Review: Richmond Symphony

Valentina Peleggi conducting
with Jennifer Koh, violin
Oct. 22, Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center

Violinist Jennifer Koh was a silver medalist in the 1994 Tchaikovsky Competition. That might lead listeners to expect her to deliver a traditional Russian interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major – robust tone, plush lyricism and technical brilliance, echoing past masters such as David Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein.

Koh also is known for her mastery of a decidedly different strain of violin music, the solo sonatas and partitas of J.S. Bach, and for her advocacy of living composers working in varied contemporary styles.

All of those creative and re-creative paths converged in Koh’s performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Richmond Symphony. Her reading of the piece was high-romantic, with flexible, songful phrasing of its big tunes, thrilling displays of fiddle technique and dynamism; but it was not the big, fat, swooning Tchaikovsky that has long been the default approach of Russified American violinists.

In the first of two weekend performances, Koh played with a rather lean, highly focused tone that directed the ear to the finer strands of the solo part, but without underplaying this music’s passion and rhetorical sweep – a rare combination of almost clinical attention to detail and a spontaneous outpouring of expression.

The symphony and its music director, Valentina Peleggi, underlined the violinist’s reading of the concerto, playing both supportively and collaboratively.

In the second half of the program, the conductor and orchestra tuned to a wildly contrasting wavelength in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 6 in E minor.

Vaughan Williams, whose 150th birthday is being celebrated this year, is best-known for his English-pastoral style, typified by works such as “The Lark Ascending” and “Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis.” (The symphony will play the latter in January concerts.) His Sixth Symphony, while bearing some melodic and harmonic vestiges of that gentler style, is much sterner, more explosive stuff.

Written during and just after World War II, the Sixth is one of the composer’s most challenging works for both musicians and listeners, aggressively brassy and percussive in its opening allegro and scherzo, lyrically somber in its slow(-ish) central movement, desolately rarified in a lengthy, fugal epilogue.

In pre-concert remarks, Peleggi noted that none of the symphony’s musicians had previously played the Vaughan Williams Sixth – no doubt adding to the challenge of performing it, but also bringing a sense of discovery to their interpretation.

To say that the conductor and orchestra rose to the occasion is putting it mildly. The music’s blockbuster moments busted every conceivable block, and its darker and more otherworldly sequences plumbed great depths.

The concentration with which the strings played the epilogue was riveting (and would have been more so without frequent bronchial contributions from the audience); the mass of sound from brass and percussion was potent without turning coarse; and the work’s numerous wind and string solos were arrestingly expressive and atmospheric.

The program opened with “The Block,” Carlos Simon’s musical response to Romare Howard Bearden’s 1971 painting/montage of a street scene in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. Simon, one of the most prolific and widely performed contemporary Black composers, matches Bearden’s busy, primary-colored image with an infectiously rhythmic, vividly colorful score. Peleggi and the orchestra gave it a punchy, rollicking reading.

The program repeats at 3 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets. Tickets: $15-$85. Details: (800) 514-3849 (ETIX); http://richmondsymphony.com

To mask or not to mask?

Updated Oct. 19

You may have noticed that this month’s calendar cops out on the issue of masking and other Covid-19 safety protocols at musical events, instead directing readers to presenters and venues. Barring future emergencies, that’s how I plan to proceed.

I’m not being lazy . . . well, not too lazy.

The contents of Letter V’s monthly events calendars are drawn primarily from websites, secondarily from season brochures, and occasionally from e-mail and phone exchanges.

During the height(s) of the pandemic, most arts organizations’ websites prominently displayed safety measures – although some educational institutions were frustratingly opaque. Over time, advisories have become harder to find, and if/when found have offered “optional” advice. (“If you don’t feel well, don’t attend.” Duh.)

The ups and downs of Covid-19 infection rates and vaccines’ efficacy have been going on long enough (and confusingly enough) that it’s now down to individual, situational decisions on how cautious to be in public indoors. If I’m infected, how vulnerable am I to increased severity or complications? How vulnerable are the people around me likely to be? How closely packed is the audience? How long will we be seated together? How big and well-ventilated is our shared space?

Those questions apply not just to Covid-19 but also to flu and other seasonal infections. Masking in crowded indoor spaces during cold-weather months may be a healthy and considerate long-term practice.

My advice, for what it’s worth, is to carry a mask to events. If the hall’s staff is masked, I’ll mask up, too. I’ll also wear a mask when I’m in close proximity with many others – especially if there’s a lot of coughing and sneezing. When attending an event at a new or infrequently visited venue, I’ll be more likely to don my mask. And I’ll watch for local or regional surges in communicable, airborne infections of all kinds.

UPDATE: As of Oct. 24, four major New York presenters, the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall and New York City Ballet, will drop masking requirements for their audiences, Norman Lebrecht reports on Slipped Disc:

New York drops face masks – for good

Kherson conductor killed by Russians

Yuriy Kerpatenko, conductor of several ensembles in Russian-occupied Kherson, has been killed Russian soldiers. The killing followed Kerpatenko’s refusal to lead an Oct. 1 concert “intended by the occupiers to demonstrate the so-called ‘improvement of peaceful life’ in Kherson,” the Ukrainian culture ministry said.

Kherson, in southern Ukraine, was the first major city seized by Russian troops after Vladimir Putin launched the invasion in February. In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have advanced on the city, raising prospects of encirclement of its occupiers and a cutoff of supply lines from Russian-occupied Crimea. On Friday, Russian authorities urged civilians to leave Kherson, a move that Ukrainians have charged is a call for “deportation” to Russia.

“The tragic irony of this is that talk about the superiority of Russian culture, its humanism,” Semyon Bychkov, a Russian émigré who is chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, said in an interview with The Guardian. “And here they murdered someone who is actually bringing beauty to people’s lives. It is sickening.

“The bullets don’t distinguish between people,” Bychkov said. “It didn’t make me feel worse that this man was a conductor, it just confirmed the pure evil that’s been going on even before the first bombs fell on Ukraine.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/16/russian-troops-kill-ukrainian-musician-yuriy-kerpatenko-for-refusing-role-in-kherson-concert

Meanwhile, Andrey Reshetin, a violinist and director of an early music festival in Russia, has volunteered to join the invasion force, Norman Lebrecht reports on his Slipped Disc website. Reshetin is quoted as saying that cultural authorities “didn’t give a penny of money to the festival, destroying all my work. And since the basis of my work is service, I go where I need to serve.”

Early music violinist enlists to fight against Ukraine

This year’s MacArthur musical ‘geniuses’

Three musicians are among 25 recipients of this year’s John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships, nicknamed “genius grants.” They will receive $800,000 over the next five years to pursue studies and projects of their choosing.

MacArthur fellowships went to these musicians:

– Martha Gonzalez: A 50-year-old ethnomusicologist, specializing in Mexican traditional and vernacular music, who teaches at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, and is the lead singer, songwriter and percussionist of the Los-Angeles-based band Quetzal.

– Ikue Mori: A 68-year-old, Japanese-born percussionist and electronic-music composer who has worked with punk-rock, free-jazz and experimental ensembles in New York since the late 1970s.

– Tomeka Reid: A 44-year-old, classically trained jazz cellist and composer, based in Chicago, who has worked with composer Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and others in experimental and free-jazz genres.

Bad times for classical music’s bad boy?

Teodor Currentzis, the conductor touted in recent years as classical music’s “bad boy” or as a potential savior of an old art form confronting a rapidly changing culture, has been conspicuously reticent about Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. The cost of that reticence appears to be mounting.

The Greek-born Currentzis built his reputation in Russia, leading musicAeterna, an orchestra and chorus he founded in 2004, and opera companies in Novosibirsk and Perm, which frequently employed musicAeterna. The ensemble, now based in St. Petersburg, is billed as “independent,” but for years has been supported financially by oligarchs and firms in favor with the Putin regime.

Outside Russia, Currentzis has been chief conductor of the SWR Sinfonieorchester (Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra) of Stuttgart since 2018. He recently founded Utopia, an ensemble described on his website (http://teodor-currentzis.com) as a “time-limited association” of 116 musicians from 30 countries, backed by the Austria-based Kunst und Kultur DM Privatstiftung (Art and Culture DM Private Foundation) and “various European patrons.”

Last week, SWR announced that Currentzis will vacate his post with its orchestra in 2024. Whether or not he was fired by the state-run radio network depends on whose reporting (or tea-leaves reading) you credit. Slipped Disc (http://slippedisc.com), website of the deeply networked classical gadfly journalist Norman Lebrecht, reports that SWR “dumped” Currentzis and that leading singers are opting out of his production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” due be staged next month in Moscow.

Currentzis and Utopia are welcome in some Western European venues, non grata in others.

Louwrens Langevoort, artistic director of the Kölner Philharmonie (Cologne Philharmonic Hall), “expected that Currentzis, as an artist in the public eye, would have been able to express a critical view of the war by now,” writes Hartmut Welscher of the online classical magazine VAN. “After the events of the last weeks, especially the annexation of occupied territories by Russia, Langevoort lost his patience. ‘Russia has occupied a foreign country, innocent people are dying, and Currentzis only cares about his ‘Tristan und Isolde.’ He’s allowing himself to be funded by the Russian system. It’s fine if he wants to do that, but I don’t have to put up with it anymore.’ ”

Welscher advocates a more “nuanced” stance: “What is the connection between Currentzis . . . and Putin’s war and its crimes? The [19 billion euros] paid by Germany to Russia for fossil fuels since the beginning of the war is propping Putin up far more than a single classical music ensemble.

“Does it play into Putin’s narrative of Russia versus the West when we pressure artists and critics of the government in Russia to leave their country or cancel their concerts? Is that not a way of hollowing out Russian civil society further, and feeding the Kremlin’s propaganda about Western ‘Russophobia?’ ” 

The Ground Shifting Beneath Teodor Currentzis

Silence or ambivalence about the war on Ukraine has not boosted the careers of Russian artists – witness soprano Anna Netrebko’s on-again, off-again opposition to the invasion, which left her banned by New York’s Metropolitan Opera and on shaky ground professionally elsewhere in the West, possibly in Russia as well.

In founding Utopia, Currentzis seems to be casting himself as a world citizen leading a world orchestra (“Utopia has no permanent residence,” per his website), straddling the deepening political and cultural divide between Russia and the West.

As that divide becomes a yawning chasm, is neutrality still a viable option? Currentzis will be one of the most visible cultural figures to find out.

Barenboim’s health forces ‘a step back’

Daniel Barenboim, the 79-year-old pianist and conductor of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, and the East-West Divan Orchestra of Israelis and Arabs, has canceled performances, among them a Berlin production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, due to ill health.

The Guardian’s Imogen Tilden quotes a social-media post from Barenboim: “I am taking a step back from some of my performing activities, especially conducting engagements, for the coming months. My health has deteriorated over the last months, and I have been diagnosed with a serious neurological condition. I must now focus on my physical wellbeing as much as possible.”

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/oct/05/daniel-barenboim-steps-back-from-performing-for-health-reasons

Barenboim’s withdrawal follows news in recent months that conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, 77, is cutting back on performances as he battles brain cancer, and that heart trouble led pianist Maurizio Pollini, 80, to cancel some concert engagements.

Review: Yo-Yo Ma & Richmond Symphony

Valentina Peleggi conducting
Oct. 4, Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center

Since the days of Franz Liszt and Niccolò Paganini, classical virtuoso-superstars generally have given audiences what they crave, with extra helpings of showmanship. For the past generation, Yo-Yo Ma has been a pre-eminent cello virtuoso and media-savvy superstar; but what he offers, in addition to masterful playing and a sunny personality, is respect for listeners’ comprehension and taste.

Performing with the Richmond Symphony to a capacity crowd, Ma played Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, one of the major concertos for the instrument but one that’s too somber and subtle to rank high on the list of crowd-pleasers. The piece requires intense concentration to play and to hear.

Ma did not succumb to any of the expressive temptations that this late-romantic work might present – no sighing or groaning in its dark main theme, no extra-crunchy double-stops, no rhetorical flourishes beyond those that Elgar scored. Where the composer wanted very quiet playing from the soloist, Ma played very quietly. And the audience, which greeted him and then rewarded his performance with roaring ovations, listened very quietly.

Charisma exercised at low volume is a rare gift.

This was Ma’s second appearance with the Richmond Symphony, and in both he played the Elgar concerto. My memory of his 1981 performance is hazy, to put it mildly; but I believe this one was more measured in pacing, more darkly lyrical, more atmospheric and more collaborative with the orchestra.

Valentina Peleggi, the symphony’s music director, kept the orchestra firmly on Ma’s wavelength, both interpretively and in collective sonority.

The sound of the symphony, especially its string sections, was quite different in the program’s first half. A more assertive, dynamic and at times angular sound was required in three of the selections, Maurice Ravel’s “La valse,” Manuel de Falla’s “The Three-Cornered Hat” Suite No. 2 and Gabriela Ortiz’s “Kauyumari,” all of which received surging, highly colorful performances.

Peleggi’s treatment of Johann Strauss II’s “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” was rather mannered, exaggerating the delayed beats and tempo fluctuations of traditional Viennese style, while lacking the plush string tone characteristic of that style.

The orchestra’s relatively lean string sound enhanced the colors and ominous atmospherics of “La valse” and contributed to the energy of the Falla suite, but rendered the fiddles barely audible through most of the Ortiz piece, a rhythmically propulsive, brassy and percussive dance inspired by the “blue deer” ceremony of the Huichol people of Mexico.

Noises on

Writing in The Observer, James Tapper examines an unlikely but increasingly lucrative branch of the music industry: Recordings of non-musical noise, promoted as enhancing concentration, relaxation, sleep and other desirable outcomes.

The Sleep Foundation identifies three types of potentially beneficial noise: white noise, “containing all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound,” comparable to static; pink noise, having “sounds within each octave, but the power of its frequencies decreases by three decibels with each higher octave,” as heard from a waterfall; and brown noise, which “contains sounds from every octave of the sound spectrum, but the power behind frequencies decreases with each octave,” resembling the sound of rainfall.

“Noise fans say that studying, sleeping and meditation are all enhanced by listening to these sounds at modest levels,” Tapper writes. He notes that an audio track called “Clean White Noise – Loopable with No Fade” has been played more than 830 million times, “worth an estimated $2.5 million in royalties.” (Playing it on a continuous loop for seven hours wracks up 280 plays.)

“This just drains the money away from things that have cultural value,” says Tom Gray, guitarist of the rock band Gomez. “There are amazing artists working in sound design, but a lot of the stuff we’re talking about isn’t that, it’s just someone sticking a [microphone] out of the window.”

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/oct/02/no-tune-no-words-no-dancing-why-white-noise-is-the-music-industrys-newest-hit

October calendar

Classical performances in and around Richmond, with selected events elsewhere in Virginia and the Washington area. Program information, provided by presenters, is updated as details become available. Adult ticket prices are listed; senior, student/youth, military, group and other discounts may be offered. Service fees may be added to online ticket purchases.

Contact presenters or venues for Covid-19 safety protocols.

Oct. 1 (7 p.m.)
Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 8 N. Laurel St., Richmond
Capitol Opera Richmond:
artists TBA
“Spooktacular”
art-songs & poems TBA

$15
(804) 840-7878
http://capitoloperarichmond.com

Oct. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Oct. 2 (2:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting

Wagner: “The Valkyrie” (adaptation of “Die Walküre” by Jonathan Dove & Graham Vick)
Kyle Albertson (Wotan)
Alexandra Loutsion (Brünnhilde)
Richard Trey Smagur (Siegmund)
Meghan Kasanders (Sieglinde)
Claudia Chapa (Fricka/Waltraute)
Ricardo L. Lugo (Hunding)
Lesley Anne Friend (Helmwige)
Adriane S. Kerr (Rossweisse)
Courtney Johnson (Grimgerde)
Joachim Schamberger, stage director

in German, English captions
$20-$110
(866) 673-7282
http://vaopera.org

Oct. 1 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
John Storgårds conducting

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D major (“Classical”)
John Adams: Violin Concerto

Leila Josefowicz, violin
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3 in A minor
$15-$109
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 1 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Peter Oundjian conducting

Carlos Simon: “Fate Now Conquers”
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491

Tom Borrow, piano
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)
$35-$90
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

Oct. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Valentina Peleggi conducting

Gabriela Ortiz: “Kauyumari”
Falla: “The Three-Cornered Hat” Suite No. 2
Johann Strauss II: “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”
Ravel: “La valse”
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor

Yo-Yo Ma, cello
$65-$200
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 5 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 6 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 8 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 9 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting
Bobby Wier & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack, guest stars

Grateful Dead songs TBA
$69-$139
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 7 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
James Conlon conducting

Bernstein: Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”), with spoken text by Samual Pisar
Judith and Leah Pisar, speakers
Erica Petrocelli, soprano
University of Maryland Concert Choir
Jason Ferdinand directing
Maryland State Boychoir
Stephen Holmes directing

$35-$90
(877) 276-1444
http://strathmore.org

Oct. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Academy Center for the Arts, 600 Main St., Lynchburg
Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra
David Glover conducting

Florence Price: “Canebreaks”
Copland: “A Lincoln Portrait”

Leland Melvin, narrator
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major
$30-$100
(434) 846-8499
http://lynchburgsymphony.org

Oct. 8 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 9 (2 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting

Wagner: “The Valkyrie” (adaptation of “Die Walküre” by Jonathan Dove & Graham Vick)
Kyle Albertson (Wotan)
Alexandra Loutsion (Brünnhilde)
Richard Trey Smagur (Siegmund)
Meghan Kasanders (Sieglinde)
Claudia Chapa (Fricka/Waltraute)
Ricardo L. Lugo (Hunding)
Lesley Anne Friend (Helmwige)
Adriane S. Kerr (Rossweisse)
Courtney Johnson (Grimgerde)
Joachim Schamberger, stage director

in German, English captions
$40-$110
(866) 673-7282
http://vaopera.org

Oct. 9 (3:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Chamber Music Series:
Randall Thompson: Suite for clarinet, oboe & viola
Jiyeon Choi, clarinet
Kelly Peral, oboe
Ayn Balija, viola

Maurice Wright: “Grand Duo” for viola & percussion
Ayn Balija, viola
I-Jen Fang, percussion

Ingrid Stölzel: “The Voice of the Rain”
Kelly Sulick, flute
Adam Carter, cello
I-Jen Fang, percussion

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier: Sonata No. 19
Max McNutt, trumpet
Nate Lee, trombone

Malcolm Arnold: Divertimento
Kelly Sulick, flute
Kelly Peral, oboe
Jiyeon Choi, clarinet

Telemann: “Fantaisies pour le clavessin” – Fantasia No. 9
Telemann: “Six Canonic Studies” – Sonata No. 5

Max McNutt, trumpet
Nate Lee, trombone

$15
(434) 924-3376
http://music.virginia.edu/events

Oct. 10 (8 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Myssyk conducting

program TBA
free
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/events

Oct. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Michael Spyres, tenor
Mathieu Pordoy, piano

Beethoven: “An die ferne Geliebte”
Berlioz: “Les nuits d’étè”
Liszt: “Three Petrarch Sonatas”
other works TBA

$50
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Alexander Malofeev, piano
Beethoven: Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (“Moonlight”)
Beethoven: Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2 (“Tempest”)
Nikolai Medtner: Sonata in G minor, Op. 22
Rachmaninoff: Études-tableaux, Op. 33

$12-$39
(434) 924-3376
http://tecs.org

Oct. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Young Concert Artists:
Ying Li, piano
QiGang Chen: “Homage to Peking opera”
Stravinsky: “The Firebird” Suite
Haydn: sonata TBA
Schumann: Fantasie in C major, Op. 17

$20-$45
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 12 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting

Clarice Assad: “Nhanderú”
Edino Krieger: “Canticum Naturale”
(excerpt)
Villa-Lobos: Choros No. 3 (“Pica-pau”)
Villa-Lobos: Choros No. 5 (“Alma Brasileira”)
José Antonio Almeida Prado: “Sinfonia dos Orixás”
(selection)
Villa-Lobos: “A Floresta do Amazonas” – “Cair da Tarde”
Marco Antônio Guimarães: “Onze”
Philip Glass: “Águas da Amazônia”
(selection)
Tom Jobim: “Boto e Passarim” (Tiago Costa arrangement)
Villa-Lobos: “Bachianas Brasileiras” No. 4 (selection)
Villa-Lobos: Choros No. 10 (“Rasga o Coração”) (excerpt)
$48-$98
(301) 581-5100
http://strathmore.org

Oct. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Oct. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Symphony Pops
conductor TBA
“Never Break the Chain – the Music of Fleetwood Mac”
$25-$79
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
River Road Church, Baptist, River and Ridge roads, Richmond
Nathaniel Gumbs, organ
works TBA by Rossini, Franck, Florence Price, Alfred Hollins, John Stoddard, Carl Haywood
free; tickets required via http://eventbrite.com
(804) 288-1131
http://rrcb.org

Oct. 14 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 16 (2:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting

Wagner: “The Valkyrie” (adaptation of “Die Walküre” by Jonathan Dove & Graham Vick)
Kyle Albertson (Wotan)
Alexandra Loutsion (Brünnhilde)
Richard Trey Smagur (Siegmund)
Meghan Kasanders (Sieglinde)
Claudia Chapa (Fricka/Waltraute)
Ricardo L. Lugo (Hunding)
Lesley Anne Friend (Helmwige)
Adriane S. Kerr (Rossweisse)
Courtney Johnson (Grimgerde)
Joachim Schamberger, stage director

in German, English captions
$20-$110
(866) 673-7282
http://vaopera.org

Oct. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Berglund Performing Arts Theater, Williamson Road at Orange Avenue, Roanoke
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
David Stewart Wiley conducting

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major
Kinga Augustine, violin
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major
$34-$56
(540) 343-9127
http://rso.com

Oct. 15 (8 p.m.)
Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman conducting

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major
Jeremy Denk, piano
Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E minor
$45-$65
(703) 343-7651
http://capitalonehall.com

Oct. 15 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, First and East Capitol streets, Washington
Apollon Musagète Quartet
Schubert: Quartet in D major, D. 94
Penderecki: Quartet No. 3 (“Leaves of an Unwritten Diary”)
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

Garrick Ohlsson, piano
free; reservations via http://blackbaud.com
(202) 707-5502
http://loc.gov/concerts

Oct. 16 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Sonia Vlahcevic, piano
program TBA
free
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/events

Oct. 16 (7 p.m.)
Gallery5, 200 W. Marshall St., Richmond
Classical Revolution RVA:
artists TBA
program TBA
donation requested
(804) 678-8863
http://classicalrevolutionrva.com/events

Oct. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Fortas Chamber Music Concerts:
Jaime Laredo, violin
Sharon Robinson, cello
Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola
Anna Polonsky, piano

Mozart: Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478
Ngwenyama: Elegy
Dvořák: Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 87

$45
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
New Era Orchestra of Kyiv
Tatiana Kalinichenko conducting

“Benefit Concert for Ukraine”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major
Valentyn Silvestrov: “Silent Music” – “Evening Serenade”
Myroslav Skoryk: Melody
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor

Joshua Bell, violin
$79-$135
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
Michael Butterman conducting

Wagner: “Die Meistersinger” – Act 1 Prelude
Alexander Arutiunian: Trumpet Concerto in A flat major

Rex Richardson, trumpet
Tchaikovsky: “Eugene Onegin” – Polonaise
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C minor (“Little Russian”)

$60 (live attendance); $25 (online stream)
(757) 229-9857
http://williamsburgsymphony.org

Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Symphony No. 1 in G major
Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor

Gil Shaham, violin
Louise Farrenc: Symphony No. 3 in G minor
$82
(703) 343-7651
http://capitalonehall.com

Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Igor Levit, piano
Schumann: “Waldszenen,” Op. 82
Fred Hersch: “Variations on a Folksong”
Wagner: “Tristan und Isolde” – Prelude
(Zoltán Kocsis arrangement)
Liszt: Sonata in B minor
$50
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts)
http://washingtonperformingarts.org

Oct. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Oct. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Oct. 23 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins conducting

Berlioz: “Roman Carnival” Overture
André Previn: “Honey and Rue”

Katherine Jolly, soprano
Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 (“Inextinguishable”)
$25-$79
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 21 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conducting

Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Thomas Adès: “The Exterminating Angel” Symphony
Debussy: “La Mer”

$30-$110
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts)
http://washingtonperformingarts.org

Oct. 22 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 23 (3 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Valentina Peleggi conducting

Carlos Simon: “The Block”
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major

Jennifer Koh, violin
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 6 in E minor
$15-$85
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Hylton Arts Center, George Mason University, Manassas
Manassas Symphony Orchestra
James Villani conducting

Wagner: “Tannhäuser” Overture
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major

Thomas Pandolfi, piano
Johann Strauss II: “Wine, Women and Song”
Borodin: Symphony No. 2 in B minor

$25
(703) 993-7759
http://hyltoncenter.org

Oct. 22 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Oct. 30 (2 p.m.)
Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 5 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 7 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington
Washington National Opera
Michele Gamba conducting

Verdi: “Il Trovatore”
Latonia Moore (Leonora)
Raehann Bryce-Davis (Azucena)
Gwyn Hughes Jones (Manrico)
Christopher Maltman (Count Di Luna)
Ryan Speedo Green (Ferrando)
Brenna Corner, stage director

in Italian, English captions
$45-$299
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 22 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 23 (3 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda conducting

Britten: “Cello Symphony”
David Hardy, cello
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor
$15-$109
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 23 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Emerson String Quartet
Mendelssohn: Quartet in E flat major, Op. 12
Ravel: Quartet in F major
George Walker: “Lyric for Strings”
Dvořák: Quartet in A flat major, Op. 105

$35
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/music/concerts-and-events/rennolds-series/

Oct. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Laurel Street at Floyd Avenue, Richnond
Vox Luminis
Lionel Meunier directing

“Sacro Monteverdi”
Monteverdi: Gloria
Monteverdi: “Dixit Dominus” II
Monteverdi: “Beatus vir” I
Monteverdi: “O bone Jesu o piissime Jesu”
(instrumental version)
Monteverdi: “Adoramus te Christe”
Monteverdi: “Cruxifixus”
Monteverdi: “Laetaniae della Beata Vergine”
Monteverdi: “O bone Jesu o piissime Jesu”
(vocal version)
Monteverdi: Magnificat I
free; ticket reservation required via http://eventbrite.com
(804) 359-5651
http://richmondcathedral.org

Oct. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Takács Quartet
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel: Quartet in E flat major
Bartók: Quartet No. 6
Dvořák: Quartet in G major, Op. 106

$12-$39
(434) 924-3376
http://tecs.org

Oct. 26 (7 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Tabatha Easley, flute
Magda Adamek, piano
Justin Alexander, marimba & vibraphone
Anamarie Diaz & Kayla Hanvey, flutes
Alyssa McKeithen, oboe
Rex Richardson, flugelhorn
Daniel Stipe, piano

works TBA by Nicole Chamberlain, Valerie Coleman, Daniel Dorff, Katherine Hoover, Libby Larsen, Robert Morris
free
(804) 828-1166
http://arts.vcu.edu/events

Oct. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Susanna Philllips, soprano
Craig Terry, piano

program TBA
$35
(804) 289-8980
http://modlin.richmond.edu

Oct. 27 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 28 (8 p.m.)
Oct. 29 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda conducting

Respighi: “Burlesca”
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major

Julian Rachlin, violin
Alfredo Casella: Symphony No. 3
$15-$109
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
River Road Church, Baptist, River and Ridge roads, Richmond
Richmond chapter, American Guild of Organists’ Repertoire Recital Series:
Johann Vexo, organ
J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552
J.S. Bach: “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme,” BWV 645
Franck: Choral No. 3 in A minor
Alexandre Guilmant: “March upon Handel’s ‘Lift up your heads,’ ” Op. 15
Saint-Saëns: “Danse macabre”
(Edwin Lemare transcription)
Louis Vierne: Symphony No. 6 – Aria, scherzo & final

free; donation requested
(804) 288-1131
http://richmondago.org

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
conductor TBA
“The Magical Music of Harry Potter”
$25-$79
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra
Peter Wilson conducting

“An Evening on the American Frontier”
Cooland: “Rodeo” – “Hoe Down”
John Stafford Smith & Francis Scott Key: “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Copland: “Appalachian Spring”
Peter Meechan: “Land of the Living Skies”
Jay Ungar: “Ashokan Farewell”
Peter Wilson, violin
Elmer Bernstein: “The Magnificent Seven”
James Newton Howard: “Grand Canyon Fanfare”
John Barry: “Dances with Wolves”
John Williams: “The Cowboys” Overture
Sousa: “Black Horse Troop”

$25-$90
(434) 979-1333
http://theparamount.net

Oct. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Stella Chen & Arnaud Sussmann, violins
Paul Neubauer, viola
Nicholas Canellakis, cello

Dvořák: Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, for violin & piano
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 1
Ysaÿe: “Rêve d’enfant,” Op. 14, for violin & piano
Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81
$50
(703) 255-1868
http://wolftrap.org

Oct. 29 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Gellman Room Concerts:
Lisa Ruth, piano
program TBA
free
(804) 646-7223
http://rvalibrary.org/events/gellman-concerts/

Oct. 29 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 30 (3:30 p.m.)
Marburg House, 3102 Bute Lane, Richmond
Belvedere Series:
Domenic Salerni, violin & composer
Danielle Wiebe Burke, viola
Schuyler Slack, cello
Sam Suggs, double-bass & composer
Mary Boodell, flute
Ingrid Keller, piano
Paul Wiancko, composer

“Distant Lands”
Wiancko: “American Haiku”
Erwin Schulhoff: Concertino
for flute, viola & double-bass
Salerni: Piano Trio No. 1
Suggs: “Postlude”
Dvořák: Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 90 (“Dumky”)

$33 (Oct. 29 sold out)
(804) 604-0689
http://belvedereseries.org/concerts-and-tickets

Oct. 29 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony Pops
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

“The Music of Danny Elfman from the Films of Tim Burton”
$15-$85
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 29 (3 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
conductor TBA
“Halloween Spooktacular”
$12-$22
(757) 892-6366
http://virginiasymphony.org

Oct. 29 (7 p.m.)
Oct. 31 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 6 (2 p.m.)
Nov. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 12 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington
Washington National Opera
Evan Rogister conducting

Richard Strauss: “Elektra”
Christine Goerke (Elektra)
Sara Jakubiak (Chrysothemis)
Katarina Dalayman (Klytämnestra)
Štefan Margita (Aegisth)
Ryan Speedo Green (Orest)
Francesca Zambello, stage director

in German, English captions
$45-$299
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Oct. 30 (3 p.m.)
Ryan Recital Hall, St. Christopher’s School, 711 St. Christopher Road, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting

“Around the World”
family program TBA

$15-$25
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
http://richmondsymphony.com

Oct. 30 (3 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
UR Schola Cantorum & Women’s Chorale
Jeffrey Riehl & David Pedersen directing

program TBA
free
(804) 289-8980
http://modlin.richmond.edu

Oct. 30 (4 p.m.)
Second Presbyterian Church, 5 N. Fifth St., Richmond
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia:
Carsten Schmidt, harpsichord
“Bach and His Inspirations”
works TBA by Buxtehude, Pachelbel, others

$30
(804) 304-6312
http://cmscva.org

Oct. 30 (4 p.m.)
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1000 Blanton Ave. at the Carillon, Richmond
Christoph Wagner, cello
Joanne Kong, piano

“Strands of Compassion”
works TBA by Chopin, Dvořák, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Arvo Pärt, others, with poetry, video and imagery on themes of compassion, sustainability, the natural world, planetary healing and spirituality

donation requested; proceeds benefit Porchlight Animal Sanctuary
(804) 355-0777
http://richmonduu.org

Oct. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Midori, violin
J.S. Bach: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Jessie Montgomery: Rhapsody No. 1
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
John Zorn: “Passagen”
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006

$30
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts)
http://washingtonperformingarts.org

Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Fortas Chamber Music Concerts:
Dover Quartet
Haydn: Quartet in C major, Op. 76, No. 3 (“Emperor”)
Mason Bates: Suite for string quartet
Dvořák: Quartet in E flat major, Op. 51

$45
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Nov. 3 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Gellman Room Concerts:
Sigma Alpha Iota artists TBA
program TBA
free
(804) 646-7223
http://rvalibrary.org/events/gellman-concerts/

Nov. 3 (7 p.m.)
Nov. 4 (11:30 a.m.)
Nov. 5 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda conducting

“Symphonic Surprise!”
program TBA
(selections announced from stage)
$15-$109
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

Nov. 4 (various times)
Nov. 5 (various times)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival
Benjamin Bruening directing

programs TBA
free
(804) 289-8980
http://modlin.richmond.edu

Nov. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Laurel Street at Floyd Avenue, Richnond
Crystal Jonkman, organ
Denis Bédard: “Suite du premiere ton”
J.S. Bach: Pastorella, BWV 950
Gwenyth Walker: “Sanctuary”
Franck: Pastorale, Op. 19
Craig Phillips: “Archangel Suite”

free; ticket reservation required via http://eventbrite.com
(804) 359-5651
http://richmondcathedral.org

Nov. 4 (8 p.m.)
Nov. 5 (2:30 p.m.)
Nov. 6 (2:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting

Gilbert & Sullivan: “The Pirates of Penzance”
Troy Cook (Major-General Stanley)
Aubrey Allicock (The Pirate King)
Martin Bakari (Frederic)
Amy Owens (Mabel)
Lucy Schaufer (Ruth)
Jeremy Harr (Sergeant of Police)
Kyle White (Samuel)
Katherine Sanford (Edith)
Taylor-Alexis DuPont (Kate)
Kaileigh Riess (Isabel)
Kyle Lang, stage director

in English, English captions
$12.51-$130
(866) 673-7282
http://vaopera.org

Nov. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Trinity Episcopal Church, 214 W. Beverly St., Staunton
Nov. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
All Saints Episcopal Church, 8787 River Road, Richmond
Nov. 6 (4 p.m.)
Grace Episcopal Church, 5607 Gordonsville Road, Keswick
Three Notch’d Road: the Virginia Baroque Ensemble:
Matvey Lapin & Fiona Hughes, baroque violins
Sam Suggs, double-bass
Christa Patton, harp
Jennifer Streeter, harpsichord
Christopher Short, bass-baritone

“Eastern Exotic: Slavic, Romanian & Hungarian”
Arvo Pärt: “Spiegel im Spiegel”
(baroque ensemble arrangement)
works TBA by Ivan Khandoshkin, Maxim Berezovsky
Hungarian Csárdás TBA

$25
(434) 409-3424
http://tnrbaroque.org

Nov. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
Danish String Quartet
Haydn: Quartet in G minor, Op. 20, No. 3
Schubert: Quartet in A minor, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”)
traditional folk music TBA
(Danish String Quartet arrangements)
$25-$55
(540) 231-5300
http://artscenter.vt.edu

Nov. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Sipe Center, 100 N. Main St., Bridgewater
Richmond Symphony String Quartet
Damien Geter: “Neo Soul”
other works TBA

$20
(540) 908-4208
http://sipecenter.com/calendar

Nov. 6 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Fortas Chamber Music Concerts:
Israeli Chamber Project
Saint-Saëns: Fantaisie, Op. 124, for harp & violin
Stravinsky: “L’histoire du soldat” Suite
Ravel: Introduction and Allegro
for harp, flute, clarinet & string quartet
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1 (Anton Webern arrangement)
Ravel: “Le Tombeau de Couperin” (Yuval Shapiro arrangement)
$45
(800) 444-1324
http://kennedy-center.org

‘Fingers crossed’ on New York’s renovated hall

Updated Oct. 13

Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times’ architecture critic, reviews the troubled physical and acoustical history of the New York Philharmonic’s home venue in Lincoln Center, opened in 1962 as Philharmonic Hall, renamed Avery Fisher Hall following a 1976 renovation, now David Geffen Hall, reopening on Oct. 12 after a $550 million reconfiguration of the building and its concert hall. (Geffen, a Hollywood film and music mogul, contributed $100 million for the project.)

The orchestra “is hoping that it has finally seen the last of its star-crossed auditorium’s notoriously troublesome acoustics and that it has devised a world-class hall enticing to new generations of concertgoers,” Kimmelman writes. “The question is whether new architecture – more welcoming, transparent, and, fingers crossed, acoustically improved – can alter [the hall’s] karma.”

An encouraging sign, he finds, is that the project’s acousticians “got to set the specifications for the hall, recommended the layout and signed off on everything,” in contrast to the original design and 1976 renovation, when acousticians were “just expected to sign off on an architect’s plans,” as Paul Scarbrough, one of Geffen Hall’s lead acoustical consultants, put it:

Justin Davidson, music and architecture critic of New York magazine, offers a preliminary assessment of Geffen Hall’s acoustics, and walks readers through the sights and amenities of a transformed building:

http://www.vulture.com/2022/10/new-geffen-hall-lincoln-center-acoustics-concert-philharmonic.html

The Times’ music critic, Zachary Woolfe, is provisionally reassured about the hall’s acoustics and versatility in several musical genres. He’s less enamored of some decorative choices: