Classical Music: 2017 Season Finale and a World Première

The month of May marks the end of the season for many classical ensembles in New England. The warmer weather isn’t the only reason to go out: There are many exciting performances to look forward to in the next few weeks. Here’s what’s brewing for May.

The Providence Singers present their season finale on May 13-14, “Music of Scandinavia and the Baltics” includes compositions by Ēriks Ešenvalds, Edvard Grieg, Leevi Madetoja, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, and Jean Sibelius. The concert features six works by Ola Gjeilo, including the world première of “Westminster Bridge,” a work for chorus, piano and string quartet commissioned by the Providence Singers through its Wachner Fund for New Music. The singers are joined by Rhode Island’s own Aurea Ensemble for this performance. For more information, visit

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra presents its season finale on May 5-6, featuring soprano Susan Lorette Dunn and the music of Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, and lesser known French composer Joseph Canteloube. 2017 marks the end of Larry Rachleff’s 21-year tenure as music director. Be sure to catch a show before he leaves town forever! Tickets and more information available at

The Providence Gay Men’s Chorus presents its season finale on June 2, 3 and 4 at the Greenwich Odeum, under the musical direction of Kim Kuda. A 2017 winner of a Motif Music Award, PGMC promises to deliver an outstanding performance of music from the “Rat Pack” era, including modern classics “Fugue for Tinhorns,” “The Girl from Ipanema,” “Gonna Build a Mountain,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “Mambo Italiano,” and “Three Coins in the Fountain.” For more information, visit

ENSEMBLE/PARALLAX, a new cutting-edge contemporary group in Providence, presents the final concert of its second season on May 14 at 7pm at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School in East Providence. Led by artistic director and conductor Peyman Farzinpour, this concert features music by French composers Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, as well as compositions by Farzinpour and Gregory Glancey, and video art by Boston-based video artist Jessica Richmond. This concert is free with a suggested donation, and will include a pre- and post-concert reception. For more information, visit

The Chorus of Westerly performs Bach’s “Mass in B-Minor” (BWV 232) on May 21 at George Kent Performance Hall in Westerly, RI. For more information visit

Odyssey Opera of Boston presents Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Patience; or, Bunthorne’s Bride” on June 2-3. For more information on this outfit and their programming, visit

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andris Nelsons, presents its final concert of 2016-2017 at Symphony Hall on May 4, 5 and 6. Featuring music of Shostakovich (“Suite from the incidental music to King Lear”), Rachmaninoff (“Piano Concerto No. 4”) and Mahler (“Symphony No. 4”), and featuring pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and soprano Kristine Opolais, this will be a concert not to miss. For more information visit

On May 10-12, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra presents an all-Russian program featuring music by Tchaikovsky, Borodin, and Glazunov. For more information visit

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