January gets a quick start Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 10:30 a.m. with a concert by Trillium Piano Trio at the Music Study Club at West Hills Baptist Church, 409 N. Winston Road. Violinist Alison Maerker Garner, cellist Alicia Randisi-Hooker and pianist Robert Bonham are first-rate musicians whose concerts are rich experiences of both learning about the history and context of the music and hearing it superbly played.
At noon on Wednesday, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra will present a jazz lunch concert at the Square Room on Market Square with jazz guitarist Larry Vincent playing his own work. The $15 ticket includes lunch prepared by Café 4. A native of Venezuela who now calls Knoxville home, Vincent’s music draws from a variety of influences in compositions that have a spectrum of colors and moods. He plays both acoustic and electric guitars.
Friday, Jan. 5, Theatre Knoxville begins a run of Ken Ludwig’s hilarious “Moon over Buffalo,” an entertaining comic play about entertainers looking for their big theatrical break. Located at 319 N. Gay Street, the play runs Jan. 5-21 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Sunday, Jan. 7, members of the Knoxville Symphony Principal Winds Quintet and the Principal Quartet will perform at 2:30 p.m. at the Sandra Powell Recital Hall at the UT School of Music. This is a change from KSCO’s usual venue at the Bijou Theatre. The program will be Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music,” written for wind quintet. It is Barber’s only composition for wind ensemble. American Arthur Foote’s 1918 “Nocturne and Scherzo for Flute and String Quartet,” follows. A fascinating piece with a mixture of ideas, it’s a certain delight. Beethoven’s “Septet in E Flat.” Op. 20, arguably the finest septet ever written, concludes the concert.
Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 10-11, at 7 p.m., the KSO’s gifted concertmaster, William Shaub, invites violinists Gordon Tsai, Edward Pulgar and Zofia Glashauser, and violist Kathryn Gawne to join him for the second of the Concertmaster Series concerts at the Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive. The program is music by Mozart, C.P.E. Bach, J.S. Bach and American Kendall Durelle Briggs’ 2012 “Duo Concertante for Two Violins.” These concerts are music on a high order and usually sell out. If available, tickets are $25, by calling 865-291-3310.
Also Thursday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m., the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra presents the Jason Marsalis Quartet at the Square Room on Market Square. A member of the extraordinarily gifted New Orleans’ Marsalis family, Marsalis’s music is loaded with technique so skillfully executed one never hears the mechanics, just music that captures the soul.
Perhaps the most intellectually intriguing event of these first two weeks is a group of three short Samuel Beckett plays: “Catastrophe,” “Come and Go,” and “Footfalls,” being staged at The Hive, 854 N. Central St. Performances are at 7 p.m. Jan. 12-14 and 18-20. “Footfalls” is an ethereal meditation on memory with a cast of two. “Come and Go” is very close to theatrical haiku, consisting of only 121 words that are interwoven and repeated by a cast of three. “Catastrophe” was commissioned in support of Czech playwright and poet Vaclav Havel, who became the first president of the new Czech Republic.
The first two weeks end on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, with the Knoxville Symphony performing the music of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” live as the film is shown on a big screen. Tickets range from $36-$92, available at www.knoxvillesymphony.com, or calling 865-291-3310.
Take a deep breath, because the very rich arts in Knoxville doesn’t. The week of Jan. 14 will take off fast.