Classical Music Sampler: March 2011

March highlights include the American premiere of Boston Camerata’s homage to mystics of the Middle ages, innovative programming from the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, and appearances by heavyweights pianist Evgeny Kissin, paying homage to birthday boy Franz Liszt, and guitarist John Williams.

Eugene Kissin: Just the pianist to tackle the flamboyant music of Franz Liszt.

By Susan Miron

Wednesday Concert Series, held each Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. —  6:30 p.m. at Church of St. John Evangelist, 35 Bowdoin Street, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA. March 2: Emil Altschuler (violin) and Artem Belogurov (piano), March 9: Jeffrey Mills (organ), March 16: Jeanne Lucas (soprano) and James Busby (piano), March 23: Harrison Kelton (organ). March 30: Linda Kernohan (organ, piano).

Wednesday, March 2 @ 8.p.m. The Celebrity Series of Boston brings in the fabulous pianist Evgeny Kissin @ at Symphony Hall, Boston, MA. He will play an All Liszt program, no doubt in honor of the composer/performer’s 200th anniversary. Read Artsfuse feature with NEC’s Bruce Brubaker on Boston-area Lisztomania.

Sunday, March 6 @ 1:30 p.m. A Far Cry performs in the Gardner Museum Sunday Concert Series @MassArt Pozen Center (located directly behind the museum on Tetlow Street), Boston, MA. The conductor-free chamber ensemble of 17 young musicians is simply terrific. For this concert (they are in residence at the Gardner) A Far Cry is playing music by Handel, Golijov, Dvořák (Notturno, Op. 40) and Schoenberg (the late Romantic Verklärte Nacht)

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday March 10, 11, 12 @ 8 p.m. The Boston Symphony Orchestra @ Symphony Hall in Boston, MA. The great pianist Maurizio Pollini and James Levine, conductor, take on Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra and Piano Concerto and his Piano Concerto as well as Mozart’s popular Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter” and his sublime Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488.

Friday, March 11 @ 6 p.m. Last of 5 installments of Music for Food for Music. Violist Kim Kashkashion and others play Bach and Mozart to raise funds for The Greater Boston Food Bank. Please bring non-perishable food or a donation. This is a great series.

Friday, March 11 @ 8 p.m. Masterworks Chorale led by conductor Steven Koridoyanes performs at Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA. Dvořák’s Stabat Mater is on the bill. This is a tribute concert to the Chorale’s past conductor, Allen Lannom, with welcome & opening remarks by Richard Dyer, former Senior Classical Music Critic of The Boston Globe.

Friday, March 18 @ 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 20 @ 3 p.m. The sublime B minor Mass by J.S. Bach performed at Jordan Hall, Boston, MA, by the wonderful Cantata Singers, led by David Hoose. Read Arts Fuse interview with Hoose.

Meister Eckhart -- his mystical writings inspired the Boston Camerata.

Saturday, March 19 @ 8 p.m. at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA. Boston Camerata‘s director Anne Azéma and Susanne Ansort, vielle,  explore German and French mysticism during the Middle Ages in a program “The Spark of the Soul,” built around the personality of the German mystic Meister Eckhard (c. 1260-c. 1327). Commissioned by festivals in France and Germany, this will be this production’s American premiere.

Sunday March 20 @ 8 p.m. at Seully Hall, Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA. Superb Violinst Carmirt Zori and pianist Pei-Yao Wang perform works by Dvořák, Prokofiev, and Schumann.

Friday, March 25 @ 8 p.m. The Celebrity Series of Boston presents guitarist John Williams at Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. The program will include Villa-Lobos and compositions of Williams himself.

Saturday, March 26 @ 8 p.m. and Sunday March 27 @ 3 p.m. The Goethe-Institut hosts Boston’s Chameleon Arts Ensemble, an excellent ensemble which offers innovative programming. These concerts will feature music of Schubert (the lovely Der Hirt auf dem Felsen for soprano, clarinet and piano) , the Hungarian composer György Kurtág, György Sándor Ligeti, and Robert Schumann’s wonderful Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 47.

Sunday, March 27 @ 1:30. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum presents The Nash Ensemble @MassArt Pozen Center (located directly behind the museum on Tetlow Street), Boston, MA. The group will be playing a great program of Takemitsu’s Entretemps, for oboe and string quartet, Poulenc’s Sonata for oboe and piano , the Franck Piano Quintet and this year’s most often programmed trio, the gorgeous Piano Trio in A minor by Ravel.

Monday, March 28 @ 7:30 p.m. Laurence Lesser, Walter W. Naumburg Chair in Music and faculty cellist at New England Conservatory, performs at Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. The teacher of countless great cellists and a great one himself, Lesser will play J.S. Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.

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