Critic’s picks for top 10 classical performances in 2012


 BSO performances in Symphony Hall: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, led by Vladimir Jurowski; Works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Stravinsky, led by Salonen; Works by Thomas Adès, Prokofiev, and
Sibelius, led by Adès.

 BSO at Tanglewood: Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms” and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, led by Andris Nelsons.


 Opera: Peter Maxwell Davies’s “The Lighthouse,” presented by Boston Lyric Opera.

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 Period instrument performance: Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion,” Handel and Haydn Society, led by Harry Christophers.

 Chamber music: Schumann’s “Kinderszenen” and “Dichterliebe,” with Russell Sherman (piano) and Frank Kelley (tenor), presented by Emmanuel Music.

 New music: Georg Friedrich Haas’s “In Vain,” performed by Sound Icon at the ICA.

 Best new score: John Harbison’s Symphony No. 6, commissioned and premiered by the BSO.


 Best performance by a volunteer ensemble: Britten’s “War
Requiem,” with the New England Philharmonic and multiple choruses led by Richard Pittman.

 Most exuberantly creative programming: A Far Cry, fall 2012.

 Most worthy retrieval of vanished scores: Leon Kirchner’s “Lily” performed at New England Conservatory’s First Monday series,
curated by Laurence Lesser; Selections by Harry Partch, performed at a Partch festival cohosted by NEC and Northeastern University.