Classical music

Critic's picks

The Boston Classical Orchestra will play pieces by Schubert, Mozart, and Bach at Faneuil Hall. The Boston Classical Orchestra will play pieces by Schubert, Mozart, and Bach at Faneuil Hall.
By Jeremy Eichler
Globe Staff / September 12, 2010

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BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Music director James Levine’s anticipated return is the big story here, and as of this writing he is still expected for opening night on Oct. 2, an all-Wagner affair featuring bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. Major fall BSO programs include Levine-led performances of Mahler’s Second and Fifth Symphonies as well as the commencement of a cycle of John Harbison’s symphonies. 617-266-1200,

ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM — The Gardner’s fall offerings begin Sept. 16 with the Callithumpian Consort, the omnivorous new music band, playing works by three generations of California composers. On Sept. 19, A Far Cry, the conductorless chamber orchestra, plays Mozart, Purcell, Xenakis, and a premiere by Richard Cornell. 617-278-5156,

EMMANUEL MUSIC The organization’s new artistic director, Ryan Turner, leads the orchestra, chorus, and a promising slate of vocal soloists in Handel’s “Alexander’s Feast.’’ Sept. 24, Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., 617-536-3356,

BOSTON CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA Performing in historic Faneuil Hall, Steven Lipsitt’s orchestra presents Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 alongside Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Sharan Leventhal. Sept. 25-26, 617-423-3883,

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY Harry Christophers begins his second season at the helm of H&H with an all-Mozart program that includes the “Prague’’ Symphony, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,’’ and the Violin Concerto No. 5 with soloist Rachel Podger. Oct. 1 and 3, Symphony Hall. 617-266-3605,

RADIUS ENSEMBLE and CHAMELEON ARTS ENSEMBLE These independent-minded chamber troupes launch seasons with wide-ranging programs — Radius Ensemble on Oct. 2-3 (with Takemitsu, Nielsen, Mozart, and Paul Schoenfield) and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble on Oct. 16-17 (with Beethoven, Roslavets, Bartok, Joan Tower, and Ives). 617-792-7234,; 617-427-8200,

BOSTON BAROQUE Martin Pearlman taps soprano Barbara Quintiliani for his ensemble’s season-opener, a mostly Beethoven affair devoted to the Symphony No. 7 and “Ah! Perfido’’ as well as arias from Cherubini’s “Médée.’’ Oct. 15-16, Jordan Hall, 617-484-9200,

BOSTON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY Harumi Rhodes (violin), Roger Tapping (viola), Michael Reynolds (cello), and Randall Hodgkinson (piano) take on works by Beethoven, Martinu, and Saint-Saens to open the BCMS season. Oct. 17, Sanders Theatre, 617-349-0086,

BOSTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Benjamin Zander’s orchestra begins with a French-themed program that includes Gershwin’s “American in Paris,’’ Debussy’s “La Mer,’’ and Stravinsky’s “Symphonies of Wind Instruments’’ as well as Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with soloist Stephen Drury. Oct. 21 and 24 in Sanders Theatre, Oct. 23 in Jordan Hall, 617-236-0999,

OPERA BOSTON Christine Goerke sings Leonore and Michael Hendrick is Florestan in Thaddeus Strassberger’s new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio.’’ Gil Rose conducts. Oct. 22, 24, 26, Cutler Majestic Theatre, 617-451-3388, (While in town, Goerke will also sing a recital presented by Tufts University at its Granoff Music Center on Oct. 29. 617-627-3679,

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA Puccini’s “Tosca’’ is first up for BLO, in an adaptation of a Scottish Opera production directed by David Lefkowich. Jill Gardner is Tosca, Diego Torre is Cavaradossi, and Bradley Garvin is Scarpia. Andrew Bisantz conducts. Nov. 5-16, Shubert Theatre, 617-542-4912,

CANTATA SINGERS Led by David Hoose, the chorus and ensemble will build their new season around the works of Ralph Vaughan Williams, opening the main series with a program featuring Vaughan Williams alongside music of Andrew Imbrie and Irving Fine as well as the premiere of a new work by Yehudi Wyner. Nov. 5-6, Jordan Hall, BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas’’ will be featured in BEMF’s annual chamber opera series in Jordan Hall. Laura Pudwell and Douglas Williams sing the title roles, with Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs as music directors and stage direction by Gilbert Blin. Nov. 27-28, 617-661-1812,

MUSIC SCHOOLS Longy’s SeptemberFest (Barber and Schumann) is currently underway; New England Conservatory’s essential First Monday series begins Oct. 4; and the Austrian pianist Till Fellner performs the final three Beethoven Piano Sonatas on Oct. 12 as part of Boston Conservatory’s Piano Masters series. 617-876-0956,; 617-585-1260,; 617-536-6340,

NEW MUSIC BOSTON The city’s new music calendar is as packed as ever, with Boston Musica Viva first out of the gate on Oct. 1, Dinosaur Annex starting up Oct. 2, Alea III on Oct. 3, and Collage New Music opening on Nov. 15. BMOP plays an Indian-themed program Nov. 13, and in the new opera department, look out for Evan Ziporyn’s “A House in Bali’’ at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on Oct. 8-9. 617-354-6910,;; 617-353-3340,; 617-325-5200,; 781-324-0396,; 617-824-8000,


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