On Wednesday night I'll appear with various critics at a Best Music Writing 2006 reading at Housing Works. This is the first year classical music has been admitted to Da Capo's yearly compendium; I'm honored to be at the cool kids' party. Thursday there's a John Zorn thing at Miller, with the ubiquitous Brad Lubman conducting and extended rock vocalist Mike Patton singing and/or making noise. On Friday, the widely loved St. Lawrence Quartet plays Weill Hall, with R. Murray Schafer's wildly theatrical Third String Quartet on the program. (Some adventurous orchestra should revive Schafer's 1968 collage classic Son of Heldenleben.) Scott St. John is replacing Barry Shiffman, who is now at the Banff Centre. Saturday has been identified by Steve Smith as this year's Night of Too Many Concerts. There is the local premiere of Reich's You Are (Variations) at Lincoln Center; there is Marilyn Nonken in recital at NYU; there is the Bowed Piano Ensemble at Jazz at Lincoln Center; there is John Holloway playing Bach partitas at Miller; there is Jonathan Nott conducting the NY Phil in Ligeti's Lontano and Bartók's First Piano Concerto (with Peter Serkin): and there is Aki Takahashi performing two sublime piano works by Morton Feldman — Piano and For Bunita Marcus — at Merkin. Anyone who has never heard Takahashi play the piano will be unprepared for the unearthly beautiful sound that she gets from the instrument. Agonizingly, I have to miss this, because I am covering the Reich series, but I strongly urge others to go. Finally, on Sunday, Valery Gergiev tramples out the grapes of wrath in the finale of his Shostakovich cycle: Symphonies Nos. 8 and 13, two long peals of thunder. If you happen to live in Seattle, the Seattle Chamber Players has an evening of world premieres by Baltic-area composers.
Photo of Takahaski: Ann Iren Ødeby.