New Haven’s classical music pros are heading outdoors before the cold takes hold.
New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians will gather in person to make music Oct. 17 and 24 for the first time since the pandemic shut down the previous season in March. NHSO musicians will perform in small, socially distant ensembles at the Canal Dock Boathouse on Long Wharf Drive in New Haven, according to an NHSO release.
The first 2 p.m. concert will feature a percussion duo and string trio, and the second one Oct. 24 will feature the symphony’s brass quintet. The two varied programs will include classics and other small-ensemble music, including pieces by Bach, Bernstein, Gershwin, Debussy, Sousa and Fats Waller. The performances will be outdoors on the facility’s extensive patio facing the water. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students and free for kids under 18 with adults.
The string event will also include “Over the Rainbow” and Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.”
“Live performance has become a most precious and appreciated commodity since the pandemic struck,” said symphony orchestra CEO Elaine C. Carroll. “We have missed playing for our city and are so excited to be able to gather together for these delightful concerts. Our city’s beautiful waterfront property will make for a wonderful and — most importantly — safe location for a small group of our musicians to gather together and make music for you.”
Principal timpanist Michael Singer said, “The musicians of our orchestra have truly missed performing together and for audiences since the pandemic began. It means so much to all of us to be able to gather, even in these unusual circumstances, to make music for our community.” Singer will perform with his wife, principal percussionist Aya Kaminaguchi, as part of the Oct. 17 program. Also performing will be Rebecca Patterson, principal cello; Jill Pellett Levine, viola; and Millie Piekos, violin.
For the second program, musicians Rich Clymer and Ken Tedeschi on trumpet, Eva Conti on French horn, Scott Cranston on trombone and Adam Crowe on tuba will play selections ranging from Bach to “Maria” from “West Side Story” and Scott Joplin’s “Solace.”
The NHSO will be enforcing health and safety guidelines per recommendations by the CDC and state of Connecticut, of course. All concertgoers will be required to wear masks at all times except in their designated seating areas and must follow social distancing guidelines.
Tickets must be purchased in advance by noon on the Friday before each performance. All tickets will be sent via email. You can show the tickets on your phone or a color printout. They are available at NewHavenSymphony.org or by calling 203-787-4282.
As for any other coming events, NHSO Marketing Director Katie Bonner Russo said in an email, “We are continuing to look at live performance options through the end of the year. The rules around indoor gatherings are constantly shifting sands so a lot of our focus continues to be on virtual and/or hybrid performances.
“We are also putting a lot of our energy and resources into our education offerings and how we will adapt them this spring. Typically this is when we offer our tremendously popular Family Concerts and Young People’s Concerts. The student experience is particularly important to us, more than ever during this pandemic, and we are hoping to announce some of this new virtual/hybrid content for students soon.”
In other classical music news, New Britain-based Connecticut Virtuosi will present a pair of concerts soon with the pandemic in mind. On the program will be Béla Bartók’s “Divertimento for String Orchestra,” a modernist energetic protest piece composed in response to the Nazi regime in Europe, and the premiere of “Stays the Year One Moment,” a new work from Newington composer and violist Jonathan Kane written in remembrance of the victims of COVID-19.
Performances will be 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at Trinity-On-Main in New Britain and at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at SS Cyril and Methodius Church in Hartford. A limited number of tickets are available for each performance, as Connecticut statewide mandates remain in place for attendance. To purchase tickets, go to thevirtuosi.ticketleap.com.
The performances will also be broadcast live on CV’s Facebook page and will be made available for viewing on YouTube. Suggested donations of $25 are welcome at thevirtuosi.org/donate/ to help sustain the group.