fb-pixel10 dynamic classical concerts to wake you up this winter - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Winter Arts Guide

10 dynamic classical concerts to wake you up this winter

Experience Bach by way of Japan, a Shakespearean program by Chameleon Arts Ensemble, a BSO mini-festival exploring legacies of injustice, and more.

Clarinetist Anthony McGill will appear as soloist in "You Have the Right to Remain Silent" by Anthony Davis, to be performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, March 9-11, in Symphony Hall.Eric Rudd

EMERSON QUARTET One of the most globally celebrated string quartets of the last half-century, the Emersons have now embarked on their farewell tour. This not-to-be-missed Celebrity Series recital, their final Boston appearance, will feature works by Bartok, George Walker, Shostakovich, and Beethoven. Jan. 22, 3 p.m, Jordan Hall, 617-482-2595, celebrityseries.org

‘THE DAMNATION OF FAUST’ Music director Federico Cortese conducts the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras in an ambitiously conceived semi-staged performance of Berlioz’s potent “légende dramatique.” Directed by Joshua Major and featuring noted vocal soloists Avery Amereau, Arnold Livingston Geis, Ethan Vincent, and David McFerrin. Jan. 22, 3 p.m., Sanders Theatre, 617-496-2222

Advertisement



DANISH STRING QUARTET This charismatic next-generation foursome has cut its own bold path through the chamber music landscape in recent years, and now returns to Boston with a Celebrity Series program devoted to works by Haydn, Shostakovich, Britten, and their own striking arrangements of Nordic folk tunes. Jan. 27, 8 p.m., Jordan Hall, 617-482-2595, celebrityseries.org

‘TANNHÄUSER’ Because there is no opera house in Boston that can comfortably accommodate staged Wagner operas, the occasional concert performances of Wagner by the Boston Symphony Orchestra take on a special air of occasion. Next month music director Andris Nelsons will lead the ensemble in music from Act 3 of “Tannhäuser,” with a distinguished cast of vocal soloists: soprano Amber Wagner as Elisabeth, baritone Christian Gerhaher as Wolfram, and tenor Klaus Florian Vogt in the title role. Feb. 2 and 4, Symphony Hall, 888-266-1200, www.bso.org

A FAR CRY Two upcoming performances by the city’s self-directed chamber orchestra demonstrate why it’s as acclaimed for its programming as for its playing. “Unrequited” creatively explores the love story between Clara Schumann and Brahms through the prism of their music and the works of Kaija Saariaho (Feb. 3, Jordan Hall); and “Memory” traces elusive notions of recollection through works by Tchaikovsky, Golijov, Jessie Montgomery, and Juantio Becenti (March 3 at the new Groton Hill Music Center), www.afarcry.org

Advertisement



A Far Cry performs a program titled "Unrequited," exploring the relationship between Brahms and Clara Schumann, on Feb. 3 in Jordan Hall.Yoon S. Byun

BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN Thanks to Boston Early Music Festival, Masaaki Suzuki’s celebrated ensemble will be returning to Boston with a program of works by Bach and Telemann, including Bach’s deeply moving Cantata No. 82 , “Ich habe genug.” British baritone Roderick Williams performs as vocal soloist. Feb. 10, 8 p.m., St. Paul Church in Cambridge, www.bemf.org

BEETHOVEN’S NINTH The conductor Benjamin Zander and his Boston Philharmonic Orchestra make a grandly festive return to Beethoven’s landmark score for a performance with the Chorus Pro Musica; the Marsh Chapel Choir; and soloists Liv Redpath, Ashley Dixon, Nicholas Phan, and Alfred Walker. Feb. 24, 8 p.m at Symphony Hall, and Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. (with livestreaming) at Carnegie Hall, 617-236-0999, www.bostonphil.org

‘VOICES OF LOSS, RECKONING AND HOPE’ The BSO this March offers a wide-ranging mini-festival devoted to exploring legacies of injustice through three orchestral programs and a range of ancillary events. Conductors will include André Raphel, Thomas Wilkins, and Giancarlo Guerrero, and among the most intriguing offerings will be Uri Caine’s “The Passion of Octavius Catto,” Anthony Davis’s “You Have the Right to Remain Silent” (with Anthony McGill, clarinet), and Julia Wolfe’s “Her Story.” March 3-18, Symphony Hall, 888-266-1200, www.bso.org

CHAMELEON ARTS ENSEMBLE This pioneering chamber troupe, now celebrating its 25th-anniversary season, offers a characteristically imaginative Shakespeare-themed program with works by Korngold, Vaughan Williams, David Matthews, Thomas Adès, and Edward Elgar. March 4 and 5, First Church in Boston, 617-427-8200, www.chameleonarts.org

Advertisement



Pianist Igor Levit returns to Boston for a keenly anticipated recital devoted to Beethoven's last three piano sonatas.Felix Broede

IGOR LEVIT Back in 2013, the young Russian-German pianist sounded his note of arrival with a self-possessed debut album devoted to Beethoven’s late sonatas. Ten years later, having built a career that has born out his early acclaim, he returns to this desert-island repertoire (Opp. 109, 110, and 111) in a keenly anticipated Celebrity Series recital. March 4, 8 p.m., Jordan Hall, 617-482-2595, celebrityseries.org


Jeremy Eichler can be reached at jeremy.eichler@globe.com, or follow him @Jeremy_Eichler.