Five concerts to love this fall

Ward Stare via Instagram

Fading light?  Falling leaves?   Cold winds?  Bring it!  If you’ve a mind of winter and indoor pleasures, here are five concerts  to look forward to this fall.  

1. September’s RPO season opener

Ward Stare will conduct a concert in Kodak Hall that’s as comforting as a soft, warm afghan. What’s not to love in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony (one of Classical 91.5 FM listeners’ top ten favorites), a dashing overture by Ron Nelson, and Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto, the DNA of Eric Carmen’s 1975 power ballad “All By Myself?”  Thursday September 15th and Saturday, September 17th.   

2. October’s EROI Festival

I admit to being thrilled to my Church Lady toes by the prospect of hearing a brand new hymn.  It could be the next “A Mighty Fortress” or “Sine Nomine!”  Find out when Peter DuBois conducts the world premiere of a newly commissioned hymn, with text by Thomas Troeger and music by Nico Muhly on Wednesday night, October 26th at 8:00 p.m. at the Third Presbyterian Church.  The next night of the EROI (“eee-roy”) festival promises subtle rewards; it’s a program of chant and chant-inspired organ literature at Sacred Heart Cathedral with the inspired Stephen Kennedy leading the Christ Church Schola Cantorum.

3. Eastman Presents: Eastman Philharmonia with Renée Fleming

Those who feel Upstate New York is too culturally isolated need to be reminded that – SQUEEEE! – we’ll hear a world premiere two days before it reaches New York City.  It’s a new composition by Eastman alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Kevin Puts, inspired by letters by Georgia O’Keefe and written specifically for our RenĂ©e and the Eastman Philharmonia. Other works on the program are Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony.  This November 12th concert offers much to squeeee about.

4. The Rochester Early Music Festival

For fifteen straight years, the REMF has dreamed up fresh, creative, and intimate performances featuring Rochester’s best early music specialists in a trance-inducing prism-style concert.  I have no idea what’s on the program for the Festival Gala Concert at St. Anne church on Mount Hope Avenue on Friday, November 18th, but trust that this year will be as innovative as ever. 

5. Eastman Presents: In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music

If you follow mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato on Instagram, you get the impression she’s unshakably ebullient.  But she also has a softer, darker side I witnessed last year at Princeton University when she performed Jack Heggie’s heartbreaking song cycle, Camille Claudel: Into the Fire.  Hear her sing with the orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro in Kodak Hall on Monday, December 12th.