Three Philadelphia-based classical-music organizations—the emerging-artist presenter Astral Artists, The Curtis Institute, and the chamber orchestra Philadelphia Classical Symphony—have recently announced their 2009-10 seasons. Musicians performing in Astral’s upcoming recital season include pianist Di Wu, bassoonist Harrison Hollingsworth, saxophonist Doug O’Connor, and flutist Jasmine Choi. Astral has also organized a one-day Philadelphia Brahms Festival with chamber-music concerts at Church of the Holy Trinity in Rittenhouse Square. Among presentations of The Curtis Institute will be three concerts by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall led by JoAnn Falletta, Robert Spano, and Giancarlo Guerrero. Curtis also will celebrate the hundredth birthday of Samuel Barber with a birthday performance by 20/21: The Curtis Contemporary Music Ensemble, as well as performances of the composer’s Antony and Cleopatra by Curtis Opera Theatre, Symphony No. 1 by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and the String Quartet during Curtis On Tour (a touring group of Curtis faculty and alumni). Among alumni scheduled to perform at Curtis are the string trio Time for Three and tenor Michael Schade. The Philadelphia Classical Symphony will present three programs in the coming season, including a November concert featuring Hexameron—a work of variations on “Suoni la Tromba” from Bellini’s I Puritani by Liszt, Thalberg, Pixis, Herz, Czerny, and Chopin—in a world premiere version for piano and chamber orchestra. A second program will feature accordionist Lidia Kaminska and the orchestra in music of Gershwin, Griffes, Gruenberg, Bowles; and violinist Hirono Oka will join PCS for a third program of music by John Frederick Peter, Mark O’Connor, Maurice Wright, and David Diamond.

Posted July 21, 2009