The February 2020 Classical Music Concerts to Attend in NYC

Classic Arts News   The February 2020 Classical Music Concerts to Attend in NYC
 
Recommendations for the best classical and jazz music in New York City.
Susan Graham, Grace Park, and Sally Matthews
Susan Graham, Grace Park, and Sally Matthews

THE MOTHER OF US ALL / NONA HENDRYX & DISCIPLES OF SUN RA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Mother: Feb. 8, 11, 12 & 14) / (Nona Hendryx: Feb. 29)
Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s magnum opera opus about Susan B. Anthony returns in a three-way collaboration between the N.Y. Philharmonic, Juilliard and the museum’s MetLiveArts series, featuring soprano Felicia Moore and conductor Daniela Candillari.

Also, in the MetLiveArts series, a “multi-sensory tribute” to the fabulist jazz visionary Sun Ra, delivered by the fabulous vocalist Nona Hendryx, with Sun Ra-caliber costumes, musical direction by trombonist and Sun Ra alumnus Craig Harris, choreography and more, in the Temple of Dendur, no less.

SUSAN GRAHAM
Alice Tully Hall (Feb. 4)
The beloved American mezzo-soprano returns to the site of her New York recital debut to sing Schumann’s Frauenliebe und-leben song cycle plus a tasty, wide-ranging playlist of pieces by Grieg, Fauré, Mahler, Ravel, Poulenc, Tchaikovsky and more. With Malcolm Martineau at the piano. Part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series.

CAROLYN SHAW
Miller Theatre (Feb. 6)
A rare opportunity to hear a full evening of this Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’s music, here performed by The Attacca Quartet—which just won a Grammy for their all-Shaw album, Orange—Sō Percussion and the composer herself, who remains the youngest-ever Pulitzer awardee. Her work as a composer, violinist and singer is unique. Presented as part of the 20th season of Composer Portraits by Columbia University School of the Arts.

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC: PROJECT 19 HAYDN & MOZART / STRAUSS & BRAHMS / RENÉE FLEMING SINGS BJÖRK
David Geffen Hall (Multiple Dates)
Project 19, a multiyear Philharmonic commissioning initiative for 19 women composers in honor of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, kicks off with its first commissioned work, “Tread softly,” by Nina C. Young, together with Haydn’s radiant Cello Concerto in C Major and Mozart’s “Great” Mass, led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

Project 19 continues with another World Premiere, Tania León’s “Stride,” alongside Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier Suite, and Brahms’ swaggering Violin Concerto performed by Janine Jansen, again conducted by maestro van Zweden.

Finally, an extravagantly enigmatic pairing: “America’s Diva,” Renée Fleming assays the compositions of Iceland’s diva, Björk, with a chaser of Bruckner—his stately Symphony No. 4, two works by the Swedish composer Anders Hillborg, and one further Project 19 commission, Ellen Reid’s “When the World As You’ve Known It Doesn’t Exist.”

ORCHESTRE RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE ET ROMANTIQUE / SALLY MATTHEWS
Carnegie Hall
Stern Auditorium (Orchestre Révolutionnaire: Feb. 18, 19, 20, 21, 23 & 24)
The elite period instrument ensemble Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique reinvigorates the performing practices of Beethoven’s own time in a five-concert residency that will tackle all the warhorses, while touching on many rarities, like Beethoven’s little-known ballet score, The Creatures of Prometheus. Artistic Director Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts and will also lecture illuminatingly.

Weill Recital Hall (Matthews: Feb. 4)
British soprano Sally Matthews is a fixture on the European opera scene but is only now making her presence felt increasingly in the U.S. Her Weil Recital Hall debut, accompanied by pianist Simon Lepper, will display her luminous voice in a Scandinavian-German program that takes deep dives into Sibelius, Grieg, Strauss and a touch of Wagner.

ASPECT CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES:– FRENCH IMPRESSIONS DEBUSSY & CHAUSSON
Bohemian National Hall (Feb. 27)
In this ambitious, more-than-just-music series, now in its fourth season, great musicians make great chamber music and deliver illustrated talks on the composers and their cultural times. This month, The Calidore String Quartet, with violinist Grace Park and pianist Gilles Vonsattel, perform Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, and Debussy’s Violin Sonata in G Minor, while examining the French Impressionist painters who influenced both.


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