Pulse.ng logo
Go

New York Times 15 classical music festivals to see this summer

From Bernstein centennials at Tanglewood to Mahler in the desert, concerts across the country you don’t want to miss this season:

  • Published:
15 classical music festivals to see this summer play

15 classical music festivals to see this summer

(Time Out)

Opera Theater of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MAY 19-JUNE 24

Four ideally balanced productions make up this summer’s program. There’s a “La Traviata,” which represents the directing debut of soprano Patricia Racette. There’s a slight rarity, not that it should be, in the form of Gluck’s “Orfeo and Euridice,” starring Jennifer Johnson Cano. There’s an overlooked American piece dating from 1949, Marc Blitzstein’s “Regina,” which features Susan Graham in the title role. And there’s a premiere, “An American Soldier,” with music by Huang Ruo and a libretto by David Henry Hwang. opera-stl.org

Spoleto Festival

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, MAY 25-JUNE 10

The Westminster Choir is in residence again in Charleston, as it has been since 1977, but opera remains at the heart of this festival’s classical offerings, with three productions this year. Most notable among them is the American premiere of Liza Lim’s “Tree of Codes,” inspired by the book by Jonathan Safran Foer and directed by Ong Keng Sen. There are also Cimarosa’s “Il Matrimonio Segreto” and Donizetti’s “Pia de’ Tolomei,” having its first U.S. performance a mere 181 years after its debut in Venice. spoletousa.org

Ravinia Festival

CHICAGO, JUNE 1-SEPT. 16

The warm-weather retreat of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra sees that esteemed ensemble giving 15 programs. They are led for the most part by Marin Alsop, who was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein’s, so there are plenty of tributes scheduled in honor of the composer’s centennial, including a performance of his “Mass.” Other conductors passing through town include Vasily Petrenko and Gustavo Dudamel, who gives an all-Beethoven concert with pianist Yuja Wang. And there are concerto appearances from Igor Levit, Joshua Bell and Simon Trpceski. On a smaller scale are recitals from the Pacifica Quartet, Jonathan Biss and Federico Colli. ravinia.org

Ojai Festival

OJAI, CALIFORNIA, JUNE 7-10

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the endlessly intelligent and provocative violinist, is the music director of this happily inventive festival this year, and she is doing a welcome amount of playing, too. With help from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the JACK Quartet and others, her concerts are predominantly thematic, often juxtaposing the very old with the relatively new. There are also programs devoted to the music of Michael Hersch, Georg Friedrich Haas, Hans Abrahamsen and Galina Ustvolskaya. In contrast to the sprawl that blights many other classical festivals, Ojai is a concentrated burst of intellectual energy, easily reached just outside Los Angeles.

ojaifestival.org

Tanglewood

LENOX, MASSACHUSETTS, JUNE 15-SEPT. 2

A celebration of Bernstein dominates this season’s festivities in the Berkshires, a place so central to his life. Fans of his theatrical works can enjoy “On the Town,” “Trouble in Tahiti,” “Fancy Free,” “Candide” and more, while his orchestral output and works associated with his conducting are amply represented in the Boston Symphony’s output at this, its summer home. Andris Nelsons leads 13 programs, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and a semi-staged performance of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” starring Kristine Opolais and Piotr Beczala. Thomas Adès, the British composer, is this year’s curator of the Festival of Contemporary Music, and there are solo appearances by Igor Levit, the JACK Quartet, Paul Lewis and Jeremy Denk. bso.org

Caramoor

KATONAH, NEW YORK, JUNE 16-JULY 29

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s is the house band in Westchester County, and it gives concerts led by Ludovic Morlot and Bernard Labadie. Other ticketed events include Handel’s “Atalanta” from Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; a So Percussion premiere of a new work by Vijay Iyer; piano recitals by Michael Brown and Marc-André Hamelin; and appearances by the Knights, the Brentano Quartet and Apollo’s Fire. Also of note is a free performance of John Luther Adams’ outdoor percussion masterpiece, “Inuksuit.” caramoor.org

Bravo! Vail

VAIL, COLORADO, JUNE 21-AUG. 2

As usual, the visits of four major orchestras make up the bulk of this serene Rocky Mountains festival. Leading off is the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, directed by Joshua Bell, followed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which is joined by two notable pianists, Hélène Grimaud and Behzod Abduraimov. Heavier fare comes from the Philadelphia Orchestra, led this year by Stéphane Denève and Donald Runnicles and featuring soloists Nikolaj Znaider, Augustin Hadelich and Daniil Trifonov. And the New York Philharmonic brings Bernstein under Bramwell Tovey, as well as two concerts conducted by David Robertson. bravovail.org

Aspen Music Festival and School

ASPEN, COLORADO, JUNE 28-AUG. 19

More than 400 events take place at this year’s festival, the big daddy of North American events, and many of them come under an overall theme, “Paris, City of Light.” That means a good dose of French music, particularly from the start of the 20th century, performed by an array of resident ensembles, under the watchful eye of its music director, Robert Spano. Guest soloists this year include Yuja Wang, Daniil Trifonov, Sarah Chang, Jonathan Biss and James Ehnes; and conductors David Robertson and Ludovic Morlot, among others, are on hand to help with podium duties. aspenmusicfestival.com

Bard Music Festival and SummerScape

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK, JUNE 28-AUG. 19

At the heart of every summer at Bard College is the Bard Music Festival (Aug. 10-19), which this year concentrates on composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and provides a wealth of panels and performances that climax in a presentation of his 10th opera, “The Tsar’s Bride.” Before that, SummerScape takes an inventive approach to this year’s celebration of Bernstein’s centennial, with a Christopher Alden production of his dark Broadway adaptation of “Peter Pan.” And Leon Botstein, that indefatigable excavator of forgotten music, conducts a run of Anton Rubinstein’s “Demon” with the American Symphony Orchestra. fishercenter.bard.edu

Santa Fe Opera

SANTE FE, NEW MEXICO, JUNE 29-AUG. 25

Five operas this year out in the desert, all of them strongly cast. Most valuable is a fresh staging of John Adams’ seminal “Doctor Atomic,” directed by its librettist, Peter Sellars. It stars Ryan McKinny as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Julia Bullock as his wife, while Matthew Aucoin conducts. A Tim Albery production of Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” also looks good, with the up-and-coming James Gaffigan conducting a cast including Amanda Majeski as the Composer. Rounding out the bill are a run of Bernstein’s “Candide,” directed by Laurent Pelly; a decent helping of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”; and the return of Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri,” with the excellent Daniela Mack in the leading role. santafeopera.org

Blossom Music Festival

AKRON, OHIO, JULY 3-SEPT. 2

The Cleveland Orchestra takes up residence a short distance south of its usual home, with a series of weekend performances. Of special note are performances led by Herbert Blomstedt, Vasily Petrenko and James Gaffigan, and a special evening on which Yo-Yo Ma plays all six of Bach’s Cello Suites. clevelandorchestra.com

Grand Teton Music Festival

TETON VILLAGE, WYOMING, JULY 3-AUG. 18

Donald Runnicles is the music director in this picturesque town opposite Jackson Hole, which is just south of Grand Teton National Park and an hour’s drive from Yellowstone. With an orchestra whose players are drawn from major symphonies across the country, Runnicles conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and much else. Visiting soloists include Daniil Trifonov, Leila Josefowicz and Kirill Gerstein. gtmf.org

Glimmerglass

COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK, JULY 7-AUG. 25

Four major stagings come to central New York this year, starting with Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” which gives pride of place to the original Jerome Robbins choreography. Equally, if not more important is a production of Kevin Puts’ “Silent Night,” an opera set during World War I that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012. At the more traditional end of the spectrum come Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” and Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” the latter directed by Francesca Zambello. glimmerglass.org

Mostly Mozart

NEW YORK, JULY 12-AUG. 12

Mostly Mozart has annexed the Lincoln Center Festival, and its contents bear less and less relationship to its title. The festival is now happily broad, with more dance and theater alongside expanded musical offerings. Musically, the highlights include Bernstein’s raucous “Mass,” with Davoné Tines in the starring role and Louis Langrée conducting the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra; Haydn’s “The Creation,” theatrically conceived by La Fura dels Baus; and two free performances of Michael Pisaro’s “A Wave and Waves” by the International Contemporary Ensemble. There will also be another mammoth outdoor choral work to follow the one by David Lang last year, this time written by John Luther Adams for the Harlem Meer. Best of all are six performances of “The Force of Things,” an “opera for objects” by one of America’s most important young composers, Ashley Fure. lincolncenter.org/mostly-mozart-festival

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA, JULY 29-AUG. 12

Focusing on new music under the guidance of music director Cristian Macelaru, this festival features recent works by 18 composers, including Anna Clyne, Missy Mazzoli, Gabriela Lena Frank and William Bolcom. There are two world premieres, three American firsts and contributions from artists including pianist Simon Trpceski, tenor Nicholas Phan and the Kronos Quartet. cabrillomusic.org

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

DAVID ALLEN © 2018 The New York Times

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.