The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Oct 09, 2013

More classical season-openers ahead

Posted by Gregory Stepanich

Angel Romero.

The classical season is off to a fine start, and soon things will be getting even busier as the other major performing institutions open their seasons.

Already Festival Miami has featured Joshua Bell and Edgar Meyer in Meyer’s Double Concerto for Violin and Bass, and soprano Hila Plitmann in a song cycle by Michael Daugherty, and the New World Symphony opened its season this past weekend with the splendid Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang in music by Gershwin (the Concerto in F). The Ehnes Quartet and Cyprien Katasaris have appeared at the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami, and next week the great Austro-Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti returns for music of Beethoven. Here are some other events worth attending to:

Miami Symphony Orchestra: Venezuelan-born maestro Eduardo Marturet opens the orchestra’s 25th anniversary seasons with American and Spanish pieces, as well as the world premiere of one of his own works. Marturet’s Homage to Waldo, a salute to the venerable Cuban painter Waldo Diaz-Balart, will open the program Sunday evening, Oct. 20, at the Knight Concert Hall. Two soloists will be joining the MISO for this program: German pianist Andreas Boyde in the Emperor Concerto (No. 5 in E-flat) of Beethoven, and the Spanish guitarist Angel Romero in the public’s favorite guitar concerto, the Concierto de Aranjuez of Joaquin Rodrigo. The program will close with the Symphonic Dances from Leonard Bernstein’s score for West Side Story. (Tickets start at $34; call 305-275-5666 or visit

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).

An evening of opera: Tomorrow (Oc.t 10) is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, born in 1813 in a tiny town in what was then the Duchy of Parma, decades before the unification of Italy. He was an unlikely success story, but by the time he was in his late 20s, he was already well on his way to becoming an anchor of the operatic repertoire, which he remains today (Florida Grand Opera has his first hit, Nabucco, scheduled for January). This weekend, the Opera Atelier, a relatively new South Florida group of singing and management teachers, includes music by Verdi on a concert celebrating Spanish-themed opera. Selections from Il Trovatore and Don Carlo will be sung by a host of area opera singers along with music from Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, all works set in Spain. In addition, there will be scenes from Venezuelan composer Federico Ruiz’s Los Martirios de Colón, about Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, and Mozart’s early singspiel Bastien und Bastienne (K. 50), written when the composer was just 12 years old. The Coral Cubana also will be on hand for this Saturday night program at Belen Jesuit Prep’s Roca Theater. (Tickets range from $15-$50; visit for more information).

Vivica and the Sistine Chapel: Seraphic Fire begins its 11th season next week with a program of music from the Renaissance associated with the Sistine Chapel, particularly music of Lassus and Palestrina. The Oct. 16-20 concerts in three counties — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — will be preceded by a special invitation-only fundraiser Saturday night featuring the great American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, who was in South Florida last season for a turn as Cinderella in Rossini’s La Cenerentola at Palm Beach Opera. The Grammy-nominated Miami chamber choir has a strong season planned, with a new version of Mozart’s Requiem, completed by American composer Gregory Spears, on tap for November. (Tickets range from $38-$65; call 305-285-9060 or visit

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