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Nonesuch Events for the Weekend of February 10–12

Dawn Upshaw, Donnacha Dennehy

Dawn Upshaw joins the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for the world premiere of a new piece by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy titled If he died, what then, based on Asenath Nicholson's book Annals of the Famine in Ireland. Upshaw and the SPCO perform the piece at the Ordway Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, tonight and tomorrow, and at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis on Sunday. Also on the program are Beethoven's First Symphony and works by Michael Tippett and Benjamin Britten. Dennehy is in attendance for the performances.

Upshaw can be heard performing Dennehy's That the Night Come on the composer's Nonesuch debut album, Grá agus Bás, which was named among the best albums of 2011 by NPR Music.

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John Adams will be close to home on the West Coast this weekend when he joins Anna Deavere Smith for a discussion at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Part of The Forum series, the free event, titled Grace and the Artist, takes place Sunday morning in the Cathedral's Gresham Hall. Smith is Grace Cathedral's artist-in-residence and leads a number of events there this month and last.

Adams's Doctor Atomic Symphony, the all-instrumental work based on his opera about the creation of the first nuclear bomb, is paired with Hadyn's 100th Symphony for two performances by the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville tonight and Saturday. Also on the program is Brahms's First Piano Concerto, for which the orchestra will be joined by pianist Jonathan Biss.

The concerts come recommended by the Nashville Scene, whose Cayla Mackey writes: "The trinity of works from the classical, romantic, and minimalist eras creates a program that grapples with large-scale devastation across generations. Impending doom at the hand of man in wartime seems to have changed little over the past two centuries, but there is beauty in the horror."

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Björk continues her Biophilia residency in New York with another performance at the New York Hall of Science in Queens on Sunday. Though she was forced to cancel Thursday’s performance due to illness, this Sunday's show is still scheduled to proceed as planned, as of publication time. Later this month, Björk takes the show to Manhattan for four performances at Roseland.

"In both settings you’ll get the full sweep of Björk’s vocal and sartorial splendor, along with the Jules Verne-ish custom instruments," writes the New York Times's Nate Chinen, "that give Biophilia its sonic imprint. But go the museum route if you can: its shows are in the round, and doors open early to encourage a look at the exhibits. As is often the case with Björk, the intended result is both esoteric and egalitarian."

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The Black Keys close out their European tour with the second and third consecutive nights of sold-out shows at the Alexandra Palace in London tonight and Saturday. Band of Skulls opens on both nights. The Black Keys launch their US arena tour on Friday, March 2, at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, and they'll bring over a bit of Britain with them, as the Arctic Monkeys open along the tour.

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Richard Goode plays a recital at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday, featuring works by Schumann and Chopin. The Guardian gives four stars to Goode's performance of the program last weekend in Perth, Scotland. "At 68, Goode is the statesman of American piano playing," writes reviewer Kate Molleson, "and still his playing eschews predictability."

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Wanda Jackson performs at The Arts Center in Carrboro, North Carolina, tonight and The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. The Spartanburg Herald Journal named last night's show in Asheville the Show of the Week.

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As noted earlier today in the Nonesuch Journal, Dr. John, whose new album, Locked Down, is due out April 3, launches a week-long tour of East Asia with two sets at Billboard Live in Osaka, Japan. It's the first of two consecutive nights for Dr. John and his band The Lower 911 at the venue, which will be followed by a three-night, six-set run at Billboard Live in Tokyo and two nights at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Dr. John will lead a three-weekend residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York starting March 29, including three shows with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who produced the new album.

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Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra perform at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, Italy, tonight as part of their European tour in celebration of Kremer’s 65th birthday.

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Kronos Quartet performs with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, the Azeribaijani group featured on Kronos's 2009 album Floodplain, at Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium on Sunday. Kronos will open the show with its own set, including Steve Reich's WTC 9/11, followed by a set from the ensemble. Following an intermission, the two groups come together for a set of works arranged by Alim Qasimov, with string quartet parts arranged for Kronos by Jacob Garchik.

Kronos Quartet founder, violinist, and artistic director David Harrington spoke with the San Francisco Classical Voice's Jeff Kaliss about the collaboration and concert. Read the interview at sfcv.org.

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The Low Anthem continues its North American tour with City and Colour with two concerts at Toronto's Massey Hall, tonight and Saturday.

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Joshua Redman continues his European tour with his Trio, featuring bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, performing at Victoria in Oslo tonight. They spend the rest of the weekend in Sweden, playing at the Nefertiti Jazz Club in Goteborg on Saturday, and at Fasching in Stockholm on Sunday.

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