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Fanfare: 'Spectacular Strauss,' violist Kim Kashkashian and more

Welcome to Fanfare — our weekly guide to live classical music in the Philadelphia area. Subscribe now to get the weekly mailing delivered straight to your inbox. To let us know about an event on the horizon, or share other feedback, drop us a line!

Last-Minute Spotlight: ‘Spectacular Strauss’ — Sunday, Kimmel Cultural Center

Years ago, I asked a violinist in the Met Orchestra, “What’s the most difficult music you play?” Without losing a beat, she said, “Richard Strauss.” Great orchestras, though, make his works sound easy (or at least easier). In this concert, one of a clutch of options on a packed Sunday, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin puts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra to the test with not one Strauss sample, but an entire evening — featuring members of the Curtis Opera Theater in fragments from Ariadne auf Naxos and Der Rosenkavalier, followed by the thrilling peaks and valleys of Eine Alpensinfonie. As a not-to-be-taken-for-granted bonus, conductor Micah Gleason gets the evening rolling with the vivacious “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome.

Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., Verizon Hall, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 Broad Street, $24 to $60; purchase tickets.

Ricardo Morales, clarinet — Sunday, Kimmel Cultural Campus

Among a bountiful array of Sunday choices, one could do worse than to spend the afternoon with Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra, in a recital presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Bookending the program are two classic trios by Beethoven and Brahms, and in between, rarities by Karel Husa and Max Bruch. Morales has engaged some stellar collaborators: violist Roberto Díaz, President of The Curtis Institute; cellist Efe Baltacigil, principal of the Seattle Symphony; and pianist Nathalie Zhu, artistic director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival.

Oct. 22 at 3 p.m., American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street. (Sold out, but PCMS offers a livestream on a pay-as-you-wish basis.)

Percussionists of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra — Tuesday, DuPont Country Club

Founded by industrialist and philanthropist Alfred I. du Pont, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra is the state’s only professional orchestra. For this outing, the ensemble’s three percussionists — Bill Wozniak (faculty, Temple University), William Kerrigan (faculty, Eastern University), and Thomas Blanchard (principal, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra) — have a field day with composers as diverse as Bach, Handel, Kabalevsky, Elliott Carter, and Christopher Rouse. But their sweep also includes works by the Brazilian educator Osvaldo Lacerda; Mexican-American Ian Trevino, drummer for the rock group Break of Reality; steel pan expert Andy Narell; jazz great Max Roach; and the recently departed Jimmy Buffett.

Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m., DuPont Country Club, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE, $75; purchase tickets.

Violist Kim Kashkashian
Steven J. Riskind
Violist Kim Kashkashian

Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin — Thursday, American Philosophical Society

As a legend in the viola world, Kim Kashkashian has devoted her career to performances and recordings that ensure the instrument’s rightful place in the firmament. In this evening from the unstoppable Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the violist and her colleague, pianist Robert Levin, offer two sets of Beethoven variations on arias from Mozart’s The Magic Flute — both originally written for cello. In between come works by Debussy, Britten, and Ravel, and to close, Stravinsky’s neoclassical delight, Suite Italienne.

Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m., American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street, $30; purchase tickets.


Variant 6 — Friday, First Presbyterian Church of Germantown

Some of Poulenc’s output gets fairly regular play (the Flute Sonata, Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, and his opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites), but the Stabat Mater, not so much. In an exploration of the concept of suffering, artistic director and soprano Rebecca Myers — with colleagues Aryssa Burrs, Daniel Taylor, Steven Eddy, and Daniel Schwartz — pairs it with excerpts from Liszt’s equally rare Via Crucis. The intrepid pianist is Ting Ting Wong.

Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, 35 West Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia. Free tickets here.

Musica Tevere — Oct. 29, Saint Colman Church, Ardmore

The birth of a new ensemble is always welcome news, and next Sunday, Musica Tevere will make its debut at Saint Colman Church in Ardmore. The concert’s centerpiece, never before heard in the United States, is The Passing Through the Red Sea by Johann Nepomunk Hummel. Also on the program: Missa Sapientiae, by the Italian Baroque composer Antonio Lotti.

Oct. 29 at 4 p.m., Saint Colman Church, 11 Simpson Road, Ardmore, $25, students $10; purchase tickets.

Bruce Hodges writes about classical music for The Strad, and has contributed articles to Lincoln Center, Playbill, New Music Box, London’s Southbank Centre, Strings, and Overtones, the magazine of the Curtis Institute of Music. His is a former columnist for The Juilliard Journal, and former North American editor for Seen and Heard International. He currently lives in Philadelphia.