Autumn's classical events

Adès time
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 19, 2012

fall classical

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA | The Boston Symphony Orchestra still has no music director, and has suffered for that absence. This season still has no over-arching concept, but has some extremely promising events, starting with a repeat of the very successful concert version of Porgy and Bess that Bramwell Tovey led at Tanglewood in 2011. Alfred Walker as Porgy, Marquita Lister as Serena (singing “My Man’s Gone Now”), and others will be back (September 27-29). Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski (a possible James Levine replacement?) makes his BSO debut leading Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with German violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the Shostakovich Symphony No. 4 (October 11-13). Led by Charles Dutoit, with strong casts, the BSO offers two literally magical operas, a double bill of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges (October 25-27). British composer Thomas Adès returns after his exciting debut conducting sections of his brilliant opera based on The Tempest (to be telecast live from the Met in HD, November 10). He’ll play more of his own music and Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, both with Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein, and Sibelius’s Luonnotar, with soprano Dawn Upshaw, and Symphony No. 6 (November 15-17). | All at Symphony Hall | bso.org

RICHARD PITTMAN AND BOSTON MUSICA VIVA | September 28 | In “Breakthroughs,” BMV features John Harbison’s sensuous and witty song cycle Mirabai Songs, with mezzo-soprano Krista River as the 16th-century Indian mystic, plus works by Andy Vores and Peter Lieberson. | Tsai Performance Center | bmv.org

HANDEL AND HAYDEN SOCIETY | October 12 and 14 | Music director Harry Christophers leads H&H in a batch of Bach, including the magnificent Magnificat. | Symphony Hall | handelandhaydn.org

CELEBRITY SERIES CHAMBER MUSIC | October 24 and November 16 | The Pacifica Quartet and clarinetist Anthony McGill (who played for President Obama’s inauguration) offer Mozart’s sublime Clarinet Quintet, Beethoven, and a commission by Keeril Makan (Pickman Hall, October 24). And marvelous pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin joins the Takacs String Quartet for an evening of Haydn, Schubert, and the Shostakovich Quintet (Jordan Hall, November 16) | celebrityseries.org

BOSTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA | October 25, 27, 28, and November 25 | Benjamin Zander leads the BPO in the lush Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 2, with Stefan Jackiw, and Strauss’s Don Quixote, with BPO principal cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer (October 25, 27, 28). Zander also inaugurates his Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, featuring Alisa Weilerstein in the Elgar Cello Concerto (November 25). | Jordan Hall and Sanders Theatre [BPO] | Symphony Hall [BPYO] | bostonphil.org

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA | November 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 | The only full-scale opera production this season is BLO’s third production in a dozen years of Puccini’s tunefully sentimental Madama Butterfly. Soprano Yunah Lee is poor Butterfly, Andrew Bisantz conducts. | Shubert Theatre | blo.org

CALLITHUMPIAN CONSORT | November 1 | In the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Avant Gardner series, Stephen Drury’s adventurous Callithumpian Consort continues its tribute to John Cage with music by Cage, Morton Feldman, and Luigi Nono. | Gardner Museum | gardnermuseum.org

CANTATA SINGERS | November 9 | The exploratory Cantata Singers under David Hoose have two Bach cantatas bracketing works by Frank Martin and the 18th-century Bohemian composer Jan Dismas Zelenka. | Jordan Hall | cantatasingers.org

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