Fly Like a Bumblebee: Classical concerts bloom all spring

It is high time for us to come out of hibernation and take in some classical music, and this spring’s thaw has some excellent choices in store.

Our hometown group the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra has several interesting shows coming up. On March 9, they perform live music to the film Star Wars: A New Hope at the Providence Performing Arts Center. On March 15 and 16 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, they perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto with soloist Jennifer Frautschi. On March 31 is a gala celebration featuring new music director Bramwell Tovey and the music of Tchaikovsky. On April 16 is an evening of opera favorites, and on May 3 and 4 is an all-Russian program featuring Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and the music of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Lots of great classical ear candy to be heard right here in Providence. For more information, visit riphil.com

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra has several notable concerts on their calendar. On March 9, is Salute to Broadway. On March 23, audiences can hear Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and Liszt’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.” On April 27 is Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” and Gustav Mahler’s epic “Symphony No. 2, The Resurrection,” and on May 23 is their season finale featuring Antonin Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 9, From the New World,” inspired by Dvořák’s journey to a young America from his native Czech Republic. For more information visit springfieldsymphony.org

On March 8 at Jordan Hall in Boston, Boston Baroque presents Handel’s final oratorio “Jephtha.” Under the baton of Martin Perlman and featuring vocalists Nicholas Phan, Randall Scotting, Ava Pine, Ann McMahon Quintero, Dashon Burton and Sonja Tengblad, this promises to be a wonderful performance. On April 26 they present Monteverdi’s opera “L’incoronazione di Poppea.” For more information visit bostonbaroque.org

On March 11, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra presents an evening of movie music, and on May 25 closes its season with Samuel Barber’s “Piano Concerto” and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances.” This ambitious program will be worth the trip out along route 195. For more information, visit nbsymphony.org

New music dynamo ENSEMBLE / PARALLAX presents an evening of contemporary music at Tufts University on March 11, featuring the music of Luciano Berio and John McDonald. On May 7 at Berklee College of Music, they perform the music of Per Bloland, Pierre Boulez and director Peyman Farzinpour, and feature video art by Zebbler, Russell Chartier, Maura McDonnell and David Webber. For more information, visit ensembleparallax.com

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has several interesting performances on tap. On March 13, Mozart Meets Klezmer features Mozart’s “Symphony No. 39” and the music of Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. On April 12 is the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams with the Hartford Chrorale, plus Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 2.” On May 3 is Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and Jennifer Higdon’s “Concerto 4-3,” which is a work for bluegrass trio and orchestra. On May 31 is the Beethoven “Triple Concerto” and Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 5.” There are also pops concerts, including a screening of the movie Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban with live orchestra accompaniment. For more information, visit hartfordsymphony.org

On March 23, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Toshi Shimada performs Sergei Rachmaninoff’s  “Symphonic Dances” and Joan Tower’s “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman,” as well as a newly commissioned work titled “SKY Violin Concerto” composed by Michael Torke and featuring soloist Tessa Lark. On April 14, they perform Mozart’s “Requeim in D Minor,” a fabulous piece by all counts. Performing at the Garde Arts Center in New London, this group is a cultural gem in the middle of nowhere. For more information, visit ectsymphony.com

In the month of March alone, the Boston Symphony Orchestra presents music by Dvorak, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Rimsky-Korsakov, Britten, Grofe, Rossini, Elgar, and a world premiere by Thomas Ades (with the composer conducting), and features vocal soloists Renee Fleming, Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Violeta Urmana, Dmytro Popov, Matthew Rose and pianist Kirill Gerstein. Just one hour from Providence, hearing these incredible pieces performed by this orchestra in one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in the USA is well worth the price of a ticket. For more information, visit bso.org

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