Yo-Yo Ma, ‘Threepenny Opera,’ and period-instrument Bach

JACK Quartet will perform the music of Australian composer Liza Lim, who is in residency at Boston University, during its  Feb. 20 show.
JACK Quartet will perform the music of Australian composer Liza Lim, who is in residency at Boston University, during its Feb. 20 show.(Shervin Lainez)

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Symphony Hall has no shortage of impressive programs in the coming months. The Big One, of course, is Act II of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde,” with the astounding but notoriously cancel-prone tenor Jonas Kaufmann making his role debut as Tristan. Also coming up: February’s Leipzig Week events, including a Boston Symphony Chamber Players/Gewandhaus-Quartett collaboration concert, as well as Kirill Gerstein, Thomas Adès, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Bach’s Concerto for Three Pianos in D minor; there will also be two weeks of Leonard Bernstein symphonies in March. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

CANTATA SINGERS CHAMBER SERIES This series sounds off with repertoire from less frequently heard geographical areas. A Feb. 2 concert focuses on music for solo treble singers from South America and Spain, and an April 6 concert celebrates the music of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in recognition of those countries’ centennials. American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge. 617-868-5885,


BLUE HERON Blue Heron continues two long-term projects this spring. Last year saw the Scott Metcalfe-helmed ensemble’s release of the fifth album in a series of music from the Peterhouse partbooks, and a February concert presents still more music from the same rich repertoire. In March, Blue Heron takes the next step in a traversal of Ockeghem’s works in commemoration of the composer’s 600th anniversary, performing his “Missa fors seulement.” Feb. 3, March 3. First Church in Cambridge. 617-960-7956,

LIZA LIM RESIDENCY Australian composer Liza Lim’s curious, organic music has a big local moment this February during her residency at Boston University. Ludovico Ensemble’s Feb. 16 Brookline concert includes “Spirit Weapons” and “Inguz” as well as a new work by Marti Epstein. Following that, Sound Icon holds a free portrait concert on Feb. 18, and the redoubtable JACK Quartet includes her music on its free Feb. 20 program. Various locations.


HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY Period-instrument Bach is on offer this spring from the Handel and Haydn Society. In February, concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky and associate conductor/keyboardist Ian Watson co-direct conductorless performances of all six Brandenburg concertos at Sanders Theatre and Jordan Hall, and in March, artistic director Harry Christophers leads Bach’s Mass in B minor at Symphony Hall with an array of H&H’s finest soloists. In April, Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen” finally comes to Boston after outings in Tanglewood and Rockport. 617-266-3605,

ODYSSEY OPERA Continuing this season’s Joan of Arc arc, Arthur Honegger’s haunting, mystical oratorio “Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher” flares up at Sanders Theatre. An assembly of saints narrates the final moments in the life of the young martyr in chromatically intense brushstrokes of sound. Feb. 17, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge.

AX/MA/KAVAKOS PLAY BRAHMS Three eminent soloists — pianist Emanuel Ax, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist Leonidas Kavakos — join forces for a concert devoted to Brahms’s complete piano trios at Symphony Hall, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston. Feb. 21, Symphony Hall. 617-482-6661,

MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD In “Many Happy Returns,” the period instrument chamber ensemble explores melodic mutations built on top of hearty repeating basslines in works by Couperin, Telemann, Purcell, and more. Boston Early Music Festival fixture soprano Teresa Wakim appears as soloist. March 10, Old South Church. 781-466-6694,

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA: THE THREEPENNY OPERA Boston Lyric Opera presents Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s gritty Weimar socialist comedy. Grammy-winning baritone Daniel Belcher makes his BLO debut as the Street Singer and Tiger Brown, and BLO fans will remember soprano Kelly Kaduce (Polly Peachum) from her earthy Mimi in 2015’s “La Bohème.” March 16-25, Huntington Avenue Theatre. 617-542-6772,


BOSTON BAROQUE: FIDELIO Boston Baroque presents its premiere performance of Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” starring two Metropolitan Opera vets: tenor William Burden, last seen locally as Knox in Boston Lyric Opera’s “Burke and Hare,” and Boston Conservatory alumna soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer. April 13 and 15, Jordan Hall. 617-987-8600,

Zoë Madonna can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten. Madonna’s work is supported by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.