Classical Music

The Best Classical Concerts to Hear in Dallas in February

OK, nerds, it's February and those money-hungry card and candy companies are at it again, reminding you that just having a profile on OKCupid isn't the same as actually going out with your crush IRL. So stop obsessively checking that special someone's online profile and impress them with tickets to hear some live music.

This month is the perfect time to do it, too, because the calendar is full of nerdtastic options. In The Dallas Opera's production of Tod Machover's sci-fi opera, Death and the Powers, robots and humans share the stage, singing love duets together in a futuristic musical world where humans have figured out how to "live" forever. Later in the month, Philip Glass, one of the world's most famous living composers, will perform his own music. Sure, you've seen him on South Park, but we promise this will be better. There are plenty of more traditional concerts in store, too. Here's the rundown:

February 8: The Díaz Trio Performs at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Hearing chamber music in a beautiful setting is one of the most intimate, thrilling ways to experience classical music live. With only a handful of performers on stage, there is little room for mistakes and the intense concentration and connection required between the performers is palpable. On Saturday, February 8, the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth presents the acclaimed Díaz Trio with pianist Gabriela Martinez in a diverse program of familiar and not-so-familiar music. Selections include Brahms' Piano Quartet in C Major as well as music by lesser-known 20th century composers like Turina and Dohnányi, all performed in one of the area's best museums. Visit the group's website for tickets.

February 12-16: The Dallas Opera Presents Tod Machover's Death and the Powers This month a sci-fi opera takes over the Winspear Opera House, complete with robots and a dramatic, futuristic tale. The opera, composed by MIT professor/musical-mad-scientist Tod Machover, tells the story of Simon Powers, an aging billionaire determined to upload his conscience into a computer system so that he can "live" forever. Even after his physical body departs, his voice lives on through a system of acting, singing robots controlled by Machover's MIT team and sung by the brilliant Robert Orth. The Dallas Opera's production is only the third American production for this 21st century robot opera and there are only four performances, so don't snooze on those tickets. To get them, visit the opera's website.

February 22: Dallas Symphony Musicians Perform at Free Bancroft Family Concert Here's some more chamber music in a museum for you, and this time both the music and the art are free. Head to the Dallas Museum of Art early for the Fine Arts Chamber Players' always-packed Bancroft Family Concert series. Doors open at 2:30 for the 3 p.m. concert and you'll need to be on time to get a seat. This month's offerings will be especially enjoyable and feature gorgeous, romantic music by Tchaikovsky and Argentinian composer Alberto Ginestera. Several members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will perform, including the orchestra's new principal flutist Demarre McGill. This is not your high school band flute performance. Be prepared to be wowed by the sound McGill consistently draws from his instrument. More information here.

February 24: Philip Glass and Violinist Tim Fain Perform Chamber Music at the Winspear Chances are, if you've heard of only one contemporary classical composer, Philip Glass is the name you know. Whether you've heard the enchanting, pulsating minimalistic sounds of his piano pieces (i.e. Metamorphasis), seen one of his operas (Einstein on the Beach) or just heard his music as the soundtrack to a film (The Hours, The Truman Show, Jiro Dreams of Sushi), you'll instantly recognize the whirling, intoxicating sound of his music. And, because brilliant minds are constantly evolving, you'll probably also be surprised by some new sounds you don't expect. This chamber music concert features music Glass composed specially for violinist Tim Fain and the two will perform it together. Don't miss this chance to see and hear a modern musical giant in person. For tickets, visit the AT&T Performing Arts Center's website.

February 25: The Dallas Chamber Symphony Accompanies Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr. This Dallas Chamber Symphony concert at City Performance Hall will not bore you. There's a hilarious silent film accompanied by live, newly composed music, a performance of Schumann's familiar Carnival of the Animals performed with dancers and a performance of a lesser-known work by contemporary American composer Joseph Schwantner. The film on its own would be reason enough to snag tickets. The Dallas Chamber Symphony never disappoints on that front. On paper, the program doesn't appear to be the most cohesive evening of music, but there's a good chance this group will make it work. For tickets, visit DCS's website.

February 20-23 and 27, March 2: Jaap van Zweden and The Dallas Symphony The DSO is performing two subscription series classical concerts this month and you'll have to decide for yourself which one to go hear. Jaap van Zweden, the orchestra's always exciting music director, conducts both weekends and both programs feature gorgeous music. The weekend of February 20-23 will be the most challenging and possibly most rewarding experience; Verdi's Requiem is a massive, moving work of art, but it can also be a sometimes heady, religious experience and the 90-minute run-time could be a deal-breaker for some (there's no intermission). If you push through, though, the payoff will be some transcendent moments of vocal music you won't soon forget. Over the last weekend of February, the orchestra will play much more accessible music, including a Mozart piano concerto. The night will wrap up with Ravel's always-exciting Bolero, a much shorter piece that features classical music's most famous climax.

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Katie Womack
Contact: Katie Womack