Arts Preview: Classical works from Montreal, New York and L.A. orchestras, plus cello and Ojai festivals, are in the mix

Kent Nagano

Kent Nagano

(ullstein bild / Getty Images)

Times critic Mark Swed’s list of spring classical music concerts of note, compiled by Matt Cooper.

MARCH 22-24

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

Music director Kent Nagano brings the orchestra to Southern California for three performances that include works by Debussy and Stravinsky plus Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring pianist Daniil Trifonov.


March 22 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. Sold out. March 23 at Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., San Diego; $30-$105; (858) 459-3728; March 24 at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara; $31 and up; (805) 899-2222;


Jennifer Koh, violin soloist

Jennifer Koh, violin soloist

(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

‘Bridge to Beethoven: Finding Identity Through Music, Program III’

This latest collaboration between violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner features three of Beethoven’s Op. 30 sonatas paired with the world premieres of three companion pieces composed by Andrew Norman.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; $39-$99; (310) 746-4000;


FULL COVERAGE: Spring 2016 arts preview | Exhibits | Theater | Dance | Pop music | Books



Events in the private life and political career of the 35th U.S. president are dramatized in the world premiere of composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek’s new opera, presented as part of the Fort Worth Opera Festival 2016; baritone Matthew Worth stars.

Fort Worth Opera, Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth, Texas; $17-$195;


New York Philharmonic

In this exclusive Southern California engagement, music director Alan Gilbert leads the orchestra in Brahms’ “Tragic” Overture and Symphony No. 2 plus Schumann’s Cello Concerto featuring cellist Carter Brey; presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa; $50 and up; (949) 553-2422;

MAY 6, 8

‘Theatre of the World’

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, under guest conductor Reinbert de Leeuw, stages the world premiere of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s new multimedia-enhanced opera inspired by the life and times of the 17th-century German Jesuit scholar and polymath Athanasius Kircher.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. May 6, 2 p.m. May 8; $26.50-$170.50; (323) 850-2000;

MAY 13-22

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma

(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Piatigorsky International Cello Festival

Ten-day extravaganza features myriad performances at Disney Hall and USC. Performers include Yo-Yo Ma, Raphael Wallfisch, the L.A. Phil’s Robert deMaine, the Calder Quartet, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Sakura Cello Ensemble.

Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A.; $26.50-$203.50; (323) 850-2000; Alfred Newman Recital Hall, Bovard Auditorium and Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall, USC; various prices, some free events; (213) 740-4672;

JUNE 9-12

Ojai Music Festival

Theater artist Peter Sellars serves as music director for the 70th edition of the four-day festival, which features the U.S. premieres of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s “La Passion de Simone” and “Only the Sound Remains,” plus works by Caroline Shaw and Carla Kihlstedt.

Libbey Bowl, 210 S. Signal St., Ojai, and other venues; passes $55-$860; “Only the Sound Remains,” $150; (805) 646-2053;

JUNE 16-19

David Lang, Oscar nominee for the original song "Simple Song #3" in the film Youth

David Lang, Oscar nominee for the original song “Simple Song #3” in the film Youth

(Michael Nagle / For the Times)

‘Anatomy Theater’

Los Angeles Opera presents the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang and visual artist Mark Dion’s dark drama based on the true story of a convicted murderess in 18th-century England; contains violence, mature themes and adult language.

REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A.; $69; (213) 972-8001;

AUG. 20-29

Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

‘West Side Story’

International star Cecilia Bartoli will sing the role of Maria when the L.A. Phil’s Gustavo Dudamel conducts a new production of the Leonard Bernstein classic as part of the Salzburg Festival in Austria. Sold out.


Theatrical works to see: From ‘A Gentleman’s Guide’ to John Leguizamo to ‘Shakespeare 400’

Art exhibits featuring Marilyn Minter, Roman mosaics and Agnes Martin highlight the Spring

Broadway comes to the Southland in touring shows for ‘Cabaret,’ ‘Chicago,’ ‘Kinky Boots’ and more