Classical music

Critic's picks

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin will perform on March 12 as part of a Boston Early Music Festival series. Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin will perform on March 12 as part of a Boston Early Music Festival series.
By Jeremy Eichler
Globe Staff / February 6, 2011

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BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The BSO has a number of promising concerts coming, including three James Levine-led programs: Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (Feb. 24-March 1), a violin-centric outing with soloist Christian Tetzlaff, including the premiere of a new concerto by Harrison Birtwistle (March 3-8), and a Schoenberg-Mozart pairing with pianist Maurizio Pollini (March 10-12). Later next month, the British composer Thomas Adès comes to conduct his own music alongside works by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius (March 25-26). Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

HANDEL’S ‘AGRIPPINA’ Boston Lyric Opera, back in its Shubert Theatre home, imports a production created by Lillian Groag for Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. Caroline Worra takes on the title role of Agrippina, Nero’s mother, scheming to install her son as emperor. Gary Thor Wedow conducts. March 11-22. 617-542-4912,

MACHOVER’S ‘DEATH AND THE POWERS’ Complete with robots and a musical chandelier, Tod Machover’s new ultra-high-tech opera, with a libretto by Robert Pinsky, tells of one man’s futuristic attempts to transcend his own death. Developed at the MIT Media Lab in partnership with the American Repertory Theater, the opera receives its US premiere next month. James Maddalena sings the role of Simon Powers, Diane Paulus directs, and Gil Rose conducts. March 18-25. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-547-8300,

CELEBRITY SERIES Among the notable visiting artists and ensembles are: The Takacs Quartet (Feb 18); baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Feb. 27); pianist Evgeny Kissin (March 2); tenor Matthew Polenzani (March 24); pianist Leif Ove Andsnes (April 1); and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, with cello soloist Alisa Weilerstein (April 10). 617-482-6661,

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY H&H is warming up for its bicentennial in 2015 by highlighting a series of major works of which it gave the first US performances. First on that list this season is Handel’s oratorio “Israel in Egypt,’’ to be led by artistic director Harry Christophers. Feb 18 and 20. Symphony Hall. 617-266-3605,

BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL The organization’s big biennial festival is still a few months away, but in the meantime, BEMF maintains an active early music concert series, with upcoming visits from: Il Giardino Armonico (Feb. 19); Kristian Bezuidenhout (Feb. 25); Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (March 12); and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (March 15). 617-661-1812,

BOSTON PHILHARMONIC Benjamin Zander leads the orchestra in works by Vaughan Williams and Elgar, with Ilya Kaler joining as soloist in Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Feb 24-27. 617-236-0999,

DISCOVERY ENSEMBLE Courtney Lewis and his Discovery Ensemble offer a program titled “Three Faces of Romanticism,’’ with music by Wagner, Schreker, and Schumann. March 17. Sanders Theatre. 617-800-7588,

CANTATA SINGERS The chorus takes a break from its Vaughan Williams-themed season to return to Bach, specifically, the Mass in B Minor. David Hoose conducts. March 18 and 20. Jordan Hall. 617-868-5885,

CHAMBER MUSIC FOR FOOD BANK Violist Kim Kashkashian has organized a series of one-hour benefit chamber concerts, with each program featuring a Mozart Viola Quintet paired with a solo Bach work. No tickets sold; attendees are asked to bring cans of food or a donation by check to the Greater Boston Food Bank. 6 p.m., Feb. 11. Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St. 617-585-1260,

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the Winter Arts Guide in the Boston Sunday Globe included an incorrect date for performances by the Boston Philharmonic. The orchestra's next concerts will take place on Feb. 24, Feb. 26, and Feb. 27.

WInter Arts Guide

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