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The Washington Performing Arts Society, the region's largest importer of classical talent, has announced its 2009-2010 season. The programming is generally as conservative as usual for WPAS, but the array of talent is -- also as usual for WPAS -- impressive and enticing.

On the orchestra front: the New York Philharmonic in a program of Liszt, Elgar and Prokofiev conducted by the extraordinary Riccardo Muti; the Los Angeles Philharmonic, playing symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Bernstein with new music director Gustavo Dudamel; and the Royal Concertgebouw with Mariss Jansons conducting works by Sibelius and Rachmaninoff. The San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas conducting) and the Philadelphia Orchestra (Charles Dutoit conducting) are also slated.

Vocal artists include soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, mezzo Denyce Graves, and a joint concert by tenor Ramon Vargas and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Several notable pianists will give recitals, including Radu Lupu, Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Leif Ove Andsnes (a multimedia version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition), Vladimir Feltsman, Angela Hewitt and Yuja Wang. Violinists Joshua Bell and Julia Fisher; cellists Alisa Weilerstein and Zuill Bailey; the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, with pianist/conductor Philippe Entremont; and the Takacs Quartet will make appearances as well.

There are also jazz and world music series.

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WPAS venues include the Kennedy Center, Music Center at Strathmore and Washington's Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

BALTIMORE SUN FILE PHOTOS (Riccardo Muti, Kiri Te Kanawa)

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