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The WQXR Weekender: July 19-22

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This weekend is a busy one for classical music, with Brooklyn Rider at Caramoor, a Kaija Saariaho opera premiere and Armide at Glimmerglass.

Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 pm
New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra
St. Peter's Church, Chelsea

Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra dedicated to showcasing young talent as well as collaborating with seasoned artists. Special guest conductor Matthew Oberstein leads the orchestra in its first summer concert of the year in Beethoven's Coriolan Overture and Mozart's Symphony No. 35, as well as the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto performed by violinist Monica Davis.

Friday, July 20
International Keyboard Festival and Institute
Mannes College
Details (and full festival schedule)>>

Founded by Jerome Rose and now in its 14th season, the prestigious International Keyboard Festival and Institute selects promising young pianists to take part in masterclasses, workshops and concerts with distinguished piano faculty for two weeks during the summer. At 6 pm, hear Anastasya Terenkova perform Scarlatti, Chopin and Mussorgsky; at 8, Nikolai Demidenko plays Schubert. Those who wish to make a day of it can do so by purchasing a day pass and attending rehearsals and master classes beginning at 9 am.

Friday, July 20 at 8 pm
Brooklyn Rider

NPR describes the string quartet Brooklyn Rider as "recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble." For their Caramoor debut they present a boundary-blurring program of works by the Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, Colin Jacobsen and Beethoven, as well as their own collective composition, Seven Steps. 

Saturday, July 21, 8 pm (repeats Friday and Sunday evenings)
Orpheus and Eurydice
Lincoln Center Festival


The Paris Opera Ballet continues its series of New York performances. This infrequently-performed ballet-opera portrayal of the famous tragic myth combines Gluck’s opera and Pina Bausch’s choreography.

Saturday, July 21, 8 pm
Lully's Armide
Glimmerglass Festival, Cooperstown, NY

Take a drive a few hours north to see Glimmerglass's rendition of Lully's tragédie en musique about a warrior princess torn between love and vengeance.  This co-production with Toronto's Opera Atelier stars Peggy Kriha Dye as Armide and Colin Ainsworth as Renaud. Opera lovers who double as baseball fans should be sure to stop by the nearby Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sunday, July 22 at 2 pm
Masterworks Series

The floating concert hall features chamber music by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Dohnanyi. Violinist Johnny Gandelsman (from Brooklyn Rider), violist Christina Courtin (who is also active as a singer-songwriter) and cellist Alex Greenbaum perform.

Sunday, July 22 at 7:30 pm (also Thursday and Saturday evenings)
Kaija Saariaho's Émilie
Lincoln Center Festival

Kaija Saariaho's anticipated new one-woman opera about the life of Émilie du Châtelet comes to the Lincoln Center Festival for its New York premiere this weekend. Châtelet was one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment: a physicist who first defined kinetic energy, she was also a mathematician and translator of Newton's Principia Mathematica, in addition to being Voltaire's mistress. The soprano Elizabeth Futral takes on the title role in this production, singing almost continuously throughout the 75-minute-long opera. 

-- Emily Ostertag