1. Friends of Chamber Music of Miami. Borodin Quartet. Oct. 13, Coral Gables Congregational Church.
Friends of Chamber Music opens its 60th anniversary season with the celebrated Borodin Quartet in the venerable Russian ensemble’s first Miami appearance in decades.
2. New World Symphony/Jeremy Milarsky. Dec. 5, New World Center, Miami Beach.
This all-American “Sounds of the Times” program will offer the Florida premiere of John Luther Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean, in addition to bracing works of Milton Babbitt and Charles Wuorinen.
3. Renee Fleming with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst. Jan. 23, Arsht Center, Miami.
The Cleveland Orchestra’s guest artists are usually more compelling than its standard-rep Miami programs, and so it proves again this season. Most interest will center on a one-off gala concert featuring Renee Fleming marking the 10th anniversary of the orchestra’s Arsht Center residency. The popular American soprano has spoken of her impending retirement, so Florida audiences should grab this opportunity to hear her while they can.
4. Philadelphia Orchestra/Stéphane Denève. Feb. 23-24, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach; Feb. 26, Arsht Center, Miami.
It’s too bad that music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin won’t be on the podium for this tour. Still, the celebrated Philadelphia Orchestra hasn’t visited South Florida in many years and, even with a populist touring program led by Stéphane Denève, these concerts are a must-hear.
5. Russian National Orchestra/Kirill Karabits. March 7, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach.
Arguably that nation’s finest orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra returns to the Kravis Center with a program of Borodin, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.
6. Seraphic Fire/Julian Wachner, “A Single Rose: Modernism in the Americas.” March 9-13, various venues.
With Patrick Dupré Quigley leading Seraphic Fire residencies in New York, Philadelphia and Washington this season, the chorus’ Miami programs for 2015-16 largely draw from its greatest hits of past years. But this March program, to be led by guest conductor Julian Wachner, offers something new with an intriguing lineup of 20th and 21st century music from North and South American composers, ranging from Morten Lauridsen to Heitor Villa-Lobos.
7. Palm Beach Opera, “Ariadne auf Naxos.” March 18-20, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach.
Among vocal aficionados, Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos is a much-loved showcase for the female voice with three showy roles in its bifurcated opera-within-an-opera structure. Palm Beach Opera is fielding a strong cast with Wendy Bryn Harmer and Amber Wagner alternating in the role of Ariadne, Kathleen Kim as Zerbinetta, Irene Roberts as The Composer and Brian Jagde as Bacchus.
8. Florida Grand Opera, “The Passenger.” April 2-9, Arsht Center, Miami.
Offering a gem in a lineup of mostly familiar Italian repertory, Florida Grand Opera will present the Florida premiere of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger. Since its belated world premiere in 2010, the searing holocaust drama has been highly acclaimed in Chicago, New York and Houston, and the same powerful production will be seen in Miami.
9. New World Symphony with Seraphic Fire/Patrick Quigley. April 16, New World Center, Miami Beach.
Patrick Quigley’s official conducting debut with the New World Symphony also brings Seraphic Fire’s most compelling program of the season, with the choir’s artistic director leading the New World Symphony and Seraphic singers in Steve Reich’s epic Desert Music, along with works of Monteverdi and Ligeti.
10. New World Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas. April 23-24, New World Center, Miami Beach.
After taking a break from Mahler last season, Michael Tilson Thomas returns to the Austrian with the composer’s epic song-cycle Das Lied von der Erde. In typically clever and audacious programming, MTT will preface Das Lied with John Cage’s The Seasons.