Back in June, when newly reported COVID-19 cases had hit a lull in North Texas, area classical music groups were preparing for a fall season that may have included no masks and full audiences. But with the spread of the delta variant wreaking havoc across the region, plans are subject to change.
Here’s what we know about scheduled performances and safety protocols.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will mandate masks and initially limit audience capacity in the Meyerson Symphony Center to 60-70%. The orchestra, in full forces this season, will continue using the stage extension added last year during the pandemic to allow for greater social distancing. All musicians and staff have been vaccinated.
Music director Fabio Luisi conducts the DSO in its first concert of the season on Sept. 16. Resident organist Bradley Hunter Welch will be the soloist in Aaron Copland’s Organ Symphony. Dallassymphony.org, 214-849-4376.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra plans on returning to Bass Performance Hall, whose shutdown last season forced the orchestra to play in the acoustically challenging Will Rogers Auditorium. Masks will be required, and Bass Hall will operate at full capacity.
The orchestra has strongly encouraged all musicians and staff to be vaccinated. More than 90% of musicians have been vaccinated.
Guest conductor Kevin John Edusei will lead 80 FWSO musicians on opening night, Sept. 17. Ray Chen will appear as soloist in Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. Fwsymphony.org, 817-665-6000.
After presenting full-scale opera at the Winspear Opera House in the winter of 2020, then canceling the spring season, the Dallas Opera is slated to once again stage productions in February 2022. In the meantime, the company will serve up live concerts at the Winspear.
In October, music director Emmanuel Villaume will lead the Dallas Opera Orchestra in performances of operatic hits, with a bevy of acclaimed singers. A showcase concert featuring participants from the Hart Institute for Women Conductors — a program that advances the careers of up-and-coming female conductors — will follow in November.
The Fort Worth Opera will offer performances in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues around the region. The season will begin on Oct. 9 with a concert celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World and Stone Soup, children’s operas composed by FWO artistic director Joe Illick, with libretti by Mark Campbell, will be performed in October and November, respectively.
Masks will be required at indoor performances, and encouraged outdoors. Fwopera.org, 817-731-0726.
Led by music director Greg Hobbs, the Highland Park Chorale will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with performances of Mozart’s Requiem and Tarik O’Regan’s Martyr at Moody Performance Hall. An orchestra of musicians from the Dallas Opera Orchestra will accompany masked and socially distanced singers.
All singers are fully vaccinated. Masks will be strongly encouraged, but not required, and the venue will operate at full capacity.
The choir will also perform at Highland Park Presbyterian Church this fall, following the church’s protocols. Hppres.org, 214-526-7457.
Orpheus Chamber Singers aims to give its first live concert since the pandemic began on Oct. 31 at Moody Performance Hall. Singers will be masked, and masks are strongly encouraged for audiences. Orpheus is monitoring the health crisis and will adjust plans if needed. Orpheuschambersingers.org, 214-530-0018.
Members of the Verdigris Ensemble will perform Missy Mazzoli’s Vespers for a New Dark Age with the contemporary classical group ensembleNEWSRQ at Southern Methodist University’s Caruth Auditorium on Sept. 26. The auditorium will host audiences at 50% capacity this fall, and masks are required. The mask requirement will be evaluated as the semester and pandemic progress.
Verdigris hopes to resume live performances with the full choir in the spring of 2022. Verdigrismusic.org.
Solo and chamber music series
Dallas Chamber Music Society will once again host performances in SMU’s Caruth Auditorium, after outside groups were banned from presenting concerts for in-person audiences last season. Joined by pianist Jonathan Biss, the London-based Doric String Quartet will give DCMS’ first concert of the season on Oct. 11. Dallaschambermusic.org, 214-864-1993.
Fine Arts Chamber Players, which presented its 2020-21 season online, will perform for live audiences at various venues this fall. Musicians will need to be vaccinated and audiences will be masked and socially distanced. Concerts will be recorded for future broadcast or online distribution.
The first program on Oct. 9 will trace connections between pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, Maurice Ravel and Christopher Rouse. Venue TBA. Fineartschamberplayers.org, 214-520-2219.
Chamber Music International will present concerts at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson for limited, socially-distanced audiences. The season begins on Oct. 14 with a program featuring the Iwasaki trio, made up of violinist Jun Iwasaki and his parents, cellist Ko Iwasaki and pianist Yurie Iwasaki. Masks will be mandatory. Chambermusicinternational.org, 972-385-7267.
After a virtual 2020-21 season, Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth will perform for live audiences in the auditorium of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth this fall. Masks are required at the museum. The auditorium will operate at full capacity.
CMSFW opens its season on Sept. 11 with a program of works by Erich Korngold and Frank Martin. Cmsfw.org, 817-877-3003.
Cliburn Concerts will serve up socially distanced performances at The Post at River East in Fort Worth. Masks are required, except when eating or drinking. Fei-Fei, a finalist in the 2013 Cliburn International Piano Competition, will open the series with a solo program on Oct. 2. Cliburn.org, 817-738-6536.
Early music ensembles
American Baroque Opera Company aims to return to live performances in the winter of 2022, with a series of works focusing on metamorphosis. Baroqueopera.org, 214-766-7150.
Dallas Bach Society will offer concerts at the historic Aldredge House in East Dallas and Zion Lutheran Church for in-person and livestreaming audiences. Masks will be required at Aldredge House, while safety policies at Zion will be determined by the church.
In the opening concert of the season on Oct. 15, artistic director James Richman plays harpsichord concertos by Bach with an orchestra consisting of area freelancers. Dallasbach.org, 214-320-8700.
Orchestra of New Spain will perform in indoor and outdoor venues this fall. Masking and social distancing will be in effect at indoor facilities, and masking will be voluntary outdoors.
The season starts on Oct. 16 with a lawn concert showcasing a trio of musicians playing classical and modern Middle Eastern pieces. Orchestraofnewspain.org, 214-750-1492.
New music ensembles
Following a virtual 2020-21 season, Voices of Change, Dallas’ modern music ensemble, expects to perform for live audiences in SMU’s Caruth Auditorium this fall. The new season kicks off on Sept. 10 with a program including the world premiere of a quartet by Peter Askim. Voicesofchange.org, 214-378-8670.
Soundings: New Music at the Nasher is not expected to resume performances until the 2022-23 season. Nashersculpturecenter.org, 214-242-5100.
Sounds Modern will present blues-inspired, avant-garde music to complement an exhibition of abstract art by Sean Scully at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on Oct. 9. Masks are required at the museum. Themodern.org/performances, 817-738-9215.