Music, Maestro, Please! Six Activities for Classical Music Fans

By Troy Segal

Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, so the saying goes. This sextet of events, talks, and performances around NYC in the next few months offers sounds ranging from soaring to sonorous.

The St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble celebrates its 40th birthday on Oct. 24 with a Through the Looking Glass concert, offering up the world premiere of a work by Roberto Sierra sandwiched between Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 and Schubert’s Octet in F Major. At the Morgan Library & Museum.

In the 1600s and 1700s, Italian synagogues tried something radical: performances of Hebrew texts set to music, by both Jewish and Gentile composers. Alliteratively titled Synagogue Songlines, this lecture by a University of California at Berkeley music prof unfolds at Temple Emanu-El Oct. 27.


Towards the end of the 18th century, a young man named Ludwig von Beethoven began writing his first works. Learn about his formative years, and how they affected the course of his career, at the 92nd Street Y, Nov. 17.


Hear Bach’s The Goldberg Variations as he wanted them to be played — but seldom are: on a double manual piano (one that has two keyboards). Christopher Taylor does double duty on the ivories, Nov.21, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Finally, follow the trail of a 300-year-old Stradivarius in the documentary The Return of the Violin; the screening is followed by a talk by none other than its current owner, Joshua Bell — at the 92nd Street Y, Dec. 3.

Young but versatile pianist Daniel Gortler performs an evening of works by mid-19th century German composers, featuring two obscure pieces by Clara Schumann that hint at her tumultuous love life with Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann. At The Jewish Museum, Dec. 18.