6 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend
By David Allen
Our guide to the city’s best classical music and opera happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
CHELSEA MUSIC FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church (June 8, 7:30 p.m.). This little jewel of a festival, now in its ninth iteration, combines good music with food, walking tours, art and family events, occurring through June 16. Bach is its focus this year, and this opening concert includes a “Brandenburg” Concerto, transcriptions of Bach by Reger and Tochio, a reflection on Bach by Gubaidulina and music by the festival’s composer in residence, Aaron Jay Kernis. Ken-David Masur, who directs the festival with his wife, Melinda Lee Masur, conducts.
OLIVIA DE PRATO at Miller Theater (June 12, 6 p.m.). For a free pop-up concert on the Columbia campus, this violinist, who is a member of the Mivos Quartet and Ensemble Signal as well as a noted soloist, is joined by an array of other instrumentalists, for music by Ned Rothenberg, Taylor Brook, Victor Lowrie, Missy Mazzoli and Reiko Füting.
MARTIN HELMCHEN at Bargemusic (June 8, 8 p.m.). Brooklyn’s floating barge does not always attract soloists of the international caliber of Mr. Helmchen, so this is a good reason to take in one of the city’s most endearing concert halls. The pianist plays a handful of pieces by Schumann and Beethoven’s “Diabelli Variations.”
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC at David Geffen Hall (June 8, 8 p.m.). This is the kind of special multimedia, new-music event that the Philharmonic undertook as a matter of course not so long ago, and should, too, in the future. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts his own “Foreign Bodies,” with a new live video installation by Tal Rosner, as well as a violin concerto by Daníel Bjarnason (Pekka Kuusisto is the soloist). After intermission, the Boston Ballet, choreographed by Wayne McGregor, joins the orchestra for “Obsidian Tear,” set to Mr. Salonen’s “Nyx” and “Lachen Verlernt.”
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS IN THE PARKS at various locations (June 12, 8 p.m., through June 15). James Gaffigan, a very good young American conductor, takes charge of the Philharmonic this year as it tours the boroughs with a program involving Saint-Saëns, Bernstein, Rimsky-Korsakov and more. See it at Van Cortlandt Park on June 12, Central Park on June 13, Cunningham Park on June 14 and Prospect Park on June 15. (Staten Island, as ever, must content itself with an indoor concert of chamber music on June 17.)
REINIER VAN HOUDT at Spectrum (June 14, 7:30 p.m.). A strong new-music pianist with close ties to the Wandelweiser school of composition — think very long pieces, immaculately comprising few notes, resounding rarely — plays Michael Pisaro’s “Green Hour, Grey Future,” for piano and electronics as part of the Modern Piano (+) Festival.