Local Arts

Charlotte Arts 2019-20: The music calendar

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Charlotte Arts Guide 2019-20

Here’s all of our stories on the new arts season. We’ll introduce you to the diverse group of people making vital contributions to the arts. You’ll find them in museums, on stage, in studios and even outdoors. And you’ll get our calendar listings for theater, dance, music, museums, literary events and visual arts.

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Arts at the Abbey

Free concerts are performed in the Belmont Abbey Basilica, 100 Belmont-Mt. Holly Road, Belmont Abbey College campus. bac.edu.

Sept. 23: The Venezuelan duo of violinist Alfonso Lopez and pianist Michelle Tabor Duo plays music from Europe and South America.

Oct. 7: Medieval songs and stories by Carolina Pro Musica, from “Cantigas de Santa Maria” to selections from “Carmina Burana” (not Orff).

Nov. 29: Twin trumpeters The Dash Duo join pianist Polina Khatsko.

Dec. 6: “Holiday concert.” Music from around the world.

Jan. 27: Anima Vox, a duo made up of flutist Tadeu Coelho and soprano Carole Ott, play the premiere of “Meditations on the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Feb. 10: The Zingaresca Duo, Vadim Kolpakov and Oleg Timofeyev, play a concert titled “Secrets of the Russian Gypsy Guitar.”

March 30: Carolina Pro Musica performs works by Purcell, Finger, Pepusch and J.C. Bach.

May 3: Annual spring concert of sacred and secular music by the Abbey chorus, voice and instrumental students and faculty.

Arts at Queens

The Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for Arts and Civic Engagement opens at Queens University in 2020 and will bring in well-known artists for performances and readings. So far, two events have been announced. queens.edu/arts-at-queens.

Feb. 20: Tony-winning Broadway star Sutton Foster will perform songs from her musicals and others, including “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Anything Goes.”

Sutton Foster, center, leads the cast of “Anything Goes” during the 2011 Tony Awards. She will perform Feb. 20 at Queens University of Charlotte as part of the inaugural Spotlight Series at the new Sarah Belk Gambrell Center on campus. Jeff Christensen AP

April 17: Philharmonix: The Vienna Berlin Music Club. Members of the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic work with a pianist and an improvising, singing violinist to classical, jazz, klezmer, Latin and pop music.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

The museum at 420 S. Tryon St. presents jazz by Ziad Jazz Quartet and imported soloists in its Jazz at the Bechtler series and classical music by the Bechtler Ensemble (led by cellist Tanja Bechtler) in its Music and Museum series. 704-353-9200; bechtler.org.


Sept. 6: Pianist Lovell Bradford in a tribute to Herbie Hancock.

Oct. 4: Trombonist-composer Chris Brubeck.

Nov. 1: Singer-trumpeter Joe Gransden heads the program “Sinatra Returns.”

Dec. 6: “Holiday Jazz.”

Jan. 3: A 10th-anniversary show, featuring guests to be named later, will be performed next door on the Knight Theater stage.

Feb. 7: Vocalist Toni Tupponce stars in “Jazz for Lovers.”

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The Jazz at the Bechtler series will feature a show in March centered on songs by trumpeter Miles Davis, seen here in a 1987 concert in Israel. AP file photo

March 6: “Milestones,” with the quartet playing songs Miles Davis and his small group played live in 1958.

April 3: Trumpeter-flugelhornist Eddie Henderson.

May 1: Composer-pianist Martin Bejerano.

June 5: Latin jazz of all types gets played in “Rumba Para Monk.”


Oct. 13: Alexander Borodin’s String Sextet.

Nov. 24: Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” quartet.

Feb. 9: Hans Bechtler Dedication Concert, featuring trios by Haydn, Ravel and Arno Babajanian.

March 15: String trios, program TBD.

May 3: String quartet pieces and arrangements by Copland, Ives and Prokofiev.

Caritas A Cappella Ensemble

Nonprofit chorus sings exclusively a cappella music. Part of the proceeds go to local charities; the rest helps pay concert costs. No concerts had been announced at press time. 980-272-8556; caritascappella.org.

Carolina Pro Musica

Performs early music at churches and other locales in and near Mecklenburg County. 704-334-3468. carolinapromusica.org.

Oct. 5: “Medieval Songs and Stories.” From the Cantigas de Santa Maria to selections from “Carmina Burana,” (not the one by Orff), these are songs about the Virgin Mary, love and life.

Dec. 14: “Carolina Pro Musica Christmas.” Annual holiday event with music from medieval and Renaissance times, readings of the season, carols for all to sing. Bob Sweeten returns to tell the Christmas story.

Feb. 8: Rebecca Saunders sings Bach’s Cantata 199 and Vivaldi’s “Umbrae carae,” and flutist Edward Ferrell performs Vivaldi’s Concerto Op.10 No. 4.

March 20: Baroque music by Henry Purcell, Gottfried Finger, Johann Christoph Pepusch and Johann Christian Bach.

Carolina Voices

This choral group performs in theaters and churches around the region in different sizes and configurations. 704-374-1564; carolinavoices.org.

Oct. 25-26: “Dead OR Alive!” The Impromptu ensemble does its annual a cappella Halloween program, with newly commissioned arrangements of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted: Dead or Alive” and Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers.”

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Carolina Voices opens its season Oct. 25-26 with a spooky a cappella performance that will feature newly commissioned arrangements of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted: Dead or Alive” and Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers.” Elvis Hatfield Courtesy of Carolina Voices

Nov. 16-17: “Valor: Heroes and Legends.” In addition to patriotic choral selections honoring veterans, pieces at this Festival Singers concert include “Flying” (set to words of Amelia Earhart) and “A Silence Haunts Me,” using Beethoven’s own words about his deafness.

Dec. 13-22: “The Magic of Christmas.” This year, Carolina Voices’ Singing Christmas Tree supplies the choral parts of the Charlotte Symphony’s annual holiday pops program.

April 26: “The Peace of Wild Things” celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with music by Jake Runestad (using Wendell Berry’s poem of that title) and other composers.

May 30: “The Big Sing Flashback!” The Voices Mainstage group takes on Motown hits of the 1960s, pop tunes of the ‘70s and other selections ranging up to Lady Gaga.

June 27: “Happy.” Impromptu kicks off the summer with songs meant to leave you with a smile, from Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata” to Nicky Romero’s “Rise.”

Charlotte Civic Orchestra

This volunteer orchestra of 70 musicians tends to give concerts in churches and at colleges. 704-344-0098; charlottecivicorchestra.org.

Sept. 22: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Lawrence Quinnett, soloist), Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Richard Strauss’ Fanfare from “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”

Dec. 1: The annual “Christmas Extravaganza,” features 350 performers – singers, dancers and orchestra – and includes Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” the “Hallelujah Chorus” and more.

March 8: Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major (Nathan Meltzer, soloist) and other pieces TBD.

May 17: Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1, Bill Lorraine’s “Rainforest.”

Charlotte Folk Society

Old-time, bluegrass, contemporary folk, storytelling, gospel, Native American, Celtic and black string band are just some of the styles played by local and regional performers. The group jams every Saturday and some Sundays but has yet to announce any imported acts. folksociety.org.

Charlotte Master Chorale

This group, formerly the Charlotte Symphony Chorus but now independent, sings choral music of the last five centuries, with an emphasis on contemporary works. It performs in regional churches and arts centers. charlottemasterchorale.org.

Sept. 21-22: “Considering Matthew Shepard,” including the piece of that name by Craig Hella Johnson.

Nov. 2-3: Haydn’s Te Deum, Brahms’ “Schicksalslied,” and Mendelssohn’s “Die Erste Walpurgisnacht.”

Jan. 31-Feb. 1: CMC Chamber Singers do a program titled “Choral Transcendence.”

Feb. 22: “Unity Concert: African-American Spirituals.”

April 25: Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

May 28 and 30: CMC Chamber Singers do a program titled “Mostly Motets.”

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” at Belk Theater. Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Professional orchestra produces three winter-spring seasons: Classical, Pops and Lollipops, playing in Belk Theater (130 N. Tryon St.) or Knight Theater (430 S. Tryon St.). The orchestra also sponsors an outdoor Summer Pops season, plays concerts in parks and at civic events. Christopher Warren-Green conducts Classics concerts, except as noted; other series vary. 704-972-2000; charlottesymphony.org.


Sept. 27-29: An all-Tchaikovsky concert of Capriccio Italien, Symphony No. 5 and Piano Concerto No. 1 (Inon Barnatan, soloist).

Oct. 18-19: Christopher James Lees conducts an all-Russian concert, featuring short works by Liadov, Glazunov and Mussorgsky plus Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Suite.

Nov. 8-9: Hans Graf conducts Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” Brahms Symphony No. 2 and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 (Angelo Xiang Yu, soloist).

Nov. 22-23: Ilyich Rivas conducts Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn and Schumann’s Overture to “Manfred.”

Christopher Warren-Green, music director for the Charlotte Symphony. Charlotte Observer file photo

Jan. 10-12: Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7 and Beethoven’s “Leonore” Overture No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 5 (Conrad Tao, soloist).

Jan. 31-Feb. 1: An all-American concert of Barber’s Adagio for Strings, William Brittelle’s “We’re Still Here” and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

Feb. 14-16: Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” Fantasy Overture, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Gabriela Martinez, soloist).

Gabriela Martinez is playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in February with the Charlotte Symphony. Courtesy Charlotte Symphony

March 6-7: Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis.”

March 20-21: Kristin Kuster’s “Moxie,” Mozart’s Symphony No. 39, Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 (James R. Jones, organ soloist).

April 3-5: JoAnn Falletta conducts Kodaly’s “Dances of Galanta,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (Calin Lupanu, soloist).

April 17-18: Jeannette Sorrell conducts short pieces by Handel, Vivaldi and Mozart, plus Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 2 and 3.

May 1-2: Gabriella Smith’s “Field Guide,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, Brahms’ Double Concerto (violinist Simone Porter and cellist Joshua Roman, soloists).


Sept. 20-21: “Sinatra and Beyond,” featuring vocalist Tony DiSare.

Nov. 15-16: “Patriotic Pops.”

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The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra routinely draws a crowd for its Summer Pops series. Observer file photo

Dec. 13-22: “Magic of Christmas,” featuring Carolina Voices’ Singing Christmas Tree.

Jan. 24-25: “Totally ’80s,” featuring vocalist Nicole Parker.

March 27-28: “007: The Best of James Bond,” featuring vocalist Chloe Lowery.

May 8-9: “Broadway Favorites,” featuring vocalists Scarlett Strallen, Jackie Burns and Hugh Panaro.


Oct. 25: “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Nov. 29: “Home Alone.”

Kevin and the tree in “Home Alone” get live musical support from the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra during a Symphony movies series event. Courtesy of Charlotte Symphony

March 13: “The Empire Strikes Back.”

June 26: “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

FAMILY (matinees)

Dec. 14: “Magic of Christmas,” featuring Carolina Voices’ Singing Christmas Tree.

March 28: “Peter and the Wolf.”

May 9: “Wonder Women: Heroes and Villains.”


Oct. 5: Annual gala, with Itzhak Perlman playing Mendelssohn’s E Minor Concerto. Also on the program: Schubert’s Fifth Symphony and George Walker’s Lyric for Strings.

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Itzhak Perlman will perform Oct. 5 at the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s annual gala. He’ll be playing Mendelssohn’s E Minor Concerto. He’s pictured here with Renee Fleming during a 2016 Carnegie Hall performance. Julie Jacobson AP

Oct. 10: Morehouse College Glee Club joins the CSO in an evening of choral and orchestral works.

Dec. 6-7: Handel’s “Messiah,” featuring Charlotte Master Chorale and conductor Patrick Dupre Quigley.

Dec. 28: “Cirque de Noel.”

Dec. 31: The annual New Year’s Eve Celebration offers jazz, classical and ragtime music, including Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

March 31: The annual Link Up concert for area youths, where students sing, play recorders and move with the CSO.

CPCC Music and CPCC Opera

Productions take place in Halton Theatre, near the corner of Kings Drive and Elizabeth Avenue. No schedules had been announced at press time. 704-330-6534; tix.cpcc.edu.

Davidson College Concert Series

Each season, the Davidson College Music Department presents more than 50 events, including performances by touring artists — those are listed below — as well as faculty and student soloists and ensembles. davidson.edu.

Sept. 15: Clarinet quintets by Mozart and Brahms, played by Charlotte Symphony Orchestra musicians featuring clarinetist Sam Sparrow.

Oct. 24: Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas play traditional and original Celtic tunes.

Nov. 17: Pianist Jon Nakamatsu plays solo works and is then joined by Alan Black for Rachmaninov’s Cello Sonata.

Jan. 18: The Steve Sandberg Quartet blends classical, jazz and world music.

Jan. 24: Kyle Athayde, a vibraphonist who also composes, arranges and leads a big band, performs with the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble.

Jan. 28: The father-daughter fiddle and guitar duo of Rafe and Clelia Stefanini play duets, banjo tunes and ballads.

Feb. 16: Violinist John Fadial, cellist Alan Black and pianist Philip Bush play two Beethoven trios, Op. 1 No. 1 and the “Archduke.”

Feb. 18: Multi-instrumentalist Jake Blount, who specializes in banjo and fiddle, will perform black and indigenous music from the Southeast.

March 17: The Cockman Family — a father, many sons, a daughter and several grandchildren — plays bluegrass-inflected gospel music.

March 29: Ivalas Quartet, winners of the 2019 WDAV-FM Young Chamber Musicians Competition, now get a concert to themselves.

April 7: The Kruger Brothers and Joel Landsberg play banjo-guitar-bass music across sometimes unclassifiable genres.

Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will perform in April at the Davidson College Concert Series. Alexander Zemlianichenko AP file photo

April 21: Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval may deliver anything from jazz to classical to traditional Cuban music.

April 26: The annual WDAV-FM Young Chamber Musicians Competition features two high school and two college ensembles from across America.

Jazz Arts Initiative

Though this group mainly teaches young musicians, it presents concerts – many as tributes to the greats of jazz history – in the intimate Stage Door Theater, Fifth and College Streets. (These often sell out quickly.) A full schedule will be announced later in the season. thejazzarts.org.

Sept. 20-21: “Trumpet Summit,” with five Southeastern trumpeters performing a range of jazz classics.

Music at St. Alban’s

Matinee concerts are given at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 301 Caldwell Lane, Davidson. 704-941-0650; musicatstalbansdavidson.org.

Sept. 22: The Four Horseman, a trombone quartet led by the Charlotte Symphony’s Tom Burge, plays music from the 17th through 21st centuries.

Oct. 20: Bach Akademie of Charlotte performs Schutz’s Musikalische Exequien of 1636, Bach’s double-choir motet “Komm, Jesu, Komm” and other motets from the Bach family.

Nov. 24: Countertenor Reginald Mobley and pianist Henry Lebedinsky perform music by black composers. This concert will be held at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Davidson.

Jan. 19: Poisoned Dwarf Celtic Ensemble plays music for Irish flute, whistle, guitar, Scottish small pipes, banjo, percussion instruments, accordion and fiddle.

Feb. 23: Cellist Kevin Jones and pianist Topher Ruggiero play sonatas by Shostakovich, Grigory Smirnov and Ahmed Alabama.

March 22: Calin Lupanu, concertmaster of the Charlotte Symphony, leads the ensemble Chamber Music 4 All.

April 19: Timeline Jazz performs Latin, Brazilian, funk, rock and original compositions.

May 17: The three sopranos of Alchymy Ensemble sing a program titled “Secret Music 1580: Music for the Three Ladies of Ferrara.”

Opera Carolina

The company, which imports soloists and uses the Charlotte Symphony in the pit, performs mostly at Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St., and occasionally in other theaters or churches. 704-372-1000; operacarolina.org.

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Opera Carolina performed “Aleko” in 2016. On the schedule this year is Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth,” Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme,” and Douglas Tappin’s “I Dream,” about the last 36 hours in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Observer file photo

Nov. 7, 9, 10: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth,” sung in Italian. The company will do combine pieces of the original version and the revisions for Paris in telling this story of a Scottish general undone by his desire to be king.

Jan. 18, 19, 23: Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme,” sung in Italian. The composer’s first international hit tells of four lovers in 19th-century Paris divided by quarrels, pride and ill health.

April 19, 23, 25: Douglas Tappin’s “I Dream,” sung in English. The composer has substantially rewritten his “rhythm ‘n’ blues opera” about the last 36 hours in the life of Martin Luther King Jr., which previously played here in 2018.

Organ at Davidson

Concerts take place at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Main St., Davidson, and are followed by meet-the artists receptions. dcpc.org.

Sept. 16: Andrew Scanlon of East Carolina University.

Oct. 14: M.C. Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players.

Nov 11: Clara Gerdes, a Yale University student named a Rising Star by the American Guild of Organists.

Jan. 13: International concert performer Jonathan Dimmock.

Feb. 10: Choral Arts Society of Davidson, performing Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb” and “Festival Te Deum.”

March 16: Joe Causby of Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill plays a “Bach Birthday Bash.”

Providence Chamber Music Series

These professional musicians. many from the Charlotte Symphony, have come together to make chamber music in free Sunday concerts for more than 30 years. Providence United Methodist Church, 2810 Providence Road. 704-336- 7442 or 704-333-9536; providenceumc.org.

Sept. 22: Ronald Keith Parks’ “Alhambra Tiles,” with slide show about Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain; Chris Mitchell’s “Hinge;” Andriy Igorovich Sovetov’s “An Island, Adrift.”

Nov. 3: Eugene Bozza’s “Idylle;” Henri Rabaud’s “Solo de Concours;” Haydn’s Divertimento in E Flat, Hob. IV:5; Francis Poulenc’s Trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano; three pieces of klezmer music for clarinet and strings.

Dec. 8: Two Magnificats for orchestra and chorus, one by Ruth Watson-Henderson and one by J.S. Bach.

March 1: Telemann’s “Cricket Symphony” in a version for 10 players; Jeremy Lamb’s “A Ride on Oumuamua;” Mikhail Glinka’s “Trio pathétique” for clarinet, bassoon and piano; three pieces by Charlotte Mandolin and Guitar Quintet, including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.

March 29: Toru Takemitsu’s “Between Tides” for violin, cello and piano; Dvořak’ Piano Quintet No. 2.

April 19: Victoria Bond’s “Dancing on Glass;” Marc Mellits’ “Splinter;” Zoltan Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello.

Singers of Renaissance

This chamber-sized choral group performs short-form classical music mainly at churches around Charlotte. Though individual programs have yet to be announced at press time, dates have been decided. singers-renaissance.org.

Nov. 2: Fall concert.

Dec. 25: Christmas concert.

April 25: Spring concert.


This semi-professional choir is the chorus of Firebird Arts Alliance, performing mostly but not exclusively in churches. David Tang conducts anything from Bach to jazz, and instrumentation ranges from organ to full orchestra. voxfirebird.org.

Sept. 29: “Vox and Friends.” Music for choir and solo instruments, with cellist Tanja Bechtler, saxophonist Ziad Rabie, percussionist Jim Brock and violinist Lenora Leggatt.

Dec. 3: “Charlotte Lesson & Carols from St. John’s.” Annual live radio broadcast service of Lessons & Carols for WDAV. Guests: Young Voices of the Carolinas, the Rick Bean Trio, brass and organ.

Dec. 15: “A Jazz Nativity.” Sacred and secular jazz for the holidays, with the Rick Bean Trio and vocalist Dawn Anthony.

March 29: “Passion Music.” Gospel and jazz music about penitence and the Passion of the Christ, including “Passion Music” by British composer Will Todd.

May 3: Annual “Art*Poetry*Music” concert with Opera Carolina, this year offering sacred music from the Jewish tradition in collaboration with the music departments at Temples Beth El and Israel.

Youth Orchestras of Charlotte

This organization of young musicians, coached by Charlotte Symphony Orchestra players and conducted by CSO violinist Ernest Pereira, performs both as a full ensemble and in sections. It highlights the talents of students in grades 4 through 12 in the Charlotte area and performs mainly at Halton Theatre. youthorchestrasofcharlotte.org.

Sept. 22: Youth Orchestra of Charlotte gives a free concert at Festival in the Park.

Nov. 26: Youth Orchestras of Charlotte Family Concert.

Jan. 27: Youth Orchestra of Charlotte Pre-Tour and Ensemble Concert.

Feb. 17: Capital Orchestra Festival performance at Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

March 9: YOC Preparatory Orchestra and Sinfonia Strings with YOC strings.

May 11: YOC Preparatory Orchestra and Sinfonia Strings.

May 17: Youth Orchestra of Charlotte and Flute Choir.

More arts coverage

You can find all of our arts season preview stories and calendars in one place: charlotteobserver.com/topics/charlotte-arts-guide.

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