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7.11.13

Classical Music Agenda: December 2013

In December, much of the concert schedule is taken over by performances of the "Ho ho ho" variety, of which more after the jump. First, for some music that will not specifically get you in the spirit of the season, there are two free performances of Bach cantatas this month. Members of the Washington Bach Consort presents Schwingt freudig euch empor (BWV 36), which is for the first Sunday of Advent (December 3, 12:10 pm), at the Church of the Epiphany. Musicians from the University of Maryland School of Music perform Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (BWV 106) on their Bach Cantata Series (December 5, 1:30 pm) at the Clarice Smith Center. Both of these concerts are free and open to the public.

The Emerson String Quartet continues its season at the National Museum of Natural History (December 8), with string quartets by Mozart (K. 428, E-flat major), Beethoven (op. 59, no. 2), and Bartók (no. 2).

If the Emerson Quartet concerts are too expensive for your budget, try the Parker Quartet in a free concert at the Library of Congress (December 18). The group, with its new second violinist, Ying Xue, will be joined by violist Kikuei Ikeda.

The next installment of the Leading Composers Series at the Phillips Collection will be Slovenian composer Dušan Bavdek (December 12), with musicians from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana performing several of his pieces, including Awakening, String Quartet No. 1, Intermezzo, Dark Memory, and The Gestures of Dead Era.

BAH, HUMBUG:
You cannot escape the holiday cheer, and if you must have a Christmas concert, here are the ones we think will be the least cringe-inducing. The vocal ensemble Cantus presents a program called All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (December 5 -- already sold out).

The Folger Consort has won the coveted Ionarts Christmas Concert Award in many past years. Their holiday concert program, Christmas in New Spain (December 13 to 22), in the Elizabethan Theater of the Folger Shakespeare Library, promises to be a contender once again.

Washington National Opera, instead of the more traditional Hansel and Gretel, offers up the world premiere of a new holiday opera for children. J.D. McClatchy has adapted the libretto for The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me from the book by Jeanette Winterson, with music by Jeanine Tesori (December 14 to 22). Francesca Zambello will direct the production in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, with singers from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists program.

Regular readers will think I have gone off the deep end, but I am indeed recommending the National Symphony Orchestra's performances of Handel's Messiah, because they are once again using the Eugène Goossens orchestration of the work (December 19 to 22). Not for the Baroque purist.

Britten's Ceremony of Carols was one of the highlights of last December, and it is featured again this year, in a concert by the Washington Bach Consort at National Presbyterian Church (December 22), paired with a new Christmas work by John La Montaine.

If you are still in town by that point, you can also hear a medieval and Renaissance Christmas with a free concert by Ensemble Galilei at the National Gallery of Art (December 22).

The full calendar will run through the sidebar.

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Classical Month in Washington is a monthly feature. If there are concerts you would like to see included on our schedule, send your suggestions by e-mail (ionarts at gmail dot com). Happy listening!

December 1, 2013 (Sun)
1:30 and 7:30 pm
Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker
Joffrey Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

December 1, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Phillips Collection

December 1, 2013 (Sun)
6:30 pm
NGA Piano Trio [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

December 1, 2013 (Sun)
7 pm
Piffaro, the Renaissance Band
Dumbarton Oaks

December 1, 2013 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet) and Friends
2013 Hanukkah concert, Pro Musica Hebraica
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 2, 2013 (Mon)
8 pm
Piffaro, the Renaissance Band
Dumbarton Oaks

December 3, 2013 (Tue)
12:10 pm
Noontime Cantata [FREE]
Bach, Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36
Washington Bach Consort
Church of the Epiphany

December 3, 2013 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Ji-Yong, piano
Young Concert Artists
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 4, 2013 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Brandon Cedel, bass-baritone
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 4, 2013 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Teatro alla Scala Academy Orchestra
Music Center at Strathmore

December 4, 2013 (Wed)
7:30 pm
CUA Wind Ensemble
Catholic University

December 4, 2013 (Wed)
8 pm
New Music at Maryland [FREE]
Clarice Smith Center

December 5, 2013 (Thu)
1:30 pm
Bach Cantata Series [FREE]
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (BWV 106)
Clarice Smith Center

December 5, 2013 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Ryo Yanagitani, piano
Evermay

December 5, 2013 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music by Brahms, Mozart
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 5, 2013 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Cantus
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 5 to 29, 2013 (Thu)
Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker
Washington Ballet (with recorded music)
Warner Theater

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Handel, Messiah
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Christmas Concert for Charity
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Handel, Messiah
Washington National Cathedral

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music by Brahms, Mozart
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
University of Maryland Symphony
Music by Tchaikovsky, Copland
Clarice Smith Center

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
Great Noise Ensemble
Atlas Center

December 6, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
Mozart, The Magic Flute
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
2 pm
Mozart, The Magic Flute
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
4 pm
Handel, Messiah
Washington National Cathedral

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
5 pm
21st Century Consort [FREE]
Smithsonian American Art Museum

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Handel, Messiah
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
7:30 pm
CUA Women's Chorus
Catholic University, St. Vincent de Paul Chapel

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Strauss, Die Fledermaus
Opera Bel Cantanti
Randolph Road Theater (Silver Spring, Md.)

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music by Brahms, Mozart
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 7, 2013 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Music by Vivaldi, Piazzolla
Music Center at Strathmore

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
Strauss, Die Fledermaus
Opera Bel Cantanti
Randolph Road Theater (Silver Spring, Md.)

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
Amy Lin, piano [FREE]
Smithsonian American Art Museum

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra
George Washington Masonic Memorial (Alexandria, Va.)

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
Behzod Abduraimov, piano
Phillips Collection

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
Music by Schoenberg, Berlioz, Puts
Clarice Smith Center

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
Handel, Messiah
Washington National Cathedral

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
Montgomery County Youth Orchestra
Dawn of a Musical Season
Music Center at Strathmore

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
6 pm
Emerson String Quartet
National Museum of Natural History

December 8, 2013 (Sun)
6:30 pm
United States Navy Band Commodores [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

December 9, 2013 (Mon)
8 pm
University of Maryland Percussion Ensemble [FREE]
Clarice Smith Center

December 10, 2013 (Tue)
6 pm
Suspicious Cheese Lords
Delegation of the European Union

December 10, 2013 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Ismaël Margain, piano
Austrian Embassy

December 11, 2013 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Jewish Community Choir of Washington
Mansion at Strathmore

December 11, 2013 (Wed)
8 pm
University of Maryland Orchestral Ensembles [FREE]
Clarice Smith Center

December 12, 2013 (Thu)
6:30 pm
Leading European Composers: Dušan Bavdek
Phillips Collection

December 12, 2013 (Thu)
7:30 pm
miXt
Embassy Series
Spanish Ambassador's Residence

December 13, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
Festival of Lessons and Carols
University of Maryland Choirs
Memorial Chapel, University of Maryland

December 13, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 13, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
GMU Center for the Arts

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
2 and 7:30 pm
The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
5 and 8 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Strauss, Die Fledermaus
Opera Bel Cantanti
Randolph Road Theater (Silver Spring, Md.)

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Cantate Chamber Singers
Music by Britten
Faith United Methodist Church (Rockville, Md.)

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
8 pm
miXt (violin, clarinet, piano)
Candlelight Concert Society
Howard Community College (Columbia, Md.)

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
8 pm
Bach Sinfonia
Baroque Holiday Festival
Cultural Arts Center (Silver Spring, Md.)

December 14, 2013 (Sat)
8 pm
National Philharmonic
Handel, Messiah
Music Center at Strathmore

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
2 pm
The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
2 and 5 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
University of Maryland Chamber Singers
Images of the Christmas Feast
Clarice Smith Center

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
National Philharmonic
Handel, Messiah
Music Center at Strathmore

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
Strauss, Die Fledermaus
Opera Bel Cantanti
Randolph Road Theater (Silver Spring, Md.)

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
Barry Banks, tenor
Phillips Collection

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
5 pm
A Candlelight Christmas
Washington Chorus
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
5:30 pm
Miró Quartet with Shai Wosner (piano)
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
6 pm
What Makes It Great?: Schubert, Wanderer Fantasy
Lecture-recital (Rob Kapilow, Yuliya Gorenman)
National Museum of Natural History

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
6:30 pm
New York Opera Society [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
7 pm
Jewish Community Choir of Washington
Mansion at Strathmore

December 15, 2013 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Hermitage Piano Trio
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

December 16, 2013 (Mon)
7 pm
An Enchanted Christmas
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 17, 2013 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 18, 2013 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 18, 2013 (Wed)
8 pm
Parker Quartet with Kikuei Ikeda [FREE]
Library of Congress

December 19, 2013 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Handel, Messiah (Goossens orchestration)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 19, 2013 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 19, 2013 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Parker Quartet with Kikuei Ikeda (viola)
Evermay

December 19, 2013 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas
Music Center at Strathmore

December 20, 2013 (Fri)
7:30 pm
The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 20, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Handel, Messiah (Goossens orchestration)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 20, 2013 (Fri)
8 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 21, 2013 (Sat)
1 pm
A Candlelight Christmas
Washington Chorus
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 21, 2013 (Sat)
2 and 7:30 pm
The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 21, 2013 (Sat)
2 and 5 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 21, 2013 (Sat)
4 pm
An Enchanted Christmas
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 21, 2013 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Handel, Messiah (Goossens orchestration)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
1 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Handel, Messiah (Goossens orchestration)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
2 pm
The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
2 pm
Christmas in New Spain
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
Washington Bach Consort
Music by Britten, John La Montaine
National Presbyterian Church

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
4 pm
Washington Symphonic Brass
Music Center at Strathmore

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Ensemble Galilei [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

December 22, 2013 (Sun)
7 pm
A Candlelight Christmas
Washington Chorus
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 23, 2013 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas
Music Center at Strathmore

December 23, 2013 (Mon)
8 pm
Messiah Sing-Along [FREE]
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 24, 2013 (Tue)
1 pm
An Enchanted Christmas
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

December 29, 2013 (Sun)
3 pm
Salute to Vienna
Music Center at Strathmore

December 29, 2013 (Sun)
6:30 pm
NGA Vocal Ensemble [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

December 30, 2013 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Last Stand Quartet
An Evening of Shakespeare in Words and Music
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

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