Arts Season
6:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Symphonies To Sopranos: What To See, Hear In Classical Music

American Violinist Joshua Bell performs in both Miami and West Palm in March.
American Violinist Joshua Bell performs in both Miami and West Palm in March.
Credit Courtesy of the Adrienne Arsht Center

Between South Florida’s companies and performing arts centers, the classical music calendar can fill up fast.

To help you pick what you want to see, we’ve organized a list of this season's must-hear performances into these categories: Locally Sourced, For The Drag-Alongs, and Water Cooler Talkers.

Locally Sourced (I Like To Support Home-Grown Talent)

Miami Symphony Orchestra is opening its 25th Anniversary Season October 20 at the Adrienne Arsht Center Knight Concert Hall with a world premiere, Rincones de España, a homage to Cuban painter Waldo Balart by the symphony’s Director Eduardo Marturet. The orchestra will also be performing Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with classical guitarist Angel Romero. Also on the play bill: Symphonic Dance from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. 

"Mourning Becomes Electra" opens Florida Grand Opera's season.
"Mourning Becomes Electra" opens Florida Grand Opera's season.
Credit courtesy of Florida Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera is opening its season with Mourning Becomes Electra November 7 at the Broward Performing Arts Center. Broward-based composer Martin David Levy wrote the opera that's only been performed by four other companies.

This will be its Southeast American premiere. FGO is building an entirely new production that will include innovative light projects.

Mourning Becomes Electra is a retelling of an ancient Greek tragedy set in 19th Century New England and sung in English. A wife falls in love with another man and poisons her husband— but before he dies he’s able to tell his daughter what happened. Melodic misfortune ensues.  Performances are November 7 and 9 at the Broward Center and November 16, 17, 19 and 23 at the Arsht Center.

While it may not be as easily recognizable as Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem Mass still ranks among one of the most famous pieces of music ever written, despite the fact that Mozart died before he finished it. Now, Seraphic Fire has asked composer Gregory Spears to try his hand at completing the masterpiece. Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra will premiere the work in Fort Lauderdale November 15 at the All Saints Episcopal Church. They perform in Coral Gables November 16 at the First United Methodist Church and in Boca Raton on the 17 at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church.   

Palm Beach Symphony's Four Seasons performance on January 9 promises to be an evening of both beautiful music and architecture. The symphony is performing two works, each titled Four Seasons, but written by very different composers: baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi and modern Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. The performance will take place in an architecturally decadent setting: Henry Flagler’s gilded age mansion, the Flagler Museum.

Credit Claudia H. Munoz

For The Drag-Alongs (Aw, Honey, Do We Have To?)

If you need a classical music fix but have a partner or kid who’s skeptical about spending a weekend evening at the concert hall, then you need to check out the offerings at New World Symphony SoundScape Park. NWS broadcasts select concerts on the outside of its building in Miami Beach. You listen to the music (for free!) from an elaborate park-wide sound system while enjoying a picnic. It's family friendly, dog friendly, and loud-mouthed friend friendly.

Coming up October 25 is a performance you don’t want to miss called Beethoven and Schumann. Acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax will be playing with the NWS with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. 

Want to get the Generation X-er or Millennial in your life hooked on orchestral music? Take them to see Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy. Yes, this is a concert of videogame music adapted to an orchestra. And if it’s anything like last year’s Legend of Zelda, Symphony of the Goddesses, it’s going to be a good time. The performance takes place at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami on November 23

Water Cooler Talkers (Hear What Everyone’s Talking About)

There are some big names in classical music coming to South Florida-- the stuff water cooler conversations are made of (that is, after the World Series and before the Super Bowl).  Whether you’re an aficionado or you just want to see what all the fuss is about, here’s a list of some of the acts you don’t want to miss:

Celebrated soprano Deborah Voigt will be performing an eclectic rep ranging from Tchaikovsky to Bernstein November 15 at the Arsht Center

Israeli, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman is performing December 16 and 18 at the Kravis Center and then Dec 19 at the Arsht Center.

The unique, conductor-less and Grammy Award-winning orchestra Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is presenting an all-Beethoven program at the Kravis Center on January 19 and then at the Broward Center January 20.

Joining Orpheus will be award winning, blind, Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii.

America’s fourth-oldest symphony orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, is performing February 25 and 26 at the Kravis Center and February 28 at the Arsht Center

World-renowned American violinist Joshua Bell and the acclaimed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra (under Bell’s direction since 2011) will be at the Arsht Center March 15 and then at the Kravis Center March 16