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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Classical music season looks promising despite financial woes

Travis Rivers Correspondent

The Spokane Symphony informally launched the local classical music season with a Labor Day weekend performance at Liberty Lake – but not its traditional concert at Comstock Park, canceled for budget reasons.

Still, despite budget pressures affecting all arts organizations, area audiences can look forward to plenty of classical music this fall.

The symphony’s season officially starts with an all-Russian concert Sept. 25 and 26 at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Soloist Philippe Quint will perform Glazunov’s Violin Concerto in a program that will also feature works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich.

Classics concerts next month include an all-orchestral program of Bach, Prokofiev and Stravinksy pieces (Oct. 9-10) and the return of pianist Vladimir Feltsman playing Brahms’ Concerto No. 2 (Oct. 23-24).

Budget cutbacks caused the replacement of guest cello soloist Ralph Kirshbaum with symphony clarinetist Chip Phillips on the Nov. 20-21 classics program, and the cancellation of a SuperPops concert with Frank Sinatra Jr.

But the remaining concerts in the SuperPops series are still in place, opening with a Big Band Salute to the 1940s (Nov. 13) followed by the Holiday Pops concerts (Dec. 11-12) led by Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara.

The orchestra’s Casual Classics series is built around the television crime drama “CSI.” The series opens with a concert of music by composers who died in unusual ways (Nov. 5).

Cartoons are the inspiration for a special concert, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” (Oct. 30-31), with vintage animation screened to live accompaniment by the orchestra.

Two other special events conclude the first half of the symphony season: four performances of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” with Ballet Memphis (Dec. 17-19) and a New Year’s Eve performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

The Coeur d’Alene Symphony opens its season Oct. 9 in a concert at the Lake City Community Church, with works by Tchaikovsky and Mahler conducted by Music Director David Demand.

The orchestra’s holiday concerts include a Messiah Sing-a-Long (Dec. 4) with soloists Dawn Wolski, Patti Blankenship, Scott Miller and Steve Mortier, followed by a Christmas Pops Concert (Dec. 11).

Chamber music performances begin Oct. 15 with the Spokane String Quartet performing at The Fox. The quartet will be joined by guest pianist Armen Guzelimian in a concert that features Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in E-flat and Alan Hovhaness’s Piano Quintet.

An all-quartet program Nov. 14 includes works by Zhou Long, Szymanowski and Grieg.

Members of the Spokane Symphony play in a series of Chamber Music Soirées at The Davenport Hotel beginning Nov. 9-10.

Allegro – Baroque and Beyond continues its Music in Historic Homes with performances suited to the style of each location, followed by a tour of the home.

Upcoming venues include The White House on East Manito Place (Oct. 5-6) and the Jasper-Nuzum House on West Sumner Avenue (Dec. 7-8).

Allegro’s Mainstage Series had not been announced as of this writing.

In Moscow, the Auditorium Chamber Music Series opens Tuesday at the University of Idaho Administration Building with “Music From the Palouse,” featuring musicians from Eastern Washington and western Idaho performing pieces by J.S. Bach and William Walton, among others.

On Oct. 26, the series will bring the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and on Nov. 30 a performance by the Boston Camerata.

Elsewhere on the Palouse, the Washington Idaho Symphony launches its season with works by Mozart, Liadov and Brahms on Sept. 25 in Pullman and Sept. 26 in Lewiston.

Concerts continue with a “Northern Lights” program featuring guest violinist Mateusz Wolksi on Nov. 6-7, and “Beethoven’s Birthday Celebration” with the Icicle Creek Piano Trio on Dec. 11-12.

Opera Coeur d’Alene begins the region’s opera season with two performances of Puccini’s “La Boheme,” an evening performance Oct. 24 and a matinee Oct. 26 at North Idaho College’s Schuler Performing Arts Center.

The production features soprano Christina Kowalski as Mimi and tenor Chad Berlinghieri as Rudolpho.

Spokane Opera’s annual Diamonds and Divas gala will be held at The Davenport Hotel on New Year’s Eve. This year’s program is “Passport to Barcelona.”

The Clarion Brass will present holiday music with director William Berry’s special twist at St. John’s Cathedral (Dec. 21-22).

Among the special events offered at The Fox this fall are a joint concert featuring members of both the Spokane Symphony and Spokane Youth Orchestra at (Oct. 3) and an appearance by the dancers of the Paul Taylor 2 company (Nov. 15).

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