family entertainment

Critic’s picks for family-friendly classical music events

The Boston Pops season offers Hollywood film music, with “Fantasia”-themed programs, Pixar concerts, and more.
The Boston Pops season offers Hollywood film music, with “Fantasia”-themed programs, Pixar concerts, and more.


NEW PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA The New Phil performs a narrated orchestral mystery, “The Composer Is Dead,” with music by Nathaniel Stookey and text by Lemony Snicket. Followed by an instrumental petting zoo. April 7, 3 p.m. First Baptist Church, Newton Centre. 617-527-9717,

BOSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS On April 14 in Jordan Hall, Federico Cortese leads the Boston Youth Symphony in music by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Two young concerto competition winners will also perform works by Ravel and Casella. 800-266-1200,


The BCO’s concerts have a relaxed atmosphere and take place in Faneuil Hall, allowing a sense of close-up access to the music. Steven Lipsitt leads music by Haydn and Beethoven on April 13 and 14, but the centerpiece will be baritone Philip Lima singing Mahler songs and Lee Hoiby’s setting of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream.” 617-423-3883, www.bostonclassical

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THE MET: LIVE IN HD The Met’s simulcasts to movie theaters have proved hugely popular with local opera lovers, but they’re also a practical and relatively inexpensive way to introduce the art form. A new production of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare,” the final Met simulcast of the season, comes to participating local cinemas on April 27, with Natalie Dessay and David Daniels heading the cast.

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conductor Marta Zurad and young musicians from the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras are joined by a magician for a family program. Kids under 18 are free. April 27, Noon, with interactive pre-concert activities starting at 10:30 a.m. 617-266-1200,

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA BLO throws a free open house at the Shubert Theatre on May 4 at 11 a.m. with backstage tours, costume shop activities, puppets, and musical performances. 617-542-4912,

FIRST MONDAY at NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORYThis gem of a monthly concert series is not designed for families per se, but all the performances (by NEC faculty and guest artists) are free, making it less daunting to bring everyone along. On May 6 in Jordan Hall, the program features music by Janacek, Copland, and Bee­thoven. 617-585-1260,


BOSTON POPS The Pops season runs from May 8 to June 15 and focuses on Hollywood film music, with “Fantasia”-themed programs and Pixar concerts among many others. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

BOSTON PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA Benjamin Zander leads his recently founded youth orchestra in works by Tchaikovsky and Ravel alongside movements of various concertos, featuring the orchestra members as soloists. May 15. Sanders Theatre. 617-236-0999,

CHAMELON ARTS ENSEMBLE This dependably thoughtful chamber troupe offers a free family concert at the Boston Public Library’s Hyde Park branch. June 1,
2 p.m. 617-427-8200,