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This new monthly preview column will touch on classical music highlights, and starting mid-month, the region’s musicians really get going. Events from Delaware Symphony, Maine Line Early Music, the Crossing, Lyric Fest, and more are in store for this month. Here are a few things coming up in September.
Music director David Amado’s 20th year with the orchestra is being celebrated by the Delaware Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and OperaDelaware with a special season opener. The evening’s first half will feature the orchestra and OperaDelaware singers. After intermission, Tony-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell joins Amado and the DSO for Broadway standards—he was noted during the beginning of the pandemic for singing Broadway tunes out of his NYC window every evening to connect with and raise the spirits of his neighbors.
This always-interesting early-music series at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church starts off the season by presenting the ensemble Night Music, a group specializing in works of the Revolutionary era (1760-1825). This concert—titled The Clock—features elegant music by Mozart and a chamber arrangement of Haydn’s famous “Clock Symphony” at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.
Walking the Farm with the Crossing
Donald Nally’s renowned choral ensemble opens the season with a concert (a la “progressive dining”) at Kings Oak Farm in Bucks County. The audience visits five stations around the farm, and at each stop, the chorus sings a work inspired by the land. There’s locally sourced food, beers, and wines, and the music includes previous commissions, a new work by George Lewis, and Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks’s setting of a Czesław Miłosz poem. In August, the group released their 27th (yes, 27th!) recording, Born by Edie Hill and Michael Gordon.
Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest
The Kimmel Cultural Campus and the Philadelphia Orchestra host their annual, free, family-friendly season kick-off in mid-September. The Kimmel will feature two performance stages and more than 200 ticket giveaways. There will be season-wide $20 ticket deals, with more than 50 varied arts organizations (including some of the Kimmel's resident companies) participating. Music performances include Opera Philadelphia, Curtis Institute, Esperanza Arts Center’s Artístas y Músicos Latino Americanos, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Iris Quartet.
Lyric Fest’s Elysian Fields: Dawns, Dreams, & Visions
September 18 and 20
This ensemble dedicated to song opens their 20th season with solos and duets by Sun-Ly Pierce and Magdalena Kuźma, both alums of the Music Academy of the West, where Lyric Fest artistic directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward met. Ward is pianist for songs of Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Boyle, Higdon, and more. The anniversary season ranges throughout the East Coast—Longwood Gardens (PA), Peabody Institute (MD), and Kennedy Center (DC), as well as Moorestown, NJ, and Philly venues. The year kicked off in August with Spirits in Bondage, an album featuring music from Philadelphia composer Benjamin C.S. Boyle.
Longwood Gardens Carillon Concerts
September 24 and 25
As part of a bicentennial celebration of visionary landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, the garden is presenting a 30-minute carillon concert each day at 2:30pm. Noted carillonneurs Ellen Dickinson and Geert D’hollander will play their Olmsted-inspired compositions. There’s a talk each morning and tours of the famous, beautifully sited carillon throughout the day. If you’ve never been inside one of these unusual musical instruments, now is your chance!
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