Classical Concerts, March 17-25

GPB's Sarah Zaslaw introducing the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra's March 12 concert in Columbus, Georgia.

The Savannah Music Festival gets underway with an incredible lineup of musicians, classical and otherwise. This weekend's classical highlights include:

  • Thursday, March 19: Pianist Garrick Ohlsson in recital.
  • Friday, March 20: "Sensations I" - chamber music with violinists Daniel Hope and Lorenza Borrani, pianist Wu Han and friends. Dvorak's Piano Quintet, Barber's Adagio and Beethoven and Schulhoff.
  • Saturday, March 21: The Prazak Quartet with an all-Czech program (Dvorak, Janacek, Smetana).
  • Sunday, March 22: "Sensations II" - chamber music including Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata (with David Finckel and Wu Han), Schubert's great String Quintet and the premier of a festival-commissioned piece by Alexandra du Bois.
  • Monday, March 23: Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin in recital.
Amazing. Please consult the festival's website for details on times, venues and tickets.

Meanwhile, the rest of GPB's listening area isn't exactly kicking back.

Tuesday, March 17
  • Columbus State's Schwob School of Music presents guest artists Andre Gaskins and Yien Wang in Romantic music for cello and piano by Schumann, Brahms and Chopin, Legacy Hall, RiverCenter, Columbus, 7:30. Free.
  • Award-winning Turkish-born pianist Zeynep Ucbasaran and Georgia State keyboard faculty Sergio Gallo present a faculty/guest artist recital. Kopleff Recital Hall, Georgia State University, Atlanta, 7:30. Free.
Thursday, March 19
  • Columbus State University presents internationally acclaimed organist James David Christie making his first solo appearance on the Jordan organ in Legacy Hall, RiverCenter, Columbus, 7:30.
Friday, March 20
  • The Prague-based Prazak Quartet plays Haydn, Webern and Dvorak as part of the University of Georgia's Franklin College Chamber Music Series. Hodgson Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center, Athens. 8 p.m. Free.
  • The Vega String Quartet teams up with the vocal sextet Lionheart for a program including Phil Kline's John the Revelator and the world premiere of Richard Prior's Three Essays. (Richard Prior of Emory's music faculty is also director of the Rome Symphony.) Schwartz Center, Emory University, Atlanta, 8:00.
Saturday, March 21
  • Donald Portnoy leads the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, in one of his final concerts as music director, featuring Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov in Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, plus Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla Overture and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2. First Baptist of Augusta, 7:30.
  • Famed guitarist John Williams is in recital at Spivey Hall, Clayton State, Morrow, 8:15. Sold out.
  • The Atlanta Opera presents Opera Family Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Atlanta Opera Center, Northside Drive, Atlanta. Crafts, food, music, stage combat and more!
Sunday, March 22
  • One of the world's greatest pianists, Murray Perahia, performs Bach, Beethoven and Brahms in Spivey Hall, Morrow, 3 p.m. Sold out. (Perahia also gives a piano master class at Spivey Hall 11 a.m. Saturday.)
  • The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra offers music of Georg Muffat and both of his teachers, Corelli and Lully, with professional baroque dancer Paige Whitley-Baugess for pieces by Lully and Schmelzer. Also concertos by Corelli. Julie Andrijeski, guest director and violinist. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, 3 p.m.
  • Columbus State's Choral Union and Percussion Ensemble, joined by four vocal soloists and four pianists, present Stravinsky's seldom performed work Les Noces (The Wedding), plus music by Antheil and Harrison. 4 p.m., Bill Heard Theater, RiverCenter, Columbus.
Tuesday, March 24
  • The Auburn Chamber Music Society presents the Parker String Quartet at 8th and Rail Dessert Cafe and Tavern, Opelika.
Wednesday, March 25
  • The Auburn Chamber Music Society presents the Parker String Quartet and pianist Soyeon Lee in Brahms' Piano Quintet, Dvorak's "American" Quartet, and music of Riley and Webern. 7:30, Goodwin Recital Hall, Auburn University.
  • Renowned Chilean-born, Georgia-bred cellist Andres Diaz performs Rachmaninoff, Piazzolla and Tavener with pianist Elizabeth Pridgen. 7:30, Kopleff Recital Hall, Georgia State, Atlanta. Free.