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Early Music Springs up, Big-Name pianists and Blockbuster programs


Gail Wein
February 25, 2017

The month of March brings a flock of Big Name Pianists to our burg. At Carnegie Hall, Sir András Schiff plays an all-Schubert recital on March 9, Richard Goode is all about Bach and Chopin on March 15 and Mitsuko Uchida does Mozart and Schumann on March 30. Across town at 92nd Street Y, Rafa? Blechacz, the young superstar from Warsaw who won the Chopin International Piano Competition, performs Chopin (of course) and Beethoven on March 26, and over at Merkin Concert Hall on March 21, Young Concert Artists presents Dasol Kim in his New York recital debut.

There is something about early spring that brings many great early music performances to New York. No complaints here! Touring ensembles dropping by are Les Arts Florissants led by William Christie in the program Music for Marie Antoinette at Lincoln Center on March 15, Carnegie Hall presents Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in the program Foreign Affairs: Characters of the Baroque, and Miller Theatre presents Orlando Consort on West 83rd Street on March 25, as well as in a free "Pop-up" concert at Miller Theatre itself on March 28. Outstanding regional ensembles specializing in early music are not to be missed: David Hill leads Juilliard415 and Yale Schola Cantorum in music by Bach and Rameau alongside a new work by  Reena Esmail at Alice Tully Hall on March 2, The Four Nations Ensemble performs Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Bach cantatas and concertos at Merkin Hall on March 13, and House of Time brings chamber gems by Mozart and Haydn to Hudson View Gardens in Washington Heights on March 31 and to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on April 1.

I can't help but mention a few blockbuster artists that I know you won't want to miss: Yo-Yo Ma with the New York Philharmonic March 15-18, the Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall for three nights February 28 - March 2, Philadelphia Orchestra on March 7 and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on March 18, both also at Carnegie. And, on April 2 at Le Poisson Rouge, there will be a celebration of what would have been the 100th birthday of Dorothy Delay, one of the most influential violin teachers of our time. Performances by the violinists Chee-Yun, Philippe Quint and Kurt Nikkanen are featured.


A Good Dilemma


Gail Wein
February 01, 2017

I love New York. But, I hate New York. Our culturally rich city forces me to make difficult choices almost every day, with regard to which concert to attend. I readily admit that this is a very good dilemma to be in, and is trivial in the light of all the world's real problems. Still, I'm hoping for rapid advances in technology that will allow us to be in two places at once.

Until then, it's at least good to know what the options are, so you can make informed choices. Here are just a few coming up.

On February 2, you can go to 92nd Street Y to hear the fabulous Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer with his ensemble Kremerata Baltica; Juilliard offers a recital with its world class faculty including violinist Catherine Cho and pianist Robert McDonald, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents pianist Gilles Vonsattel in the intimate Rose Studio, rising stars of the Met Opera's Lindemann Young Artist program perform on the Park Avenue Armory's recital series, New York Philharmonic does an all-Tchaikovsky program with pianist Kirill Gerstein, and you can hear contemporary avant-garde gems by Beat Furrer at Miller Theatre on their composer portrait concert series.

February 26 is poses an equal if not greater dilemma. The Vienna Philharmonic performs Schubert's 'Great' Symphony No. 9 at Carnegie Hall, the London Philharmonic plays works by Chopin and Mahler at Lincoln Center, the early music ensemble Ars Longa from Havana delivers Cuban music composed by the descendants of African slaves at Corpus Christi Church, emotional works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Schumann are at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and members of the New York Philharmonic get together to perform chamber music by Schumann and Menotti at Merkin Concert Hall.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you want to go hear a concert any time this month (or anytime this year, for that matter), you're sure to have a good number to choose from on any given day.

There are some other major highlights to mention: the violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Yuja Wang form a dynamic duo on February 8 at Lincoln Center, the Guitar Marathon at 92Y is not to be missed - it goes all afternoon and evening on February 25, and two free string quartet concerts at Lincoln Center's Atrium: New Orford on February 9 and Catalyst on February 23.

On the shortest month of the year, we'll pack in as much live music as possible. Enjoy!


January: Focus! Goes Latin, Berlin does Bruckner and More


Gail Wein
December 28, 2016



In the dark and chilly days of January, there are some festivals to liven us up.

What better way than to start out with six free concerts? Juilliard's Focus! 2017 presents "Our Southern Neighbors: The Music of Latin America," with programs January 20 - 27. The New Juilliard Ensemble, Julliard Orchestra, chamber ensembles and soloists perform 20th and 21st century works by a compendium of composers from Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina Brazil and more. Most of the concerts are at Juilliard, the final one is at Alice Tully Hall. Free admission, tickets are required, available at Julliard's box office, website and at the door.

Staatskapelle Berlin comes to Carnegie Hall for an extended run January 19 - 29. Each of the nine concerts features a Bruckner Symphony and a concerto by Mozart. Daniel Barenboim conducts and is piano soloist in the Mozart concerti. This is a Big Deal. Tickets via Carnegie's box office and website.

Bundle up and trundle down to the Brooklyn waterfront for stunning views of Manhattan from a barge-turned-concert hall at the Bargemusic Here and Now Winter Festival, January 4, 5 and 6. The program features world premieres of works by some of New York's most beloved living composers, including David Del Tredici, David Leisner and Harold Meltzer. Good to know: the venue is indoors and is comfortably heated. Tickets at Bargemusic's website.

The Prototype Festival - a whirlwind of provocative opera and music-theatre - runs January 5 - 15. Six productions include the New York premieres of David Lang's Anatomy Theater and Missy Mazzoli's Breaking The Waves. Venues include HERE, BRIC and FIAF. Tickets available through Prototype's website.

Also running this month is New York City Opera's Candide by Leonard Bernstein. I thoroughly enjoyed NYCO's 2008 production, and I'm glad to know they have revived this fanciful work. Harold Prince directs. Performances on selected dates January 6 - 15 at Jazz at Lincoln Center; tickets at Jazz at Lincoln Center's box office and website.


Complimentary Tickets

to shows, concerts ... (CFT Deals!)

Classical Music | Symphony orchestra performs Mozart and more

Regular: $50; Member: $0.00

Classical Music | Choral works by Fauré, J.S. Bach and more

Regular: $50; Member: $0.00

Classical Music | One of the most popular choral works of all times

Regular: $50; Member: $0.00

Play | Tragi-comedy with Broadway stars

Regular: $79; Member: $0.00

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