And speaking of celebrity: superstar tenor PLÁCIDO DOMINGO gives his very first Boston concert as part of a world tour (TD Banknorth Garden, September 28; 617.931.2000).
A roster of distinguished international piano virtuosi also turns up in BOSTON CONSERVATORY’S PIANO MASTERS series (617.912.9222).
David Hoose leads the CANTATA SINGERS in an adventurous season focusing on the works of Kurt Weill that they’ll launch with a special benefit, the first local performance of the Weill/Brecht cantata The Lindbergh Flight, at the Collings Foundation Aviation Museum in Stow (September 23; 617.868.5885). Closer to home, but equally fresh to Boston, is Weill’s Legend of the Dead Soldier, on a bill with Dallapiccola’s Canti di prigionia and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (Jordan Hall, November 9).
This season, Craig Smith and EMMANUEL MUSIC are concentrating on Bach, focusing as always on the cantatas performed during the Sunday service, the setting they were intended for. The concert season kicks off with a special benefit devoted to Bach’s mysterious Der Kunst der Fuge (“The Art of the Fugue”), with 14 stellar pianists each performing a different fugue (Emmanuel Church, October 10; 617.536.3356).
Richard Pittman and his BOSTON MUSICA VIVA are offering a tribute to Elliott Carter that’ll include two of his later masterpieces (one being the beautiful Tempo e Tempi, with soprano Elizabeth Keusch) and a bouquet of pieces written in Carter’s honor (Tsai Center, November 9; 617.354.6910). Earlier, BMV has scheduled a program with a new piece by Gunther Schuller and a Hindemith song cycle with mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal (Tsai Center, October 5).
COLLAGE NEW MUSIC — David Hoose again — is devoting its season to the music of the late Luciano Berio. The first concert features pianists Christopher Oldfather and Donald Berman (Longy School, October 29; 617.325.5200). Other outstanding new-music groups include Scott Wheeler’s DINOSAUR ANNEX (617.482.3852), Theodore Antoniou’s ALEA III (617.353.3340), COMPOSERS IN RED SNEAKERS (617.876.9101), and Gil Rose’s BOSTON MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT (617.363.0396).
At the ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM, the Borromeo String Quartet continues its Shostakovich cycle (November 18; 617.278.5156); violinist Miriam Fried and pianist Jonathan Biss (mother and son) play all the Bartók and Brahms sonatas (September 23, 30); and the Claremont Quartet begins a Schumann and Brahms Trio series (October 21). Our superlative chamber groups include oboist Peggy Pearson’s WINSOR MUSIC (781.863.2861), the LYDIAN STRING QUARTET at Brandeis University (781.736.3400), TRIPLE HELIX at Wellesley College (781.283.2176), the MUSEUM TRIO (617.369.3300), and the BOSTON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY (617.349.0086).
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA keeps to familiar territory, opening with Puccini’s La bohème, with a cast and conductor new to Boston and a director new to me (Shubert Theatre, November 2-13; 617.542.6772). OPERA BOSTON, on the other hand, has Dawn Upshaw re-creating the role composed for her in the Boston premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s opera about Federico García Lorca, Ainadamar (Cutler Majestic Theatre, October 19-23; 617.451.3388). Great Handel (Semele) and rare early Verdi (Ernani) are on the OB roster for 2008. The international touring company you love for being traditional, TEATRO LIRICO D’EUROPA, returns with its terrific production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Majestic Theatre, October 25-26; 800.233.3123).
Martin Pearlman’s period-instrument BOSTON BAROQUE brings us Mozart’s unsettling and sublime Cosí fan tutte (Jordan Hall, October 12-13; 617.484.9200). Early-music superstar gambist Jordi Savall and his Le Concert des Nations highlight a compelling BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL season (Emmanuel Church, October 27; 617.661.1812).