Critic’s Choice

By Lawrence Budmen

Michael Tilson Thomas

The New World Symphony presents one of the most interesting programs of the season this weekend at New World Center. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Schoenberg’s Theme and Variations, an important score from the Second Viennese School, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 (Spring), perhaps these days the least often played of the four Schumann symphonies. Two first-chair members of the Vienna Philharmonic are soloists in concertos that are definitely outside the standard repertoire. Violinist Rainer Honeck plays Berg’s elegiac Violin Concerto, and cellist Tamas Varga solos in a real rarity—the concerto Schoenberg transcribed for Pablo Casals from an 18th-century harpsichord concerto by Georg Matthias Monn.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The Saturday concert is sold out but returned tickets may be available. 305-673-3331;


The Cleveland Orchestra returns this weekend for the second season program of the ensemble’s Miami residency. Soloist Joshua Bell offers the program’s star power in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto but the Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 may be the concert’s real event. Composed shortly after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the symphony is a powerful, emotionally searing canvas that seems to encompass an entire era in music. Music director Franz Welser-Most has led compelling accounts of Shostakovich’s First and Seventh symphonies in Miami, which bodes well for this weekend’s performance of the Tenth Symphony. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Arsht Center. 305-949-6722;

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Thu Jan 24, 2013
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