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Fanfare: ECCO and Shai Wosner perform a new Vijay Iyer concerto

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!

Spotlight: ECCO with Shai Wosner — Wednesday, Perelman Theater

A standout amid a big week for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Philadelphia premiere of Vijay Iyer’s new concerto Handmade Universe reaches the Perelman Theater this Wednesday. Iyer wrote the concerto for pianist Shai Wosner, who will perform the work with ECCO (the East Coast Chamber Orchestra) as part of a diverse program. Co-commissioned by PCMS and Peoples’ Symphony Concerts in New York, this is Iyer’s third collaboration with Wosner, but his very first concerto.

Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer.
Ebru Yildiz
Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer.

Known as a pianist, Iyer is also a former violinist, and the physical actions associated with those instruments heavily informed this piece. “The title Handmade Universe refers to the instrumentation: for pianists and string players, every sound is the result of a gesture,” he says in a composer’s note. “For me, this old and obvious truth still somehow unsettles music’s fundamentals. Lyricism, for example, amounts to an aural illusion, insinuating a voice that is absent; musical phrasing can simulate breathing without actually correlating to it; a walking beat is generated by fingertips rather than feet.”

Also on the program are works by Florence Price and Antonin Dvořák. The spirituals that Price arranged were part of what inspired Dvořák’s interest in Black music — and in fact, this concert’s New York performance last week was at the site of the National Conservatory where its then-director, Dvořák, learned about spirituals from then-student H.T. Burleigh. Rounding out the program are a string quartet miniature by Eleanor Alberga and a Mozart piano concerto.

Nov. 1 at 7:30 PM, Perelman Theater, 300 S Broad St, $30, tickets and more info.

Oceans And — Thursday, Solar Myth

Here’s a performance from somewhere in the considerable overlap between classical and jazz, and definitely something to check out if you’re a new-music enthusiast. Oceans And is a new project from saxophonist Tim Berne, alongside cellist Hank Roberts and Aurora Nealand on clarinet, accordion, and voice. One of the first things I had to say about classical music when I arrived at WRTI was my appreciation of its infinite possibilities — and whether you define it as classical or jazz or otherwise, Oceans And has that open-ended ethos, making music that abides no limits.

Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 South Broad Street, $25; tickets and information.

Trumpeter Rodney Marsalis.
courtesy of the artist
Trumpeter Rodney Marsalis.

Conte and Marsalis — Friday, Longwood Gardens

Two familiar names, two familiar instruments — Marsalis, though, is trumpeter Rodney Marsalis, a cousin of Wynton and Branford. He’s no slouch: a Curtis alum, he’s had an international career, and often performs both Baroque and new music, having received many commissions. Peter Richard Conte, of course, is principal on the Longwood and Wanamaker organs. They’ll perform Bach, Vivaldi, and the concerto by mid-20th century trumpeter and bandleader Harry James. This has already sold out, but it’s worth checking the wait list.

Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, sold out; more information.

Pianist Haskell Small
courtesy of the artist
Pianist Haskell Small

Haskell Small: Celebration of Healing — Saturday, American Philosophical Society

2021 could have been the end of pianist-composer Haskell Small’s performing career; a stroke left his left hand and foot paralyzed. His rehabilitation has inspired him to write new arrangements of classic works for the right hand alone, as well as a new original work. He has been on a Celebration of Healing tour, which stops in Philly this Saturday; the program features Beethoven’s epic Diabelli Variations.

Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Hall at the American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St, $10 to $20; tickets and more information.

‘Mozart and Saint-Georges’ — Friday and Sunday, Perelman Theater

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges were contemporaries: the latter, a noted composer, violinist, and fencer, was a housemate of Mozart’s in Paris, and it’s been said that one of Mozart’s symphonies concertantes, a popular style in Paris in their time, is heavily influenced by Bologne. Concertmaster Min-Young Kim leads the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in this concert of Saint-Georges’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A major, and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major (on which she will also be the soloist).

Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m., Perelman Theater, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad St, $29 to $104, more information.

John T.K. Scherch (JohnTK@wrti.org) shares the morning’s musical and other offerings weekdays on WRTI 90.1. Previously, he was the first new host on WBJC in Baltimore in nearly 20 years, hosting the evening, Sunday afternoon, and request programs, and he is also an alumnus of U92, the college radio station of West Virginia University and a consecutive national Station of the Year winner.