Halloween has come and gone, leaving its remnants of un-dead pumpkins. The fall rains are coming and Thanksgiving is looming. It’s November in Seattle and if you’re a lover of “classical” music, there is no shortage of things to tempt your ears this month.
Friday Nov. 4th at 7:30PM, LUCO – the Lake Union Civic Orchestra – performs Mahler’s 5th Symphony at Meaney Hall on the University of Washington campus. LUCO is a marvelous group. I say that not (just) because so many of my friends play in the orchestra, but because their music director, Christophe Chagnard, has demanded and gotten a high standard of performance. They take on tough music and play it well. You can expect their Mahler to exciting and expressive.
On Sunday the 6th at 2:00PM, the Thalia Symphony Orchestra plays Town Hall. Thalia is one of the oldest of Seattle’s many community orchestras. Now in a strong building phase, the orchestra has made great strides under Stephen Radcliffe, now in his second year as music director. The Nov. 6th concert features a Native American theme, including the Seattle premier of “He-dog – the Oglala” by area composer Patrick Stoyanovich, and the much loved 9th Symphony “From the New World” by Dvorak. Oh! – and, this is the orchestra I play in. Come see us if you can.
On the 20th at 2:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Philharmonia Northwest presents their second concert of the year. Philharmonia is Seattle’s only permanent chamber orchestra, and fills a unique niche in our musical community. Under their new conductor, Julia Tai, the orchestra will be presenting an exciting program that includes the beautiful Clarinet Concerto by British composer Gerald Finzi. The soloist is the long-time Seattle Symphony member Laura DeLuca, and the program also includes the Third Symphony “The Camp Meeting” by Charles Ives.
On the professional side, Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at 8 pm at the Chapel Performance Space of the Good Shepherd Center, Seattle Chamber Players presents a program based on Marriage at the Eiffel Tower by Jean Cocteau. This work has inspired a number of musical scores – the first by five members of Les six. This performance, for flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, double bass, piano and percussion, features two reinterpretations, one by Lou Harrison and the other a collaboration by Henry Cowell, John Cage, and George McKay.
Saturday Nov. 5th at 8:00, Town Hall hosts a performance by the Seattle Baroque Soloists called “Music from the City of Light: Paris at the Age of Enlightenment.” The Seattle Baroque Soloists are five principal players from the Seattle Baroque Orchestra: music directors Ingrid Matthews and Byron Schenkman, as well as violinist Tekla Cunningham, cellist Nathan Whittaker, and lutenist John Lenti. SBO has earned a well-deserved reputation for exciting early music performances.
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra has some outstanding performances coming up this month. On Nov. 10, 12 and 13 guest conductor Robert Spano leads the orchestra in a concert that features Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 and pianist Kirill Gerstien playing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Then on Nov. 17 and 19 Oliver Knussen is the guest conductor in a program that includes his own Violin Concerto, played by the phenomenal Leila Josefowicz.
These are only some of the concert performances we’ll have available this month, but one more must be mentioned, because it will probably mark the beginning of a tradition. On Sunday the 27th Seattle’s “Classical Rock Star” cellist Joshua Roman will be performing the complete Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites at Town Hall. The performance will be in two concerts at 4:00 and 7:30PM with a dinner break between. If you have not had a chance to hear Josh in concert, well all I can say is, your life is incomplete.
So – get out and see some live music this month. It will warm your soul like a double latte.