Artsmash Critic Tim Smith covers classical music, theater and visual arts in Baltimore and beyond

10 best bets for classical music in the Baltimore area this fall

Tim Smith
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

As part of The Baltimore Sun’s Fall Arts Guide, we’re picking the best arts activities coming to the area this fall. Here’s the best that the classical music scene has to offer.

For more, see best bets for: pop music | theater | visual art | dance | books | film | eclectic | suburban events.

Young’s Debut as Peabody’s Director of Ensembles

Gifted conductor Joseph Young, who earned his graduate degree at the Peabody Institute, starts this year as the Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg artistic director of ensembles. He leads the Peabody Chamber Orchestra in a concerto grosso by Handel, Dvorak’s rarely encountered “Othello” Overture and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9. 8 p.m. Sept. 19 at Peabody Institute, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place. Free. 667-208-6620, peabody.jhu.edu.

‘William Tell’

You know the overture, famously used as “The Lone Ranger” theme. Now find out what the rest of the opera is all about. Rossini’s “William Tell,” a crackling epic of heroism and liberation, gets a rare local outing (sans sets, costumes and orchestra) from Baltimore Concert Opera. Anthony Barrese conducts. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 3 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Engineers Club, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place. $27.50 to $71.50. 443-445-0226, baltimoreconcertopera.com.

Wagner’s ‘Parsifal’

Kinetic principal guest conductor Markus Stenz leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra into the most spiritual side of Richard Wagner, performing radiant orchestral excerpts from his final opera, “Parsifal.” Max Bruch’s irresistible “Scottish Fantasy” (with concertmaster Jonathan Carney as soloist) and Mendelssohn’s evocative “Hebrides” Overture complete the program. 8 p.m. Oct. 5 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St.; 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. The “Parsifal” music will be discussed and performed in an “Off the Cuff” concert 8:15 p.m. Oct. 6 at Strathmore, 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at Meyerhoff. $33 to $99. 410-783-8000, bsomusic.org.

The Gershwins

Composer George Gershwin and his brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin, created a sizable portion of this country's most imaginative, enduring music. Edward Polochick conducts the choral and orchestral forces of the Concert Artists of Baltimore in celebrating the Gershwins’ legacy, joined by pianist John Nauman. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Forbush Auditorium, Friends School, 5114 N. Charles St. $10 to $30. 410-625-3525, cabmusic.org.

Stefan Jackiw

When violinist Stefan Jackiw made his local debut in 2002, he revealed innate musicality and an exquisite tone. Now barely into his 30s, Jackiw continues to impress. He’ll be presented by the Candlelight Concert Society with pianist Anna Polonsky in a program of Brahms, Clara Schumann and contemporary American composer David Fulmer. 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at Horowitz Performing Arts Center, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $12 to $35. 410 997-2324, candlelightconcerts.org.

Clark’s Baltimore Choral Arts Society debut

Succeeding Tom Hall, who stepped down last season after 35 years, Anthony Blake Clark will make his debut as Baltimore Choral Arts Society music director, conducting a program that includes Handel’s dazzling “Dixit Dominus.” The chorus will sing works by Bach, Haydn and Randall Thompson. 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. $25 to $40. 410-523-7070, baltimorechoralarts.org.

Manuel Barrueco

To open its 30th anniversary season, the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society will present a recital by Manuel Barrueco, a Peabody Institute faculty member long ranked among the most inspired and inspiring guitarists on the world scene. Barrueco’s program, “The Spanish Guitar,” showcases an especially rich segment of the repertoire. 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at Towson University’s Kaplan Concert Hall, Osler and Cross Campus drives. $35 to $40. 443-296-2247, bcgs.org.

‘A Baroque Halloween’

Pro Musica Rara’s “A Baroque Halloween” program features a piece combining a recitation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” by Jonathan Palevsky and music by cellist Allen Whear. For something even scarier, the program includes a composition by Marin Marais that evokes a 17th-century, pre-anesthesia gallstone operation. 3:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St. $10 to $30. 410-728-2820, promusicarara.org.

Jeremy Denk

Shriver Hall Concert Series has relocated this fall while its venue at the Johns Hopkins University is renovated, but the high caliber of the artists is unchanged. One of those featured is Jeremy Denk, the unusually inquisitive, incisive and engaging pianist. His recital includes works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schuman and Prokofiev. 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave., Pikesville. $10 to $42. 410-516-7164, shriverconcerts.org.

‘Little Women’

Mark Adamo achieved startling success with his first opera, “Little Women.” Since premiering in 1998, it has received more than 65 productions around the world. This adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel about love and growing up will be presented by Annapolis Opera with a cast of rising young singers directed by Braxton Peters. Ronald J. Gretz conducts. 8 p.m. Nov. 3, 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. $22 to $100. 410-267-8135, annapolisopera.org.

tim.smith@baltsun.com

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