Preparing for the new season

BSR Classical Music Interludes, March 2023

3 minute read
A portrait of Bach wearing a black robe over a white top, holding a sheet of music

Spring seems to be somewhat on the way—and in keeping with beginnings, this month’s preview begins with some new music. Featured in the first half of March are the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and Choral Arts Philadelphia, both premiering new works. The ensemble Melomanie makes a welcome reappearance after a hiatus, there’s a musical tale from Stravinsky, and you can take a dive into a classic Verdi opera.

mélomanie 2
Thursday, March 2, 5pm
Delaware County Community College, 901 South Media Line Road, Media

This Delaware ensemble, long noted for its “provocative pairings” of old and new music, went quiet for a while, but they’re back in DCCC’s New Music concert series. The in-person and live-streamed concert (followed by a Q&A session) features Kimberly Reighley (baroque & modern flutes) and harpsichordist Tracy Richardson. The duo will perform works written for them by contemporary composers Mark Hagerty, Chuck Holdeman, and Larry Nelson (premiering A Mirror of Midnight) paired with baroque works by de Boismortier and Telemann.

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra: Black Pearl at the Barnes
Friday, March 3, 6pm
Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

As one of the Barnes’s First Friday mixers, Philadelphia’s Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, directed and conducted by Jeri Lynne Johnson, features Israeli American cellist Inbal Segev playing “DANCE,” a concerto he commissioned from Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne. Segev’s 2020 recording of “DANCE” was named one of NPR Music’s “Favorite Songs of 2020.”

The performance is part of the Barnes’s international series celebrating Women’s History Month and the 20th anniversary of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, a two-year award that supports women conductors. Tickets include Barnes gallery access.

Choral Arts Philadelphia: Reimagining Bach
Saturday, March 4, 4pm
Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

As Choral Arts Philadelphia continues its 40th season, artistic director Matthew Glandorf newly commissioned a work by Chelsea Komschlies (who has previously written for the group). Her new work If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee features a libretto by Anthony Corvaia Jr. It is paired with J. S. Bach's cantata Who Knows How Near to Me My End? (BWV 27), building on the inspiration that Bach has provided for generations of composers and musicians. The vocal ensemble is joined by the Philadelphia Bach Collegium.

Delaware Symphony: The Soldier’s Tale
Tuesday, March 7, 7:30 pm
DuPont Country Club Ballroom, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington

This final DSO Chamber Series concert presents Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), a musical narrative of love, temptation, greed, and ultimate redemption. Written for an unusual combination of instruments—violin, bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone, and percussion—the work nods to tango, ragtime, waltzes, old-time church chorales, and marches. David Amado will conduct the DSO musicians, who will be joined by dancer Ashley SK Davis and actors from Delaware Shakespeare.

OperaDelaware: La Traviata
Online talks: Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16, and 23, 7pm on Zoom
Performances: Friday, March 31, 7:30pm, and Sunday, April 2, 2pm
Copeland Hall at the Grand, 818 North Market Street, Wilmington

At the end of this month, OperaDelaware will present its final staged production of the season, Verdi’s romantic and dramatic La Traviata, at Wilmington’s Grand Opera House. This opera inspired the films Moulin Rouge and Pretty Woman, but if you really want to dive into the story and the music, join opera expert and lively presenter Dr. Aaron Ziegel of Towson University for a series of online talks throughout the month. They’re free, but OperaDelaware asks that attendees register. Scroll down the linked page above for all the details.

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