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Classical Music Agenda (April 2016)

By comparison to the previous three months, April feels a little light on major concert events. Here are our Top 10 picks for the month, which are all performances you will want to hear and see.

In the lifetime of the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium, which has seen so many excellent performances, none looms larger than the premiere of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring with Martha Graham's ground-breaking choreography. The Martha Graham Dance Company returns for the 90th anniversary of the Library's concert series, with three free performances including Appalachian Spring and some new works (April 1 and 2).

Opera Lafayette takes a look at operas performed during the French Revolution, with scenes from Martini's Sapho (a modern premiere), Cherubini's Médée, and Sacchini's Œdipe à Colone (April 29), presented at Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University.

Washington National Opera presents its first-ever complete Ring Cycle starting at the end of the month, with the first performance of Wagner's Das Rheingold (April 30). The hot ticket should be for the third of the three cycles, featuring Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde.

Icelandic composer Anna Þorvaldsdóttir has been at the top of many critics' favorite lists in the last couple years. She will appear on the Leading International Composers Series at the Phillips Collection (April 14).

The Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, performs mostly British music in the ongoing British choir festival at Washington National Cathedral (April 3).

The Venice Baroque Orchestra, last heard in Washington in 2011, will perform two concerts at Dumbarton Oaks (April 10 and 11). Andrea Marcon will lead a program of concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli, George Frideric Handel, and Pietro Locatelli.

Ionarts readers are used to our European correspondent's reports on the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble, under the baton of Mariss Jansons, will play at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (April 12), presented by Washington Performing Arts. The program combines Mahler's fifth symphony and Korngold's violin concerto, the latter with Leonidas Kavakos as soloist.

More Mahler is on the menu later that week when the San Francisco Symphony performs Das Lied von der Erde with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and tenor Simon O'Neill (April 16), also presented by Washington Performing Arts in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Michael Tilson Thomas also conducts Schubert's eighth symphony.

available at Amazon
Beethoven, Cello Sonatas, Yo-Yo Ma, E. Ax
(Sony, 1990)
Who does not remember the set of Beethoven's cello sonatas with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax? These two artists, now more seasoned, are reunited to perform four of the sonatas, again presented by Washington Performing Arts in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (April 13). It should be a night to remember.

You know that when the Takács Quartet comes to town, Ionarts is there. The next opportunity is on the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts series (April 20), in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, and they will play music by Dvořák, Webern, and Beethoven.

If I were not going to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, I would want to hear the Esterházy Trio, presented by the Embassy Series at the Hungarian Embassy (April 12). This is a trio playing viola, cello, and baryton, the oddball string instrument favored by Prince Esterhazy, and they will play music by Haydn, Tomasini, and Abel.

The rest of the calendar will scroll through the Ionarts sidebar.

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