Classical Music Sampler: May 2011

The month’s international highlights include the Boston Modern Orchestra taking on the music of India, The Cantata Singers finishing up their homage to British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams, and Musica Sacra performing Flemish Choral Music of the High Renaissance.

By Susan Miron.

The month offers an opportunity to hear BSO harpist Jessica Zhou.

Sunday, May 1 @ 1:30 p.m. at MassArt’s Pozen Hall, Boston, MA. The Gardner Museum Sunday Concert Series presents Musicians from Marlboro: Five string players perform quartets by Mozart and Haydn and Dvořák’s lovely String Quintet in E-Flat.

Sunday, May 1 @3 p.m. at New England Conservatory’s (NEC’s) Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. Boston Symphony Chamber Players perform works featuring both winds and harp, including the Debussy Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp and Ravel’s wonderful “Introduction and Allegro” for harp, flute, clarinet, and string quartet. This concert offers a chance to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s fabulous harpist Jessica Zhou.

Wednesday Concert Series offers free classical music each Wednesday @ 5:30 p.m. at the Church of St. John Evangelist, 35 Bowdoin Street Boston, MA. May 4: Gila Goldstein (piano) will perform works by Bach, Liszt, Medtner, and Respighi; May 11: Letitia Stevens (mezzo-soprano), Bonnie Donham (piano), and Yahsmin Valenzuela (clarinet) will feature songs by Mahler, Ravel, and Schubert; May 18: Matthew Hall (organ) will perform works by Bach, Bohm, and Buxtehude; May 25: The women’s vocal quartet Anthology will perform “Now is the Month of Maying.”

Friday, May 6 @ 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 8 @3 p.m., and Tuesday, May 10 @ 7:30 p.m. at Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA. Opera Boston presents Donizetti’s rarely heard Maria Padilla, a production that features soprano Barbara Quintiliani’s return to the Boston stage.

Saturday, May 7 @ 8 p.m. at Wellesley College’s Houghton Chapel. The great organist James David Christie plays a program, “In Praise of Sweelinck, the Orpheus of Amsterdam.”

Soprano Barbara Quintiliani is featured in Opera Boston

Monday, May 9 @ 8 p.m. at NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. The brilliant harpsichordist John Gibbons gives a free faculty recital. He’s a musician worth paying to hear.

Friday, May 13 @8 p.m. at Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. The Cantata Singers present the last program of their Ralph Vaughn Williams year with a performance of his Mass in G minor, Leonard Bernstein’s lovely “Chichester Psalms,” and others.

Saturday, May 14 @ 8 p.m. at First Church Congregational, Cambridge, MA. Musica Sacra presents “Love, Lust, and Laudations,” a performance in which the excellent choir sings sacred and profane Flemish Choral Music of the High Renaissance.

Sunday, May 15 @3 p.m. at Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA. The Boston Chamber Music Society takes on three great piano trios by Brahms, Schubert, and Mendelssohn. This is a dream program for those who love piano trios.

Pianist Sergey Schepkin

Saturday, May 21 @ 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 @ 3 p.m. at the Goethe-Institute, Boston, MA. The superb Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston teams up with the extraordinary pianist Sergey Schepkin for a program entitled “from wild spring air.” The music includes a violin and piano sonata by Beethoven; “Summer Music” for wind quintet by Samuel Barber; Derek Bermel’s “Ried Shifts” for flute, clarinet, violin, cell, piano, and percussion; and Ernest Block’s seldom heard Piano Quintet, No. 1 (1923).

Friday, May 27 @8 p.m. at Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project presents “Sangita: The Spirit of India,” an evening comprised of works by composers inspired by Indian music.

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