10 months of classic concerts not to be missed
DANISH STRING QUARTET Under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, this vigorous ensemble performs the complete cycle of Beethoven’s quartet in six concerts, from February 7 to 18. Other chamber society highlights include the annual animated presentations of Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concertos (December 13, 15 and 17); an exploration of percussion and electronic music through Stockhausen, Saariaho and Thomas Meadowcroft (January 16); a program with jazz flavors by Ravel, Milhaud, Gershwin and Wynton Marsalis (April 19); and music by Anna Clyne, Joan Tower, Sofia Gubaidulina and Conlon Nancarrow (April 30). chamber music society.org.
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN The Weimar Republic, a mini-festival with his former band, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (February 7-16), focuses on Kurt Weill and also includes Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” Symphony – which Mr. Salonen will conduct with the New York Philharmonic in November, alongside his own works. His two weeks in February with the San Francisco Symphony, which he will resume next year, include Britten, Ravel, Nielsen and his own Violin Concerto. esapekkasalonen.com,
“THE MOTHER OF US ALL” An opera more needed than ever, Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s funny and heartbreaking American fantasy about the life of Susan B. Anthony – and the wider possibilities for social change – arrives at Charles Engelhard Court, the doorstep of the American wing of the Metropolitan Art Museum. The production is directed by Louisa Proske, directed by Daniela Candillari and presented by the MetLiveArts series, the New York Philharmonic and the Juilliard School. Opens February 8; nyphil.org.
SPEKTRAL QUARTET This exciting set brings a commission to life: Alex Temple’s surreal and stylistically eclectic suite “Behind the Wallpaper”, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Julia Holter. (At the end of January, Isabel Leonard sings Ms. Temple’s “Liebeslied” with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which also opens a centenary celebration of her Orchestra Hall on Oct. 4 with a recreation of her first gig there.) February 9; spektralquartet.com.
BIG BAND Six pianos, arranged in a mighty circle, come to Peak Performances in Montclair State with works by Kate Moore, Julia Wolfe and Missy Mazzoli, as well as the “Gay Guerrilla” pounding of Julius Eastman. February 14 and 15; picperfs.org.
REVOLUTIONARY AND ROMANTIC ORCHESTRA Under the direction of its founder, John Eliot Gardiner, this dashing ensemble of period instruments has made extraordinary recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies; his performances of the Nine at Carnegie Hall will lift the spirits of even the most jaded watcher of the Master’s birthday. February 19-24, carnegiehall.org.