American Modern Opera Company visits Williamstown in August.
American Modern Opera Company visits Williamstown in August.
Lili Holzer-Glier


Critic’s picks: From Bach to ‘The Barber of Seville,’ 10 can’t-miss classical events

ANTENNA CLOUD FARM Now in its second season, this hilltop former dairy farm in Gill presents diverse, genre-blurring programs. Before each concert, the artists spend a week at the farm on retreat and visit a local school, prison, or community space for an interactive show. Classical aficionados will be particularly interested in performances by the ascending Aizuri Quartet, Metropolitan Opera alumnus tenor Irwin Reese and pianist Julia Bady, and the adventurous duo of flutist Alex Sopp and pianist Michael Mizrahi. June 8-Sept. 29, Gill.

ASTON MAGNA MUSIC FESTIVAL The nation’s longest running summer early music festival returns for its 46th season. This year’s offerings include an orchestrated Art of Fugue, period-instrument Beethoven, and a heady evening with soprano Dominique Labelle. Catch concerts in the Slosberg Music Center at Brandeis University in Waltham or at various venues in western Massachusetts or upstate New York. June 14-July 21. 888-492-1283,

Related Links

SICPP Pronounce it “Sick Puppy.” The Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice brings a week of adventurous new music to New England Conservatory. Among other things, on June 19, Callithumpian Consort presents Karlheinz Stockhausen’s rare musical-theatrical happening “Originale,” and the marathon “Iditarod” concert begins in the afternoon on June 23 and probably winds up in the wee hours. All SICPP concerts at New England Conservatory are free. June 15-23, New England Conservatory.


BACH VIRTUOSI FESTIVAL Portland is a destination for all things Bach and Baroque in June. Cantatas, concertos, and cello suites featuring some of the country’s finest early-music makers can be heard in venues such as St. Luke’s Cathedral and the Etz Chaim Synagogue. Free master classes will be held at Portland Conservatory. June 17-24, Portland, Maine.

TIMES TWO Contemporary music series Times Two offers a quirky show featuring local percussion/clarinet duo Transient Canvas and Kansas-based percussion/cello duo New Morse Code. Transient Canvas presents a set of commissions from local composers, and New Morse Code delivers the Boston premiere of Robert Honstein’s playful “Down Down Baby.” June 30, The Record Co.

MARLBORO MUSIC FESTIVAL This mountaintop music retreat serves as home to a cohort of intelligent interpreters of chamber music each summer. The public glimpses that world in weekend chamber concerts, with programs and personnel, determined just days in advance. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida returns as artistic director, and Shulamit Ran is this year’s composer in residence. July 14-Aug. 12, Marlboro, Vt. 215-569-4690,

BOSTON LANDMARKS ORCHESTRA It’s summer, so it’s time for music on the Esplanade! Community collaboration is at the core of Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s season. Many Landmarks concerts feature performers from other local organizations such as ZUMIX, Boston String Academy, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. The One City Choir will assemble again for Verdi’s epic Requiem. Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Mercury Orchestra, and the Longwood Symphony Orchestra will also hold Hatch Shell concerts. The regular season starts July 18; one week prior, bring the family out for a musical playground at the “Season Tune-Up.” It’s all free. Bring a lawn chair. July 18-Aug. 29.

BOSTON MIDSUMMER OPERA This year’s production of “The Barber of Seville” features Frankfurt Opera’s Theo Lebow as Count Almaviva, Caramoor veteran Alisa Jordheim as Rosina, and Boston Lyric Opera favorite David Cushing as Don Basilio. At Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. July 25, 27, 29.


CAPE COD CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL Feel like hitting the concert hall and the beach on the same day? The Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival brings rising artists and established names to the Cape. Of note: The Harlem Quartet brings an intriguing program Aug. 8, and artistic directors Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu team up with the Parker String Quartet for the final two concerts. Aug. 1-24, various venues, Cape Cod. 508-247-9400,

AMERICAN MODERN OPERA COMPANY Head up to the Clark Art Institute for mini-concerts from the musicians of this creative incubator, held in various spaces around the museum’s spacious campus. The Fernandez Terrace hosts a preview of new work “With Care,” and Thomas Schütte’s “Crystal” installation will resound with violin duets. Aug. 26, Williamstown.