Prospect recommends: The best classical music this month

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a concert by four female composers
February 15, 2017
Ruby Hughes & Friends: Heroines of Love and Loss

King’s Place, 8th March

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a concert by four female composers. Hear the secular music of Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini—sensuous songs and skilful operatic arias that represent the best of the Baroque age—alongside the sacred works of nuns Lucrezia Vizzana and Claudia Sessa, charged with spiritual passion and emotional intensity. Ruby Hughes, a soprano combining smoky warmth with period purity, is joined by lutenist Jonas Nordberg and cellist Mime Yamahiro-Brinkmann, above, for a concert celebrating the achievements of some of classical music’s boldest women.

NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Paavo Järvi

Royal Festival Hall, 6th March

Under chief conductor Paavo Järvi, Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra has honed its signature sound into something special—sweet and pliable in the strings, all burnished warmth from the brass. In this rare London concert, the orchestra will perform Toru Takemitsu’s elegiac Requiem for strings alongside Mahler’s Sixth Symphony—a work written at the happiest time in his life, but whose nihilistic vision of pain would prove cruelly prophetic.

Pavel Kolesnikov & Orchestra of WNO

St David’s Hall, Cardiff, 19th March

One of the most thoughtful and mature of the new generation of pianists, Pavel Kolesnikov is quickly establishing himself as an artist who has something new to say. Here he joins the superb orchestra of Welsh National Opera to tackle Mozart’s stormy Piano Concerto No 20. This sits alongside Dvorak’s Seventh Symphony, which broods on tragedy but ultimately chooses the path of light, and Suk’s ecstatic Serenade for Strings.