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Photograph by Justin Bernhout


Composer John Adams' newest piece will be performed by the Alarm Will Sound ensemble at Stanford on Nov. 30.

By Michael S. Gant

Alarm Will Sound John Adams, in an interview with Metro, described his newest work, Son of Chamber Symphony, as "suggested by cartoon music, with a disaster every 10 seconds." It features "very Technicolor orchestration," using some 15 instruments. The piece, commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts, receives its first performance this Friday, with the 20-member new-music group Alarm Will Sound doing the honors. The rest of the evening features Conlon Nancarrow's Player Piano Study no. 6 and no. 2 and Michael Gordon's Yo Shakespeare. Friday (Nov. 30) at 8pm; Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford; $16–$36; 650.725.ARTS.

Cantabile Chorale For the holidays, the chorale makes "A Joyful Noise," with the Menlo Brass Quintet and organist T. Paul Rosas. The program features seasonal songs and carols from around the world, with a special nod to local composers Brian Holmes and Sanford Dole. Saturday (Dec. 1) at 8pm; United Methodist Church, 1675 Winchester Blvd., Campbell; also Sunday (Dec. 2) at 7:30pm; St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto; $6–$25; 650.424.1410.

Palo Alto Philharmonic Richard Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger leads off the second concert of the season for the Palo Alto Philharmonic. Music director Thomas Shoebotham also unveils Stephan Paulus' recent The Age of American Passions and Sibelius' Symphony no. 5. Saturday (Dec. 1) at 8pm; Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto; $8–$17;

Silicon Valley Symphony For an evening dubbed "A Tale of Two Symphonies," the Silicon Valley Symphony tackles two peaks of the repertoire: Brahms' Symphony no. 1 and Saint-SaŽns' Symphony no. 3, sometimes called the "Organ Symphony." Saturday (Dec. 1) at 7:30pm; Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos, 16575 Shannon Rd, Los Gatos; $15–$20;

San Jose Chamber Music Society The society mounts a guest concert by the St. Petersburg String Quartet, featuring Michael Tree on viola. The selections include Shostakovich's Quartet no. 7 and viola quintets by Mendelssohn and Brahms. Sunday (Dec. 2) at 7pm; Le Petit Trianon, 72 N. Fifth St., San Jose; $25–$40; 408.286.5111.

Cantabile Youth Singers The "Holidays With Cantabile" concert concentrates on David Brunner's modern choral composition Earth Songs, and then opens the night up for a sing-along. Sunday (Dec. 1) at 7:30pm; Cathedral Basilica of San Jose, 80 S. Market St., San Jose; $6–$50; 650.424.1410.

Peninsula Symphony To make the start of the seasonal sprint, the Peninsula Symphony joins the Stanford Symphonic Chorus for two holiday performances, with works by Vaughan Williams, Holst, Ravel and Poulenc. Friday (Nov. 30) at 8pm and Sunday (Dec. 2) at 1:30pm; Memorial Church, Stanford; $20; 650.941.5291.

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