Music Preview: Kronos Quartet at 50, Aimard Plays Ligeti at the NY Phil, Anthony Davis' "X" at the Met Opera, and a Kevin Puts Premiere at Paul Taylor Dance Company
There seems to be an overflow of musical treats on offer in NYC this week. And none of them have anything to do with ghouls or goblins.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard plays Ligeti's Piano Concerto with the NY Phil: In what feels like a tiny bit of a stretch, the Phil is devoting part of its season to the centennial of iconoclastic composer György Ligeti, perhaps most famous for the otherworldly music Stanley Kubrick appropriated (without permission) for 2001: A Space Odyssey (which the Phil performed live a decade ago.) This week, longtime champion Pierre-Laurent Aimard arrives to perform Ligeti's fiendishly difficult piano concerto with conductor Susanna Mälkki, on a program that includes music by fellow Hungarians Liszt and Bartók. In addition, Aimard performs a late night set of Ligeti-inspired improvisations as part of the Phil's Nightcap series (11/4), and a solo recital (11/7) juxtaposing Ligeti's music with Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy.
Kronos Quartet: Five Decades at Carnegie Hall: I don't remember the first time I saw Kronos live, but I feel they've been an indispensable part of my musical life for as long as I can remember. I mean, how many other string quartets can claim a Golden Anniversary (even if the only remaining original member is leader David Harrington)? In celebration, Kronos takes over Stern Auditorium with a massive lineup including Laurie Anderson, Tanya Yagaq, Wu Man, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
Anthony Davis' X at the Met Opera : Only 37 years late, Anthony Davis' opera about the life of controversial civil rights leader Malcolm X arrives at the Met with a stellar cast led by baritone Will Liverman (Fire Shut Up My Bones) as Malcolm X. Davis has revised his score for this new production by director Robert O'Hara (Slave Play), conducted by Kazem Abdullah. If you can't make it to the house, the opera will be live streamed on the Met's website.
Paul Taylor Dance Company at David Koch Theater: I don't usually cover dance here, but I'm making an exception for this Saturday's program, which includes a world premiere by Lauren Lovette (Echo) set to Kevin Puts' Contact, which he wrote during the Covid-19 pandemic for the charismatic trio Time for Three. They perform live onstage, with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in the pit.