Classical picks

ORCHESTRAL

Auburn Symphony—Music director Stewart Kershaw draws on his expertise as the conductor of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in the ASO's all-Tchaikovsky season opener: the Swan Lake suite, the Violin Concerto (with Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi), and the Third Symphony (10/28-29). For concert info, call 939-8509.

Bainbridge Symphony—Kathleen Macferran makes her debut with the ensemble this season, conducting Rossini, Bizet, and Schubert (11/18-19) on the first of three concerts. 842-8569.

Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra— On Thursday nights is the five-concert Masterworks series; Fridays are for "Sound Bites," shorter family-friendly programs with commentary. Conductor Fusao Kajima opens with Mozart, Maxwell-Davies (An Orkney Wedding, with bagpipe soloist John Dally), and Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique (10/12-13). Later highlights include Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Sixth Symphony (11/16). Their holiday Messiah is 12/16. 425-455-4171.

Cascade Symphony—Gregory Sullivan Isaacs leads an "Orchestral Spectacular" to open the season, with baritone Kurt Ollmann and the Boeing Employees Chorus (10/22-23). Sunday afternoon concerts are at Puget Sound Christian College in Edmonds; Monday evenings are at the Moore Theater in Belltown. 425-778-4688.

Northwest Chamber Orchestra—Soprano Carol Vaness joins conductor Adam Stern and the NWCO for the season opener, a concert of operatic favorites and instrumental works by opera composers (9/23-24). Keyboard guest soloists include Ian Hobson playing Mendelssohn (10/21-22) and Igor Kipnis in a concert of Bach's complete Brandenburgs (12/8-10). The NWCO's inaugurating a Viva Voce vocal recital series with Seattle Opera favorite Vinson Cole (10/15). Their Showcase Chamber Music Series comprises four concerts at Benaroya (11/12, 2/4/01, 3/11/01, 4/22/01), and their Music in the Park series at the Seattle Asian Art Museum spotlights five composers: Beethoven (10/8), Handel (10/29), Mozart (1/28/01), Tchaikovsky (3/4/01), and Debussy (4/29/01). 343-0445.

Northwest Mahler Festival—This gathering of local community orchestra players is participating in Benaroya Hall's third annual Day of Music (9/17), repeating all or part of their magnificent performance of Mahler's Eighth from last July. 667-6567.

Northwest Sinfonietta—Christophe Chagnard leads the 10th season for this acclaimed chamber orchestra, which ventures away from its Tacoma home once to the Kirkland Performance Center (Bach's Christmas Oratorio, 12/3) and twice to Benaroya in 2001. 425-893-9900 or 296-ARTS.

Northwest Symphony—Anthony Spain keeps up his tradition of including a local composer on every program, selecting Gregory Short's Phato and David Mesler's Dance Macabre, along with Bach and Mussorgsky, for their 10/27 season opener. 242-6321.

Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers—Their opening gala features Brahms' Violin Concerto (with soloist Sharyn Petersen) and Mozart's Requiem (10/22). Next comes Telemann, Milhaud, and Haydn (11/19); three Magnificats by Schtz, Charpentier, and Bach (12/1 and 12/3); and their Messiah (12/17). George Shangrow conducts. 682-5208.

Philharmonia Northwest—Their first full season in Town Hall showed off what a splendid space it is. Roupen Shakarian brings them back for Stravinsky, Mozart, and Mendelssohn (10/22); violist Helen Callus plus Kurt Weill, Vaughan-Williams, and Shakarian's own Whimsy (12/3). 675-9727.

Seattle Baroque—Six concerts of orchestral, chamber, solo, and vocal works led by concertmaster Ingrid Matthews and keyboardist Byron Schenkman. There'll be three of Bach's Brandenburgs, plus Telemann and Handel, on their season opener (10/5-7). The Messiah arrives 12/8-10. They're playing, by my count, in six different venues this season, so watch our calendar closely for details. 322-3118.

Seattle Creative Orchestra—Redefining the orchestra by including nonstandard instruments (from the accordion to the synthesizer) and instruments from other cultures is their mission; their first concert features new works by Christopher Adler, Jacqueline Jeeyoung Kim, and Christopher Shainin, plus John Cage's rapturously meditative Ryoanji (10/28). 789-3628.

Seattle Philharmonic—They're opening with an encore performance of the Thistle Theater's lovely rod-puppet staging of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade (a hit last fall), along with music by Bach, Coleridge-Taylor, and Menotti (12/2-3). Marsha Mabrey conducts. 525-0443.

Seattle Symphony—Their season is bracketed by two festivals: a Beethoven orgy (9/27-10/1) including all five piano concertos played by John Browning and Garrick Ohlsson (not simultaneously, of course), plus assorted symphonies and overtures. The Third Annual Opening Gala brings together violinist Pinchas Zukerman, soprano Arianna Zukerman, music director Gerard Schwarz, and Mozart and Tchaikovsky (9/16). The Day of Music, the SSO's music-fair gift to the city, follows on 9/17. Benaroya Hall's new Watjen Concert Organ gets a workout in the piece everyone's been waiting for, Saint-Sa뮳' Organ Symphony (9/21-24). Fall soloists include violinists Vadim Repin (playing Sibelius, 10/5-7) and Tamaki Kawakubo (Mozart's Fifth Violin Concerto, 11/9-12), and pianists Emanuel Ax (Chopin's Concerto No. 1, 11/16-18) and C飩le Ousset (Saint-Sa뮳' Second, 11/30-12/3). Contemporary repertory for the fall season includes music by Samuel Jones (11/9-12), Andrzej Panufnik (11/16-18), Siegfried Matthus (11/30-12/3), with more to come in 2001. Distinguished Artists—Chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica (10/28), plus there'll be three Symphony Specials concerts with stellar pianist Alicia de Larrocha (10/20. The Mainly Mozart series features, as usual, lots of Wolfgang's piano concertos (10/26-27 begins this series). What else? The Basically Baroque series (11/3-4, 1/5-6, and 3/2-3). Five Pops concerts (10/12-15, 12/7-10, 2/15-18, 3/8-11, 6/14-17). As part of the Popular Culture concerts: the Flying Karamazov Brothers (11/2), and a Light Classics concert (12/30). Then there's three weeks of holiday celebration from klezmer to Beethoven's Ninth, in December. Finally, the SSO invites in the competition in the Visiting Orchestras series: the Academy of Ancient Music comes first (Bach and Handel, 11/14). 215-4747.

Seattle Youth Symphony—Jonathan Shames leads children's classics for their season opener (11/5)—but the music is hardly child's play; only a top-flight violin section can manage Mendelssohn's gossamer Midsummer Night's Dream Overture. 362-2300.

OPERA

Seattle Opera—First up, Harolyn Blackwell takes a classic diva turn in Donizetti's juicily Gothic Lucia di Lammermoor (10/21-11/4). Britten's intense shipboard tale Billy Budd is a diva turn for no one—its all-male cast is unique in the repertory (1/13-27). Carol Vaness and Vinson Cole head the cast for Puccini's Tosca (2/24-3/10). After these three melodramas, something lighter—Verdi's sparkling Falstaff (5/5-19). Next summer's Ring (8/5-26) is already sold out, but cancellations go on sale December 4, so call then and try your luck. 389-7676.

CHAMBER MUSIC

ArtsWest—A eclectic lineup of the area's finest musicians mark the tenth season of this West Seattle music series, with five Mostly Classical concerts and three Popular Culture events. This fall, a program of variations played by a five-pianist tag team (9/9); then the Floyd Standifer quartet (10/22); then a recital spotlighting the dark colors of cello and bass (11/19). 938-0339.

Bach Around the Clock—A celebration of the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian's death, in the shape of a free, 12-hour marathon at Town Hall. Lots of local early music stars, jazz interpretations, contemporary retakes, dance (period, modern, and tap), and an audience sing-along. Town Hall, Eighth and Seneca, 652-4255. 11/11.

Barry Lieberman and Friends—Students and faculty join the UW double-bass professor for chamber concerts celebrating the foundation of the orchestra. Rumanian bassist Ovidiu Badila arrives for a special master class and performance 11/25-26. 685-8384.

Belle Arte Concerts—Their Eastside chamber music season opens 9/17 with Seattle's Classical Consort playing vocal and chamber music on period instruments. "Music for the Millennium" (11/5) features contemporary music, including a world premiere by William O. Smith. The Ames Piano Quartet (1/21), the Shostakovich Quartet (3/4), and Soni Ventorum and the Amarcord Wind Quintet (4/29) appear later on. 425-454-2410.

Benevolent Order for Music of the Baroque—BOMB opens their season with "BACH-analia", with some of J.S.'s greatest hits (the "Italian" Concerto, the Musical Offering) plus works by his children and contemporaries (10/21-22). Their Holiday Blast follows (12/2-3), then their annual concerto festival (2/24-25), and Charpentier's opera Acteon, semi-staged with period dance (5/5-6). 325-7066.

Cathedral Associates—On this concert series at St. Mark's Cathedral: organists Bernard Lagace (11/3), J. Melvin Butler (1/19), Roger Sherman (3/23), and Peter Sykes (4/27). T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral receives a staging in this apropos setting (2/22-24), and the Tudor Choir and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra present their holiday Messiah there (12/8-10). St. Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th, 323-1040.

Cornish College of the Arts—Highlights of their stuffed-to-bursting fall calendar include: a master class with the Colorado String Quartet exploring Shostakovich's Quartet No. 15 (10/4); a recital by flute/piano/percussion trio TANEKO (10/10); and four "Music of the World" series performances with Ghanaian drummer Obo Addy and Okropong (11/3), Musicians Accord and Jovino Santos Neto (11/12), Gamelan Pacifica (12/1-2), and a jazz finale (12/9). Later this season, watch for a Copland/Weill centennial festival in February and a recital by pianist Vladimir Feltsman next April. 323-1400.

Degenerate Art Ensemble—"Chamber music" seems a really weird label for them, but where else should I put them? This theater/dance/contemporary music troupe plays on the SIL2K series at I-SPY (10/28); at the Moore Theater (with Taneko and the Contemporary Chamber Composers and Players) performing their new film score for Shinichi Momo Koga's The Onion Cellar (11/4); and as part of the Seattle International Butoh Festival with their recent show Rinko. 547-3855.

Early Music Guild—On their International Series: Sequentia (10/8), Piffaro (12/16), Belladonna (2/3), Hesperion XXI (3/10), and Phantasm (3/31). (Don't you love early-music ensembles? Their names look great on concert posters, but give you absolutely no clue about what they do.) On the Recital Series: lutenist Hopkinson Smith (11/12), gambist Margriet Tindemans with harpsichordist Jillon Stoppels Dupree (1/28), soprano Randall Wong and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman (4/29). 325-7066.

Ensemble Vindobona—Offbeat chamber repertory for clarinet, bassoon, piano, and guests: "English Romantics" (11/19), International Melange" (2/18), and "Hungarian and Gypsy Impressions" (5/20). 364-7710.

Gallery Concerts—Six recitals of "chamber music in intimate settings"—"Medieval Tales in Song" (10/14), "Viennese Virtuosi" (11/5), "The Best of Bach" (11/25-26), the Tomasini Quartet (1/14), fortepianists George Barth and Tamara Friedman (2/11), and a "String Spectacular" (4/21-22). 726-6088.

Music of Remembrance—Here's the third season of concerts from this organization devoted to music related to the Holocaust; their concerts combine works composed by victims with new pieces exploring that theme. Their two performances this season, as always, fall near the anniversary of Kristallnacht (11/6) and Holocaust Remembrance Day (next April). Featured composers in November include Betty Olivero and Lori Laitman. Planned for April is a performance of Steve Reich's Different Trains, with a visit from the composer. 365-7770.

Rainier Chamber Winds—They win, easily, the Most Interesting Venues award, with concerts at the Experience Music Project (why didn't anyone else think of it? Haydn, Mozart, Rorem, Stern, 10/17), the Seattle Aquarium (Enesco, Francaix, 2/7), and the MV Skansonia, dry-docked in Lake Union (Krommer, Hindemith, Mendelssohn, Piern鬠5/2). 780-1021.

Seattle Chamber Music Festival— The SCMF's presenting their third annual midwinter mini-festival at Benaroya Hall. Three concerts, 1/5-7, feature some popular names from recent summer fests: Frank Kowalsky, Adam Neiman, Anton Nel, and Bion Tsang. Repertory includes Shostakovich's Piano Quintet, Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, Berg's Four Pieces for clarinet, Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio, and P䲴's Adagio for piano trio. Plus pre-concert lectures by Perry Lorenzo and a symposium (1/7) on chamber music at the turn of the century. 283-8808.

Seattle Chamber Players—Little by little this flute/clarinet/violin/cello quartet has shifted their focus forward in time to become Seattle's most exciting contemporary music group. The season opener includes two classic Martha Graham commissions, Appalachian Spring and Barber's Medea, plus music by Lukas Foss and Michael Daugherty (10/29). Three guest composers, Frederic Rzewski, John Zorn, and Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, visit on 11/10, 2/25, and 4/6. Charlie Chaplin's film Circus will be accompanied by a new score by Wayne Horvitz (1/21), and singer Cyndia Sieden joins them on 6/12. 367-1138.

UW/Meany Hall—Arnaldo Cohen opens the President's Piano series with music from his native Brazil, plus Bach/Busoni and Liszt (9/28). There'll be more Bach 10/17, as Murray Perahia plays the Goldberg Variations. Later on come Lang Lang (1/31), H鬥ne Grimaud (2/21), Richard Goode (3/27), and Garrick Ohlsson (5/23). The Colorado String Quartet brings a quartet by Katherine Hoover, inspired by Native American music, to open the International Chamber Music Series (10/3); the Emerson appears for their two annual visits (10/24 and 4/18); followed by the Bachmann-Klibonoff-Fridman Trio (11/21), the Tokyo String Quartet (1/17), and Trio Fontenay (3/8). 543-4880.

Washington Composers Forum—On tap for their monthly Composer Spotlight series (every second Tuesday) in conjunction with Jack Straw Studios: Lynette Westendorf on 12-tone jazz composition (9/12); David Mesler presenting his new music-theater piece (10/10); Laura Kaminsky and Amy Rubin of Musicians Accord discussing composer/performer interaction (11/14); and Elizabeth Falconer with an introduction to the koto (12/12). Plus, a "Conductors' Roundtable" will bring local conductors and composers together for an evening of dialogue, advice and schmoozing (10/4). 789-3628.

CHORAL

Bellevue Chamber Chorus—Go online for their "Interactive Season" at www.BellevueChamberChorus.net and help program their season. "Masters of the Millennium" (11/4-5) includes choral favorites from Bach to Britten. Their Messiah with the Bellevue Philharmonic is 12/16. 425-881-0445.

Choral Arts Northwest—Their first concert features music on Shakespeare texts, including works by George Shearing and P.D.Q. Bach (10/22), followed by a Christmas concert (12/17). 877-404-2269.

The Esoterics—This 20th-century a cappella choir has two elements left in this thematic season; they explored Earth and Water in March and June, with music inspired by Air (pieces by Janice Giteck, Donald Skirvin, and Anton Webern) and Fire (Barber, Britten, Carter, Stravinsky, Byron AuYong) still to come 9/22-23 and 12/22-23. 726-0922.

Opus 7—Stravinsky's Mass opens their season, along with music by P䲴 and Tavener (10/20, 22). "A Celebration for the Feast of St. Nicholas" comes 12/3, and "An American Christmas" 12/15-17. 782-2899.

Seattle Choral Company—First, Rachmaninoff's Divine Liturgy (11/4-5), followed by "Christmas at Benaroya" (12/3) and their traditional New Year's Eve Carmina Burana. Berlioz's Te Deum is paired with Verdi's (3/4), and Haydn's Creation closes the season (5/12). 363-1100.

Seattle Men's Chorus—Their all-pops season opens with their seven-show Christmas spectacular at Benaroya (12/6-19). Music from Disney films follows (3/23-25), then special concerts with Rosemary Clooney (5/5-6) and Manhattan Transfer (6/21-23). 323-2992.

Seattle Pro Musica—After an appearance on Town Hall's "Bach Around the Clock" festival (11/11), they celebrate "Christmas in Italy" (12/15-17), and Valentine's weekend (2/10-11). Brahms' German Requiem closes the season (5/19). 781-2766.

The Tudor Choir—Allegri's Miserere, a hit in its day, headlines their opening concert (10/13-14). Their (post-) Christmas concert follows 12/29-30. 322-3118.

The Washingtonians—A 24-voice chamber choir opens the season with a recital of music by Randall Thompson (11/18). But Scott Warrender's planning another comedy extravaganza with the whole choir for March. 781-3901.

 
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