2018-19 season overview

Looking over Richmond’s 2018-19 classical season, we find both more conventional programming, notably on the chamber-music front, and some unusual departures from the norm.

This year’s Tucker-Boatwright Festival at the University of Richmond focuses on intersections of contrasts between the Western canon and non-Western, especially Asian, musics. UR’s resident new-music sextet eighth blackbird will explore the long-neglected African-American composer Julius Eastman. The lineup of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rennolds Chamber Concerts includes performances by Third Coast Percussion, a group that advocates contemporary American composers, and Cuartetto Latinoamericano, the leading string quartet in Latin America.

Virginia Opera opens its season with “Street Scene,” the rarely staged 1947 opera by Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes, before turning to more familiar operatic fare – Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” and Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly.”

Steven Smith, in his final season as music director of the Richmond Symphony, is joined by superstar pianist Lang Lang in the season-opener, thereafter concentrating on standard repertory such as Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique,” Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony (No. 6), Brahms’ “A German Requiem” and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony (No. 3). Smith departs, though, with a programming departure: a semi-staged, truncated performance of Bizet’s “Carmen,” starring mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.

The symphony also is performing in four Tucker-Boatwright programs, three on the UR campus, one at its downtown home venue, Dominion Energy Center.

The chamber-music season is dotted with familiar names – the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at VCU; the Shanghai and Takács quartets at UR – as well as local debuts of major names in the field, including the Danish String Quartet and pianist Daniil Trifonov, both at UR.

The Richmond-born mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and pianist Baptiste Trotignon bring their cabaret and fin de siècle Viennese art-song program, “Thousands of Miles,” to UR in the fall.

Alexander Paley and his wife and duo-piano partner, Peiwen Chen, explore rarely heard Russian works for two pianos in this fall’s Paley Music Festival, compressed this year into three performances in two days.

The Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, in its 14th season, spotlights two sharply contrasting creative figures, Dmitri Shostakovich and Johannes Brahms, as well as a variety of baroque composers in programs during the holiday season.

Conflicting concert dates, a significant problem in past seasons, are mercifully minimal this time around. The Dover Quartet with pianist Peter Serkin at UR and the Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminus at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart perform at the same time on Oct. 19; and a Chamber Music Society program at UR and a Richmond Symphony Metro Collection concert at Randolph-Macon College conflict on April 28.

The following calendar lists performances announced to date, and will be updated as other performances are announced. Asterisks (*) denote concerts open free or by donation.

SEPTEMBER
*7 – Alexander Paley Music Festival: Duo-pianists Alexander Paley & Peiwen Chen (St. Luke Lutheran Church).
*8 – Alexander Paley Music Festival: Duo-pianists Alexander Paley & Peiwen Chen (St. Luke Lutheran Church).
16 – Attacca Quartet (Virginia Commonwealth University Singleton Arts Center).
20 – Richmond Symphony Symphony in 60, Steven Smith conducting & speaking (Dominion Energy Center).
21 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with pianist Lang Lang (Dominion Energy Center).
26 – Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, conductor TBA, with soloists TBA (University of Richmond Modlin Arts Center).
*29 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Richmond Public Library).
30 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (UR Perkinson Recital Hall).

OCTOBER
3 – Tucker-Boatwright Festival: Richmond Symphony, conductor TBA, in “Middle Eastern Connections.” (UR Modlin Arts Center).
4 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour, Steven Smith conducting (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery).
7 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting (Randolph-Macon College).
*10 – Tucker-Boatwright Festival: Vocalist Bill Miller in “Mohican Songs of the Spirit.” (UR Perkinson Recital Hall).
12/14 – Virginia Opera, Adam Turner conducting, in Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” (Dominion Energy Center).
19 – Dover Quartet with pianist Peter Serkin (UR Modlin Arts Center).
*19 – Vox Luminus (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart).
20 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with violinist Joan Kwoun (Dominion Energy Center).
21 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting (Mount Vernon Baptist Church).
26 – Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey & pianist Baptiste Trotignon (UR Modlin Arts Center).

NOVEMBER
*2-3 – Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, with eighth blackbird, other artists TBA. (UR Modlin Arts Center).
3 – Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (VCU Singleton Arts Center).
3 – Richmond Symphony Pops, conductor TBA, with Jeans ’n Classics (Dominion Energy Center).
4 – Richmond Philharmonic, Peter Wilson conducting, with trumpeters Mary Bowden & David Dash (Collegiate School).
8 – Danish String Quartet (UR Modlin Arts Center).
10-11 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with soloists and Richmond Symphony Chorus (Dominion Energy Center).
12 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Branch Museum of Architecture and Design).
16/18 – Virginia Opera, Adam Turner conducting, in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” (Dominion Energy Center).
26 – Richmond Symphony, other artists TBA, in Commonwealth Catholic Charities Christmas concert (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart).

DECEMBER
1-2 – Richmond Symphony Pops, Erin Freeman conducting, with Richmond Symphony Chorus, in “Let It Snow!” (Dominion Energy Center).
8 – Richmond Symphony, Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting, with soloists & Richmond Symphony Chorus, in Handel’s “Messiah” (Dominion Energy Center).
*9 – University of Richmond Schola Cantorum & Women’s Chorale, Jeffrey Riehl & David Pedersen directing, in Festival of Lessons and Carols (UR Cannon Memorial Chapel).
*10 – American Colonial Entertainers in “A Colonial Christmas” (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart).
*15 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Richmond Public Library).
16 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Wilton House Museum).
18 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Holy Comforter Episcopal Church).

JANUARY
12-13 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with pianist Orion Weiss (Dominion Energy Center).
19 – Seraph Brass (VCU Singleton Arts Center).
20 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (First Unitarian Universalist Church).
23 – Tucker-Boatwright Festival: Richmond Symphony, conductor TBA, in “Southeast Asian Connections.” (UR Modlin Arts Center).
24 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour, Steven Smith conducting (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery).
27 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting (Randolph-Macon College).

FEBRUARY
2 – Richmond Symphony Pops, Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting, with Cirque de la Symphonie (Dominion Energy Center).
*3 – Pianist Richard Becker (UR Modlin Arts Center).
7 – Pianist Daniil Trifonov (UR Modlin Arts Center).
9-10 – Richmond Symphony, George Manahan conducting, with violinist Daisuke Yamamoto (Dominion Energy Center).
*11 – Richmond Piano Trio (UR Modlin Arts Center).
21 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour, Steven Smith conducting (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery).
22 – Tucker-Boatwright Festival: Richmond Symphony, conductor TBA, with cellist and tabla player TBA, in “South Asian Connections.” (UR Modlin Arts Center).
22/14 – Virginia Opera, Adam Turner conducting, in Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” (Dominion Energy Center).
23 – Third Coast Percussion (VCU Singleton Arts Center).
24 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting (Randolph-Macon College).
28 – Shanghai Quartet with cellist David Finckel & pianist Wu Han (UR Modlin Arts Center).

MARCH
*2 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (Richmond Public Library).
3 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (UR Perkinson Recital Hall).
*6 – Pianist Paul Hanson (UR Modlin Arts Center).
*7 – eighth blackbird (UR Modlin Arts Center).
8 – Richmond Symphony Symphony in 60, Steven Smith conducting (Dominion Energy Center).
9 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with pianist Adam Nieman (Dominion Energy Center).
10 – Richmond Philharmonic, Peter Wilson conducting, with trumpeter Rex Richardson (Collegiate School).
16 – Richmond Symphony Pops, Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting, with Classical Mystery Tour, in “Music of the Beatles” (Dominion Energy Center).
*22 – Schola Cantorum of Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Daniel Sañez directing, in “Lent in Leipzig” (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart).
23 – Cuarteto Latinoamericano (VCU Singleton Arts Center).
*24 – Duo-pianists Richard Becker & Doris Wylee-Becker (UR Modlin Arts Center).
29/31 – Virginia Opera, Adam Turner conducting, in Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” (Dominion Energy Center).

APRIL
*10 – University of Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Kordzaia conducting, with harpist Claire Jones, percussionist-composer Chris Marshall & GreenSpring International American Youth Harp Ensemble (UR Modlin Arts Center).
12 – Takács Quartet (UR Modlin Arts Center).
13-14 – Tucker-Boatwright Festival: Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with Richmond Symphony Chorus & University of Richmond Women’s Chorale, in “Influence of the World” (Dominion Energy Center).
24 – Richmond Symphony, conductor TBA (Hardywood West Creek).
25 – Richmond Symphony Rush Hour, Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery).
28 – Richmond Symphony, Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting, with clarinetist David Lemelin (Randolph-Macon College).
28 – Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (UR Perkinson Recital Hall).

MAY
5 – Richmond Philharmonic, Peter Wilson conducting and playing violin, with conductor Rondy Michael Lazaro & Latin Ballet of Virginia (Collegiate School).
12 – Richmond Symphony, Steven Smith conducting, with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves & other artists TBA, in Bizet’s “Carmen” (concert version) (Dominion Energy Center).

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