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The WQXR Weekend Planner: July 12-15

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This weekend's picks include a performance of Mahler's Fifth at St. Bart's Church, Gabriel Kahane and the Linden Quartet at Caramoor, the Brooklyn Wind Symphony in Prospect Park, Giselle at the Lincoln Center Festival and John Cage's Song Books at the River to River Festival.

Thursday, July 12 at 7:30 pm
Mahler's Fifth at St. Bart's

The New York City Summer Mahler Project, which presents one large-scale Mahler concert each year, will present Mahler's Fifth Symphony with the Sheep Island Ensemble and the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation. The freelance orchestra includes members of Ensemble ACJW, the New Jersey Philharmonic and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, as well as New York Philharmonic teaching artists. All proceeds will benefit the Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, a year-old program inspired by Venezuela's El Sistema.


Friday, July 13 at 8 pm
Gabriel Kahane and the Linden String Quartet

The Linden String Quartet is joined by singer and composer Gabriel Kahane for performances of three of his works, two of which will be premiered here. Kahane's compositions will be preceded by two works by John Corigliano and followed by Beethoven's late masterpiece, his String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132.


Saturday, July 14 at 2 pm
Brooklyn Wind Symphony at Prospect Park's Pagoda


The Brooklyn Wind Symphony, formerly the Grand Street Community Band, keeps the tradition of public concert band performances going. As such, the group "fills a huge void for wind ensembles in the New York City area," according to its website. On Saturday, join the band for an afternoon in the park with a free performance of popular songs and marches.


Saturday, July 14 at 8 pm
Paris Opera Ballet at Lincoln Center Festival


Francophiles can celebrate Bastille Day with this performance of the ballet Giselle, which premiered in 1841. The performance is part of the Paris Opera Ballet's first visit to New York in 16 years, and will also feature the New York City Opera Orchestra. Choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, with music by Adolphe Adam, Giselle marked the pinnacle of the Romantic movement. It was the prototype for the "ballet blanc," realizing earlier choreographers' dream of telling an entire story through dance. This performance will use Patrice Bart and Eugene Polyakov's 1991 restaging.


Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 pm
River to River Festival
Alarm Will Sound performs John Cage's Song Books

Pace University

John Cage's music-theater work Song Books is a collection of instrumental pieces, theater pieces, songs and electronic music that can be combined in an infinite number of ways. It was one of the earliest inspirations for the foundation of the group Alarm Will Sound, whose members performed the composition together years before starting the group. A 20-person ensemble dedicated to performing a wide variety of new music, Alarm Will Sound has been described by the New York Times as "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American Music scene." The new production of Song Books presented at this concert reimagines Cage's original 1970 version in a contemporary context.

-- Emily Ostertag