Summer Classical Calendar
Everything Happening in Classical Music and Opera This Season
• Benaroya Hall unless otherwise noted: 200 University St, 215-4700, www.seattlesymphony.org
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring Stephen Hough (June 14–17): The Rach 3 drives players mad with its infamous difficulty. However, Stephen Hough, the British pianist, appears to be quite sane. He blogs wisely. He tweets as nobly as tweeting can be. His Twitter profile: "A concert pianist by night, his daytime interests include theology, art, hats, puddings... and writing about them."
Morlot Conducts The Damnation of Faust (June 21, 23): The gentleman devil, the gnomes, the soldiers, the sylphs, the demons, the spirits, the young lady, the old scholar—Berlioz's version of The Damnation of Faust is a spectacle featuring a bulging orchestra, a children's choir, an adult chorale, and spotlighted soloists. As the culmination of his first season in the city, new Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot is conducting, and word is that he's excited. Benaroya will be bumping.
Natalie Merchant (June 22): Music from her symphonic album Leave Your Sleep, conducted by James Bagwell and with Uri Sharlin, piano, and Gabriel Gordon, guitar/vocals.
A Percussion Picnic (June 22–23)
The Matrix Live: Film in Concert (June 28–29): The movie screens while the orchestra plays the soundtrack, and "costumes are encouraged." (Ages 15 and older.)
Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies (June 30)
The Planets: An HD Odyssey (July 12–14): Women of the Seattle Symphony Chorale and the Seattle Symphony, led by Ludovic Morlot, perform Holst's homage to the galaxy to the sights of projected high-def images of the solar system from NASA.
Michael Feinstein: The Good Life (July 27): The crooner in the style of Sinatra/Cole/et al. and his 17-piece band.
Weird Al Yankovic: Alpocalypse Tour (Aug 16): Lady Gaga will be skewered.
• McCaw Hall unless otherwise noted: 321 Mercer St, 733-9725,www.seattleopera.org
Turandot (Aug 4–18): Maybe Turandot, the cruel mythical Chinese princess who has the heads of her suitors cut off when they inevitably fail her riddle test, just doesn't want to get married. Did Puccini ever think of that? Hmm? She could have been the Queen Elizabeth of her day! Okay, that's another story. In this classic opera, based on a story by the Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi and left unfinished by Puccini when he died in 1924, Turandot's cold heart is warmed by the nobility of a slave girl. Though the piece is popular, it hasn't been staged at Seattle Opera since 1996, when Jane Eaglen sang it. This new production (also touring to Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Ohio) is the Seattle debut of Quebecois director/designer team Renaud Doucet and André Barbe. In photographs, their version looks like a spectacular fairy tale. Expect bright colors, gongs, racially questionable mustaches, and bleeding, screaming, freshly decapitated heads.
Sweeney Todd summer opera camp production (Aug 17–25): The culmination of Seattle Opera's teenager summer camp this year is the darkly modern Sweeney Todd, the story of the maniacal London barber. Admission is by donation. (Seattle Public Theatre, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N)
• University of Washington campus at 15th Ave NE and NE 40th St, 685-2742, www.meany.org
SpringFest!: Columbia Choirs of Metropolitan Seattle (June 16)
Fremont Abbey Arts Center
• 4272 Fremont Ave N, 414-8325, www.fremont abbey.org
Resonate (June 19): "Not your classic classical concert," curated by Sam Anderson of Hey Marseilles and with modern dance by Victoria McConnell of project29 and live music by Tito Ramsey and others.
Seattle Ladies Choir (June 29–30)
• 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255, www.townhallseattle.org
Lake Union Civic Orchestra: All Tchaikovsky (June 15): Featuring James Garlick, violin, and Symphony No. 6 ("Pathetique"), led by charismatic LUCO music director Christophe Chagnard.
Joshua Roman & an All-Cello Ensemble (June 19): You love him. You really love him. Who wouldn't? Joshua Roman is a curly-headed Dionysus of a cellist. He was once the youngest principal player in Seattle Symphony. Though he broke off to pursue his own career, he oversees classical music at Town Hall and still pops up now and again, including in this program with an all-cello ensemble in a program featuring a commission by musician/DJ/composer Mason Bates, plus works by Piazzolla, Pärt, Led Zeppelin, and Strauss.
Onyx Chamber Players: Music from America & the British Isles (June 24): This trio—cellist Meg Brennand, pianist David White, and violinist James Garlick—is based in Seattle and Chicago.
Cornish College Of The Arts
• 710 E Roy St, 726-5151, www.cornish.edu
Persian music and poetry with Ostad Hossein Omoumi and Jessika Kenney (June 30): Do this! Ostad Hossein Omoumi is a Persian classical music master (he performs on the ney, the traditional reed flute); he was born in Iran in 1944 and has performed all over the world. He's now based at UC Irvine, but he's worked in Seattle before, and one of his students here is the remarkable independent vocalist Jessika Kenney. They'll be joined in music and poetry by Iranian writer/scholar Fatemeh Keshavarz. It's the culmination of a four-day Classical Persian Music & Poetry summer workshop at Cornish that's open to anyone (www.cornish.edu/summer/courses/classical_persian_music_poetry).
• University Christian Church, 4731 15th Ave NE, www.brownpapertickets.com
The New Sans Souci and the Patterson Family (June 17): A Baroque-based chamber music concert in a program including horn and viola quintets by Mozart, flute and flute-violin duo concerti by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and the Seattle premiere of Seattle composer Huntley Beyer's The Happy Table.
• Venues vary, 935-7779, www.theesoterics.org
Antama (June 29–30, July 1): The Esoterics are a thrilling a cappella group that does just what their name promises: They perform music you haven't heard elsewhere, and aren't likely to. Led by Eric Banks, this early summer concert is a series of works on the theme of community by lesbian and gay composers, including David Conte, Frank Ferko, Robert Kyr, Steven Sametz, Donald Skirvin, Joan Szymko, and Karen Thomas. (All Pilgrims Christian Church, 500 Broadway E)
Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival (July 2–29, www.seattlechambermusic.org): Animating Benaroya Hall during its quiet summer months, this is a total feast of chamber music, with 26 concerts in 27 days focusing on beloved repertoire by composers from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bartok to Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky. There are new works, too (the world premiere of Gary Kulesha's Quartet for Piano and Strings happens July 20), family concerts, and a free evening concert at Volunteer Park (July 25, featuring Dvorak's Sextet for Strings in A Major, and Tchaikovsky's summery Souvenir de Florence) that's preceded by a musical instrument "petting zoo." Pet a cello.
The 19th International Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival (July 8–22, www.icicle.org): Eight concerts in an idyllic setting at Leavenworth.
Olympic Music Festival (Weekends June 30–Sept 2, www.olympicmusicfestival.org): Every weekend all summer, musicians perform chamber music while picnickers lounge in a barn on a 55-acre farm on the Olympic Peninsula. Awesome.
Bellingham Festival of Music (July 6–21, www.bellinghamfestival.org): Rather than the typical summer chamber-music festival, this schedule features a full festival orchestra focusing on symphonic music. There are seven concerts, led by artistic director Michael Palmer, and including the soloists Joshua Bell and Lynn Harrell.
Marrowstone Music Festival (July 22–Aug 5, www.marrowstone.syso.org): Some 200 aspiring professional musicians aged 13 to 25 come to Bellingham every summer from all over the world. This is your chance to hear ambition play.
Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival (July 27–Aug 4, www.methowmusicfestival.org): Seven chamber music concerts (including chamber opera!) performed at the pretty Signal Hill Ranch, halfway between Twisp and Winthrop.
Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (Aug 10–25, www.oicmf.org): This 15th-season lineup is 16 days of concerts in settings ranging from private homes to village greens. Mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade is expected to perform "art songs from 'La Vie en Rose' to 'Send in the Clowns.'"