Class Up Your Weekend: Five Classical Concerts Worth Hearing This Weekend

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This weekend, several local classical music organizations are kicking off their 2012/2013 seasons with great concerts in a variety of venues. Here are five of your best bets for hearing beautiful art music around the metroplex this weekend:

1. Free Chamber Music at the Dallas Museum of Art The Fine Arts Chamber Players' Bancroft Family Concerts series begins this Saturday with a free performance by the Emerald Trio. The trio, which includes Dallas Symphony Orchestra violinist Aleksandr Snytkin, will perform gorgeous late-romantic selections by Czech composer Antonín Dvorák and the early-twentieth century soviet Russian, Dmitri Shostakovich. Both composers are known for producing rich, moving melodies for the symphony. In this smaller, more intimate and transparent chamber format, their music is capable of evoking deep emotion. The concert is free and begins at 3pm on Saturday, Oct. 20th in the Dallas Museum of Arts' Horchow Auditorium. More info here.

2. Double the Dvorák, Double the Fun There is a lot of Dvorák to be heard in Dallas this weekend. The beloved 18th-century Czech nationalist is the sole composer on this week's Dallas Symphony Orchestra program that includes both Dvorák's famous cello concerto and his 7th symphony. Jaap van Zweden and the DSO will be joined by the young Armenian cellist phenom Narek Hakhnazaryan. Hakhnazaryan is still in his early 20s and pretty much looks like a high school kid, but he proved his mettle in the classical world last year when he won the prestigious Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition. Fortunately, you don't need to know how to pronounce the names Dvorák, Jaap van Zweden, or Hakhanazaryan to enjoy the sweeping, often sorrowful melodies of these masterpieces. The DSO will perform Thursday and Saturday at 8pm, Friday at 7:30, and Sunday at 2pm. More info on the DSO's website.

3. Chamber Music at the Fort Worth Modern Canadian-born virtuosic pianist Lucille Chung made her debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra when she was ten years old and graduated from both the Curtis Institute of Music and Juilliard School before she was 20. She tours extensively around the world and is fluent in French, Korean, English, Italian, German, and Russian. In addition to making the rest of us feel like inadequate lazy specimens of humanity, Lucille is an exciting and engaging pianist and artist. On Saturday, Oct. 20th she will join musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Forth Worth at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for performances of trios and quartets by Beethoven, Haydn and Mendelssohn. The concert starts at 2pm. Single tickets are $28, but students can snag them for $10.

4. Ensemble75 at Steinway Hall Ensemble75 was founded a couple of years ago by a group of young professional musicians who wanted an outlet for performance, collaboration, and experimentation. Their third season launches this Sunday at Steinway Hall Dallas (look for the giant retro "PIANOS" sign just off of Central Expressway between Mockingbird and Knox/Henderson). Featuring music by 20th-century composers, all of the works on this program, called "Crossover," are classical pieces that are heavily influenced by other styles (i.e. Argentinean tango, Broadway, and film scores). Ensemble75 artistic director Jonathan Tsay and cellist Jaewon Ahn will join Dallas Opera Concertmaster Jing Wang on the violin. Tickets are FREE, but you need to RSVP here as space is limited.

5. The Turtle Creek Choral and Friends Sunday night at the Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas' award-winning Turtle Creek Choral opens its season with its 5th annual Partners in Harmony concert, "MAJESTY & GLORY." Expect to hear MAJESTIC (in all-caps) sounds booming from the Meyerson's enormous Lay Family Organ, played by special guest Dr. Bradley Welch as well as GLORIOUS (in all-caps) harmonies from a choir of over 300 voices. Singers from a variety of local, open and affirming churches and synagogues will join the Turtle Creek Choral. Tickets and more information here.

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