Carnegie Hall: Weil Recital Hall (Nov. 1)
South African soprano Golda Schultz is currently wowing Metropolitan Opera audiences as Clara in Porgy and Bess with her exquisite rendition of “Summertime.” Her Carnegie recital debut will be an occasion; the program centering on Schubert and Strauss, with a touch of Ravel (Shéhérazade), Amy Beach (Three Browning Songs) and John Carter (Cantata). Jonathan Ware accompanies.
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Carnegie Hall: Stern Auditorium (Nov. 15 & 16)
Maestro Riccardo Muti makes one of his cherished Carnegie Hall visits with the Chicago Symphony conducting a Roman-scented program featuring Bizet’s tribute to the city, Roma, Berlioz’s La mort de Cléopâtre, sung by the molto simpatica mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and Respighi’s tone poem, Pines of Rome. The next night, Prokofiev rules; his Symphony No. 3 and selections from his ballet Romeo and Juliet.
WHITE LIGHT FESTIVAL
Lincoln Center (Various Dates and Venues)
Lincoln Center’s annual exploration of the ineffable via the arts this month includes Scottish composer James MacMillan’s new and monumental Stabat Mater choral work; Ensemble Basiani, Georgia’s renowned all-male a cappella chorus, singing sacred works and folk songs from their native tradition; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Choir performing music of the Baroque on period instruments, highlighted by Vivaldi’s Gloria; The Abyssinian Mass, a new piece by the incomparable jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis composed in tribute to the 2013 bicentennial of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church; and conductor Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Anton Bruckner’s transcendent Symphony No. 4.
Le Poisson Rouge (Nov. 4)
One of the world’s great violin artists in an evening of works by living female composers. This would be cool enough, but Midori in this intimate nightclub setting just adds to the frisson. Vivian Fung, Sofia Gubaidulina, Tamar Diesendruck, Olga Neuwirth and Franghiz Ali-Zadeh comprise the composers.
1926 is recaptured in Alban Berg’s totemic Lyric Suite, with soprano Tony Arnold and the Schumann Quartet, which also will perform Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor and Grieg’s Quartet in G minor.
1891 is revisited via Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, the composer’s epitaph for himself and his own dying era, with clarinetist David Shifrin featured. Schubert’s commensurately autumnal Fantasie in F Minor for Piano, Four Hands will also be performed, alongside Schumann’s Dichterliebe for Voice and Piano, sung by the exceptional young American tenor Paul Appleby.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC: SALONEN, HINDEMITH & BACH / BRYCE DESSNER
David Geffen Hall (Salonen: Nov. 6, 8, 9 &12) / (Dessner: Nov. 14, 15 & 16)
Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to guest conduct an evening of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony, derived from his rarely performed opera, and Ragtime (Well-Tempered), Hindemith’s take-off on J.S. Bach, in a New York premiere for the piece. As a counterpoint, two actual Bach Chorale Preludes will also be performed, as orchestrated by Hindemith’s contemporary, Arnold Schoenberg. Finally, Salonen’s own composition Gemini will receive its New York premiere.
Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali then leads the Philharmonic in an unusual program encompassing Sibelius’s very Finnish First Symphony and the New York premiere of Wires, by guitarist Bryce Dessner of the Grammy Award-winning band The National, with Dessner as soloist. Tchaikovsky’s Rome and Juliet Overture-Fantasy leavens the proceedings.
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA: AKHNATEN
(Nov. 8, 12, 15, 19, 23 & 30)
The big news is the premiere of Philip Glass’s Pharaonic Akhnaten in a new production directed by Phelim McDermott, starring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in the title role and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in her Met debut as Nefertiti. Karen Kamensek makes her Met debut as conductor.
NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG: BLITZSTEIN & WEILL
Merkin Hall (Nov. 19)
A program of pointedly political music theater by two masters: Marc Blitzstein’s No for an Answer and Kurt Weill’s Der Silbersee performed in concert suites, with NYFOS Artistic Directors Steven Blier and Michael Barrett at the piano accompanying soprano Sari Gruber, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Jo Loeb, tenor Alex Mansoori and baritone John Brancy. Timeless music for our very tough times.