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Mostly Mozart Festival: The best concerts to see in 2016

The annual Mostly Mozart Festival brings top-notch classical musicians to the Lincoln Center campus

Photograph: Richard Termine
Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

Among the classiest things to do in NYC this summer, the Mostly Mozart Festival began in 1966 as Midsummer Serenades: A Mozart Festival, but soon changed its name and broadened its scope. In recent years, the Lincoln Center–presented festival (which we should note, is different than the Lincoln Center Festival) has been leaning increasingly toward the contemporary. Here's our guide to the best classical concerts at this year's season.

Mostly Mozart's 10 best concerts in 2015


Emanuel Ax + Erin Morley + Louis Langrée

Critics' pick

This event goes all-Mozart with symphonic works performed by the resident festival orchestra led by Louis Langrée, joined by soprano Erin Morley and the lauded pianist Emanuel Ax.

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Until Wed Jul 29

Danish String Quartet: A Little Night Music

Critics' pick

The Danish String Quartet takes on Mozart's arrangements of the second and fourth fugues from the second book of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Thomas Adè's Arcadiana, Op. 12 and Beethoven's heart-stopping Grosse Fuge in B-flat major, Op. 133 in this late-evening recital.

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Until Fri Aug 7

Academy of Ancient Music: Mendelssohn in Scotland

Critics' pick

Age-old authenticity debates aside, it's always illuminating to hear music played on period instruments. In its festival debut, the Academy of Ancient Music presents a matinee program of works Mendelssohn composed after his 1829 tour of Scotland.

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Until Sun Aug 9

Music of Dai Fujikura

Critics' pick

The excellent International Contemporary Ensemble plays a program of the equally exciting contemporary composer Dai Fujikura in its turn at the festival's late-night candlelight series.

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Until Thu Aug 13

Written on Skin

Critics' pick

If you only make it to one Mostly Mozart engagement, make it to one of the three performances of George Benjamin's Written on Skin in its U.S. premiere. The 2012 tale of betrayal stars the magnificent Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan.

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Until Sat Aug 15

Joshua Bell + Andrew Manze

Critics' pick

Famed violinist Joshua Bell joins the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra under Andrew Manze for works by Mozart and Schumann, and then Bell takes over the baton for two pieces by Bach.

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Until Wed Aug 19

Haydn's "The Creation"

Critics' pick

Haydn's masterful "The Creation" closes the festival, with the festival orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée; soprano Sarah Tynan; tenor Andrew Staples; bass Brindley Sherratt; and the Concert Chorale of New York. A preconcert lecture takes place at the Stanley H. Kaplan Playhouse on Fri 21 at 6:30pm.

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Until Sat Aug 22