The best classical concerts and operas live this month in the UK


Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, December 1

In its first season a little over half a century ago, the Sinfonietta presented the European premiere of Roberto Gerhard’s last two Zodiac pieces: Balance, a sextet fusing folk and serial elements, and the chamber symphony Leo, a nod to his wife’s birth sign. Both feature in a Catalan-themed program that marks the composer’s 125th birthday.

Lighthouse, Poole, December 1

Ryan Wigglesworth is both soloist and conductor, for Mozart’s sunny Piano Concerto in A major K414 prefaces a work that Dvořák describes as “Love, God and my homeland”, his Symphony No. 7 in D. minor. There is more “homeland” at the start: the bucolic Lachian dances.

Riverfront, Newport, December 1

The orchestra is reduced to the forces of the chamber and summons its winds for a lunchtime concert, crowning works by Rossini, Mendelssohn and Koechlin with a quartet by Rossini’s near-contemporary Vincenzo Gambaro.

Priory, Lancaster, December 2

The natural world and climate change exert Echo Vocal Ensemble in programming ranging from the 12th century Hildegard of Bingen to brand new pieces by Lillie Harris and Rory Wainwright Johnston. Along the way, they meet works by Clemens non Papa, Schütz, Palestrina, Britten and Judith Weir.

City Hall, Glasgow, December 2

It’s quite Tchaikovsky’s month for the BBC SSO, with Piano Concerto No.1 on December 9 and his Symphony No.6 here. But associate conductor Alpesh Chauhan has a less familiar fare up his sleeve for presenting Tchaikovsky’s Sixth: Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No.2, in preparation for over 30 years, and performed by mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, the elegiac of Korngold, 23 years old. Abschiedslieder.

CBSO Center, Birmingham, December 3

Teaming up with students from the Birmingham Conservatory, two members of the orchestra lead a panorama of contemporary percussion music starting with Lizard lounge, Michael Daugherty’s loving love letter to the American diner. Missy Mazzoli, Steve Reich and, tapping into Shaman’s drums, John Luther Adams, also support the bar.

Cadogan Hall, London, December 3

From a poem by Pushkin, Leoncavallo’s slice of verism from gypsy life Zingari received its world premiere in 1912 in London. Conducted by Carl Rizzi (head of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), the reconstructed full original version returns to the capital with Krassimira Stoyanova as the unfortunate Fleana.

Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York, December 3

Everything changes at the Heath Quartet, with former Navarra Quartet violinist Marije Johnston replacing founding conductor Oliver Heath. Haydn is added to the mix for Wigmore Hall later in the month, but for York, Janáček Intimate letters The Quartet is paired with that of Beethoven Op. 131 – a work that left Schubert despairing if there was something to say.

Ulster Hall, Belfast, December 3

On the way to Mussorgsky Pictures of an exhibition, the conductor of the orchestra, Daniele Rustioni, makes sure to balance a familiar workhorse with something less familiar. that of Thomas Adès … but everything will be fine and that of Elizabeth Maconchy Nocturnal frame Shostakovich’s birthday present to his son: Piano Concerto No. 2. Steven Osborne is the soloist.

Wiltshire Music Center, Bradford-on-Avon, December 4

The Doric Quartet may be the Centre’s quartet in residence, but that doesn’t preclude guests such as the Brodskys – joined by cellist Laura van der Heijden for Schubert’s rich Quintet in C, D956. In addition to Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 8, there is also an arrangement of Bach’s Sonata in C major for solo violin, BWV1005.

Crucible Theater, Sheffield, December 4

Hungary invites you as the ensemble with changing shapes ends its autumn season “in circles”. Athletic and acerbic, Bartók’s Violin Sonata No. 1 is paired with Ligeti’s Horn Trio, completed in 1982 as an accompaniment (and “tribute”) to Op. 40 trios.

John Innes Center, Norwich, December 4

The artistic directors of the London Piano Festival gather for a Mozart duet recital – sonatas K358 and K479. Schubert’s troubled A minor Lebensstürme and A major Rondo maintain a Viennese dominance challenged by the evergreen foliage of Debussy Petite Following and that of Stravinsky Five easy pieces.

Howard Meeting Room, Leeds, December 5

‘This is a noisy show’ promises the Collective’s last tour with electronics, percussion, amplified strings and an Ibanez Tube Screamer (distortion pedal). New works by Ben Nobuto and Sebastian Gainsborough share the bill with music by Dobrinka Tabakova, Michael Gordon and Bryce Dessner.

Royal Festival Hall, London, December 8

Vladimir Jurowski’s first concert as LPO conductor emeritus is a quintessentially eclectic affair. Between Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1 with Leonidas Kavakos and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.3, there is the world premiere of composer-in-residence Brett Dean’s remodel of 2018 No worries.

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, December 9

Fantasy, folklore and fairy tales underlie the association of Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro with the brilliance of Ravel My mother the goose and Mahler’s songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The boy’s magic horn). The singing honors are shared between soprano Ana Quintans and baritone Julien Van Mellaerts.

Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, December 10

After two performances in Manchester, Nicola Benedetti and the Hallé return to the Violin Concerto that Wynton Marsalis composed for her, incorporating her Scottish roots, her travels and her love of diversity. Directed by Cristian Macelaru, it is located between the Candid opening and orchestrated Mussorgsky’s Ravel Images of an exhibition.

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, December 11

The postman is going to be rather busy, with that of Betsy Jolas Letters from Bachville, Copland Letter from the house, Dutilleux correspondences and this postcard home wholesale: Dvořák’s New world Symphony. Soprano Carolyn Sampson and conductor Ludovic Morlot provide a first-class performance.

Barbican, London, December 14

Vibrant, fearless, dramatic, sometimes almost improvised, the Vespers of 1610 could almost have been written for Christina Pluhar’s ever-curious ensemble. It’s played solo here.

Covent Garden, London, December 21 – January 23

Verdi 1842 Nabucco was the success that made him artistically believe he was finally on the right track. Daniele Abbado’s 2013 production moves biblical action into the second half of the 20th century and is directed by Daniel Oren with Enkhbat Amartuvshin in the title role.

Kings Place, London, December 31

It’s not just 2021 that is coming to an end. The Auroras conclude their cycle of Mozart piano concerto started in 2016. B flat pianist K595 is Javier Perianes; and conductor Nicholas Collon also takes the opportunity to sign Kings Place’s one-year series “London unwrapped” with Handel’s always brilliant aquatic music.


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