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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Classical music preview: Masterworks, masterpieces and more

Season’s second half features wide mix of music

Travis Rivers Correspondent

The second half of Spokane’s classical music season offers some masterworks for choir and orchestra, trips to musical cities, chamber music masterpieces and a visit from a world-famous dance company.

The Spokane Symphony’s Classics series entertains two young Russian-born soloists with violinist Vladim Gluzman playing Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto on Jan. 23-24, and pianist Valentina Lisitsa performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 on Feb. 27-28.

French cellist Gautier Capucon will be featured in Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1 on March 20-21.

The Symphony Chorale will join the orchestra for Mozart’s Requiem Feb. 13 and 14. Soprano Susan Lorette Dunn takes center stage in a “Bursts of Nature” program April 17-18.

Works by Wagner, Strauss and Franck will close the orchestra’s season on May 1-2.

The symphony’s Casual Classics series opens Jan. 15 with a musical visit to Prague, featuring first-chair cellists John Marshall and Helen Byrne playing two seldom-heard works by Dvorak along with pieces by Mozart and Suk.

Paris will be celebrated in the Casual Classics finale May 21.

On the lighter side, the orchestra’s SuperPops series includes the showing of a remastered version of the 1939 film classic “The Wizard of Oz” supported by live orchestral accompaniment, Feb. 20-21.

Remaining SuperPops concerts also include Ben Vereen’s tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. on March 13, and Eastern Washington’s own yodeling cowboy Wylie Gustafson on April 24.

On March 27, the symphony will play host to The Martha Graham Dance Company. Though Graham died in 1991, the company maintains her work as one of the most influential choreographers of modern times.

For full program and ticket information, call (509) 624-1200 or go to

Pulitzer Prize-winner Gunther Schuller will return for the 32nd Northwest Bach Festival, leading a performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass on Feb. 5.

The series also includes a piano recital by Christopher O’Riley (Jan. 30), a chamber music program (Feb. 2) and an organ recital by John Bodinger (Feb. 14). Full details are available at

The Spokane String Quartet will offer quartets by Haydn, Shostakovich and Schumann on Jan. 31, an all-Beethoven program March 28 and a visit from one of Spokane’s most successful soloists, pianist Archie Chen, on May 9.

Chen will observe the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric Chopin with a selection of the Polish composer’s solo piano works along with Schumann’s Piano Quintet. (509-998-2261,

Spokane Opera, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this season, will give two performances of Leoncavallo’s emotion-drenched “I Pagliacci” March 5-6.

And the company will perform Haydn’s comedy “The Apothecary” as dinner theater in six performances starting June 15. (509-533-1150,

Allegro, Spokane’s “baroque and beyond” series, visits 19th-century Paris and the music of Rossini on Jan. 29, followed by an excursion to Italian baroque April 9. (509-455-6865,

The Coeur d’Alene Symphony has two concerts remaining in its 2009-’10 season.

Winners of the Young Artist Competition will be featured March 13. Fans of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto will get another chance to hear it, with Whitworth University professor Phillip Baldwin as soloist, on May 1. (208-765-3833,

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