Denyce Graves, who disappointed fans by canceling her appearances in the ASO's recital of Bluebeard's Castle a year ago, will try again this year, appearing in the always special King Celebration Concert in early January. Pianist Awadagin Pratt, whose stylings lean toward the somber and contemplative, plays Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in the first concerts of 2001. Young violinist Hilary Hahn, who wowed audiences at Spivey last year, will play Beethoven's Violin Concerto in March and, to push the bar to an even younger level, 17-year old violinist Ilya Gringolts and 15-year-old prodigy Han-Na Chang appear in April. Frequent guest conductors include Mikko Franck, Michael Christie (doing an all Copland program), Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop (appearing twice), Sir Roger Norrington and James DePreist.
Pops concerts are particularly promising this year, with the classy and elegant New York cabaret singer Andre Marcovicci joining the ASO for a Valentine's concert in February, a Christmas jazz show with vocalist John Pizzarelli and a St. Patrick's Day concert with John McDermott of PBS' "Irish Tenors" fame.
With a roster in past years that included amazing concerts by then-rising superstars such as Ian Bostridge, Ewa Podles and Renee Fleming, Spivey Hall's recent offerings will be hard to top, but this year promises a set of great shows. The gala opening in October features a concert by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. In November, Andras Schiff performs Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and guitarist Pepe Romero appears as well. The all-female a cappella group Anonymous 4, who sing medieval and early Renaissance chant, perform in late November, and for those who can't get enough of international music with a female flare, Cherish the Ladies bring their Celtic classics in a December Christmas concert. Violinist Joshua Bell, hailed as a child prodigy, comes to Spivey in early February; other highlights include concerts from pianist Alfred Brendel and mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina in April.
The Atlanta Opera continues its fantastic 2000 season with productions of Lucia di Lamermoor in September and Turandot in October. And speaking of opera, fans will be glad to note that Georgia Tech's Robert Ferst Center for the Arts has grown from one small production per year just a few seasons ago to a full-fledged series in early 2001. London City Opera brings its production of Bizet's Carmen to the performance space in January, followed by the national tour of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Teatro Lirico d'Europa, who brought their rather lackluster version of Turandot to the Fox last year, will try again this year with Aida (don't even ask if it's the one by Elton John, though it does have some pyramids in it). Rounding things off will be the Russian opera company Helikon's production of Verdi's La Traviata in late March.
Ferst Center is also bringing to town a number of first-rate solo musicians, including, on Oct. 17, Yo Yo Ma, who happily seems to have made Atlanta one of his yearly stops. Israeli-born superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman will likewise play the hall in late March. Eroica Trio, three women whose hip looks have garnered them spreads in Elle and Vogue and who thrilled Atlantans with their gutsy performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto last year, appear at the beginning of October. Internationally renowned violinist Midori comes to Ferst in early December. Christopher Parkening, a guitarist with a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in classical music, performs in January, and Andre Watts -- who, by the way, inaugurated the Ferst center with a concert in 1992 -- plays there again in late March. The famous and popular Vienna Boys Choir sing at the Ferst on Feb. 26, and for a bit of contrast, the Girls Choir of Harlem come to the same venue in May.
You've got a few of my faves listed here, plus a bunch I've never heard…
This is such a cool idea and the performance is great (I've been twice) but…
Ugliest bunch of girls I've ever seen.
Shuddup ya dumb beatnik