Paper Tiger, Peter and the Wolf, Serafin Summer Music, and more

BSR Classical Music Interludes, June 2023

3 minute read
A stylized drone shot of a farm with rolling green fields and an pink-tinted orange sunset in the distance

We’ve certainly got an eclectic lineup of concerts for you this month. There’s a concert for the family, a short opera for the grownups, a three-week festival of chamber music, a sure-to-be majestic organ recital, and a world premiere on a farm!

Concert for Young People: Peter and the Wolf
Friday, June 2, 7pm (rain date: June 8, 8pm)
Perkins Center for the Arts, 395 Kings Highway, Moorestown

This free concert, conducted by Kenny Bean and featuring the charming actor Michael Boudewyns, is Prokofiev’s famous musical tale of a fearless boy, a cautious grandfather, a duck, a bird, and a hungry wolf—masterful storytelling filled with familiar musical themes. Peter and the Wolf is a timeless classic and a favorite among young people. There is no admission charge for this concert, but you should RSVP for tickets.

Opera Philadelphia Channel: Paper Tiger and others
Streaming, Opera Philadelphia Channel

The latest in an ambitious series of world premier digital commissions that have garnered critical acclaim, Paper Tiger is a 12-minute opera composed by Black multidisciplinary artist Yaz Lancaster. It’s performed by vocalists Eliza Bagg and Miss Grit and pianist Mary Prescott, with a film directed by Sean Pecknold. The work premiered on the Opera Philadelphia Channel on May 19 and will run there for a year (along with 11 others currently in their streaming repertoire). This commissioning project, which began in 2021, also features works by composers Tyshawn Sorey, Courtney Bryan, Angélica Negrón, Caroline Shaw, and Rene Orth.

Serafin Summer Music
June 9-25, various times
Concert Hall, Music School of Delaware, 4101 Washington Street, Wilmington

This relatively new Delaware chamber music festival hosts musicians from around the US in nine concerts spread throughout June. Fifteen musicians will play works for solo harpsichord, violin duos, piano quartets/quintets, and works for combinations of winds, strings, and voice. There are three concert weekends: June 9-11, Finesse, Flash & Flair and Magnificence; June 16-18, Italiana! and Pure Romance; June 23-25, Mozart to Modernism and Fireworks!. Some concerts are repeated downstate (in Lewes); the Wilmington concerts are also livestreamed. And each week there are masterclasses (for students of the Music School of Delaware) that are open to the public at no charge.

Organ Recital Featuring Peter Richard Conte
Saturday, June 17, 5pm
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

Peter Richard Conte is one of the most lauded “orchestral” organists of this or any region, with a repertoire of innovative programming and virtuosity to spare. You may have heard him play the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s, but here he is in Verizon Hall on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The concert is sponsored by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and though the orchestra isn’t playing, Conte on this great organ is practically an orchestra unto himself! His recital will include works by Bizet, Strauss, preludes on plainsong hymns, Samuel Barber’s “To Longwood Gardens,” and more. Tickets are free, but you should reserve them in advance.

The Crossing: Farming
June 22-June 25, 7:30pm
Kings Oaks Farm, Bucks County (address given with ticket purchase)

Philadelphia’s remarkable chorus The Crossing will present a world premiere (no surprise there—they are noted for premieres). Titled Farming, this is a new work by Ted Hearn that addresses the impact of settler colonialism on current labor practice with texts ranging from William Penn all the way to Jeff Bezos. The work, directed by Ashley Tata, is scored for 24 vocalists along with guitars, percussion, and electronics, and it’s been in development for four years. Note that for this concert, there are no walk-ups; all tickets must be purchased in advance.

Above: The Crossing's Farming addresses the impact of settler colonialism on current labor practices. (Image courtesy of The Crossing.)

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