NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC: MAHLER’S 6th SYMPHONY
David Geffen Hall (April 11–13)
The Philharmonic’s new music director, Jaap van Zweden, has said that his career as a conductor began when Leonard Bernstein invited him to lead a rehearsal in Berlin of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, when van Zweden was its youngest-ever concertmaster. Given this seminal Bernstein connection, it will be illuminating to hear van Zweden tackle Mahler’s Sixth -- one of the Mahler symphonies that Bernstein promoted with a recording and performances as the Philharmonic’s music director in the 1960s. Mahler, too, was music director at the Philharmonic for a couple of years in the 1900s. The symmetries are ubiquitous.
THE CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY: GEORGE CRUMB AT 90
Alice Tully Hall (April 14 & 16)
Composer George Crumb and pianist Gilbert Kalish go way back; more than 50 years. The Chamber Music Society has celebrated Crumb with Kalish many times over the years but its upcoming Crumb at 90 mini-festival over two nights represents yet another opportunity, with the clock ticking, to experience Crumb’s singular sonic universe in performance with Kalish, perhaps Crumb’s greatest living champion and interpreter. The music will range from Three Early Songs for Voice and Piano, written in 1947, to a World Premier, KRONOS-KRYPTOS for Percussion Quintet.
“FROM SHTETL TO STAGE” / EVGENY KISSIN & ITZHAK PERLMAN
Carnegie Hall: (From Shtetl to Stage: April 15) / (Kissin & Perlman: April 25)
As part of Carnegie Hall’s extraordinarily wide-ranging Migrations festival, exploring how America’s immigrants and migrants have shaped American culture, From Shtetl to Stage: A Celebration of Yiddish Music and Culture, offers a particularly intriguing mix of artists, including classical pianist Evgeny Kissin, Klezmer clarinet titan David Krakauer and Tony Award-winner Katrina Lenk from Broadway’s The Band’s Visit, among many other performers. Then, in a kind of extension of the immigration conceit to the virtuosic wonders of assimilation, Kissin joins violinist Izhak Perlman for an evening of violin sonatas by Mozart (D Major), Brahms (No. 2 in A Major) and Beethoven (No. 9 in A Major, "Kreutzer").
“ONLY AT MERKIN WITH TERRANCE MCKNIGHT”: ANDRÉ WATTS
Merkin Hall (April 6)
André Watts, a legend of American concert pianism, spends an intimate evening playing Scarlatti, Haydn, Liszt and Chopin, while conversing about his career with WQXR radio personality Terrance McKnight.
LA CLEMENZA DI TITO, DON GIOVANNI & LA TRAVIATA
Metropolitan Opera House
April is a month for Mozart mostly at the Met, with La Clemenza di Tito spotlighting Joyce DiDonato opposite Matthew Polenzani and last year’s Richard Tucker Award-winner, Christian Van Horn; plus Don Giovanni directed by Michael Grandage, starring Peter Mattei as opera’s most unvirtuous seducer. A new production of Verdi’s La Traviata, directed by Michael Mayer, will feature Placido Domingo as Germont in performances April 13-27.
SULLIVAN FORTNER TRIO
The Village Vanguard
A jazz event of classical dimension: New Orleans-born pianist Sullivan Fortner makes his solo debut at The Village Vanguard the week of April 2. Fortner has, of-late, served as Cecile McLorin Salvant’s regular accompanist. She is the finest singer in jazz today and he is fully her peer on piano.