• Benaroya Hall unless otherwise noted: 200 University St, 215-4747, seattlesymphony.org
Yefim Bronfman (Dec 10): In this solo concert (not featuring Seattle Symphony), the decorated Avery Fisher Prize– and Grammy Award–winning pianist performs sonatas by Haydn, Brahms, and Prokofiev.
Handel's Messiah (Dec 14–16): King of Kings! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Forever! And ever! Conducted by Stephen Stubbs, featuring the Seattle Symphony Chorale and vocal soloists. Hallelujah!
A Festival of Lessons & Carols (Dec 23): With Northwest Boychoir and Northwest Sinfonia members.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony Plus Tango (Dec 28–30): First, tango dancers Eva Lucero and Patricio Touceda—these popular local teachers are gorgeous—kick off the night with a performance to Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires with the orchestra. Then the Symphony Chorale joins the instrumentalists for Beethoven's Ninth led by Ludovic Morlot, culminating in the "Ode to Joy."
New Year's Eve Concert, Countdown & Celebration (Dec 31): An encore performance of Beethoven's Ninth, preceded by Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Benjamin Grosvenor, a rising pianist born in 1992 in the UK. Then, watch the ball drop in a post-concert party in the lobby hosted by charismatic music director Ludovic Morlot.
Rachmaninov Festival (Jan 3, 5): Four young musicians playing their hearts out on some of the toughest pieces in the repertoire over two nights, led by Ludovic Morlot—this is an event. They're tackling Rachmaninoff's four famed concertos. Numbers one to four, respectively, are played by Yeol eum Son (born in 1986 in South Korea), Benjamin Grosvenor (born in 1992 in the UK), Denis Kozhukhin (born in 1986 in Russia), and Alexander Lubyantsev (also born in 1986 in Russia).
Symphony Untuxed: Stravinsky & Mozart (Jan 11): Same lineup as Jan 10 and 12 but without the Mendelssohn, without an intermission, and more casual. Come as you are.
Baroque & Wine: Bach & Telemann (Jan 18): Led by guest conductor Matthew Halls, the symphony performs Handel, Rameau, Telemann, and Bach. Wine-tasting happens in the lobby before the concert.
Nobuyuki Tsujii Plays Debussy and Chopin (Jan 22): It's a solo recital with the 24-year-old Japanese pianist whose gold-medal performance at the 2009 Van Cliburn competition was the stuff of legend.
Celebrate Asia (Jan 27): Starting with preconcert performances in the lobby by local cultural groups, then moving into the main hall with the symphony, pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano duo Kimberly Russ and Oksana Ezhokina, Indian violinist Ambi Subramaniam, and mridangam (Indian drum) player Mahesh Krishnamurthy.
Morlot Conducts Messiaen's Turangalîla (Jan 31, Feb 2): This is very cool. It's the symphony's first-ever performance of Messiaen's monumental "love song" written in the 1940s, which incorporates one of the earliest electronic musical instruments (the ondes Martenot, invented in 1928). Influenced by the classical Javanese orchestra, the gamelan, and taking its title from two Sanskrit words, the piece will be introduced by a preshow lobby performance by the local Gamelan Pacifica and a behind-the-scenes tour of what you're about to hear by conductor Ludovic Morlot, guest pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and ondes Martenot specialist Cynthia Millar. Then comes 80 minutes of awesome.
French Masters (Feb 1): Visiting celeb pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, here to perform in the symphony's first-ever Turangalîla, will also give a recital with a select group of symphony musicians in a program of works by Milhaud, Poulenc, Caplet, and Messiaen (Quartet for the End of Time!).
Brahms Symphony No. 4 (Feb 7, 9, 10): Despite the title of this program, the highlight is actually a world-premiere piece that venerable American composer Elliott Carter wrote as a special gift to Ludovic Morlot in his new role as the Seattle Symphony's music director. It's called Instances. Also on the program: the William Tell Overture (Rossini) and Schumann's Piano Concerto.
Untuxed version of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 (Feb 15): Shorter, no intermission, more casual, still featuring Tiberghien.
[Untitled] Series: Pierrot Lunaire (Feb 15): In the 101 years since this expressionist melodrama by Arnold Schoenberg made its debut in Berlin, it has not become any less seriously weird. Yay! It's the centerpiece of this late-night lobby concert, the first of which happened last fall and was electric. (See story, page 15.) Featuring soprano Cyndia Sieden and other works by Jörg Widmann and Daniel Schnyder (a bass trombone concerto!).
Itzhak Perlman in Recital (Feb 19): The great.
Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1 (Feb 28, March 2): Your chance to really hear that recently appointed principal flute who's been making your ears perk up back there in the winds section, Demarre McGill. Guest-conducted by Douglas Boyd in an all-Mozart program, including Symphony No. 1 and the "Haffner" serenade.
Anne-Sophie Mutter (March 3): Superstar violinist solo recital, featuring sonatas by Schubert, Mozart, Saint-Saëns.
• McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 389-7676, seattleopera.org
Cinderella (Jan 12–26): Rossini's version is more good-natured comedy than earnest fairy tale. And here, it arrives in a sparkling, madcap production that got seriously high praise from the Houston Chronicle, calling the work of its designer, Joan Guillén "stridently Spanish," "brilliantly cartoonish," and "reminiscent of certain landmark collaborations of the Ballets Russes." Seattle Opera educator Jonathan Dean writes, "We have a promising ensemble cast of hot young stars from around the world, many of whom are singing here for the first time. It should be loads of fun, ebullient and dazzling musically, and a very sweet story about pretension and people who dare to be authentic."
La Bohème (Feb 23–March 10): Arguably the opera to end all operas, Bohème can do a great deal to its audience without even trying. Still, this particular Bohème brings together the director who made such an impression at McCaw with his 2010 Lucia di Lammermoor (Tomer Zvulun) and the young Sardinian tenor the Seattle Times called "not merely spectacular but profound and potentially great" for his performance as the second-cast Alfredo in La Traviata in 2009 (Francesco Demuro), and the Italian conductor who led the soul-shredding Attila at the start of 2012 (Carlo Montanaro).
• University of Washington campus at 15th Ave NE and NE 40th St, 685-2742, meany.org
Seattle Philharmonic, "Experience: The Teacher of All Things" (Jan 13): In a program including The Art of Fugue: Contrapunctus IX by Bach, Inscape by Copland, the Masonic Cantata by Mozart, and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7.
Christopher O'Riley (Jan 29): Known for his classical radio show on NPR, From the Top, and his renditions of Radiohead, the pianist this time performs selections by Liszt based on themes from other composers, including Berlioz, Schubert, Schumann, Mozart, and Wagner—and some of O'Riley's own further interpretations.
Juilliard String Quartet (Feb 6): With new first violinist Joseph Lin, taking on Mozart's String Quartet in D Major, K. 575, Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 5, and the piece of music that spawned the recent Christopher Walken movie A Late Quartet, Beethoven's long, pauseless, increasingly out-of-tune String Quartet in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131.
Music of Today: The 21st Century Piano (Feb 26): Curated by featured performer Cristina Valdes, including the US premiere of a work by Robert Platz.
• 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255, townhallseattle.org
Seattle Pro Musica: Weihnachten (A German Christmas) (Dec 8): Candlelight processional, traditional carols, works by Brahms, Bruckner, von Bingen, and Mendelssohn.
Early Music Guild: The Baltimore Consort (Dec 14): The Baltimore six performing carols and dance tunes from the British Isles, Germany, France, Spain, and "the New World."
Seattle Baroque Orchestra (Dec 29): A holiday concert featuring trumpet virtuosa Kris Kwapis in a program of music for trumpet, strings, and harpsichord by Corelli, Handel, Vivaldi, and more.
Thalia Symphony Orchestra (Jan 27): "Featuring new works and rediscovered classics."
Seattle Baroque Orchestra: Bach Cantatas (Feb 2): "Three complete masterworks."
Jennifer Koh: "Bach and Beyond" (Feb 7): The weak alliterative title can be forgiven—this is an unusual recital drawing a line through the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach to contemporary composers, including new commissions.
Early Music Discovery: Dmitri Carter & Friends' French Baroque Tales in Music & Puppetry (Feb 10): Shadow puppetry meets the viola da gamba and harpsichord.
Early Music Guild: The King's Singers (Feb 16): Madrigals plus.
Lake Union Civic Orchestra (Feb 22): Beethoven, Debussy, Shostakovich.
Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra (March 2): The all-volunteer all-stars.
Lake Union Civic Orchestra Chamber Music Cabaret (March 3): LUCO musicians in smaller chamber groups that could be anything—a string quartet, a percussion ensemble, a bassoon trio, jazz guitar.
• Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, chapelspace.blogspot.com
Lori Goldston, Greg Campbell, Jessika Kenney, Dylan Carlson (Dec 6): This year's Stranger Genius Award–winning cellist is joined by Campbell on percussion and horn, vocalist Kenney, and guitarist Carlson. Expect improvisation.
Robin Holcomb + Eric Barber (Dec 8): His saxophone and electronics, her piano and voice.
Music of John Cage by Jarrad Powell, Jessika Kenney, and dancer Beth Graczyk (Dec 14)
Fundraiser for publication of REAL BOOK (Dec 15): Pianist Gust Burns performs from his recent collection of scores made by erasing material from popular jazz songs published in Chuck Sher's The New Real Book. Burns will play solo and in a quartet with Paul Kikuchi, Carmen Rothwell, and Jacob Zimmerman.
Phil Kline's Unsilent Night (Dec 21): If you are a closet sentimentalist with a hankering for holiday caroling but get a thrill from the new and the avant-garde, the boom-box parade Unsilent Night is for you. Composer Kline created it in New York in 1992, and now it's performed around the world every December. You bring a boom box or an MP3 player, you're provided with cassettes or files and instructions, and you set out to make the night unsilent. Time Out New York called it "one of the loveliest communal new-music experiences you'll ever encounter, and it's never the same way twice."
Danse Perdue (Dec 22): Butoh.
Greg Powers (Jan 4): Trombonist.
Vance Galloway (Jan 11): Last year, Dave Segal described Galloway as "Seattle's Michelangelo of sound, tasked with the important job of overseeing Decibel Festival's sonic technicalities (he used to be Paul Allen's right-ear man, too). Galloway also wields a mean guitar, whose emissions he usually feeds through computer software programs and manipulates into rarefied drone poetry." I think we should go.
Seattle Rock Orchestra (Jan 12): The coolest ensemble presents its newest works for orchestra.
Amy Denio & Tiptons (Jan 18–19): Mythunderstandings is an "oral history–driven multimedia performance featuring the Tiptons Sax Quartet breaking out all of their instruments, in collaboration with Coastal Salish storyteller and musician Paul 'Che oke ten' Wagner, visual artist Aric Mayer, and direction by Lisa Halpern."
Dennis Rea (Jan 25): Guitarist.
Neal Kosaly-Meyer (Jan 26): Composer.
Arun Chandra (Feb 1): The Evergreen music professor described by Christopher DeLaurenti as "maker of Wigout—nifty sound software for glitch-heads."
Seattle Improvised Music Festival (Feb 7–9): At 27 years old, this boasts of being the longest-running festival of its kind in North America. Performers come from Seattle, Tokyo, Berlin, British Columbia, Philadelphia, Portland, and elsewhere.
Neil Welch (Feb 15): Saxophonist.
David Hahn (Feb 16): Composer.
Phillip Greenlief (Feb 21): Jazz saxophonist.
Hope Wechkin (Feb 22): Singer, violinist, and composer.
Stephanie Chua (Feb 23): Pianist/toy pianist.
Seattle Composers Salon (March 1): New, locally made finished works, previews, and works in progress "in a casual setting that allows for experimentation and discussion."
Brad Sherman (March 2): Composer.
• 710 E Roy St, 726-5151, cornish.edu
Trio de Kooning (Jan 18): Three newly joined together American musicians based in the Hague who love the Dutch-American painter perform contemporary music by composers from both countries.
Jillon Stoppels Dupree (Jan 27): Bach's works for solo harpsichord.
Seattle Modern Orchestra (Feb 8): Three modernist pieces: Bruno Maderna's Serenata No. 2 for 11 instruments, Luigi Nono's Polifonica-Monodia-Ritmica, and Pierre Boulez's Le Marteau sans Maître for mezzo soprano and six instruments with surrealist poems by René Char.
Emily Doolittle (Feb 24): Music by Canadian composer and Cornish faculty member Doolittle, performed by Seattle Chamber Players, Oksana Ekhozina, Cristina Valdes, and Maria Mannisto.
La Voce di Gabriela (March 3): Music by the 17th-century virtuosi Girolamo Fantini and Girolamo Frescobaldi, performed by Kris Kwapis (baroque trumpet) and Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord).
• Venues vary, 935-7779, theesoterics.org
SYBILLA reprised: The Complete Hildegard Motets of Frank Ferko (Dec 7–9): A reprise of the exquisite vocal group's performance of the complete Hildegard von Bingen–inspired motets by American composer Ferko (born 1950), plus a new world-premiere motet, O nobilissima viriditas.
• 350 Kirkland Ave, 425-893-9900, kpcenter.org
eighth blackbird (Jan 22): The renowned Chicago-based, Grammy-winning new music sextet (founded 1996) makes a Northwest visit.
• Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 215-4700, northwestsinfonietta.org
Andreas Klein, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 (Feb 15): Led by music director Christophe Chagnard, and with other music by Sibelius, Debussy, and Bizet.
• Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 283-8710, seattlechambermusic.org
2013 Winter Festival (Jan 18–26): Six nights of chamber music programmed by artistic director James Ehnes, one featuring all of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.
• Benaroya Hall unless otherwise noted, 200 University St, 362-2300, syso.org
Shostakovich, Barber, Wagner (Jan 13): Continuing the 70th season of Seattle's best young orchestra with a program featuring Shostakovich's Fifth and selections from Tristan und Isolde and the Wesendonck Lieder.
Heron and the Salmon Girl (Feb 10): A world-premiere one-act opera with music by the Esoterics' great director, Eric Banks, and libretto by Irene Keliher. Cool! (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave)
• Holy Rosary Church, 4139 42nd Ave SW, 800-494-8497, cappellaromana.org
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Jan 12): Rachmaninoff's master version of the heresy-fighting Byzantine rite, sung entirely in Church Slavonic. Neat!