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Classical music: Critic’s tips

Jennifer Taylor for The New York Times


The French conductor Stephane Deneve returns with a mostly French program devoted to works by Berlioz, Roussel, and Saint-Saens (the Piano Concerto No. 5, with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, above). Also on the bill will be music by the contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan. Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,


Courtney Lewis’s dynamic chamber orchestra performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, Bartok’s “Divertimento,” and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “Five Images After Sappho,” with soprano Karin Wolverton. Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Sanders Theatre. 617-800-7588,


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On the eve of a big personnel change, the Emerson Quartet returns to Jordan Hall on Sunday afternoon with a program of works by Dvorak, Schumann, and Brahms (www. Also on Sunday, the Borromeo Quartet continues its series at the Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall with an all-Dvorak program (www.gardnermuseum


Harry Christophers leads the Handel and Haydn Society in its annual traversal of “Messiah,” Nov. 30-Dec. 2, in Symphony Hall (; Ryan Turner leads Emmanuel Music in Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” on Saturday in Emmanuel Church (; the Tallis Scholars perform on Sunday evening at St. Paul Church in Cambridge (; Chanticleer sings a holiday program on Friday night in Jordan Hall (; and Opera Hub takes on Hindemith’s opera “The Long Christmas Dinner,” with a libretto by Thornton Wilder,
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Boston Center for the Arts (


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