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Free Music Is All Over L.A. This Weekend

November 12, 2019

Free concerts abound in Los Angeles this weekend. From piano recitals to a full symphony program, thrifty concertgoers — or those just curious to take in the city’s understated offerings — have a lot of choices. Here’s a selection of some of the free classical events in the area this week:

Nov. 16, 4:00 p.m. — Piano Four Hands: From Home Entertainment to Concert Hall: The “Third at First” concert series hosts free classical performances on the third Saturday of every month at Pasadena’s First United Methodist Church. This weekend, pianist Stephen Pierce joins series-regular Junko Ueno Garrett for a playful program of piano duet music — some original, some transcriptions.

Nov. 16, 5:00 p.m. — Polyphony: A Concert and Conversation: The Polyphony Quartet is on a mission. An offshoot of the Nazareth-based Polyphony Foundation, the Quartet finds common ground between Arab and Jewish cultures. On Saturday, the program, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, reflects that purpose: Schubert’s “Rosamunde” Quartet, the music of an Israeli composer, and some traditional Arab folk tunes. Reservations for the free event can be made here.

Nov. 17, 3:00 p.m. — Topanga Symphony: Truly a community event. The orchestra, a mixture of professionals, students, and amateur musicians, plays a Rossini overture, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and Schubert’s Third Symphony. Music Director Jerome Kessler conducts, and Colburn student Aubree Oliverson solos in the Tchaikovsky. At Topanga Community House.

Nov. 17, 3:00 p.m. — Sunday Musicale: Vieness, Piano Duo: The Newport Beach Public Library offers free performances at its central branch on a monthly basis. On Sunday, Los Angeles-based piano duo Vieness, comprising pianists Eva Schaumkell and Vijay Venkatesh, plays a high-energy program of Barber, Bach, Dvořák, and more.

Nov. 17, 6:00 p.m. — Sundays Live: Spanish Brass: You can count on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s “Sundays Live” series, which presents a different classical program, always free, every week. This weekend, acclaimed brass quintet Spanish Brass plays at the series’ home, St. James in the City. Listen to it live — in person or via a livestream link — or hear it later, on demand on the KUSC website.

Peter Feher is an editor at SFCV. He can be reached at [email protected].