This Season’s a Classic


Autumn is the season for classical music lovers in New England. Giving way to fanfare and season openers, the 2018-19 season offers many opportunities to hear unique performances of obscure works as well as a healthy serving of familiar favorites.

On Saturday, September 22, The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2017-18 season with Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Philip Glass’s little known “Violin Concerto.” This program features violinist Jennifer Koh and guest conductor Anu Tali. Later this fall are two exciting programs worth noting. On October 20, catch performances of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with piano soloist Aaron Diehl, and Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis.” On November 17, let Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto” with cellist Colin Carr, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” featuring the Providence Singers wash over you. For more:


Also on September 22, Odyssey Opera of Boston performs Charles Gounod’s “La Reine De Saba.” Premiered in Paris in 1862, this work has never been performed in the United States. Odyssey Opera is known for presenting obscure opera in concert format — minus the sets and lighting and with all the music. Performed in French with English supertitles, this concert takes place at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory, one of the region’s finest acoustic venues. For more:

September 22 is a busy day — the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) performs an ambitious program by Adam Schoenberg, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. This is a gala concert commemorating SSO’s 75th anniversary season. On October 20, another SSO concert features the music of Hector Berlioz, John Harbison and Sergei Rachmaninoff. It turns out there’s more to Springfield than the Basketball Hall of Fame. For more:

ENSEMBLE / PARALLAX presents an evening of contemporary music and short experimental films in collaboration with AgX Boston Film Collective on Thursday, September 27 at Tufts University. On Saturday, October 6, the music of Morton Feldman, Luca Francesconi, Iannis Xenakis, Anthony Cornicello and Peyman Farzinpour will be performed at Eastern Connecticut Statue University in Willimantic, Conn. Featuring video art by A-li-ce, Ionee Waterhouse and Roxell Karr, this program repeats on October 7 at Tufts University. For more:

On October 5, 6 & 7, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra opens its season with Bela Bartok’s “Concerto For Orchestra” and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” at the Bushnell Center in Hartford, Conn. For more:

On Friday October 12, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra opens its season with a concert titled “Let There Be Light,” featuring Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 5” and Vivan Fung’s “Harp Concerto” with harpist Bridget Kibbey. This ambitious program is well worth the trip out along route 195. For more:

On October 18, Ken David-Masur leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of music by John Harbison, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev. Little needs to be said about the BSO’s world-class status and commitment to classical excellence. Just one hour from Providence, hearing these incredible pieces performed by this orchestra in one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in the country is well worth the price of a ticket. For more:

On Saturday October 20, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Toshi Shimada, performs Sergei Rachmaninoff’s  “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” with pianist Svetlana Smolina. Also on the program are George Enescu’s “Romanian Rhapsody No. 1” and Maurice Ravel’s “Rhapsodie Espagnole.” Performing at the Garde Arts Center in New London, this group is a cultural gem in the middle of nowhere. For more:

On Friday, October 26, and Sunday, October 28, at Jordan Hall in Boston, Boston Baroque presents Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7” and Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto.” Under the baton of Martin Perlman and featuring baroque clarinet specialist Eric Hoeprich, this promises to be a wonderful performance. For more: