By Susan Miron
July is a month when most of the great classical music is happening in pastoral settings and festivals around New England and far from Boston. Take a look at these gatherings; yes, Tanglewood eclipses most of the competition, but try to give Bay Chamber Concerts, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Manadnock Music a chance. They’re well worth it—contact information and schedules below.
Bowdoin International Music Festival (Brunswick, Maine, through August 6)
Manadnock Music (Peterborough, New Hampshire, through August 14)
Newport Music Festival (Newport, Rhode Island, through July 24)
Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival (Blue Hill, Maine, through August 24)
Music at Eden’s Edge (Danvers, MA, through August 27)
Mohawk Trail Concerts (Charlemont, MA, through July 31)
Bay Chamber Concerts (Rockport, Maine, through September 1)
Wednesday Concert Series offers free classical music each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Church of St. John Evangelist, 35 Bowdoin Street, Boston, MA. July 6: Alexandra Lang (soprano) and Matthew Larson (piano) will present “Of Thee I Sing: A Celebration of American Music,” featuring songs by Adamo, Barber, Berlin, and Rodgers; July 13: Artem Belogurov (piano) will present “Liszt in Concert,” featuring works by Chopin, Schubert, Weber, and Liszt; July 20: Tom Duprey (cornet and trumpet) and Jared Sims (saxophones) will perform “Concerto for Trumpet and Saxophones” and jazz originals; July 27: Cecile Hastie (soprano) and John Ferguson (piano) will perform Latin American art songs and “Three Linda Gregg Songs” by John Ferguson.
July 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. Rockport Chamber Music Festival presents the St. Petersburg String Quartet playing two almost-all Russian programs (the non-Russian piece is an arrangement of the Chaconne from the Partita in D minor). These programs sound really intriguing.
July 12 at 8 p.m. The great Emerson String Quartet performs Haydn, Bartók, and Schubert at Tanglewood in Seiji Ozawa Hall. It’s likely to be sold out early, but it’s worth a trip out to Lenox, MA if you are lucky enough to snag tickets. The group is stupendous, the best quartet active today.
July 14 at 8 p.m. The Borromeo String Quartet performs quartets by Mozart, Debussy, and Daniel Brewbaker at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival.
July 17 at 7:30 p.m. Also at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, the great pianist and revered teacher Russell Sherman presents a program he’s been playing to enormous acclaim this year. The evening is made up of Robert Schumann’s Arabeske and Fantasy in C Major, Liszt’s Sonetto del Petrarca and the much played Liszt Sonata in B minor. Even it you’ve heard this piece, try to catch Mr. Sherman playing it. I’ve heard great things about Mr. Sherman playing this program in Jordan Hall.
July 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. at Tanglewood, Ozawa Hall. The excellent, French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays Ravel’s complete works for piano in two programs; it’s really worth hearing him perform this repertoire.
July 24 at 2:30 p.m. at the Tanglewood Koussevitzky Music Shed. Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays Ravel Piano Concerto in G and Ravel Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand in an all-Ravel program. The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Emmanuel Krivine.
July 27 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and July 31 at 3 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA. Boston Midsummer Opera performs L’Italiana in Algeri, which is “considered one of Rossini’s comic masterpieces—on a par with and in some ways even surpassing his Barber of Seville.” Drew Minter directs; Susan Davenny Wyner conducts. Singers include David Kravitz, Sandra Piques Eddy, and Sara Jakubiak.
July 29 at 8:30 p.m. at the Tanglewood Koussevitzky Music Shed. The legendary pianist (and piano teacher of several of today’s luminaries) Leon Fleisher plays the Mozart Piano Concerto in A, K. 414. The program also includes Mahler’s wonderful Symphony No. 5. Hans Graf conducts.
July 31 at 2:30 p.m. at the Tanglewood Koussevitzky Music Shed. Alisa Weilerstein, an up-and-coming cellist of her youthful generation, plays the Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C under conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The great Mahler Symphony No. 1 is also on this program.