by Michael Bowen & r & SPOKANE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & r & The Spokane Symphony Orchestra's 60th season opens Friday night, Sept. 16, with Johann Strauss' "Suite from Der Rosenkavalier," Maurice Ravel's La Valse and, in the featured piece after intermission, Jean-Phillipe Collard performing Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto. Collard has recorded more than 50 albums for EMI, including, for example, the complete piano concertos of Saint-Saens with Andre Previn.
The Mickey & amp; Judy Show pops up on Oct. 1, delighting listeners with tunes from classic MGM musicals like the title songs from Babes on Broadway and Strike Up the Band, along with "I'm Just Wild About Harry" from Babes in Arms and "I Got Rhythm," "But Not for Me" and "Embraceable You" from Girl Crazy (1943) and many more. Morihiko Nakahara will conduct, and two singers will impersonate Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.
The Symphony musicians do a casual-Friday thing at the Big Easy on Oct. 8 for "Symphony on the Edge," in which the Eckart Preu Band will show up onstage in blue jeans. The program will range from the traditional -- Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Mozart's Don Giovanni Overture, Barber's Adagio, a Stravinsky scherzo, a bit of Monteverdi -- to appropriately edgy selections like Michael Daugherty's "Flamingo" and works by Christopher Rouse, Arturo Marquez, Luciano Berio and Lou Harrison.
On Oct. 14, it's the Beethoven Bash, with Eckart Preu conducting both the Third and Fifth Symphonies and the blatant age discrimination of free T-shirts for everyone under 30 years of age. (The program will be repeated Nov. 18 at NIC's Schuler Auditorium.)
On Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 at the Met, Nakahara leads a chamber group in examining the relationship between stern taskmaster Leopold Mozart (represented by his "Hunting Symphony" and "Peasant Wedding") and his rather well-known son Wolfgang Amadeus (who will contribute a bassoon concerto with Lynn Feller-Marshall as the soloist and his 35th symphony, the Haffner).
Circle Nov. 12 on your calendar as the date of the Great Hobbit Invasion, when The Lord of the Rings Symphony will be performed at the Spokane Arena (see story, page 74).
On Nov. 16-17 at the Davenport Hotel's Marie Antoinette ballroom, sip wine and munch on hors d'oeuvres as the Symphony's principal musicians play baroque, classical and contemporary masterpieces.
On Dec. 10-11, it's time for Eckart's second Christmas in Spokane, including Handel's Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.
In a festive holiday concert on Dec. 16, music from Fantasia and a Bach concerto for -- count 'em -- four harpsichords will be followed by Handel's Royal Fireworks Music and Saint-Saens' booming Organ Symphony.
Joining forces with the Alberta Ballet, the SSO travels to the palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy, with more than 50 local kids joining in the cast of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (Dec. 21-23). Visit www.spokanesymphony.org or call 624-1200.
COEUR d'ALENE SYMPHONY & r & On Oct. 15, with David Demand conducting, the CdA Symphony will perform the patriotic tone poem "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius; Mendelssohn's Third Symphony, the "Scottish"; and then Jay Mauchley will be the soloist in Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto. On Dec. 3-4, also at NIC's Schuler Auditorium, after a performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, the Symphony will be joined by the Northwest Sacred Music Chorale in a program entitled "Christmas Fantasia" featuring Max Mendez as vocal soloist.
ALLEGRO & r & Allegro: Baroque and Beyond offers "Spanish Splendor" on Oct. 21 at the Met. This program features Kraig Scott on harpsichord in music of Padre Antonio Soler, Domenico Scarlatti and others from the palace of El Escorial in Madrid.
Spend "A Rockwood Christmas" with Allegro on Dec. 6-8 by listening to holiday music at the Priess House, a Tudor Revival at 716 E. Rockwood Blvd. that was designed by the same man who created the Paulsen Building. Visit www.allegrobaroque.org or call 455-6865.
SPOKANE STRING QUARTET & r & The SSQ has two concerts this fall. On Sept. 25 at the Met, Kelly Farris, Tana Bachman Bland, Helen Byrne and Jeannette Wee-Yang will be joined by Michael Lim, violin, and Melia Watras, viola for an interesting program that includes the Third Solo Suite for Viola by Max Reger, moves on to a Telemann concerto for violin with four violas and harpsichord and then concludes with the Brahms Viola Quintet in G major.
On Nov. 20 at CenterStage, the SSQ will perform string quartets by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Philip Glass. Call 326-3136 ext. 43.
SPOKANE YOUTH SYMPHONY & r & As your child prodigy matures, he or she may climb the many rungs of the SYS organization. First there are the Spokane Strings, with open admission. (All the other branches require an audition to get in.) Then there are the Intermediate String Orchestra (strings only) and the Junior Orchestra (composed of elementary and middle school students). Next come the Junior Symphonic Orchestra (which adds winds and is open to middle school and high school players) and the Spokane Junior Symphony. Finally, the Spokane Youth Orchestra, about 85 strong, is made up of more advanced high school musicians. Got all that straight? Because it's essential to understanding what the SYS (the umbrella organization) has to offer in its alphabet soup of concerts this fall: The SYO and the JSO play on Nov. 6 at St. John's Cathedral, while the J.O., I.S.O. and S.S. perform on Nov. 21 at Westminster Congregational Church. Visit www.spokaneyouthsymphony.org or call 326-4442.
SPOKANE AREA CHILDREN'S CHORUS & r & The SACC is really five choirs: preparatory, elementary, intermediate, ensemble (a touring choir) and a senior choir composed of high school students. The preparatory, elementary and senior choirs will perform on Oct. 16 at Westminster Congregational Church in "Musicking -- Know the Score!"
On Dec. 4 at St. John's Cathedral, the intermediate and ensemble choirs, along with the Spokane Youth Orchestra, will present two performances of "The Glory of Vivaldi," with Patrick Treadway playing the elderly Vivaldi in a face-off with his younger self over how best to deal with a diva (Patty Blankenship) and all those singers in the girls' orphanage choir that the Red Priest oversaw.
On Dec. 16-17, all five choirs of the SACC will perform a program entitled "Yuletide Delights," also at Westminster Church. And various members of the SACC will also appear in the Spokane Symphony's LOTR Symphony (Nov. 12) and Holiday Pops (Dec. 10) programs.
SPECIAL EVENTS & r & Connoisseur Concerts presents Handel's Messiah on Dec. 2-3 at First Presbyterian Church, 318 S. Cedar St. Gunther Schuller conducts, with the soloists including Janet Brown, Barbara Rearick, Rockland Osgood and James Maddalena. Tickets: $25.
On Dec. 9-10, the Whitworth College Choir Christmas Concert will provide holiday inspiration at First Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $15. Call 777-3280.
OPERA & r & Spokane-Coeur d'Alene Opera presents a favorite local soprano, Ann Fennessy, in an event called "Men's Night Out" on Oct. 12 at Far West Billiards, 1001 W. First Ave. Tickets are $40. Call 533-1150.
"Diamonds and Divas" will make its annual appearance on New Year's Eve at the Davenport Hotel. Champagne, hors d'oeuvres, dinner, a silent auction, opera arias, ballet and waltzing will make for a festive evening. Call 535-7501.
On Oct. 8-9, Opera Plus! and the CdA Chamber Orchestra will present Rossini's beloved comic opera, The Barber of Seville, at NIC's Schuler Auditorium.