Classical Music Sampler: October 2011

October offers an embarrassment of musical riches. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, without a music director, is still putting on impressive programs, including several this month.

By Susan Miron

The month offers a chance to hear Alisa Weilerstein, recently the recipient of a MacArthur genius Grant. Photo: Christian Steiner

Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston. At First Church in Boston, 66 Marlboro Street, Boston, MA, on October 1, @ 8 p.m. and at The Goethe Institute, 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, on October 2,@ 3 p.m. This excellent chamber music group puts on unusual concerts with good players and interesting themes. This one, “From the realm of light and song,” features Beethoven’s “Archduke” Piano Trio, a septet for flute, clarinet, harp and strings by Christopher Rouse, and Barber’s delightful “Hermit Songs.”

First Monday. At New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA, on October 3 @ 8 p.m. Free. A stellar lineup of musicians including Masuko Uchioda, Miriam Fried, and Lucy Chapman (violins), Paul Biss and Kim Kashkashian (violas), Laurence Lesser (cello), and Sergey Schepkin (piano). Works on the program include the Brahms Quintet in G, the Arensky Piano Trio, and the Dvorák Terzetto.

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.

October 5: Kathleen LeBlanc-Hood (clarinet) will perform works by Coughlin, Greene, Hruska, and Pena.
October 12: R. Harrison Kelton (organ) will perform works by C. P. E. Bach, J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, Couperin, and Handel.
October 19: Happy Birthday Liszt! will feature Megan Bisceglia (soprano), Jakov Zamir (counter-tenor), and pianists Yannick Rafalimanana and Ivan Tan performing works by Franz Liszt sung in French, German, and Italian.
October 26: Judith Lee (violin), Tess Remy-Schumacher (violoncello), and Christopher Cooley (piano) will perform trios by Brahms and Mozart.

Boston Symphony Orchestra. At Symphony Hall, October 6 and 11 @ 8 p.m. and on October 7 @ 1:30 p.m. The program, conducted by Sean Newhouse and featuring pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, includes Sibelius’s Second Symphony, Prokofieff’s dazzling Piano Concerto #3, and Britten’s beautiful “Four Sea Interludes” from his opera Peter Grimes.

Boston Conservatory Faculty Recital. At the Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA, October 13 @ 8 p.m. The faculty members, including superb violinist Sharan Leventhal, perform Messiaen’s chamber music masterpiece, “Quartet for the End of Time.” This isn’t performed very often and is always worth hearing.

The Brentano String Quartet. Presented by Rockport Music at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA, on October 16 @3 p.m. An intriguing concept, to say the least — a brand new concept in honor of the quartet’s 20th anniversary. Entitled “Fragments: Connecting Past and Present,” the program has the group presenting “six quartet fragments by great composers from the past” and the response of six living composers to these pieces.

The Brentano String Quartet -- an innovative program generated from fragments of music

Boston Chamber Music Society. At Harvard University, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA, on October 16 @ 7:30 p.m. In its “Season of Piano Quintets” the BCMS features a quintet by Gubaidulina, as well as works of Loeffler, Mozart (Piano Trio in B Flat Major), and Schumann (“Fantasiestücke” with 2011 Tchaikovsky-Award-winning cellist Narek Hakhrazarya.)

Music for Food . At NEC’s Brown Hall, Boston, MA, on October 17 @ 8 p.m. The first of four concerts featuring the great violist Kim Kashkashian, joined by NEC colleagues and friends, playing works of Brahms and Bartók. The audience is asked to contribute to the Greater Boston Food Bank. This was a very popular, community-minded series last year, and many of the impressive musicians are returning to the project. Should be a fabulous concert.

Boston Symphony Orchestra. At Symphony Hall, Boston, MA, on October 13, 15, 18 @ 8 p.m. and October 14 @ 1:30 p.m. Open rehearsal October 13 at 10:30 a.m. Juanjo Mena conducts Bartók’s rarely heard “The Wooden Prince” and the ever popular Dvorák Cello Concerto, featuring the always pleasing Yo-Yo Ma

Boston Classical Orchestra. At Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA, on October 22 @ 3 p.m. The promising program includes Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto #6 with violists Kim Kashkashian and Dmitri Murrath along with Beethoven’s Octet for Winds and Brahms’s Serenade # 2.

Highly recommended: Soprano Dame Emma Kirkby with lutenist Jakob Lindberg. Photo: Malcolm Crowthers.

Boston Symphony Orchestra. At Symphony Hall, Boston, MA, on October 20 and 22 @ 8 p.m. and on October 21 @ 1:30 p.m. Open rehearsal October 20 @ 10:30 a.m. Kurt Masur conducts Brahms Symphony #3 and Piano Concerto #2 with Yefim Bronfman. You can’t lose: a great program and a great pianist.

Love Songs, Lute Solos, and Laments. Presented by Boston Early Music Festival at the First Church Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA, on October 21 @ 8 p.m. Highly recommended: the festival presents soprano Dame Emma Kirkby with lutenist Jakob Lindberg.

The Weilerstein Trio. At NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA, on October 30 @ 8 p.m. Free. The Weilerstein Trio (pianist Vivian Gornick Weilerstein, violinist Donald Weilerstein, and their famous daughter, cellist Alisa Weilerstein), in residence at NEC, play works of Dvorák and Ives. A good chance to hear Alisa Weilerstein, recently the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” Grant.

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