Of the many classical music and dance performances that Geraldine Freedman saw in 2018, these were her favorites, in chronological order:
January 22: The Battenkill Chorale with orchestra and four stellar soloists under director Janet McGhee in a riveting, exceptionally well prepared and prodigiously effective Verdi “Requiem.” Zankel Music Center.
April 23: Cellist Johannes Moser, a singular musician of great skill with a deeply felt musicianship, and his superb pianist Andrei Korobeinikov in an all-Russian program that scaled the heights of passion and virtuosity. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
June 4: The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Dogs of Desire and music director David Alan Miller trod new ground over two memorable nights with impressive skill and great enthusiasm. Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.
July 2: Opera Saratoga’s high standards and ability to plumb imaginative and emotional depths by offering Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” on one night and the contrasting premieres of “Vinkensport” and “Rocking Horse Winner” on the next night showed exceptional versatility. Spa Little Theatre.
July 9: A full throttle production from Opera Saratoga of Menotti’s “The Consul” that spellbound and soared. Spa Little Theatre.
July 19 and 21: New York City Ballet opened the season with sparkling Balanchine, but it was Lauren Lovett’s Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” that swept the huge crowd to weep, thrill and be awed. Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
August 3: Opening night with the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Stephane Deneve soared masterfully and roared with the “1812.” Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
August 7: The Schumann Quartet and friends at the opening of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center gave detailed attention, superior ensemble and intense passion. Spa Little Theatre.
August 20: The Philadelphia Orchestra and its music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin in an unbelievable, deep felt evening to close a marvelous summer season. Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
December 7: Baritone Simon Keenlyside and his pianist Malcolm Martineau in a gift of a performance that few will forget. Union College Memorial Chapel.