Rochester Classical Radar 2013 (Part 1?)

Cinema Paradiso was the last movie screened at the George Eastman House’s Dryden  Theater for two long months while they upgrade the theater (what do you think of that director’s cut?)

What to do now to avoid the dishes? The opportunity to see rare and classic films in a theater has been a real treat since I moved here, and some nights I was even lured me away from a few classical concerts.

Now, I’ll just have more time for music. If I get to even half of what I’ve written in to my calendar for the next few months, it will be pretty good.  Here are some of the things that I’m looking forward to the first two months of 2013:


January 29: Brooklyn Rider: Standard classics. New compositions and 20th century treats. Persian music too. Great playing. I’ve been in love since I saw this quartet in NYC a few years ago. One of my favorite groups to introduce to friends (many of whom continue to thank me years later). I give their albums as Christmas presents. Here’s a little preview from NPR’s Tiny Desk. Run, don’t walk. 

January 30: Dinosaur Annex: Another new music group, this time from Boston. Program includes a work by Eastman composer Riccardo Zohn-Muldoon.  Sounds intriguing! 

February 11: Musica Nova – TBA is the word so far, but I’m game.

February 18: Ossia

An Eastman group dedicated to music by living and recent composers – here’s the program for this concert:

  • Andy Akiho - LIgNEouS 1
  • George Crumb - Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death
  • Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon - Candelabra III
  • Mark Anthony Turnage - Release

February 19: Alarm Will Sound: Description from the ensemble’s website:Just over forty years ago, the Beatles and composer Karlheinz Stockhausen arranged to meet in New York City to plan a joint concert. No such performance would ever take place. But its tantalizing promise is the departure point for Alarm Will Sound's 1969. Told through their own words, music, and images, 1969 is the story of great musicians—John Lennon, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Paul McCartney, Luciano Berio, Yoko Ono, and Leonard Bernstein—striving for a new music and a new world amidst the turmoil of the late 1960s.”



Most of the opera I’m seeing these days is at the movies; most of it Live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera. There’s also a new series starting at the Little Theater, where I’m most excited to a) Cry a bunch at La Boheme, hopefully with a few rows of people who are new to opera b) Maybe get to know some more ballet c) Finally see the classic double feature Cav/Pag for the first time.

The Opera/Ballet Series at the Little Theater:

January 27/29: La Boheme

February 17/19: La Bayadere (ballet by Ludwig Minkus)


The Metrpolitan Opera Live in HD

January 5: Berlioz’s Les Troyens FIVE HOURS. PLUS. Starts at noon. CAN YOU HANDLE IT? There are good long intermissions. Supposedly this opera not as crazily unsuited to the stage as previous thought (see the article in Opera News on that front).

January 19: Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda – history! tragedy! bel canto! The New York Times calls it “musically splendid and intensely dramatic” 

February 16: Verdi’s Rigoletto – Hey, this is his year. So you should go hear some Verdi. The new production looks sorta stylish, and  catch the classic song about a fickle lady:


There are some opportunities to see actual live opera, not just in movie theaters. Eastman Opera Theater is putting on Handel’s Orlando Jan 31-Feb 3 and Nazareth College has a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel January 24-26.  One great way to keep up with all things opera in Rochester is to follow “Opera Fans Rochester” on Facebook.



Too many to count. These are a few I’ve written into my planner:

January 27: Antara Winds @ the Memorial Art Gallery (Society for Chamber Music in Rochester) 

Ying Quartet  -- In concert on February 3, on WXXI’s Backstage Pass on January 25th.

February 3: Rochester Academy of Medicine Salon Concert 

March 3: Pacifica Quartet visits from Illinois to play at Eastman.

Eastman Faculty Recitals – A nice lineup, all nicely listed online here.  

Pianomania – two guest pianists caught my eye: Kirill Gerstein on February 12 and Jeremy Denk on March 19th


While there are still questions and issues to be resolved for the RPO for this season and beyond, I'm still looking forward to some great concerts - especially these two: 

January 24/26: Mozart and More -- "And more" includes a trombone concerto!

February 7/9: Rhapsody in Blue - the Gershwin favorite is on a program with a favorite of mine (Hindemith's Mathis der Maler), William Grant Still's "Afro-American" Symphony, and a new work by Eastman's Douglas Lowry. 

The Eastman Wind Ensemble will be celebrating its 60th anniversary the week of February 6th, with concerts, guest artists, and a new recording.

And while there’s always plenty of great choir concerts around this town, this choir sampler the afternoon of February 10th at Eastman caught my attention.


Okay, that’s enough for now. What’s on your books for the new year?