By Caldwell Titcomb
July 7: The Church of St. John the Evangelist offers a series of free, late-afternoon Wednesday concerts, now in their fourth year. The July series starts off with a tribute to the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann in the form of two of the greatest song cycles ever written (both from 1840). “Frauenliebe und-Leben” (“Woman’s Love and Life”), Op. 42, will be sung by soprano Katherine Growdon, with pianist Juliet Cunningham; and “Dichterliebe” (“Poet’s Love”), Op. 48, will be performed by countertenor Yaacov Zamir and pianist Linda Kemohan. At Church of St. John the Evangelist, 35 Bowdoin Street (Beacon Hill), Boston, MA, 5:30 p.m.
July 7: The Boston Landmarks Orchestra celebrates its 10th anniversary by joining with the Red Sox and the Mayor’s Office for a free concert in Fenway Park. The program will include Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” (with the New World Chorale), Wachner’s “The Jackie Robinson Story,” and selections from Bernstein’s West Side Story. Tickets are free but required and will not be available the day of performance; they may be downloaded at no cost from www.redsox.com/familyfun or picked up at the Main Ticket Office, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a limit of four per person. At Fenway Park, Boston, MA, 7 p.m. [Broadcast live on WCRB 99.5]
July 8: The Rockport Chamber Music Festival presents an a cappella men’s choir from St. Olaf College, with a program including music by Gibson, Kodaly, Schubert, Khatelishvili, Lerner & Loewe, and spirituals. At the Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA, 8 p.m.
July 11: The Rockport Festival offers a piano recital by the highly praised Marc-André Hamelin. He will play the early Alban Berg Sonata, Op. 1; Franz Liszt’s finest work, the Sonata in B-Minor; selections from Claude Debussy’s Preludes; and some etudes of his own. At Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA, 5 p.m. [Broadcast live on WCRB 99.5]
July 13: The Old West Organ Society kicks off its summer series with a recital by Nami Hamada, a native of Japan and now a local resident. She will play works of early masters Buxtehude, Frescobaldi, and J. S. Bach. She concludes with two works by the short-lived Jehan Alain (1911-40): the “Variations on a Theme of Janequin,” and his most famous piece, “Litanies.” At Old West Church, 131 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 8 p.m.
July 14: The Landmarks Orchestra presents a free concert including Fauré’s lovely “Pelléas et Mélisande” and the complete Beethoven Ninth Symphony with vocal soloists Jayne West, Mary Westbrook-Geha, and Robert Honeysucker. At the Hatch Shell, The Esplanade, Boston, MA, 7 p.m.
July 16: A project called American Century Music, whose artistic director is Scott Parkman, offers a free, lunchtime concert with a program devoted to Walter Piston’s “Divertimento for Nine Players” (1946), Elliott Carter’s “Eight Etudes and Fantasy for Woodwind Quartet” (1952), and George Antheil’s strangely titled “Symphony for Five Players” (1923). At Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Courtyard or Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston, MA, 12:30 p.m.
July 18: The Rockport Festival concludes its season with an engaging program: Lukas Foss’s “Three American Pieces,” Brahms’s late E-flat clarinet sonata, and Steve Reich’s “New York Counterpoint,” plus works by Takemitsu and Bill Douglas. The artists are Richard Stoltzman, clarinet; Mika Yoshida, marimba; and Festival honcho David Deveau, pianist. At Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA, 5 p.m.
July 20: The Old West Organ Society hosts prize-winning Bryan Ashley in a recital of music by Gilles Jullien, César Franck, J. S. Bach (the great C-minor Passacaglia), and Max Reger, plus Tsugutoshi Aragaki’s elaboration on an ancient Japanese classic. At Old West Church, 131 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 8 p.m.
July 28: The Landmarks Orchestra teams up with the Boston Lyric Opera for an evening featuring Beethoven’s celebrated Fifth Symphony and excerpts from Puccini’s “Tosca,” under guest conductor Andrew Bizant. At the Hatch Shell, The Esplanade, Boston, MA, 7 p.m.
July 30: The Harvard Summer School Chorus presents its annual free concert and the last chance to see conductor Jameson Marvin, who is retiring after 32 years as Director of Choral Activities at Harvard. The program will be entirely devoted to the British titan Ralph Vaughan Williams. To be heard: “Five Mystical Songs” (1911), with baritone Michael Barrett; “O Clap Your Hands” (1920), a setting of Psalm 47; “Serenade to Music” (1938), with soprano Teresa Wakim joining Barrett; and “A Choral Flourish” (1956). The singers are joined by a full orchestra. Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, 8:00 p.m. At Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 8 p.m.
July 31: The Harvard Summer School Orchestra offers a free concert under the baton of Judith Zuckerman. She has chosen an unusual program, including Milhaud’s “Quatre Chansons de Ronsard” (1941), with Karen Pendleton as soprano soloist; Bizet’s “L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2 (fashioned posthumously by Ernest Guiraud); and “Study in Seven: Essay for Orchestra” by 59-year-old local musician Jeffrey Brody. Although Dvořák’s Symphonies No. 7, 8, and 9 turn up frequently, Zuckerman has turned to his marvelous Symphony No. 6 in D-Major (1880).