In some respects, area classical music activity has begun to divide more sharply into concerts that echo the middlebrow past, and others that are working out on the borderlands of the nervy future. This season, there will be plenty of new music, as well as a healthy helping of contemporary music to enliven the programs of standard canonic repertoire.
In addition, the season will be marked by a big arrival and an equally big departure. The Treasure Coast-based Atlantic Classical Orchestra, which introduced free rehearsals at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens last year, has now added a full series at the venue, and will present two world premieres of works commissioned for the group.
On the other hand, the stellar Miami-based concert choir Seraphic Fire, the only South Florida classical ensemble to be nominated for a Grammy in years, has ended its third try at establishing itself in Palm Beach County. Although audiences at Boca Raton’s St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church were large and supportive, the choir was unable to secure any sort of reliable nonprofit funding in the county.
There also will be a good helping of fine instrumental soloists, though most are established artists, and few are in the ranks of the most sought-after players today. This is also a good year for string quartets, with everyone from the Emerson and Takács to the Pacifica and Parker quartets stopping by, and the area’s local quartet, the Delray, offering up a world premiere by a leading American composer.
Here is a look at how it all will play out, by genre:
Orchestral: The Symphonia Boca Raton brings back three of the four conductors it had last year as guests, opening its season Dec. 21 with violinist and conductor David Kim in the Four Seasons of Vivaldi. Violinist Mei Mei Luo joins him for the Bach Double Concerto, and Kim also directs the orchestra in the Christmas Concerto of Corelli. Former Seattle Symphony director Gerard Schwarz returns Jan. 11 with his son, cellist Julian Schwarz, in tow for the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1. Schwarz also will lead the orchestra in the Beethoven First Symphony, Richard Strauss’ Divertimento, and a Benjamin Britten arrangement of the second movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony, What the Wild Flowers Tell Me.
Former Symphonia director Alexander Platt is at the helm Feb. 22 for the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, with soloists Gareth Johnson and Scott O’Donnell, plus the Prokofiev Classical Symphony, Bizet’s Symphony in C, and Philip Glass’s Company. James Judd, who led the Florida Philharmonic until its demise in 2003, directs Symphonia artistic director Jeffrey Kaye in the Haydn Trumpet Concerto on a program that features the Leonore Overture No. 3 of Beethoven and the Schumann Second Symphony. (The 3 p.m. concerts are at the Roberts Theatre in Boca Raton; call 376-3848 or visit www.thesymphonia.org)
The Palm Beach Symphony, led by Ramon Tebar, opens its season Dec. 3 at the Society of the Four Arts with the distinguished American pianist Agustin Anievas, now 80, in the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 on a program with Grieg’s Holberg Suite and the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings. After the new year, Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony is the main work on a Jan. 5 concert at DeSantis Chapel in West Palm Beach that also includes three pieces by Wagner, including the Tristan und Isolde Liebestod. At the end of the month, two second symphonies are on the program, those of Brahms and Sibelius (both in the same key of D major), on Jan. 28 at Mar-a-Lago.
The orchestra musicians will be soloists in a complete performance of all six Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach on Feb. 23 at Bethesda-by-the-SeaEpiscopal Church. Russian music returns on March 18 to end the season at Mar-a-Lago with pianist Lola Astanova in the Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini plus two works by Shostakovich: his Festive Overture and the Symphony No. 12. (Call 655-2657 or visit www.palmbeachsymphony.org)
Two more world premieres are on hand for Stewart Robertson and his Atlantic Classical Orchestra of Fort Pierce, which celebrates its 25th year with an official series of Palm Beach County afternoon concerts at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens. Composer Patrick Harlin has a new chamber work in store for the Feb. 10 concert, which features horn soloist Brian Blanchard in the First Concerto of Richard Strauss; an overture by Schubert (Die Freunde von Salamanka) and the Beethoven Second Symphony round out the program. Violinist Caroline Goulding premieres Zhou Tian’s Violin Concerto on April 7, with Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Alexander McKenzie’s Benedictus and the Beethoven Seventh on the bill.
The season opens Jan. 13 with pianist Stanislav Khristenko in the Brahms Second Concerto; Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta and the Adagietto movement from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony complete the afternoon. The German husband-and-wife piano team of Sebastian and Barbara Bartmann, known as duo imPuls, guest March 10 in the Mozart Two-Piano Concerto (K. 365) on a program that opens with the Partita of British composer Richard Rodney Bennett and closes with the Italian Symphony of Mendelssohn. (Call 772-460-0850 or visit www.atlanticclassicalorchestra.com)
The student orchestra at Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music, the Lynn Philharmonia, comes to its new season under the helm of former Orpheus Chamber Orchestra concertmaster Guillermo Figueroa, who took over the group in the middle of last season. Figueroa has added contemporary works to each of his programs this year, with the possible exception of the annual concerto competition (Nov. 15-16). The first concert was Sept. 26-27; the second includes three different student clarinetists playing Harold Farberman’s concerto Triple Play along with the overture to Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and the Rachmaninov Second Symphony (Oct. 25-26). Flutist Jeffrey Kahner is the guest Feb. 7-8 for the Flute Concerto of the Iranian composer Behzad Ranjbaran; violist Ralph Fielding will also guest in Berlioz’s quasi –concerto Harold in Italy, and the concert will open with the Mendelssohn Italian Symphony.
Christopher Rouse’s Wagner-inspired percussion concerto Der Geretette Alberich, with soloist Edward Atktatz is featured March 21-22 along with Beethoven’s Third Symphony and ballet music from Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, and the season closes April 11-12 in all-American fashion with Copland’s Third Symphony, Bernstein’s music for the film On the Waterfront, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris.
The Lynn University conservatory also offers a number of other individual concerts, including recitals by violinist Elmar Oliveira (Jan. 10) and pianist Boris Slutsky (March 14), a concert by Miami Brass (April 9), and from April 14-16, the ninth edition of Lisa Leonard’s New Music Festival. The special guest this year is composer David Noon, recently retired from a 30-year career at the Manhattan School of Music. (Call 237-9000 or visit www.lynn.edu)
The Fort Lauderdale-based South Florida Symphony, formerly the Key West Symphony, gives each of its four programs three times, in Key West, Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach’s Crest Theatre. Cellist Zuill Bailey joins conductor Sebrina Maria Alfonso for the rarely heard Sinfonia Concertante of Prokofiev on a program with the Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony and the overture to Verdi’s Nabucco (Nov. 15, Delray). Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto is featured at the hands of the fine pianist Christopher Taylor (Jan. 15); Alfonso also leads the orchestra in two popular favorites: Ravel’s Boléro, and the same composer’s orchestration of Musorgsky’s piano cycle Pictures at an Exhibition.
The wonderful South Korean violinist Chee-Yun returns in the Sibelius Violin Concerto on Feb. 19, with the Brahms First Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Ruy Blas Overture also scheduled. Russian pianist Svetlana Smolina plays the monumental First Piano Concerto of Brahms on March 30, which Alfonso will end with the equally monumental Fifth Symphony of Beethoven. (Call 954-522-8445 or visit www.southfloridasymphony.org)
James Brooks-Bruzzese opens the 27th season of his Symphony of the Americas, which gives its concerts at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts with the Italian-Venezuelan Salani Piano Duo (Oct. 14), which will present a program honoring the music of both countries. Acrobats will join the orchestra Nov. 9 and 11 for a concert called “The Magic of Cirque de la Symphonie.” Another piano duo, Dunlap and Pennington, is featured Dec. 7 and 9, while Israeli cellist Yehuda Hanani is the soloist for an all-Dvořák concert, including the Cello Concerto, on Feb. 10. A pops-style concert called “Symphony Classics and the Best of Broadway” is scheduled for March 10, and the season ends April 7 and 12 with a program featuring the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida. (Call 954-335-7002 or visit www.sota.org.
The Cleveland Orchestra plays its four-concert Miami residency at the Knight Concert Hall beginning Nov. 14 and 15 with the Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglić in the Concierto de Aranjuez of Rodrigo. Residency conductor Giancarlo Guerrero has also programmed three other Baedeker works: Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and the Capriccio Espagnol of Rimsky-Korsakov. Cleveland’s music director, Franz Welser-Möst, programs the Beethoven Third and Shostakovich Sixth symphonies on Feb. 27, and Beethoven’s Fifth and Shostakovich’s 10th on Feb. 28.
Mahler’s huge Sixth Symphony is the lone work on the March 6 and 7 programs, and the residency ends March 27 and 28 with Orff’s Carmina Burana, led by Guerrero and featuring Dreyfoos grad Nadine Sierra as soprano soloist along with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and baritone Stephen Powell, as well as Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. (Call 305-949-6722 for tickets or visit www.clevelandorchestramiami.com)
Also down south, the New World Symphony presents its usual rich array of excellent programs at its New World Center in Miami Beach, a beautiful building designed by Frank Gehry. Among the notable events are the opening concerts (Oct. 11-12), with cellist Tamas Varga in Schoenberg arrangement of the G.M. Monn Cello Concerto on a program with George Antheil’s Jazz Symphony, and the closing concerts (April 25-26), with German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter in the Berg Violin Concerto.
Apollo’s Fire conductor Jeannette Sorrell comes to town March 7 and 8 for a Bach, Handel and Vivaldi program called “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse,” composer John Adams conducts his own saxophone concerto with Timothy McAllister (Dec. 6), Robert Spano of the Atlanta Symphony leads Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony (Nov. 8 and 9), James Conlon conducts Mahler’s First (Jan. 6), and baritone Thomas Hampson sings Adams’ The Wound-Dresser (Feb. 15). Stellar soloists include Yefim Bronfman (Oct. 17-19), Ingrid Fliter (Dec. 13), James Ehnes (Jan. 10), Paula Robison (Feb. 21-22) and Joshua Bell (March 21). (Call 305-673-3331 or visit www.nws.edu)
And our guests: The three main performing venues have guest orchestras coming through on tours, several of them stopping in more than one place. Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra of Russia, accompanied by pianist Behzod Abduraimov, perform Prokofiev’s Third Concerto and Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony on Feb. 4 at the Kravis; on Feb. 6 at Miami’s Arsht Center, Gergiev is joined by pianist Denis Matsuev for concerti by Shchedrin and Tchaikovsky (the Second Concerto). The Danish National Symphony, under Romanian-born conductor Cristian Macelaru, associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, brings violinist Ray Chen to the Arsht on Feb. 14 and the Kravis on Feb. 15 for the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, and Boston Pops director Keith Lockhart leads the BBC Concert Orchestra in the Shostakovich Second Piano Concerto, with the young American Charlie Albright at the keyboard, in British music (Vaughan Williams, Britten, Butterworth and Walton) and Dvorak’s Eighth, as well as Ravel (April 13-14, Kravis, April 15, Arsht).
Violinist Gil Shaham plays the Prokofiev Second Concerto on Nov. 22 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony at the Arsht Center, and clarinetist Martin Fröst is the guest soloist at the Broward Center on April 22 with the Australian Chamber Orchestra under Richard Tognetti. At the Kravis, pianist Vladimir Feltsman joins the Russian State Symphony and Valery Polyansky in concertos by Mozart (No. 24) and Rachmaninov (No. 2) on Nov. 18 and 19; cellist Dmitri Kouzov plays the Schumann Concerto with the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Lande on Jan. 7, followed by Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra on Jan. 19 in works by Brahms; on Jan. 20, Pinchas Zukerman takes over to lead the band and play Mozart’s Fifth Concerto. Michael Sanderling welcomes cellist Johannes Moser with the Dresden Philharmonic on March 2 in music of Tchaikovsky and John Williams; on March 3 he leads symphonies by Beethoven (No. 7) and Tchaikovsky (No. 5).
Venerable American pianist Leon Fleisher and his wife Katherine Jacobson Fleisher are duo-pianists in the Mozart Two-Piano Concerto at the Kravis on March 25 with Boston’s A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, a conductor-less group that also will perform music by Dvořák and Josef Suk.
Chamber music: The Delray String Quartet, now in its 10th season, has formed a relationship with the American composer Richard Danielpour, who was raised in West Palm Beach. Danielpour’s Sixth Quartet, composed in 2009 for the Ying Quartet, is on the group’s third program, which will be heard Jan. 2 at All Saints Episcopal in Fort Lauderdale and on Jan. 4 at the Colony Hotel in Delray Beach; the program also includes music by Respighi and Schubert. As always, there are unusual pieces on each concert, usually arrangements of things on the lighter classical side. The season opens with the Ravel Quartet, the Mozart Quartet No. 21 (in D, K. 575) and music from Bernard Herrmann’s score for Hitchcock’s Psycho (Oct. 31, Nov. 2). Ukrainian-born pianist Marina Radiushina joins the quartet for the Dvorak Quintet in A and an arrangement of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll (Dec. 12, 14).
Frequent collaborator Tao Lin is the guest pianist Feb. 20, 22 and 25 (at St. Christopher’s in Key Biscayne) in the piano quintets of Brahms and the Spanish composer Enrique Granados. Also on the program is the Gold and Silver waltz of Franz Lehar. The season closes March 15 and 19 with a guest bandeon soloist, David Alsina, for music of Piazzolla (Five Tango Sensations), Joaquin Turina and the String Quartet No. 5 (American) of Kenneth Fuchs, who composed it for the Delray two seasons ago. (Call 213-4138 or visit www.delraystringquartet.com)
Three different arts organizations on the island of Palm Beach provide a generous amount of fine chamber music each season. The most venerable among them is the Society of the Four Arts, which welcomes the American Chamber Players on Jan. 11 for its annual visit. Germany’s Hugo Wolf Quartet (Feb. 8), David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer in music by Beethoven (Feb. 22), Spain’s Cuarteto Casals (March 8), and Austria’s Minetti Quartet (March 15), are scheduled, as is the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Jan. 25, also with David Finckel), in a trio by Kodaly and quintets by Brahms and Dvorak. Baritone Thomas Hampson offers a recital of American songs (Feb. 11), pianist Vladimir Feltsman is heard in recital Feb. 14, and the Rastrelli Cello Quartet (Jan. 18) of Russia makes a return appearance. (Call 655-7226 or visit www.fourarts.org)
Flagler Museum: Some listeners love the acoustics of the old Whitehall mansion on Palm Beach, and others find it too resonant, but for years now, director John Blades has assembled a first-class series of chamber music concerts that always end with a champagne reception and chat with the artists. This year, the Boston-based Parker Quartet, which won a 2010 Grammy for its recording of the complete string quartets of Gyorgy Ligeti, opens the series Jan. 6, to be followed two weeks later (Jan. 20) by the Aspen String Trio, a veteran threesome currently recording works by Martinů for Naxos.
The young Calidore Quartet, founded in Los Angeles only four years ago, released its debut record last month after winning a raft of major competitions over the past couple years; it comes to the Flagler on Feb. 3, and is followed Feb. 17 by one of the finest long-established foursomes, the Fine Arts Quartet, which dates it original incarnation to 1946. The season wraps March 3 with the Auryn Quartet, a German ensemble founded in 1981, and with astonishing projects to its credit such as a complete recording of all 68 string quartets by Haydn. (Call 655-2833 or visit www.flaglermuseum.us)
Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach: Former Palm Beach Symphony executive director Michael Finn and violinist-philanthropist Vicki Kellogg formed this group last year for concerts at Mar-a-Lago, bringing in standout performers such as duo pianists Anderson and Roe. This year, the most honored of all American string quartets, the Emerson, is on the bill for April 2, with new cellist Paul Watkins. The season opens Nov. 20 with violinist Sean Lee, accompanied by pianist Peter Dugan, in music by Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Debussy. The Escher String Quartet plays Beethoven and Haydn on Dec. 4, and on Jan. 6, a group of musicians from the Metropolitan Opera — soprano Susanna Phillips, hornist Julie Landsman, and pianist Brian Zeger — perform pieces by Schubert, Mozart and Strauss.
The Fairmont Trio, a piano trio led by Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil, brings Schubert and Dvorak to Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 10, and on March 5, it’s Fedora, a quartet associated with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, who plan music in honor of Marjorie Merriwether Post, whose home Mar-a-Lago was before it belonged to Donald Trump. (Call 379-6773 or visit www.cmspb.org)
Palm Beach Atlantic University: Violinist Patrick Clifford offers his third season of his Distinguished Artists Series at the Christian school in West Palm Beach, starting Jan. 23 with the Merling Trio (Clifford and Jun-Ching Lin will join the group for the Dvorak Piano Quintet). Renowned jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski arrives with a quintet from the Lincoln Center jazz organization on Feb. 27, followed March 20 by the Carpe Diem String Quartet. The season closes April 17 in the DeSantis Chapel with violinist Lin Chang, who will solo with the university’s student orchestra in the Butterfly Lovers Concerto of Chen Gang and He Zhanhao. (Call 803-2970 or visit www.pba.edu)
Duncan Theatre: Mark Alexander’s four-concert Classical Café series is always well-attended at the black-box Stage West theater on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth. The 3 p.m. Wednesday concerts open Dec. 10 with Quartetto Virtuosi, a piano quartet whose violist, Michael Klotz, is familiar to South Florida audiences as a member of the Amernet String Quartet. Following them on Jan. 28 will be pianist Navah Perlman, a daughter of the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. The very fine Manhattan Piano Trio is next on Feb. 11, and the series closes March 18 with a recital by violinist Rachel Lee Priday, whose 2015 also includes a Prokofiev First Violin Concerto with Leon Botstein and a recital on the long-running Dame Myra Hess concerts in Chicago. (Tickets: $29; call 868-3309 or visit duncantheatre.com)
Chameleon Musicians: Iris van Eck’s chamber music series at the top of the Leiser Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale is in its 13th year, and the Dutch-born cellist always finds fresh, off-the-beaten-path repertoire to perform. She invites the oboist John Dee to join her and pianist Sylvie Vidovic in music by Theophile Lalliet, Robert Kahn, and Reinecke. The Chameleon String Trio is next on Nov. 23 in a program that includes the rarely heard Sibelius String Trio, and on Jan. 25, van Eck is in recital with the Brahms First Cello Sonata along with pieces by Dvořák, Suk and Kodaly. The Amernet String Quartet and van Eck celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 with British composer Ethel Smyth’s String Quintet along with a string quintet by the overlooked German composer Walter Braunfels. Bassist Louis Gomez-Imbert is featured April 19 in music by Handel, Glinka and the French composer Louise Farrenc. All concerts are at 3 p.m. Sundays. (Call 954-761-3435 or visit www.chameleonmusicians.org.)
Guest artists: The Kravis Center’s Regional Arts series brings in Hungary’s esteemed Takacs Quartet on Dec. 11 for music by Haydn, Beethoven and Debussy, and just after New Year’s, the marvelous Pacifica Quartet will be joined by pianist Christopher O’Riley for the Brahms Piano Quintet on Jan. 2. He replaces the Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti, who suffered an apparent stroke in mid-concert last October in Coral Gables while performing at the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami, and has not been able to recover as quickly as he had hoped. And the Kravis’ Young Artists Series features clarinetist Benito Meza (Dec. 8), violinist Kristof Barati (Jan. 13), pianist Michael Brown (Feb. 16), and the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet on March 16. (Call the Kravis at 832-7469 or visit www.kravis.org.)
Soloists: Several major soloists will be on hand this year, including Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang, who will be at the Kravis on Feb. 23 with a typically huge program: All four Chopin scherzi, the complete Seasons cycle of Tchaikovsky, and the Italian Concerto of J.S. Bach. Violinist Joshua Bell is at the Broward Center on Nov. 1 with Italian pianist Alessio Bax in sonatas by Grieg (No. 1), Schubert (the Duo in A), and Prokofiev (No. 2), and another annual guest, violinist Itzhak Perlman, comes to the Broward Center on March 23 with longtime pianist Rohan de Silva, in a program that hasn’t been settled yet. Pianist Jonathan Biss is there Jan. 19 for a recital that includes the Berg Sonata and Schoenberg’s Six Little Piano Pieces plus two sonatas by Beethoven (Op. 2, No. 1, and Op. 101), and Schumann’s Waldszenen. (Kravis: 832-7469 or Kravis.org; Broward: 954-462-0222 or browardcenter.org; Arsht: 305-949-6722 or arshtcenter.org)
Choral music: Although Seraphic Fire won’t be in Palm Beach County this season, it’s more than worth the drive to Fort Lauderdale to catch them at All Saints Episcopal, one of the four regular venues they visit. Patrick Dupré Quigley’s group has just released a compelling album of contemporary American music, and their season looks to be another excellent mix of canonical and cutting-edge work. That album, Reincarnations, will be reflected in the first concert, which is devoted to new American choral music (Oct. 18, Fort Lauderdale), followed Nov. 8 by a reading of Vivaldi’s beloved Gloria, accompanied by the New York-based period orchestra The Sebastians. The group’s annual Christmas carol concert (Dec. 13) comes next, with the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 19, Broward Center), the next week.
A concert of Gregorian chant and associated music, staged and with candlelight, comes next (Jan. 17), and The Sebastians return the next month to accompany the group in Haydn’s splendid Lord Nelson Mass (Feb. 14). The music of Mozart and his inspirations, featuring the motet Ave verum corpus, arrives in March (March 14), and the next month will offer a true rarity: Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, in a reduced-orchestra version by Rainer Riehn. Singers Bryan Hymel, Susanne Mentzer and Dashon Burton will be on hand for the Mahler and Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug (April 17). The season closes with a performance of American composer Kile Smith’s Vespers (May 9). (Call 305-285-9060 or visit www.seraphicfire.org)
Master Chorale of South Florida: Boca Raton’s own Brett Karlin has taken energetic and exciting hold of this large community choir that used to be the Florida Philharmonic’s chorus more than 10 years ago. The group sings three performances of each program, one each in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The chorale begins with a collection of classical favorites that have been become pop culture standbys, such as Orff’s “O Fortuna,” in a program called Classical Hit Parade (Oct. 26, Roberts Theatre, Boca Raton). A Messiah sing-in is set for Dec. 12 at the First Presbyterian Church in Pompano Beach (bring your scores), and in February, Carmina Burana, the Orff oratorio from which “O Fortuna” springs, will be performed in its entirety (Feb. 22, Wold Performing Arts Center, Boca Raton). Earlier that same month, the celebrated Italian poperatic tenor Andrea Bocelli makes his annual Valentine’s Day pilgrimage to South Florida for three concerts with the Chorale at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood (Feb. 12, 14-15). A program of music by J.S. Bach and his contemporaries (Kuhnau, Graupner and Telemann) is performed with The Symphonia Boca Raton (April 26, Wold Performing Arts Center) to wrap up the season. (Call 954-418-6232 or visit www.masterchoraleofsouthflorida.org)
Festivals: Three special events this year will be well worth noting, including Festival Miami, which the University of Miami has hosted for more than two decades. The festival runs from Oct. 10 to Nov. 8, with several classical events including soprano Dawn Upshaw singing the jazz song cycle Winter Morning Walks, a Grammy winner earlier this year, with its composer, Maria Schneider, and the Henry Mancini Insititute Orchestra on Oct. 25 (call 305-284-4940 or visit www.festivalmiami.org).
The Festival of the Arts Boca, a music-and-literature gathering now in its eighth year at Mizner Park, will run from March 6-15. It has a new director in radio personality Joanna Marie Kaye, and will announce its lineup Nov. 14. Sources say the authors include four Pulitzer Prize winners, and the music offerings will be “top notch,” and feature well-known big names (call 368-8445 or visit www.festivaloftheartsboca.org).
Finally, the Chopin Foundation of the United States hosts its quinquennial piano competition from Feb. 20-March 1 at the Miami-Dade County auditorium. The competition is open to U.S. pianists (native-born or naturalized) ages 15 to 30, and the top prize is the biggest one of any American contest: $75,000. The top two winners of the contest automatically are entered in the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in April (call 305-868-0624 or visit www.chopin.org).