Friday, September 2, 2016

2016-17 season overview

Classical music in Richmond often puts patrons through juggling acts: Which among several options to choose in a given week or

Each year, compiling and posting a preview of the classical season, I inevitably find conflicts in performance scheduling.

The 2016-17 season starts with a conflict that really takes the cake.

On the weekend of Sept. 16-18, there will be
eight concerts in three days: the Dover Quartet in the opening of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rennolds Chamber Concerts series, the first concerts of the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia’s season, pianist Alexander Paley’s three-day fall festival at St. Luke Lutheran Church, a Chester Village concert by the Richmond Symphony under its “big tent” outdoor concert stage, and singer Ute Gfrerer and pianist Adam Turner, previewing Virginia Opera’s forthcoming production of Kurt Weill’s “The Seven Deadly Sins” with a cabaret program at Dominion Arts Center.

It is physically possible to attend four of these performances. I’m planning to attend three. Non-gluttonous music-lovers presumably will opt for one or two.

Aside from the symphony’s pops concert, all of the above all chamber-music events, staged in small venues; so, conceivably, there are enough interested listeners to go around.

That’s assuming the classical crowd examines programs (which I’ve posted in the September calendar); sees, for example, that on Sept. 18 the Chamber Music Society is presenting an all-Schubert program at Second Presbyterian Church, while Paley and friends are playing Mozart and Zemlinsky at St. Luke; makes its choices and neatly cleaves into respectable turnouts for each concert.

Sept. 16-18 is one of three significant weekend clusters of performances this season. The other two:

– Virginia Opera’s season-opening double-bill of “The Seven Deadly Sins” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” Oct. 14 and 16 at Dominion Arts Center; the Parker Quartet with violist Kim Kashkashian, Oct. 15 at VCU; the first of the Richmond Symphony’s Metro Collection chamber-orchestra concerts, Oct. 16 at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland; and the Sphinx Virtuosi and Catalyst Quartet, Oct. 16 in the first ticketed classical concert of the season at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Arts Center.

– Virginia Opera’s “The Magic Marksman” (its English translation of Weber’s “Der Freischütz”), Feb. 17 and 19 at Dominion Arts Center; organist David Goode, in the Repertoire Recital Series of the Richmond chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Feb. 17 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church; the Montrose Trio, Feb. 18 at VCU; the symphony with its principal timpanist, Jim Jacobson, Feb. 19 at Randolph-Macon; the Shanghai Quartet with pipa (Chinese lute) player Wu Man, Feb. 19 at UR. (On the 19th, the symphony and opera perform in the afternoon, the Shanghai and Wu Man in the evening.)

Presenters’ excuses for such pileups: Touring artists and locals with multiple professional commitments couldn’t be engaged on other dates. . . . We don’t think there will be much audience overlap with other events. . . . We have to schedule on weekends because that’s what our audience expects.

However it’s rationalized, clustering events disserves performers and their audiences. It depresses turnout for an art form that struggles to draw a crowd under optimal circumstances. And listeners don’t get time to digest what they hear in one program before hearing the next.

OK, enough ranting.

Here’s a thumbnail listing of major events in Richmond’s 2016-17 classical season. I’ll add to the list as more dates are announced. Details will be posted in each month’s calendars. Asterisks (*) denote free or by-donation events. Box-office phone numbers and links to presenters’ websites follow the list.

*10 – Richmond Symphony/Chia-Hsuan Lin (Pocahontas State Park)
11 – John Bullard, classical banjo (VCU Singleton Center)
*14 – Richmond Piano Trio (UR Modlin Center)
*16 – Alexander Paley Music Festival (St. Luke Lutheran Church)
*17 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Richmond Public Library)
*17 – Alexander Paley Music Festival (St. Luke Lutheran Church)
17 – Dover Quartet (VCU Singleton Center)
*17 – Richmond Symphony/conductor TBA (Chester Village Green)
17 – Ute Gfrerer, vocalist; Adam Turner, piano (Dominion Arts Center)
18 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Second Presbyterian Church)
*18 – Alexander Paley Music Festival (St. Luke Lutheran Church)
25 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Itzhak Perlman, violin (Dominion Arts Center)
*25 – George-Lin-Kibbey Trio (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)
30 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith Casual Fridays (Dominion Arts Center)

1 – Richmond Symphony Lollipops/Chia-Hsuan Lin with Lynn Dillies, magician (Dominion Arts Center)
*7 – Monica Czausz, organ (Ginter Park Presbyterian Church)
13 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour/Steven Smith with Daisuke Yamamoto, violin (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
14/16 – Virginia Opera: “The Seven Deadly Sins” & “Pagliacci” (Dominion Arts Center)
15 – Parker Quartet with Kim Kashkashian, viola (VCU Singleton Center)
16 – Sphinx Virtuosi & Catalyst Quartet (UR Modlin Center)
16 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Daisuke Yamamoto, violin (Randolph-Macon College)
22-23 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Anton Nel, piano (Dominion Arts Center)
23 – Carsten Schmidt, harpsichord (Second Presbyterian Church)
*26 – Paul Hanson, piano (UR Modlin Center)
29 – Richmond Symphony Pops/Chia-Hsuan Lin with Rashida Scott, vocals (Altria Theater)

*4 – Jennifer Pascual, organ (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)
*4-5 – Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival with eighth blackbird (UR Modlin Center)
6 – Richmond Philharmonic/Peter Wilson (Collegiate School)
10 – Roomful of Teeth & UR Schola Cantorum (UR Modlin Center)
12-13 – Richmond Symphony & Symphony Chorus/Steven Smith with vocal soloists: “Romeo and Juliet” (Dominion Arts Center)
18/20 – Virginia Opera: “The Barber of Seville” (Dominion Arts Center)
26 – Richmond Symphony Lollipops/Chia-Hsuan Lin “The Snowman” (Dominion Arts Center)

2 – Richmond Symphony & Symphony Chorus/Erin Freeman with vocal soloists: “Messiah” (Dominion Arts Center)
3-4 – Richmond Symphony Pops & Symphony Chorus/Chia-Hsuan Lin “Let It Snow!” (Dominion Arts Center)
*4 – Festival of Lessons and Carols (UR Cannon Memorial Chapel)
*5 – Richmond Philharmonic/Peter Wilson holiday concert (James Center Atrium)
*10 – Festival of Lessons and Carols (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)
11 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Wilton House Museum)
12 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Holy Comforter Episcopal Church)

13 – Richmond Symphony Casual Fridays/
Jacques Houtmann (Dominion Arts Center)
14 – Richmond Symphony/Jacques Houtmann with Rémi Geniet, piano (Dominion Arts Center)
19 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
21 – Jeremy Denk, piano (UR Modlin Center)
21 – Richmond Symphony Pops/Chia-Hsuan Lin (Dominion Arts Center)
22 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith (Randolph-Macon College)
28 – Richmond Symphony Lollipops/Chia-Hsuan Lin (Dominion Arts Center)
28 – Anne Akiko Meyers, violin (VCU Singleton Center)

4-5 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Jason Vieaux, guitar (Dominion Arts Center)
4 – Philip Glass, Maki Namekaya, Aaron Diehl & Lisa Kaplan, pianos (UR Modlin Center)
*5 – Richard Becker, piano (UR Modlin Center)
12 – Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)
16 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour with Jim Jacobson, timpani (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
*17 – David Goode, organ (St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church)
17/19 – Virginia Opera: “The Magic Marksman” (“Der Freischütz”) (Dominion Arts Center)
18 – Montrose Trio (VCU Singleton Center)
19 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Jim Jacobson, timpani (Randolph-Macon College)
19 – Shanghai Quartet & Wu Man, pipa (UR Modlin Center)

3 – Richmond Symphony Casual Fridays/Steven Smith (Dominion Arts Center)
4 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Jinjoo Cho, violin (Dominion Arts Center)
10 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (private home)
*11 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Richmond Public Library)
11 – Richmond Symphony Pops/Chia-Hsuan Lin with Ann Hampton Calloway, vocals (Dominion Arts Center)
15-16 – Brooklyn Rider with Wendy Whelan & Brian Brooks, dancers (UR Modlin Center)
*19 – Richard Becker & Doris Wylee-Becker, pianos (UR Modlin Center)
19 – Richmond Philharmonic/Peter Wilson with Irina Muresanu, violin (Steward School)
*22 – Ronald Crutcher, cello & Joanne Kong, piano (UR Modlin Center)
25 – Richmond Symphony Lollipops/Chia-Hsuan Lin with Sara Valentine, actor (Dominion Arts Center)
29 – eighth blackbird with Will Oldham, singer-songwriter (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
31 – Virginia Opera: “Turandot” (Dominion Arts Center)

1 – Joshua Roman, cello (VCU Singleton Center)
2 – Virginia Opera: “Turandot” (Dominion Arts Center)
*3 – Bruce Stevens, organ (UR Cannon Memorial Chapel)
8-9 – Richmond Symphony & Symphony Chorus/Steven Smith (Dominion Arts Center)
20 – Takács Quartet (UR Modlin Center)
*22 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Richmond Public Library)
23 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (UR Perkinson Recital)
27 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour/Chia-Hsuan Lin (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
30 – Richmond Symphony/Chia-Hsuan Lin (Randolph-Macon College)
*30 – David Higgs, organ (River Road Church, Baptist)

*3 – David Jonies, organ (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)
6 – Miró Quartet (VCU Singleton Center)
7 – Richmond Philharmonic/Peter Wilson with Thomas Jöstlein, James Ferree, George Harple & Merry Beth Hall, French horns (Collegiate School)
12 – Richmond Symphony Casual Fridays/Steven Smith (Dominion Arts Center)
13 – Richmond Symphony/Steven Smith with Gary Hoffman, cello (Dominion Arts Center)
*26 – Acronym Baroque Ensemble (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)

*18 – Richmond Philharmonic/Peter Wilson (Summer Park, Brandermill)

* * *

Richmond Symphony
(804) 788-1212

Virginia Opera
(866) 673-7282

Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
(804) 289-8980

Rennolds Chamber Concerts, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University
(804) 828-1166

Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia
(804) 519-2098

Alexander Paley Music Festival
(804) 665-9516

Richmond Philharmonic
(804) 673-7400

Richmond chapter, American Guild of Organists