A Fantastique start to a wide-ranging classical season
The region’s fall classical music scene should be fantastique, if not positively Callithumpian.
First, we have Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz, which will be the Spokane Symphony’s season opener Sept. 17 and 18 at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.
Meanwhile, “Callithumpian” refers to the Callithumpian Consort, which will open the Auditorium Chamber Music Series at the University of Idaho in Moscow on Sept. 20. They’re an avant-garde ensemble out of Boston dedicated to music as an “experience.”
Here’s a look at the full spectrum of classical music on the way this fall:
Spokane Symphony – The opener of the Classics series will include, along with Berlioz, pianist Jon Kimura Parker, playing one of the best-known piano pieces of all time, Grieg’s Piano Concerto.
Other Classics highlights this fall will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 on Oct. 1 and 2, along with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 (featuring guest violinist Tim Fain).
Then the symphony will provide a double blast of Brahms, with the monumental Requiem on Oct. 22 and 23 and his Symphony No. 1 on Nov. 19 and 20. Cello fans take note: The latter concert will also feature Ralph Kirshbaum playing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.
On the SuperPops side, the big name will be Frank Sinatra Jr., who will be singing his father’s most memorable hits, backed by the orchestra, on Oct. 15.
If that’s not enough swinging cool, you can also go to the SuperPops on Nov. 12, featuring the vocal swing group Five by Design and sax man Richie Cole. The traditional Holiday Pops concert will wrap it all up with a bow on Dec. 17 and 18.
The Casual Classic series begins with more Beethoven – his Symphony No. 2 and the “Prometheus” Overture – on Sept. 23.
The Chamber Soiree, featuring symphony musicians in a chamber setting at the Davenport Hotel, kicks off Oct. 11 and 12.
And, finally, “The Nutcracker” will pirouette into The Fox for the first time (goodbye, INB Performing Arts Center), with the symphony accompanying the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, Dec. 2, 3 and 4.
Spokane String Quartet – With new violinist Amanda Howard-Phillips, the quartet will play Haydn, Britten and Beethoven (String Quartet No. 16 in F major) on Sept. 25 at the Bing Crosby Theater.
Then they’ll switch over to The Fox for Shostakovich, Haydn and Sibelius on Nov. 13.
Opera Coeur d’Alene – Gounod’s “Faust” – live, fully staged opera – runs Sept. 23 and 25 in Schuler Auditorium at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene. It’s a classic tale of good and evil, sung in the original French with projected English translations.
The cast will be led by tenor Vale Rideout, who has performed around the world, including with the Phoenix Opera and the New York Philharmonic.
Coeur d’Alene Symphony – Beethoven will be the star at the opening concert, Oct. 7 at North Idaho College, with his Symphony No. 7 and a piano concerto. The orchestra will also perform a “Holiday Magic” concert Dec. 10.
David Demand is the music director.
Auditorium Chamber Music Series – This Moscow-based series will have a distinct Stephen Drury theme this fall. Drury’s Callithumpian Consort will perform at the University Auditorium at the University of Idaho on Sept. 20 and Drury will give a solo recital Sept. 22 at the Hampton School of Music’s Haddock Performance Hall.
Drury grew up in Spokane and has gone on to an international career, with an emphasis on contemporary music.
The series continues Nov. 8 with the Gryphon Piano Trio from Canada.
Washington-Idaho Symphony – This Pullman-based orchestra begins its season with an all-Russian concert Oct. 1 in Pullman and Oct. 2 in Lewiston, featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9; Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, with Rajung Yang on piano; and Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” overture.
The season continues in Pullman and Clarkston with an Italian-themed concert featuring works by Vivaldi and Leoncavallo on Nov. 5-6, and a German-themed program of pieces by Mendelssohn, Mozart and Brahms on Dec. 10-11.
The music director is Jeremy Briggs Roberts.
Allegro, Baroque and Beyond – This series continues its Music in Historic Homes series with an event Sept. 13 and 14 at the Bleecker House in northwest Spokane.
Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra – Pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a top national recording artist, returns to Spokane to perform Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and other pieces on Sept. 26 at The Fox.
She previously performed with the GU Symphony in 2007 and 2009. The orchestra is conducted by music director Kevin Hekmatpanah.