Brian Taylor is a musician and writer. He resides in New York City.

PREVIEW: October in New York

PREVIEW: October in New York


92Y opens their concert season Sunday Oct 13 at 3pm with a rare opportunity to hear pianist András Schiff with his wife, Yuuko Shiokawa, on the violin, in a program of Mozart sonatas.

The venerable Takács Quartet surveys the complete Bartók string quartets over two concerts, Fri Oct 13 and Sun Oct 20. Sun Oct 27, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) makes its 92Y debut, bringing the New York premiere of a new work by Christopher Cerrone, Mahler’s orchestration of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, and piano soloist Shai Wosner in Mozart’s Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major.


Bargemusic’s calendar is full of notable artists and varied programs this month. Especially striking, as part of the Here and Now Series, is the New York premiere of Rzewski’s Songs of Insurrection performed by pianist Bobby Mitchell on October 24.

Carnegie Hall

New York sees a lot of tourists from the Midwest, but none as welcome or distinguished as The Cleveland Orchestra. They play Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala on Oct 3 under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst in a program heralding the beginning of this Beethoven anniversary year with an all-star performance of the revolutionary’s Triple Concerto. The following evening, we can sample their wares in Mahler’s deeply challenging Fifth Symphony.

Another monumental piece of Mahler’s can be enjoyed on Thurs Oct 10, when the Athens Philharmonic (and the New York Choral Society) perform Symphony No. 2, “The Resurrection,” along with some works by Greek composers.

A young pianist hailed as a genius, Albert Cano Smit, makes his Carnegie Hall debut in intimate Weill Recital Hall on Tues Oct 15. The program is not yet announced, but he tends toward the cerebral. That same evening, The Dover Quartet plays Britten’s splendid String Quartet No. 1 in D Major in Zankel Hall, along with a Brahms quartet, and Schumann’s great Quintet in E-Flat with Emmanuel Ax at the keys. That same evening (how are we to choose?) Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra hold court in the Stern Auditorium, playing Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie and Bartók’s wondrous Third Piano Concerto with pianist Hélène Grimaud.

The following evening, pianist Daniil Trifonov is joined by duo partner Sergei Babayan and percussionist Gabriel Globus-Hoenich for a program featuring selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (as arranged by Babayan), Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, and Ravel’s Rhapsodie espagnole. Weds Oct 16.

Additionally, Australia’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra makes an appearance (Oct 20), Germany’s Munich Philharmonic plays Bruckner 7 and Shostakovich 5 (Oct 25-26), the winners of the Tchaikovsky Competition are presented on Sun Oct 27, and the always ambitious American Symphony Orchestra performs Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom on Halloween.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

CMS is celebrating their 50th Season as New York’s preeminent chamber music institution. Their 50th year opens on Tues Oct 15 with a terrific program including Dvořák’s "American” Quintet (in E-flat Major), African-American composer Harry Burleigh’s Southland Sketches for violin and piano, Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite. On Sun Oct 27, CMS presents Schubert’s celebrated Cello Quintet, a Mozart quintet, and a New York premiere by Bruce Adolphe.

The Crypt Sessions

The JACK Quartet, whom the New York Times dubbed “the nation’s most important quartet,” makes their Crypt Sessions debut on Oct 21 with the New York premiere of Lines Made by Walking by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams.

Metropolitan Opera

The MET continues its runs of Porgy and Bess, Manon, and Macbeth, and adds Puccini to the mix, with old reliables Turandot (Zeffirelli’s production; Yannick on the podium), Madama Butterfly, and La Bohème. Mark Morris’s choreographic take on Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice features costume design by Isaac Mizrahi.

National Sawdust

This hip Williamsburg venue has a lot on its calendar we’ve never heard of (and is undoubtedly worth experiencing). Not-to-be-missed, however, is A Night with George Crumb on Mon Oct 28, featuring the classic Night of the Four Moons, a composition from 1969 “in response” to the Apollo 11 mission, as well as the premiere of a new short film about Crumb by Zac Nicholson, produced by Open G Records and National Sawdust.

New York Festival of Song

NYFOS (“No song is safe from them,” as they say) opens the season with a revival of its 1988 debut program, Lyrics By Shakespeare. “This 75-minute evening illuminates Shakespeare’s classic poetry with musical settings by Berlioz, Dankworth, Kabalevsky, Poulenc, Sondheim, and others,” Weds Oct 16, 8pm, at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center. Their “Song of the Day” is one of the great blogs on the musical internet.

New York Philharmonic

The Philharmonic’s contribution to the year’s Beethoven festivities commences with the Fall Gala on Monday Oct 7, getting the Fifth Symphony out of the way, along with Lang Lang’s interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

The brilliant Susanna Mälkki leads a more interesting program Oct 18-22, balancing Haydn’s Philosopher Symphony with Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and a piece for sheng (a Chinese reed instrument) and orchestra. Renowned sheng virtuoso Wu Wei is featured as soloist.


Restoring chamber music to its native setting, Tertulia hosts innovative, energized chamber music concerts in a dinner party setting. Their season opens Sun Oct 6, 7PM, at Little Park. Rolston String Quartet are joined by harp, flute, and clarinet for a curious assortment of music including Ravel’s enticing Introduction and Allegro.


REVIEW: Cleveland Serves Viennese Confections at Carnegie Hall

REVIEW: Cleveland Serves Viennese Confections at Carnegie Hall

REVIEW: NY Philharmonic Focuses Spotlight on Expressionism

REVIEW: NY Philharmonic Focuses Spotlight on Expressionism