10 classical music concerts not to be missed

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BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Music Director Andris Nelsons is leading six weeks of programming this fall. Among the highlights: the season opens with pianist Awadagin Pratt in Bach’s Piano Concerto in A and Jessie Montgomery’s “Rounds” (September 22 and 23); Nelsons and the BSO’s grand tour of Shostakovich’s symphonies continues as the Tanglewood Festival Choir joins the composer’s Symphony No. 3, in a program that also includes Bernstein’s ‘Chichester Psalms’ and the world premiere of “Starling Variations” by Elizabeth Ogonek (Oct. 6-8); the orchestra knocks down the hammer with Mahler’s Sixth Symphony (Oct. 20-22) Colombian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada also makes his BSO debut, accompanied by his perennial favorite soloist Emanuel Ax. (Oct. 13-15) Begins September 22. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200, www.bso.org

HANDEL AND THE HAYDN COMPANY H+H’s two fall concerts feature many aspects of the period ensemble: the first, led by conductor Jonathan Cohen, features the H+H Orchestra and Choir in several cantatas by Bach and Buxtehude (7 and 9 Oct.), and the second presents the company’s first complete performance of Mozart’s comedy of errors “The Marriage of Figaro”, conducted by Raphaël Pichon with soprano Ying Fang as the ingenious Susanna (Nov. 17 and 18). Symphony hall. 617-266-3605, www.handelandhaydn.org

BAROQUE BOSTON The period instrument orchestra kicks off its 50th anniversary season with Bach’s Mass in B Minor, featuring a star-studded lineup of soloists including soprano Amanda Forsythe, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford and tenor Nicholas Phan. October 15, GBH Calderwood Studio; October 16, Jordan Hall. 617-987-8600, www.baroque.boston

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA Director Yuval Sharon’s upside-down bohemian comes to town: In the Detroit Opera conductor’s reimagining of Puccini’s seemingly immortal centerpiece, the acts unfold in reverse order, giving one of the most famous tragedies of the world of opera a happy ending. Sept. 23-Oct. 2, Emerson Colonial Theatre. www.blo.org

BOSTON CELEBRITY SERIES The ever-prolific presenting organization offers an abundance of online and in-person events. The list of fall classics includes: Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Symphony Hall (October 23), Kirill Petrenko conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker, also at Symphony Hall (November 13); a free duo concert by harpist Charles Overton and Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Lucia Lin (November 4 and 6); a solo recital by Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson (November 29) and a new dance work that unites choreographer Kyle Abraham and steely electronic music producer Jlin in a reimagining of Mozart’s “Requiem” (November 18 and 19). Various places. www.celebrityseries.org

BOSTON PHILHARMONIC The two orchestras under the aegis of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra visit Symphony Hall several times this fall: the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra brings in pianist Jonathan Biss for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, paired with the Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninoff (October 19) and cellist Hayoung Choi features in Dvořák’s Cello Concerto before Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 (November 12). The youth orchestra takes its turn the following weekend with a program by Strauss and Beethoven (Nov. 20). Conductor Benjamin Zander conducts all concerts. Symphony hall. www.bostonphil.org

ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM The Gardner Museum’s Weekend Concert Series, curated by George Steel, promises several satisfying Sunday afternoons this fall. Among them: a recital with American-Jamaican violist Jordan Bak and a handful of collaborators (Oct. 2); the world premiere of composer Carlos Simon’s “Requiem for the Enslaved” (October 9); a complete tour of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” by harpsichordist Jean Rondeau (Oct. 30); and a visit from England’s Orlando Consort, on their farewell tour after 35 years of performing (November 20). Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. www.gardnermuseum.org

A FAR CRY The self-directed chamber orchestra’s fall concerts promise musical experiences you won’t get anywhere else: Opening ‘Homeland’ features Syrian clarinetist/composer Kinan Azmeh and Sri Lankan pianist/composer Dinuk Wijeratne performing their own music alongside the orchestra (Sept. 16 & 17); ‘Cactus’ features desert-inspired chamber music by composers ranging from Morricone and Revueltas to Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (October 22 and 23); then, soprano Estelí Gomez takes the stage with the orchestra in “México Lindo Y Querido,” a celebration of Mexican music and culture spanning centuries. (18 Nov) Various places. www.afarcry.org

BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL The BEMF hosts a celebration of baroque opera by countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and his Ensemble Artaserse (28 Oct.), as well as a program of Monteverdi by the Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, conducted by Lionel Meunier (4 Nov. .) before taking the stage at Jordan Hall itself for its usual Thanksgiving chamber opera, this time a double bill of French Baroque idylls written for Louis XIV (November 26 and 27). Jordan room. www.bemf.org

AND THEN SOME There is no shortage of intriguing concerts and concepts. Here are a few more: Odyssey Opera presents the US premiere of three Rachmaninoff operas at Jordan Hall (September 25) and teams up with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project for John Corigliano’s “The Lord of Cries” in concert (November 19); still at Jordan Hall, newly appointed New England Philharmonic Music Director Tianhui Ng kicks off the orchestra’s 46th season with premieres in Boston and New England (Oct. 30); cellist Leo Eguchi explores American identity with new solo cello works by immigrant and first-generation American composers at the Pao Center (October 22); and the Lexington Symphony presents the world premiere of The Roots keyboardist Ray Angry’s “BLACK ATHENA~POWER” (November 19).


AZ Madonna can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten.

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