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Classical Music Agenda (July/August 2016)

Yuja Wang
Not much classical music happens in Washington in the hottest months of the year. Many locals travel to music destinations -- Santa Fe Opera is presenting Barber's Vanessa, Strauss's Capriccio, and Puccini's La Fanciulla del West -- but if you are stuck in town, here is where you can hear some good music.

The National Symphony Orchestra returns to Wolf Trap for its usual summer fare, sometimes good and sometimes not. In the good category we would place the visit by Yuja Wang and Lionel Bringuier (July 8), the Firebird performance with the Handspring Puppet Company (July 23), and the Debussy-Ravel program led by conductor Stéphane Denève (July 29). Also count me in for the screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Emil de Cou conducting the live score (July 9).

From the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the concert led by Nicholas Hersh should be tolerable, with music by Bernstein, Bach, and Gershwin, featuring pianist Charlie Albright and other soloists (July 28).

Going out to Wolf Trap is almost like getting out of town, and there are some good musical events going on there this summer, starting with the visit by American Ballet Theater to perform Romeo and Juliet (July 14 to 16), including one performance starring Misty Copeland.

Wolf Trap Opera Company's second production is a rare staging of Florian Gassmann's L'Opera Seria, a 1769 farce sending up the conventions of tragic opera (July 15 to 23). It will be performed in the Barns, so no worries about the mosquitoes, heat, or rain. Grant Gershon will also lead a single staged performance of Puccini's La Bohème (August 5) with the National Symphony Orchestra in the Filene Center.

The Washington Metropolitan Philarmonic Association is presenting a Sunday series of concerts at the Lyceum in Alexandria. Starting with a recital by pianist Christopher Schmitt (July 3) -- actually starting on June 12 -- it runs through the second week of September.

The Steinway Series has free Sunday afternoon concerts in both July and August, with the Lysander Piano Trio (July 10) and pianist Sejoon Park (August 14). Hear some music and enjoy the air conditioning in the basement auditorium of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Jonathan Pryce stars in the Shakespeare's Globe on Tour production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which comes to the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (July 27 to 30).

Wynton Marsalis leads a concert by Jazz at Lincoln Center at Wolf Trap (August 19).

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