Critic’s Choice

Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 1:07 pm
Havana Lyceum Orchestra

All praise for unusual concerts to brighten up a dark, rainy winter. The Havana Lyceum Orchestra, a mixture of conservatory students and faculty members from Cuba’s capital, return to the Kennedy Center this week. As part of the venue’s World Stages series, Ulises Hernández will conduct their new production of Mozart’s opera La Clemenza di Tito.

Carlos Diaz directs this adaptation by Cuban playwright and poet Norge Espinosa, which involves ballet dancers alongside singers and actors from both Cuba and Salzburg. The Eisenhower Theater hosts this unusual staging, premiered in Havana in October for the opening of the 5th Havana Mozart Festival, for its first performances in the United States, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.; 202-467-4600


When two famous pianists unite to play music for piano duet, it is often a one-off kind of collaboration. Scottish pianist Steven Osborne and English pianist Paul Lewis both embrace the mixture of subtlety and force as solo players. They also have a long history of playing together, in music for four hands or for two pianos.

Next week Washington Performing Arts presents them during their latest tour as a duo, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. The program has a French focus, with music of Fauré (Dolly Suite), Poulenc (Sonata for Piano, Four Hands), Debussy (Six epigraphes antiques and the Petite Suite), and Ravel (Ma Mère l’Oye), as well as Stravinsky’s Trois pièces faciles.

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