I'm holding off on posting my Top 10 list of the best performances I saw this year. I pondered the timing of year-end lists last year, and even though the usual critical heavy-hitters have already weighed in several weeks before the end of the year, I'm seeing two concerts this weekend that I hope might crack the Top 10.
First, on Saturday, a concert of Baroque music by Symphony in C with soprano Julianne Baird, which I previewed for the Courier-Post on Sunday. I'm interested to hear how a pared-down Symphony takes to Baroque style, while vocal fireworks from Baird are a given. 8 p.m. Saturday at Rutgers-Camden; I'll be reviewing for the C-P.
Second, on Sunday, a showcase of works by composer Kyle Bartlett. Kyle's a friend and an invaluable resource and sounding board on new music, both in general and in Philly. Before we met last summer, she described herself, via e-mail, as an "absolute hard-ass when it comes to aesthetics." This hard-assery has undoubtedly served her well as she's worked on "The Lost Child," an opera for solo flute with electronics, actor and percussion funded by the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts program.
Another endorsement has already come in from the West Coast. Anyone near Philly should make it to this one. 8 p.m. on Friday at Settlement Music School's Germantown location (6128 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia), and 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Queen Village location (416 Queen Street). Both are free.