Season of the Arts

‘Ave Maria’ was written for a male chorus. Hear it – and other classical standouts – this season.

Courtesy of artist management


Gerard Schwarz’s Debut Conducting the Frost Symphony Orchestra: Sept. 14, University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables;

The world-renowned maestro, who was music director of the Seattle Symphony from 1985 to 2011, brings his fiery enthusiasm to a diverse and demanding program featuring the suite from the ballet “Estancia” by Alberto Ginastera; Brahms’ magnificent Symphony No. 2; and Samuel Jones’s “Tuba Concerto” (which Schwarz has called “the finest solo work for that instrument ever produced.”)

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Gerard Schwarz conducts the Frost Symphony Orchestra. Ben VanHouten

A Spooky Symphony: Oct. 27, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W Flagler St, Miami; miamidadecounty

What better way to introduce your little ones to the wonders of classical music than by combining it with Halloween, the coolest holiday of all? This ghoulish gathering features the most beautiful scary music you’ve ever heard by the Alhambra Orchestra and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Past shows have included music from popular films such as “Jurassic Park,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars,” plus eerie classics like Mozart’s Don Giovanni overture and Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov.

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine: Nov. 16, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami;

One of the finest symphony orchestras in Eastern Europe brings An Evening of Tchaikovsky, featuring the passion and extraordinary technique of Russian-American pianist Olga Kern as she tears through Berezovsky’s joyous Symphony in C Major and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 6, arguably his greatest work.

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Miami Symphony Orchestra performs “MISO Senses — The Magic of Synesthesia,” in December at the Moore Building. Courtesy of MISO

Miami Symphony Orchestra: Dec. 15, The Moore Building, 191 NE 40th Street, Miami Design District;

Longtime conductor Eduardo Marturet helms the show MISO Senses — The Magic of Synesthesia, leading the audience through a magical sonic journey engaging sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. On the menu are works by Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Puccini, Strauss and Wagner.

New World Symphony: Jan. 11, 2020; Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Piano Concerto No. 5,” aka the rare Egyptian concerto, a playful yet soaring work that shows off his amazing digital dexterity. Also on the bill: Berlioz’s challenging “Overture to Benvenuto Cellini” and Mussorgsky’s virtuoso showpiece “Pictures at an Exhibition” (Ravel’s arrangement).

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French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays with the New World Symphony Jan. 11, 2020. Andrew Eccles

South Florida Symphony Orchestra: Feb. 7, 2020; Broward Center for the Performing Arts; 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale;

Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary Celebration honors one of the greatest figures in classical music history, with performances of his epic Symphony No. 9 featuring a full choir and the famous Ode to Joy finale with bass-baritone Neil Nelson. Also in the line-up: Schumann’s romantic masterpiece Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 highlighting audience favorite Svetlana Smolina.

Florida International University School of Music: Feb. 14, 2020; Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St, Miami;

The great Antonio Vivaldi’s 1733 opera “Motezuma,” based on the 16th Century Aztec ruler Montezuma, features Montreal’s baroque orchestra Ensemble Caprice. The music is agile, acrobatic, regal and yet accessible, with melodies that are at once familiar and unique.

Florida Grand Opera: March 28, March 31, April 2 and April 5, 2020; Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s groundbreaking 1851 “Rigoletto” – described as a “film with sound” – featured unprecedented structure and pacing. In the actual film, legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti reprised his role of the lascivious Duke of Mantua; Piotr Buszewski will play the role here in his FGO debut.

Miami International Piano Festival: April 26, 2020, Aventura Arts & Culture Center; 3385 NE 188th St, Aventura;

The concert features Croatian-born concert pianist Kemal Gekic, artist-in- residence and professor at Florida International University, known for his thunderous power, precision and tenderness.

Seraphic Fire — Music for Men’s Chorus: May 5, St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Boca Raton; May 6, St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Miami; May 8, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Coral Gables; May 9, All Saints Episcopal Church, Fort Lauderdale; May 10, All Souls Episcopal Church, Miami Beach.

German composer Franz Biebl’s best-known work “Ave Maria,” based on the traditional Catholic prayer, is given an all-male performance, as he intended. Complex and glorious harmonies come in waves, bringing many listeners to tears.