consort and Salome’s mother, doesn’t convey the fierceness her role calls for – she comes across as appropriately jaded but curiously detached, even bored.

The supporting singers and dancers make fine contributions – Llangston Radford’s especially so as the stoic butler – and conductor Ari Pelto draws a richly sonorous, at times spookily characterful performance from the orchestra, drawn from the Virginia Symphony.

Further performances of Virginia Opera’s “Salome” will be staged at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets, and at 8 p.m. Feb. 124 and 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Center for the Arts of George Mason University in Fairfax. Richmond tickets: $15.25-$105.93; (800) 514-3849 (ETIX). Fairfax tickets: $44-$98; (888) 945-2468 ( Details:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Gilbert bowing out at NY Philharmonic

Alan Gilbert, the 47-year-old New Yorker who has led the New York Philharmonic since 2009, will relinquish his post as music director in 2017.

Gilbert tells The New York Times that remaining with the philharmonic until 2021, when the orchestra is due to return to Lincoln Center after a two-year absence due to the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, is “just longer than I want to stay around. It’s actually that simple.”

The Times’ Michael Cooper reports on Gilbert’s resignation:

The inspired ears of ECM

The recording industry, for all its dependence on the predictable and pursuit of the lowest common denominator, also has nurtured a few visionaries and inspired experimenters. John Hammond, for example: This Columbia Records talent scout and producer who introduced a mass audience to jazz and blues in the 1940s and, decades later, to Bruce Springsteen. Or Teresa Sterne, whose bargain-priced Nonesuch recordings in the 1960s and ’70s enabled listeners to explore little-known classical music and even less-known music from the non-Western world.

The most prominent recording visionary of our time is Manfred Eicher, the German double-bassist turned record producer whose ECM labels (the acronym stands for “Editions of Contemporary Music”) over the last 40 years have introduced listeners to all sorts of music they hadn’t known or even imagined. A short list would include the long-form piano improvisations of Keith Jarrett, intoxicating hybrids of jazz and Bach and other pre-classical composers, and the works of Arvo Pärt, perhaps the most widely resonant composer of contemporary art-music.

Eicher discusses what guides him in his musical explorations, in an interview with Stuart Isacoff published by The Wall Street Journal:


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Letter V Classical Radio this week

Musical migrations: The young Mozart visits Italy, in search of patronage and to perfect his craft. . . . Three New Englanders make their bids in the big city, New York. . . . Three Europeans flee persecution and war to settle in Britain and the United States.

Feb. 5
11 a.m.-2 p.m. EST
1600-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Mozart: Symphony No. 13 in F major, K. 112
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood (L’Oiseau Lyre)

Mysliveček: Violin Concerto in G major (“Pastoral”)
Shizuka Ishikawa, violin
Dvořák Chamber Orchestra/Libor Pešek (Supraphon)

Mozart: “Exsultate, jubilate,” K. 165
Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano
Vienna Chamber Orchestra/György Fischer (Decca)

Past Masters:
Ives: “Central Park in the Dark”
New York Philharmonic/Seiji Ozawa & Maurice Peress (Sony Classical)
(recorded 1962)

“On the Waterfront” Suite
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop (Naxos)

Nico Muhly: Cello Concerto
Zuill Bailey, cello
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Jun Märkl (Steinway & Sons)

Past Masters:
Bernstein: “On the Town: Three Dance Episodes”
New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein
(Sony Classical)
(recorded 1963)

Berthold Goldschmidt: “Ciaconna sinfonica”
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle (London)

Martinů: Symphony No. 1
Czech Philharmonic/Václav Neumann (Supraphon)

Weill: “One Touch of Venus” –
“I’m a Stranger Here Myself”
“Speak Low”
Ute Lemper, vocalist
RIAS Berlin Chamber Ensemble/John Mauceri (London)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Aldo Ciccolini (1925-2014)

Aldo Ciccolini, the Italian-born French pianist most widely known for his recordings of the solo-piano music of Erik Satie, has died at 89.

Although he made French music his specialty, Ciccolini also performed and recorded a range of other repertory, including the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven. He was a highly regarded teacher at the Paris Conservatoire in the 1970s and ’80s; among his students were Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Nicholas Angelich.

Ciccolini performed several times with the Richmond Symphony in the 1980s. His first engagement here, in which he played Liszt and Franck on an oversized, snow-white Bösendorfer concert grand, was especially memorable.

An obituary from the British music magazine Gramophone:

The English pianist Mark Bebbington recalls Ciccolini as a teacher, on Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc blog:

Ciccolini plays Satie’s “Gymnopedie” No. 1 at his 85th birthday concert in 2010:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 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.

WEATHER ADVISORY: A snowstorm on Feb. 25-26, with heaviest accumulations forecast in central and southeastern Virginia, may cause cancellation or postponement of events. Check with presenters before heading out.

* In and around Richmond: Virginia Opera brings its production of Richard Strauss’ “Salome,” starring Kelly Cae Hogan, to Richmond CenterStage on Feb. 6 and 8 (with performances the following weekend at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax). . . . A cast of string, keyboard and vocal artists pay tribute to Francis Church, the late cellist and longtime music critic of The Richmond News Leader, Feb. 8 at Bon Air Presbyterian Church. . . . The vocal quartet New York Polyphony presents “A Lily Among Thorns,” a program of early music spiced with contemporary works, Feb. 11 at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center. . . . Steven Smith conducts the Richmond Symphony, joined by vocalists Lester Lynch and Nate Smith, the One Voice Chorus and Richmond Symphony Chorus, in a Black History Month salute to Duke Ellington, Feb. 14 at Richmond CenterStage. . . . Keitaro Harada conducts the symphony Youth Orchestra Program ensembles, with guest violinist Wanzhen Li, in a free “Celebration of China,” Feb. 15 at Richmond CenterStage. . . . A stellar foursome from New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center – pianist Wu Han, violinist Daniel Hope, violist Paul Neubauer and cellist David Finckel – play piano quartets of Mahler, Schumann and Brahms on Feb. 28 in a Rennolds Chamber Concerts program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Singleton Arts Center.

* Noteworthy elsewhere: Organist and showman Cameron Carpenter performs on Feb. 4 at Washington’s Kennedy Center. . . . Nicholas McGegan conducts members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in music of J.S. Bach and his sons, C.P.E. and J.C. Bach, Feb. 12 at Strathmore in the Maryland suburbs of DC. . . . The widely lauded Jerusalem Quartet plays Haydn, Schubert and Erwin Schulhoff, Feb. 17 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. . . . Pianist Richard Goode and friends play Schumann and Brahms, Feb. 18 at the Library of Congress in Washington. . . . Composer-conductor Matthias Pintscher leads the National Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. premiere of his Violin Concerto (“Ma’reh”), with Karen Gomyo as soloist, in a program also featuring music of Fauré and Ravel, Feb. 19-21 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Washington National Opera opens its new, English-language production of Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” on Feb. 21, 23 and 27 (with more dates in March) at the Kennedy Center. . . . Soprano Renée Fleming, accompanied by pianist Olga Kern, performs in a Virginia Arts Festival-sponsored recital on Feb. 17 at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, on Feb. 20 at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville and on Feb. 23 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Pianist Emanuel Ax joins Herbert Blomstedt and the National Symphony in all-Beethoven program, including the Piano Concerto No. 3 and “Eroica” Symphony, Feb. 26-28 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Cellist Amit Peled plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor with JoAnn Falleta and the Virginia Symphony in a program also featuring works of Libby Larsen and Aaron Copland, Feb. 27-28 and March 1 at venues in Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Feb. 1 (3 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Richard Becker, piano
works by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, others
(804) 289-8980

Feb. 1 (2:30 p.m.)
Feb. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Ari Pelto conducting
Richard Strauss: “Salome”
Kelly Cae Hogan (Salome)
Alan Woodrow (Herod)
Katharine Goeldner (Herodias)
Michael Chioldi (Jochanaan)
Samuel Levine (Narraboth)
Stephen Lawless, stage director
in German, English captions
(866) 673-7282

Feb. 1 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Vaughan Williams: “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)
Aundi Moore, soprano
Stacey Rishoi, mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor
Kevin Deas, baritone
Virginia Symphony Chorus
Robert Shoup directing
(757) 892-6366

Feb. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Neumann Lecture on Music:
Jessie Ann Owens
“Cipriano de Rore and the Search for Music”
(804) 289-8980

Feb. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Vocal Arts DC:
Karine Deshayes, mezzo-soprano
Carrie-Ann Matheson, piano
works by Fauré, Debussy, Louÿs, Berlioz, Gounod, Bizet, Delibes, Duparc
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 4 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Cameron Carpenter, organ
works by Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Walton
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 4 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Calefax reed quintet
works by Ockeghem, Franck, Nancarrow, Richard Strauss, Shostakovich
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)

Feb. 5 (7 p.m.)
Feb. 6 (8 p.m.)
Feb. 7 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Juraj Valcuha conducting
Stravinsky: “Pulcinella” Suite
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor
Vilde Frang, violin
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 5 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Respighi: “Church Windows”
Respighi: “The Pines of Rome”
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)

Feb. 6 (8 p.m.)
Feb. 8 (2:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Virginia Opera
Ari Pelto conducting
Richard Strauss: “Salome”
Kelly Cae Hogan (Salome)
Alan Woodrow (Herod)
Katharine Goeldner (Herodias)
Michael Chioldi (Jochanaan)
Samuel Levine (Narraboth)
Stephen Lawless, stage director
in German, English captions
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)

Feb. 6 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Feb. 7 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Symphony Pops
Benjamin Rous conducting
“At the Movies with the Music of John Williams”
(757) 892-6366

Feb. 6 (8 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, Trap Road, Vienna
Montrose Trio
Turina: Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 76
Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 1, No. 1
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 51
(888) 945-2468 (

Feb. 7 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman conducting
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major
Sylvie Borodová: Symphony No. 1 (U.S. premiere)
(888) 945-2468 (

Feb. 7 (2 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Julius Drake, piano
Schubert: “Die Winterreise”
SOLD OUT (rush tickets at door beginning at noon)

Feb. 7 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Brian Ganz, piano
Chopin: 4 mazurkas, Op. 24
Chopin: Polonaise in F sharp minor, Op. 44
Chopin: 3 mazurkas, Op. 50
Chopin: 3 waltzes, Op. 64
Chopin: nocturnes, Op. 15, Nos. 2-3
Chopin: 3 mazurkas, Op. 59
Chopin: “Rondo a la Mazur,” Op. 5
(301) 581-5100

Feb. 8 (3 p.m.)
River Road Church, Baptist, River and Ridge roads, Richmond
One Voice Chorus
Lynn Atkins directing
Rassan H. Bourke, organ
“Celebration of Black History Month”
program TBA
(804) 288-1131

Feb. 8 (4 p.m.) 
Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 W. Huguenot Road, Richmond
Second Sunday South of the James: 
concert in tribute to Francis Church
Murray-Lohuis Duo (Robert Murray, violin; Ardyth Lohius, organ)
Charles Lindsey, organ
Bob Ford & Pamela McClain, piano
trio: Lili Boyd, flute; Vivian Boyd, violin; Grayson Boyd, cello
ensemble, Suzanne Maarz directing
string quartet: Bill Kinzie & Sandy Shelton, violins; David Ray, viola; Patricia Bray, cello
Mellow Cello Quartet
Bon Air Presbyterian Chancel Choir ensemble
duo: Marty Dorrill, flute; James Kidd, piano
program TBA
donation requested 
(804) 272-7514

Feb. 8 (4 p.m.)
St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church, 11300 W. Huguenot Road, Midlothian
Mauro Correa, guitar
Bel’Aria String Quartet
works by Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Gismonti, others
donation requested
(804) 272-8588

Feb. 8 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Andreas Makris: “Strathmore” Overture
Tchaikovsky: “Variations on a Rococo Theme”
Summer Hu, cello
Chopin: “Grande Polonaise brilliante”
Brian Ganz, piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)
Danielle Talamantes, soprano
Margaret Mezzacappa, mezzo-soprano
Colin Eaton, tenor
Norman Garrett, baritone
National Philharmonic Chorale
Stan Engebretson directing
$28-$94 (waiting list)
(301) 581-5100

Feb. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Fortas Chamber Music Concerts:
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio:
Joseph Kalichstein, piano
Jaime Laredo, violin
Sharon Robinson, cello
Beethoven: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 121a (“Kakadu”)
Dvořák: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 26
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
New York Polyphony
“A Lily Among Thorns”
Guerrero: “Regina caeli”
Guerrero: “Quae est ista/Surge propera” 
Byterring: “Nesciens mater” 
Power: “Beata progenies/Psalm 117” 
Dunstable: “Speciosa facta est” 
Pyamour: “Quam pulchra es” 
Plummer: “Tota pulchra es” 
Brumel: “Sicut lilium” 
Clemens: “Ego flos campi/Sub umbra illius” 
Roll: “There Is No Rose” 
other works TBA
(804) 289-8980

Feb. 12 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan conducting 
J.S. Bach: Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069 
J.S. Bach: Concerto in D minor, BWV , for two violins 
Jonathan Carney & Madeline Adkins, violins 
C.P.E. Bach: Symphony in E flat major, Wq 179 
J.C. Bach: Sinfonia concertante in C major for flute, oboe, violin and cello
Emily Skala, flute 
Katherine Needleman, oboe 
Igor Yuzefovich, violin 
Dariuz Skoraczewski, cello 
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)

Feb. 13 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News 
Feb. 14 (8 p.m.) 
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk 
Feb. 15 (2:30 p.m.) 
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach 
Virginia Symphony 
JoAnn Falletta conducting 
Wagner: “Tristan und Isolde” – Prelude and “Liebestod” 
Tchaikovsky: “Romeo and Juliet” Fantasy-Overture 
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
(757) 892-6366

Feb. 14 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Jefferson Baroque
amorous music from 16th-18th centuries
works TBA
(804) 646-7223
Feb. 14 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting 
Lester Lynch & Nate Smith, vocalists 
One Voice Chorus 
Lynn Atkins directing
Richmond Symphony Chorus 
Erin R. Freeman directing 
“An Evening of Duke Ellington” 
Ellington: “The Three Black Kings” 
Ellington: “Night Creature” 
Ellington: “Harlem”
Ellington: “The Best of the Sacred Concerts” (excerpts) 
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)

Feb. 14 (8 p.m.) 
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 
Feb. 15 (3:30 p.m.) 
Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Road
Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia 
Kate Tamarkin conducting 
Mendelssohn: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Overture 
Borodin: Nocturne 
Stephen Warbeck: “Shakespeare in Love” Suite 
Prokofiev: “Romeo and Juliet” suites Nos. 1-2 
(434) 924-3376

Feb. 14 (8 p.m.)
Feb. 15 (2 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Virginia Opera 
Ari Pelto conducting 
Richard Strauss: “Salome” 
Kelly Cae Hogan (Salome) 
Alan Woodrow (Herod) 
Katharine Goeldner (Herodias) 
Michael Chioldi (Jochanaan) 
Samuel Levine (Narraboth) 
Stephen Lawless, stage director
in German, English captions 
(888) 945-2468 (

Feb. 14 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
National Symphony Orchestra Pops 
Steven Reineke conducting 
Seth McFarlane, vocalist 
Valentine’s Day program
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 15 (4 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program 
Keitaro Harada conducting 
“Celebration of China” 
Bright Sheng: “Shanghai” Overture 
Bliss Wiant & Ching-fu T’ien: “Ming Yue Han Xing” 
Konrad Kossell: “Stars of Ice, Wheel of Moonlight Bright” 
Chen Gang & He Zhanhao: “Butterfly Lovers” Concerto
Wanzhen Li, violin 
Larry Lang: “Snow Forest” 
Li Huanzhi: “Spring Festival” Overture 
(804) 788-4717

Feb. 15 (3 p.m.)
Feb. 16 (7:30 p.m.) 
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave., Roanoke
Feb. 17 (7:30 p.m.) 
Fife Theatre, Davis Performance Hall, Virginia Tech Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg 
Roanoke Symphony
David Stewart Wiley conducting 
Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425 (“Linz”) 
Vaughan Williams: “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” 
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor 
Tanya Gabrielian, piano 
(540) 343-9127

Feb. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Arts Festival:
Renée Fleming, soprano
Olga Kern, piano
works by Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss
(757) 282-2822

Feb. 17 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts: 
Jerusalem Quartet 
Haydn: Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3 (“Rider”) 
Erwin Schulhoff: “Five Pieces” 
Schubert: Quartet in D minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”) 
(434) 924-3376

Feb. 18 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington 
Richard Goode, piano 
Itamar Zorman, violin 
Kyle Armbrust, viola 
Brook Speltz, cello 
Schumann: Piano Trio in F major, Op. 80 
Schumann: “Humoreske,” Op. 20 
Brahms: Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26 
free; tickets required
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)

Feb. 19 (7 p.m.) 
Feb. 20 (8 p.m.) 
Feb. 21 (8 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
National Symphony Orchestra 
Matthias Pintscher conducting 
Fauré: “Pelleas et Melisande” Suite 
Pintscher: Violin Concerto (“Mar’eh”) (U.S. premiere) 
Karen Gomyo, violin 
Ravel: “Daphnis et Chloé” 
Washington Master Chorale 
Thomas Colohan directing 
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 20 (8 p.m.) 
Constant Convocation Center, 4320 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk 
Virginia Symphony 
Brett Havens conducting 
with rock band 
“Music of the Rolling Stones” 
(757) 892-6366

Feb. 20 (8 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville 
Renée Fleming, soprano 
Olga Kern, piano 
program TBA 
(434) 979-1333

Feb. 20 (8 p.m.) 
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First Street at Independence Avenue N.E., Washington 
Claremont Trio
Misha Armory, viola 
Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 11 
Helen Grime: “Three Whistler Miniatures” 
Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60 
free; tickets required 
(703) 573-7328 (Ticketmaster)

Feb. 21 (3 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande 
Charles Dutoit conducting 
Debussy: “Iberia” 
Rachmaninoff: “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” 
Nikolai Lugansky, piano 
Stravinsky: “Le chant du rossignol” (“Song of the Nightingale”)
Ravel: “La Valse”
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)

Feb. 21 (7 p.m.) 
Feb. 23 (7 p.m.) 
Feb. 27 (7:30 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington 
Washington National Opera 
Antony Walker conducting 
Poulenc: “Dialogues of the Carmelites”
Leah Crocetto (Madame Lidoine)
Layla Claire (Blanche de la Force) 
Dolora Zajick (Madame de Croissy) 
Elizabeth Bishop (Mother Marie) 
Ashley Emerson (Sister Constance) 
Alan Held (Marquis de la Force) 
Shawn Mathey (Chevalier de la Force) 
Robert Baker (Chaplain) 
Francesca Zambello, stage director 
in English, English captions 
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 22 (4 p.m.) 
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax 
Christopher O’Riley & Pablo Ziegler, pianos 
“Two to Tango” 
works by Astor Piazzolla, others 
(888) 945-2468 (

Feb. 23 (7:30 p.m.) 
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond 
Paul Hanson, piano
J.S. Bach: “The Well-Tempered Clavier” (excerpts) 
Liszt: “Variations on Bach’s ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’ ” 
works TBA by Stockhausen, Takemitsu 
(804) 289-8980

Feb. 23 (8 p.m.) 
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 
Rivanna String Quartet 
Doris Lederer, viola 
Clyde Thomas Shaw, cello 
Beethoven: Quartet in E flat major, Op. 74 (“Harp”) 
Kurtág: “Twelve Microludes for String Quartet (Hommage à Mihaly Andras)”
Brahms: Sextet in G major, Op. 36
free master class by Lederer and Shaw, 8 p.m. Feb. 22, Old Cabell Hall

Feb. 23 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
Renée Fleming, soprano 
Olga Kern, piano 
works by Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, others 
(202) 785-9727

Feb. 24 (8 p.m.)
Williamsburg Library Theatre, 515 Scotland St.
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg: 
Hermes String Quartet 
Haydn: Quartet in D major, Op. 76, No. 3 
Debussy: Quartet in G major 
Schumann: Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1 
$15 (waiting list) 
(757) 229-0385

Feb. 24 (7:30 p.m.) 
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington 
Opera Lafayette: 
Dominique Labelle, soprano 
Ryan Brown, violin 
Loretta O‘Sullivan, cello 
Andrew Appel, harpsichord 
“A Wink at the Past” 
works by J.S. Bach, Handel 
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 25 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble 
Terry L. Austin directing 
Gershwin: “Rhapsody in Blue” 
Yin Zheng, piano 
other works TBA 
(804) 828-6776

Feb. 26 (7 p.m.) 
Feb. 27 (8 p.m.) 
Feb. 28 (8 p.m.) 
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington 
National Symphony Orchestra 
Herbert Blomstedt conducting 
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor 
Emanuel Ax, piano 
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major (“Eroica”) 
(800) 444-1324

Feb. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1627 Monument Ave., Richmond
American Guild of Organists Repertoire Recital Series: 
Chelsea Chen, organ 
program TBA 
donation requested 
(804) 359-2463

Feb. 27 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News 
Feb. 28 (8 p.m.) 
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
March 1 (2:30 p.m.) 
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach 
Virginia Symphony 
JoAnn Falletta conducting 
Libby Larsen: “Four on the Floor” 
Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor 
Amit Peled, cello 
Copland: Symphony No. 3 
(757) 892-6366

Feb. 27 (8 p.m.) 
Brooks Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 
Elizabeth Crone, flute 
Rick Masters, piano 
Valerie Coleman: work TBA (premiere) 
Elizabeth Hoffman: work TBA (premiere) 
works TBA by Martinů, Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, James Sochinski 
(434) 924-3052

Feb. 28 (8 p.m.) 
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond 
Rennolds Chamber Concerts: 
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:
Wu Han, piano 
Daniel Hope, violin 
Paul Neubauer, viola 
David Finckel, cello 
Mahler: Piano Quartet in A minor 
Schumann: Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47 
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25 
(804) 828-6776

Feb. 28 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets 
Richmond Symphony Pops 
Keitaro Harada conducting 
Wicked Divas 
Broadway show tunes TBA 
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)

Feb. 28 (8 p.m.) 
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 
Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting 
Berlioz: “Le Corsaire” Overture 
Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor 
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 
Louis Lortie, piano 
Stravinsky: “The Firebird” Suite 
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)