The Arty Semite

'Tis the Season to Be Classical: Unmissable December Concerts

By Benjamin Ivry

While Hanukkah preparations and aftermath can overshadow every other human activity in December, ‘tis also the season for classical concerts, especially although by no means exclusively, in the New York area. These can include much Yiddishkayt, despite the seeming omnipresence of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Mahler-lovers will not want to miss the much-loved British conductor Sir Colin Davis leading the New York Philharmonic in performances on December 2, 4, and 7 of Mahler’s orchestral songs, “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (The Youth’s Magic Horn). Although born in 1927, Sir Colin still conducts with a balletic grace which vivifies everything he interprets.

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Robert Pinsky, Live!

By Jake Marmer

Rock stars go on wild tours around the world and poets sit holed up in their dusty bookish apartments. Right? The former United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky is on the road to prove you wrong. On the road around the country that is — alongside Ben Allison’s jazz collective. You can see them perform together last summer here.

As he goes, Pinsky — who wrote an “electronic novel” called “Mindwheel” in 1984 — is working with Portable Heroes, to record the shows and compile a next generation e-book enhanced with video and sonic layers to supplement and link to the text.

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