May 16, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Winter Classical-Music Preview | The New Yorker

2 min read

After last year’s season of deprivation, classical presenters are rebounding with a feast of winter events that provide familiar comforts and some surprising delights.

The Metropolitan Opera undertakes its second twenty-first-century opera in as many months, Matthew Aucoin’s “Eurydice” (Nov. 23-Dec. 16). Then it pivots to a time-tested holiday game plan, condensing Laurent Pelly’s dreamy production of Massenet’s “Cendrillon” into an English-language, family-friendly attraction (Dec. 17-Jan. 3) before unveiling Bartlett Sher’s Art Deco-inspired take on “Rigoletto” on New Year’s Eve.

The New York Philharmonic’s annual “Holiday Brass” concert returns, in all its refulgence, to Alice Tully Hall (Dec. 16-18). The Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra each bring their own COVID-friendly abridgment of Handel’s eternal oratorio “Messiah” to Carnegie Hall (Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, respectively).

At the 92nd Street Y, Jeremy Denk, whose memoir, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” comes out in February, plays Book I of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” (Dec. 4), and the violinist Randall Goosby plays Florence Price (Dec. 9). In Morningside Heights, Miller Theatre resumes in-person activities with a “Composer Portraits” concert of Kati Agócs’s work (Dec. 9), and the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Divine hosts free events by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Nov. 19) and the American Symphony Orchestra (Dec. 16).

The Prototype Festival, marking ten years of vital contemporary opera and music theatre, rushes into the classical calendar’s post-holiday vacuum with a barrage of premières (Jan. 7-16). The drag artist and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Taylor Mac portrays Socrates in “The Hang,” a queer reimagining of the philosopher’s final hours, and the hip-hop-jazz band Soul Inscribed recounts the history of marijuana in “Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville.”

A steady stream of stars, including Igor Levit (Jan. 13), Maxim Vengerov (Jan. 20), and Renée Fleming (Jan. 23), pass through Carnegie Hall’s gilded proscenium, and the painterly pianist Víkingur Ólafsson makes his anticipated début in Zankel Hall (Feb. 22). The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center gives the New York City premières of Marc Neikrug’s chamber opera “A Song by Mahler” (Feb. 17) and Anna Clyne’s string quartet “Breathing Statues” (March 24). Death of Classical, which has one concert series in a crypt and another in a catacomb, unearths a third subterranean space, below St. George’s Episcopal Church, for “The Cave Sessions,” inaugurated by the violinist Jennifer Koh (Feb. 8-28). ♦

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/11/15/winter-2021-classical-music-preview

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