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Hot Picks: Gallery hopping and shopping

| Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 5:51 p.m.
Eric Redmond
Renaissance and Baroque will present the superb English vocal ensemble Stile Antico performing a program of Flemish and German Christmas music on Dec. 3 in Shadyside.
Pittsburgh Glass Center
At the Pittsburgh Glass Center regional artists will display handmade art and jewelry in all price ranges.
Dave Waddell
Noah Bendix-Balgley will give his only local recital on Dec. 3 at Duquesne University.

ART

Gallery hopping and shopping

The Penn Avenue Arts Initiative's last Unblurred event of the year, in which more than a dozen venues up and down Penn Avenue will feature art exhibits, live music, dance events and more, begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and lasts until midnight.

Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn Ave.) will feature new work by Middle Eastern artist Mario Josephine Ashkar, which includes a video Installation, photographs, illustrations and collages. At Assemble (4828 Penn Ave.) the exhibit “Hyper Local” will feature the art of makers in the Bloomfield, Garfield, Friendship and East Liberty neighborhoods. And at Local 412 (4901 Penn Ave.), “The Craft” exhibition features works that highlight the connection between nature and the occult.

Also at Local 412, a special “Arts & Crafts” botanical and occult shop has been set up for holiday shoppers looking for the unusual. Featuring over 50 types of incense, sage, candles and spell kits, there will be plenty to find for those on your naughty list.

As for your nice list, at the Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn Ave.) regional artists will display handmade art and jewelry in all price ranges. And among a selection of handbags and jewelry at Robin's Nest (5504 Penn Ave.) paintings by Paul McMillian and many other wonderful local Pittsburgh artists will be on display.

Also for those willing to venture a block off Penn Avenue, at the new Creative NonFiction Foundation (5119 Coral St.), visitors can meet local authors and editors, shop for books from In Fact Books and explore the latest offerings from True Story and Creative Nonfiction magazine.

Details: 412-441-6950 or pennavenue.org/content/unblurred-december-2-2016

— Kurt Shaw

CLASSICAL

Concert offers fresh take ON THE CLASSICS

Celebrations of Christmas at Renaissance and Baroque concerts always have a special freshness, paradoxically because the music they feature is much older than the familiar Victorian repertoire.

Renaissance and Baroque will present the superb English vocal ensemble Stile Antico performing a program of Flemish and German Christmas music on Dec. 3 in Shadyside.

The program will mix sophisticated polyphonic music with simpler dance-influenced pieces. A highlight will be Missa Quinti Toni by Hieronymus Praetorius, which includes the carols “In dulci Jubilo” and “Josef lieber, Josef mein.” Another piece on the program, “Resonet in laudibus” by Orlando Lassus, also uses the “Josef lieber, Josef mein” melody.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside. Admission is $20 to $35.

Details: 412-361-2048 or rbsp.org

— Mark Kanny

Schubert on the Bluff

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's popular former concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley will give his only local recital on Dec. 3 at Duquesne University, when he'll perform with pianist and Schubert on the Bluff concert series artistic director David Allen Wehr.

Bendix-Balgley, who is concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, will play Franz Schubert's early Sonatas in A minor and D major and the late “Rondeau brillante.”

The Duquesne concert series this season juxtaposes Schubert's works with Aaron Copland's. The Dec. 3 program is completed by Copland's Piano Sonata, composed in 1944 when he was in his prime and written in memory of a close friend who died in World War II. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at PNC Recital Hall, Mary Pappert School of Music, Duquesne University, Uptown. Admission is $10.

Details: 412-396-6083 or duq.edu

— Mark Kanny

HOLIDAY MUSIC

IT MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY

The holiday season is a treat in many ways for River City Brass.

For one, the brass band's Christmas concert is one of its most popular, so that makes management happy. And the ensemble's presentation of classic carols and music makes the audience happy.

But maybe the biggest treat of all is its partnership with local choral groups that allows young and amateur performers time on stage in a happy setting. There was no choir available, however, for the opening concert, Dec. 1 at Linton Middle School in Penn Hills. But singers or no, there is plenty of good music on the bill. The shows will feature classic holiday numbers, two all-time favorites by Leroy Anderson, and music from “Polar Express” and “White Christmas.” Flugelhornist Drew Fennell, the band's arranger and composer extraordinaire, also has written a new piece, “The Magic of Christmas.”

The concerts and the featured choirs are: Dec. 1 at Linton; Dec. 2 at Carson Middle School, with that school's choir; Dec. 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg with the Westmoreland Choral Society; Dec. 6 at Upper Saint Clair High School with the Washington Festival Chorale; and Dec. 8 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland with Belle Voci and the Chatham University Choir.

Music at each begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $21 to $41. Details: 412-434-7222 or rivercitybrass.org

— Bob Karlovits

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