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Nonesuch Events for the Weekend of October 4–6

John Adams profile

John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto receives its St. Louis premiere at Powell Hall on Saturday, with an additional performance on Sunday afternoon. St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson leads the orchestra and saxophonist Timothy McAllister, for whom the piece was written, this weekend, as he did in performances of Adams’s City Noir at Powell Hall in February.

“While the concerto is not meant to sound jazzy per se,” says the composer, “its jazz influences lie only slightly below the surface.” The Saxophone Concerto recently received its world premiere in Sydney and its US premiere in Baltimore, leading the Washington Post to describe it as a “virtuosic piece,” and the Baltimore Sun to call it “a kinetic, ecstatic ride that achieves giddy heights along the way." In addition to the new piece, this weekend’s program includes Adams’s 1985 piece Chairman Dances and Gershwin’s Cuban Overture and Concerto in F, featuring Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker.

Nonesuch Records, which recorded the February performances of City Noir, returns this weekend to record the Saxophone Concerto, both for future release. The St. Louis Symphony’s previous recording for Nonesuch is Adams’s Doctor Atomic Symphony (2009).

Listeners around the world can also tune in to a live broadcast of Saturday’s concert at stlpublicradio.org.

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Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter kick off the Midwestern leg of their duo tour with shows in three different states this weekend: preceding Adams in St. Louis by one day, at the Sheldon Concert Hall tonight; the Capitol Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday; and the Englert Theatre in Iowa City on Sunday.

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Jeremy Denk gives solo recitals in three New York towns this weekend: at Union College's Memorial Chapel in Schenectady tonight; Sleepy Hollow High School in Sleepy Hollow on Saturday; and the Museum at Bethel Woods in Bethel on Sunday afternoon. Nonesuch released Denk’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in North America this week, with the international release to follow on October 21.

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Dr. John brings the music of his 2012 Nonesuch album, Locked Down, and more to the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall in Coral Gables, Florida, on Saturday.

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Pianist Richard Goode gives the second of two consecutive nights of recitals at the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen tonight, performing works by Schubert, Chopin, and Debussy.

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Emmylou Harris returns to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco its reigning queen, having performed each year at the special event, now in its lucky-13th running. The free three-day festival takes place in a section of Golden Gate Park now known as Hellman Hollow, named after Hardly Strictly’s beloved founder, the late Warren Hellman.

Harris and Rodney Crowell, who are currently on tour performing music from their duets album, Old Yellow Moon, close out the festival’s Banjo Stage at 5:45 PM PT on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Harris joins Martha Wainwright, Sloan Wainwright, and for a special tribute to Martha’s mother, the late Kate McGarrigle; the concert’s other special guests include Steve Earle, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller, and Martha’s father, Loudon Wainwright III. Harris is also among the artists on the recently released two-CD Nonesuch set Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle, featuring highlights from earlier concerts honoring McGarrigle.

Much of the music from the festival will be webcast live; for details and to tune in live, visit hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.

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Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra round out their four-night residency at the Kronberg Academy Festival in Kronberg, Germany, performing at the Stadthalle Kronberg tonight and the Johanniskirche on Saturday morning.

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k.d. lang performs at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on Saturday, as part of the museum’s 11th annual Gala in the Garden, this year honoring sculptor Robert Gober and playwright Tony Kushner. lang will make her Broadway debut in the new musical After Midnight in February, celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club.

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Audra McDonald continues her North American tour at Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts in Flushing, New York, on Saturday. Backed by a jazz ensemble, she performs songs from her new album, Go Back Home, as well as other songs from the American songbook.

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Brad Mehldau and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra give the US premiere of Mehldau’s own Variations on a Melancholy Theme for the opening night of Mechanics Hall’s 2013-2014 season in Worcester, Massachusetts, tonight. Also on the program is Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Erotica. Mehldau and the Orchestra (for whom the Variations were written) offer the same program in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, before giving the New York City premiere of the work at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday.

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Natalie Merchant joins the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra for a concert benefitting the Count Basie Theatre, where the concert takes place, in Red Bank, New Jersey, tonight.

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Randy Newman was due to open the 2013–14 concert season at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, on Saturday. However, due to the US government shutdown, the concert has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date. In the meantime …

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Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club performs at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday. The orchestra then heads to the East Coast, performing in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, and rounds out the US tour with two performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City next week.

Reviewing a sold-out show in Chicago last weekend, the Chicago Tribune exclaimed: “To hear [Eliades] Ochoa's vocal incantations supported by several other voices, Manuel ’Guajiro’ Mirabal's clarion trumpet crying out in the background, was to realize anew that this music is inextinguishable.”

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Joshua Redman and his quartet—pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson—perform at Opernhaus Leipzig in Germany tonight, as part of Leipziger Jazztage, and kick off the French leg of their European tour at Cité de la musique’s Salle Pleyel in Paris on Sunday.

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Chris Thile continues his solo tour at the University of Wyoming’s Fine Arts Concert Hall in Laramie tonight, before heading to Colorado for two more shows: at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver on Saturday and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Sunday. The tour, in support of his new album, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1, next brings him down South.

Reviewing Thile’s recent performance with his fellow Punch Brothers at the unforgettable benefit concert Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis” in New York City, The New Yorker’s David Remnick describes the band as “folk-music wizards.”

Punch Brothers guitarist Chris Eldridge and fellow guitarist Michael Daves (who released a duo album of bluegrass tunes with Thile, Sleep with One Eye Open, on Nonesuch in 2011) join forces to perform the music of The Stanley Brothers at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on Saturday.

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Rokia Traoré has taken the music of her new album, Beautiful Africa, to that continent’s southeastern-most reaches as she performs two shows on the French island of Réunion this weekend: at Théâtre Plein Air in Saint-Gilles tonight, and Théâtre Champ Fleuri in Saint-Denis on Saturday.

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Allen Toussaint offers a solo set at Joe’s Pub in New York City on Sunday at noon. The New Orleans native recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal about growing up in the city’s Gert Town neighborhood, learning the piano—“fortunately the radio was very close to the piano, so I could turn the dial, listen and play along”—and his father’s support. 

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Sara Watkins performs at two California gatherings this weekend: a sold-out set at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles tonight, as part of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, and La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego on Saturday, as part of the Without Walls Festival.

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