Classical-music audiences haven't been too plentiful this season -- last week's throng at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for the St. Petersburg Philharmonic was a gratifying exception -- but there's no shortage of events.
Here are just some of the many coming attractions that sound promising:
Verdi's monumental Requiem, one of the most arresting reflections on death and fear, will be performed by the choirs of Grace United Methodist Church and University Baptist Church, with members of the Masterworks Chorale.
Ron Gretz will conduct. Organist Bruce Eicher will play a transcription of the original orchestral score, complemented by trumpets and percussion.
The concert is at 4 p.m. Sunday at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St. Donations will be accepted. Information: 410-433-6650.
Towson University's Choral Society will offer a different reflection on death and fear in a work based on a poem by Sapier Behr, a fifth-grader who lived a block from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Her thoughts and emotions have been transformed into Sapier's Story by Brian Balmages.
The program, conducted by Paul Rardin, also includes Jeffrey Van's A Procession Winding Around Me for chorus and guitar, based on poems by Walt Whitman. Michael Decker will be the guitarist.
The performance is at 8:15 p.m. Friday at the Stephens Hall Theatre, 8000 York Road. Tickets are $6, $4 for students and seniors. Information: 410-704-2787.
An die Musik LIVE
If you haven't checked out the intimate performance space An die Musik LIVE, this looks like the perfect month to do so. You'll find lots of classical events (jazz, too), including:
Leon Fleisher, the brilliant pianist, will chat about his battle against dystonia and the success of his first two-hand recording in four decades. The conversation will be moderated by Jonathan Palevsky. Admission is free; reservations recommended. 2 p.m. Saturday.
Victor Danchencko, the distinguished violinist and pedagogue who teaches at the Curtis and Peabody institutes, will give a rare local recital, accompanied by pianist Micah Yui, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9. Tickets are $15.
Karin Brown, a Baltimore Symphony violist, in recital with pianist Micah Yui 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14. Free.
Pianist Enrico Elisi joins Jonathan Carney (on viola, instead of his usual violin) and three other BSO players for a concert at 3 p.m. Nov. 20. Free.
The Monument Trio -- violinist Igor Yuzefovich, cellist Maxim Koslov and pianist Michael Sheppard -- made its debut last month and returns for a concert as An die Musik's first artists-in-residence at 7 p.m. Nov. 28. Free.
All performances are at An die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. Information: 410-385-2638.
Old and new at UMBC
As a rule, musical activity at the University of Maryland Baltimore County is decidedly, affirmatively contemporary, so an all-Brahms program there last Saturday night seemed as novel as an all-Varese evening would be at the BSO.
I caught part of the program, which featured UMBC faculty and guest artists. Two songs were delivered in robust voice by tenor David Smith, ably backed by pianist Nancy Beith. A little slippage of pitch or tonal refinement proved a small matter in light of the expressive fire behind the performance of the G minor Piano Quartet by violinist Airi Yoshioka, violist Maria Lambros, cellist Franklin Cox and pianist Rachel Franklin.
Brahms will also turn up in a concert this weekend by SONOS, a piano duo formed by Franklin and Corey McVicar. But this program also lists music by modernists Witold Lutoslawski and Frederic Rzewski, not to mention some jazz improvisation. The concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday at UMBC's Fine Arts Recital Hall.
Things will get all the way back to UMBC's cutting-edge style when flutist Lisa Cella plays music by Kaija Saariaho and others at 3 p.m. Nov. 14. Tickets for both shows are $7, $3 for seniors, free for students. Information: 410-455-6872.
Community Concerts at Second remains a strong presence on the local scene.
Sunday, the series presented pianist Amy Lin. I heard half of her program, including an evocative, delicately hued account of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque. Lin tapped the songful elements of Schubert's Four Impromptus, but fell a little short of tonal power and technical sheen when the music intensified.
The series next presents a look at the glorious vocal style known as bel canto (beautiful singing), featuring the Peabody Opera Theatre in scenes from works by the likes of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini. This performance is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Second Presbyterian Church, 4200 St. Paul St. Admission is free. Information: 410-744-4034.
Yan Pascal Tortelier steps in for an ailing Mario Venzago to conduct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's mostly French program this week.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets: 410-783-8000.