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Season Announcements

'Tis the season for season announcements, high-profile press events that I feel little urgency to cover. After all, we are not in the business of selling tickets, which is for concert organizers to do. When all the announcements are made, we will offer our official picks for the season, at some point this summer, but until then here are some highlights for the upcoming season, from what has been announced so far. Put these dates on your calendar.

From Washington National Opera, it will be exciting to have a chance to assess Jake Heggie's new opera Moby-Dick (February 22 to March 8, 2014). Philippe Auguin will conduct quite a season opener, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (September 15 to 27, 2013), which given his outstanding work at the podium in the company's Götterdämmerung should be strong. The cast, headlined by Ian Storey and Deborah Voigt, does not necessarily inspire the same confidence, although Elizabeth Bishop's Brangäne is a plus.

Down the hall, Wagner will also feature on the program from the National Symphony Orchestra, with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the third act of Parsifal (October 10 to 12, 2013), featuring Nikolai Schukoff, Thomas Hampson, and Mikhail Petrenko. Put us down also for a concert performance of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (March 8, 2014), with Renée Fleming, Sarah Connolly, and Franz Hawlata. Likewise, the return of Osmo Vänskä (April 24 to 26, 2014), who will conduct Sibelius's third symphony and Aho's clarinet concerto.

Other events on the Kennedy Center's calendar we do not plan to miss are the Swan Lake brought by the Mariinsky Ballet (January 28 to February 4, 2014), our beloved Takács Quartet playing all six of Bartók's string quartets (January 21 and 22, 2014), and Matthias Goerne and Christoph Eschenbach's performance of Die schöne Müllerin (January 27, 2014). Finally, the Fortas series for the win with a program of neglected Jewish classical music (February 24, 2014), performed by pianist Evgeny Kissin and violinist Maxim Vengerov, co-presented with Pro Musica Hebraica, as well as the Pacifica Quartet and Marc-André Hamelin (May 20, 2014), playing piano quintets by Leo Ornstein and Dvořák.

We will likely make the trip up to Baltimore for a few concerts at Shriver Hall: cellist Mischa Maisky and his pianist daughter, Lily Maisky (October 6, 2013); pianist Nelson Freire (November 17, 2013); bass-baritone Gerald Finley and pianist Julius Drake (February 9, 2014); plus free concerts by the Minetti Quartet (March 8, 2014) and pianist Yevgeny Sudbin (May 3, 2014) at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Either in Baltimore or at Strathmore, we hope to hear a couple concerts by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, too: Britten's War Requiem (November 14 to 16, 2013); the guest conductor John Storgårds (March 21 to 23, 2014) conducting Sibelius and Vaughan Williams, with Baiba Skride in Mendelssohn's violin concerto; and Yefim Bronfman playing Beethoven's fifth piano concerto (May 2 to 4, 2014), paired with Shostakovich's twelfth symphony.

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