A Guide To Upcoming Classical Concerts In New York

For Manhattan classical concertgoers in search of Yiddishkeit, the upcoming month will offer a tasty mix of melodies, Mahler, and modernism. On February 17 at the 92nd street Y, the scintillating Taiwan-born pianist Jenny Lin performs arrangements of music by Gershwin, Rodgers, and Arlen. Selections may be previewed on Lin’s latest CD, “Get Happy.” (Steinway & Sons) Once rendered happy by Lin, listeners can head to Avery Fisher Hall on February 21 and February 22 to hear the heart-wrenching “Schelomo—A Hebrew Rhapsody” by Swiss Jewish composer Ernest Bloch.

Performed by cellist Jan Vogler with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, this work was inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes, attributed by legend to King Solomon. More poignancy will be expressed at Symphony Space on February 28,, when soprano Lucy Shelton and the Colorado Quartet present the world premiere of “Farewell Letters to the Beloved One” by Jerusalem-born Tamar Muskal, set to poems by Hanoch Levin (1943–1999),.

To cheer up, it’s over to Carnegie Hall on March 5 to hear the Oratorio Society of New York conducted by Kent Tritle in a program including Aaron Copland’s “Old American Songs.” Equally vigorous is Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A Minor, as interpreted by the Calidore String Quartet on March 10 at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium. Even more splashy is a program at Carnegie Hall on March 11 featuring Fritz Kreisler’s “Praeludium and Allegro” ; an arrangement for string sextet by the Israeli-American virtuoso violist Atar Arad of Prokofiev’s piano “Toccata” ; and the “Hoedown” section from Copland’s “Rodeo.” Performers will be violinist Gilles Apap and the Indiana University String Academy Virtuosi.

All cow-punching will be over on March 11 when Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is played at Avery Fisher Hall, by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski. Joy and sorrow are intertwined at the Morgan Library on March 20, when clarinetist Narek Arutyunian and pianist Solon Gordon perform Leonard Bernstein’s “Clarinet Sonata” and Paul Schoenfield’s “Sonatina for Klezmer Clarinet and Piano,” among other works. At Carnegie Hall on March 21,, Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony in Mahler’s tragic Ninth Symphony, while at the same location on March 23,, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra plays American Jewish composer Irving Fine’s “Serious Song: A Lament for String Orchestra,” and Mendelssohn’s joyous “Italian” Symphony; the mighty pianist Richard Goode also plays the Schumann Concerto, making this concert unmissable, like much of the month’s events.

Listen to Emanuel Feuermann playing Bloch’s “Schelomo” here.

Watch Nathan Milstein playing Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro in the Style of Pugnani here.

Listen to Atar Arad’s arrangement for string sextet of Prokofiev’s “Toccata for Piano,” played by Arad, and violinists Alexi Kenney and Emily Daggett Smith; violist Molly Carr, and cellists Andrea Casarrubios and Loewi Lin in July, 2012 at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute here.

And watch Irving Fine’s “Serious Song, Lament for String Orchestra played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra led by Erich Leinsdorf here.

Your Stories

  • "I push wagons, I work with a shovel, I turn rotten in the rain, I shiver in the wind; already my own body is no longer mine: my belly is swollen, my limbs emaciated, my face is thick in the morning, hollow in the evening; some of us have yellow skin, others grey. When we do not meet for a few days we hardly recognize each other."Primo Levi, "Survival in Auschwitz"

  • "This holiday we take for ourselves,
 no longer silent servers behind the curtain, 
but singers of the seder,
 with voices of gladness,
 creating our own convocation,
 and leaving ‘The Narrow Place’ together."E.M. Broner

  • "The idea of opening the door is that we hope Elijah might actually be there this year – that we might actually have done enough to change the world to have had him arrive. And, if we don’t have even the tiniest bit in us that thinks he might be there, that thinks we have tried our hardest to bring around a messianic time, with no hunger, no war, no conflict, no pain – if we don’t believe that we have tried to end those broken parts in the world – well, then I tell my students – don’t do any of it."Rabbi Leora Kaye

  • "The whole seder, for me, is the tension between two statements: We say, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and now we’re free,' but before that, we pick up the matzoh, we invite the hungry in and we say, 'This year we are slaves, next year may we be free.' We are the most fortunate, liberated Jews in history. But on the other hand, there are lots of things that enslave us."Rabbi Arthur Green

  • "To tune of "Mack the Knife": "Enter Haman ben Hamdasa, /And he’s claimin’, he’s an Agagite. /Better look out, oh Hadassah/For that Haman—he’s an Amalekite./And though Haman, he’s in power now, That old Mordy, will not bow down. /Haman’s ego, it takes a powder now. And just like that—Amalek’s in town!""By Rabbi Jan Uhrbach

  • "Do you know that every shepherd/ has his own tune? / Do you know that every blade/ of grass has its own poem?/ And from the poem/ of the grasses,/ a tune of the shepherd/ is made./ How beautiful and/ pleasant to hear/ this poem!"Reb Nachman of Breslov's Likutei Moharan

  • "Tu B'Shvat is more than a New Year for Trees -- it is a call to action. To observe Tu B'Shvat isn't to read and pray, but to do, to plant, to place one's hands in contact with the Earth....While we may mark Tu B'Shvat as a Jewish Earth Day once a year, we are responsible as Jews to act as environmental stewards every day."David Krantz - Aytzim: Ecological Judaism

  • "Donniel Hartman said the miracle of Hanukkah is not just that the oil lasted 8 days; it’s actually that it lasted more than one. Would we have said, 'Dayenu,' (to mix metaphors,) if it had lasted two days? Would we have had a holiday? Probably, yes. The idea that we as a Jewish community, even in our darkest moments, hold out the hope that a candle is going to keep burning, I find very powerful."Rabbi Rachel Ain

  • "“We would all argue vehemently and work tireless against assimilation. But the Hellenists and we Reform Jews didn’t assimilate. We acculturate, and by doing so, provide a portal for continuity unavailable to those who continue a quasi-ghettoized existence with all the ramifications thereof, good and bad. The irony, rarely mentioned by those who use the Hanukah story to justify Orthodoxy, is that the Maccabees (Hasmoneans) lasted a century and a half before they disappeared, having taken on Greek names as High Priests and Kings. And Rabbinic Judaism, the first ‘reform’ movement, birthed all of us.”"Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein

  • "I find it refreshing to go from carrying the decomposing lulav and etrog in our hands in procession for 7 days (save for Shabbat), to carry absolutely nothing on Shemini Atzeret, to then carry a Torah on Simchat Torah. It’s like Judaism’s way of saying… ‘What you are carrying with you on this journey — Torah, lessons, stories, values, covenant, a connection with a higher power and history — all of the intangibles, you carry them with you on the tangible, tentative, twisting path of life."Rabbi Paul Jacobson

  • "Shemini Atzeret is conceptually an attempt to maintain the holiday relationship with God without any specific rituals. In modern times it has been become eclipsed by the joy and dancing of Simchat Torah. This speaks to the difficulty in a pure relationship without concrete modes of expression. It could be a reminder that our close relationships exist even when we don't exchange presents or cards."Rabbi Yosef Blau

  • "Sukkot is the reminder that it doesn't take two days or even two years to go from darkness to light. It might take an entire lifetime to get there and you have to constantly walk with the belief that it's possible."Rabbi Sharon Brous

  • "Yom Kippur: God is our judge. Sukkot: God is our shelter. Yom Kippur: you sit cooped up for endless hours. Sukkot is about space and breath. Yom Kippur, it’s all about, ‘What have I done?’ And Sukkot is, ‘What can I do in the world?’"Rabbi Naomi Levy

  • "The Rabbis in the Talmud spoke of the necessity of both sinai and oker harim, that is both those who collected traditions that were handed down and also those who literally “overturned mountains.” Essentially, the one group would not survive without the other. It is in the radical interpretations of the given traditions, and in the broad and fluent knowledge of the traditions that one is able to create radical new interpretations."Dr. Aryeh Cohen

  • ""I have never felt that repentence, prayer, and tzedakah would change my fate. Rather, I feel that through honest reflection, refinement, and a sense of responsibility, I do have incredible power to affect the decree for others.""Cantor Ellen Dreskin

  • "Teshuvah does invite us to begin again, but not from the beginning. Part of what it means to be human is to learn how to begin again and again – from right where we are, right in the messy middle of things. The Torah, according to an ancient midrash, reminds us of this truth by opening the story of creation itself with the letter Bet…Even when we have rolled the parchment scroll as far back as it will go, the letter Bet meets us there -- insisting that this story cannot be told from the very beginning. No story can. Beginnings elude us."Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

  • "This year our theme at Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills is “If not Now, When?” and we asked congregants to tweet their responses to #innwtebh or to fill out cards filling in the blanks :“If not now, when will I….” We will prepare these ‘intentions for the year” in a similar way, as a power point presentation scrolling quietly on the screen facing the congregation as individuals come forward silently in front of the open ark before neilah."Rabbi Laura Geller

Your Video(s):
    Your Image(s):

      Screen name will be displayed if your story is published.

      Email address will always be kept private.

      Recommend this article

      A Guide To Upcoming Classical Concerts In New York

      Thank you!

      This article has been sent!