Miami’s classical music season starts early this year. Below, a chronological periplus that will help you prepare your very own schedule. One of the drawbacks of this prolific calendar is that many events take place on the same weekends, or worse, the same day; something musical entities should contemplate when programming their events.
The first weekend of the new year, Yefim Bronfman performing Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto (January 4th and 5th), directed by Robert Spano, and Sunday January 6 in a recital (Prokofiev, Brahms and Bartok) with the New World Symphony. Wednesday the 9th, marks a special date for chamber music lovers with the return of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson trio to Gusman Hall, University of Miami (Friends of Chamber Music).
The Classic Series at the Knight Hall of the Arsht Center begins on Sunday January 13 with the first Miami appearance of American pianist Simone Dinnerstein, presenting Bach’s Goldberg Variations. On the same day, and at the same time, the beautiful soprano Nadine Sierra will enchant the audience at the traditional Sunday Afternoons of Music, and you simply cannot miss the Tokyo Quartet on their farewell world tour on Monday the 15th (FoCM).
On January 25-26 Joshua Bell returns with the Cleveland Orchestra, and Franz Welter-Möst will delight with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Three other events this weekend will make choosing just one a difficult task: the exceptional cellist Amit Peled with Alon Goldstein and Soovin Kim will perform with SAOM; a Viennese concert at the New World Symphony with soloists from the Vienna Philharmonic in works by Schoenberg and Berg, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas; and at the Ziff Hall of the Arsht Center, the Florida Grand Opera premieres the first of the seven presentations of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, with the debut of the, soon to be famous, Cuban-American soprano Lisette Oropesa as Pamina, and Jeannette Vecchione as the Queen of the Night, led by Andrew Bisantz. And on Sunday, January 27 a unique recital by soprano Helen Donath, accompanied by Klaus Donath at Saint Martha Catholic Church.
February begins with Berlioz, and Beethoven`s Fourth Piano Concerto, performed by Garrick Ohlsson with the Cleveland Orchestra, and Welser-Möst on the 1st and 2nd, followed by a performance by pianist Cyprien Katsaris on Wednesday the 6th (FoCM). On Thursday the 7th, the return of the venerable Philadelphia Orchestra, under the direction of the equally venerable Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and the always notable André Watts in Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.
The New World Symphony has programed a tribute to John Cage on February 8, 9 & 10 with Michael Tilson Thomas, Jessye Norman, Marc-André Hamelin, Meredith Monk, and Joan Barbara, plus the orchestra and dancers in an anthological tour through the work of the American composer.
On the 9th, the first of Florida Grand Opera`s four representations of a belcanto jewel, Bellini’s La Sonnambula, directed by the legendary Renata Scotto, under the baton of maestro Ramón Tebar and with two young lyrical stars: Rachel Gilmore and Michele Angelini. Thursday the 14th, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Classic Series at the Arsht presents the eximia Hillary Hahn in a series of encores commissioned by the renowned violinist.
1. HILARY HANN. / Photo: Peter Mill. 2. PATRICK DUPRE-QUIGLEY.
February 16-17, Michael Tilson Thomas invites us to join him in an irresistible journey through the music of Mozart, taking advantage of all the resources at the new hall of the New World Symphony. And on Tuesday the 19th, the brilliant young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor will present a recital with FoCM.
The Miami Symphony will shine during the first weekend of March with Ravel, Mendelssohn, and the harp version of Concierto de Aranjuez, featuring Kristi Shade at the harp.
Lovers of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony will be in heaven when Giancaerlo Guerrero leads the Cleveland Orchestra at the Arsht on March 14th, and at the same theatre, NWS will present Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini by pianist Valentina Lisitsa, at the core of a program led by Peter Oundjian on March 16-17. March 21-23, the Florida Grand Opera presents Astor Piazolla’s “operita” (little opera) María de Buenos Aires in alternative spaces, a different take that combines different genres, and promises to be a breath of fresh air.
1. NADINE SIERRA. 2. VALENTINA LISITSA.
Mexican soprano Maria Alejandres, (who dazzled as Juliet last season) returns as Violetta in La Traviata –from April 20 to May 5– It will be Ramón Tebar’s last performance with FGO. On April 20, at the Knight Hall, Marturet and MISO will present Symphonic Blues (Gershwin, Ravel, Russo).
The NWS closes its 25th season with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Brahms Violin Concerto featuring the great Christian Tetzlaff –also on recital April 26 and May 3 & 4, under the direction of illustrious German conductor Marek Janowsk, in a Richard Strauss–Beethoven program. That same weekend, the Miami Symphony closes its cycle with Philippe Entremont and Eduardo Marturet in a traditional Brahms program.
A special mention to Seraphic Fire, the exquisite choral ensemble, directed by Patrick Dupré Quigley in its eleventh season, with a program of Gregorian Chants, a Vivaldi Festival, Purcell’s beautiful Dido and Aeneas, and a program dedicated to Spanish baroque music, celebrating 500 years of the Spanish arrival in Florida.
There is really not much time to plan this musical journey. Make sure you are at the right station, when the musical train stops at the platform and carries you away for a season of great music. Make your plans as soon as possible, and you will not regret it. ■