Winter Classical Guide 

click to enlarge Left Coast Chamber Ensemble presents the world premiere of Steve Horowitz’s “The Wonder Pets Save the Circus” in February. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Left Coast Chamber Ensemble presents the world premiere of Steve Horowitz’s “The Wonder Pets Save the Circus” in February.
The beginning of the 2014 performing arts season in the Bay Area serves up plentiful offerings from world-class talent, both local and visiting artists. Here, in chronological order, is a sampling.

Alexander String Quartet: Mozart string quartets comprise first two programs of a “Mozart in Vienna” series, hosted by local Mozart scholar Robert Greenberg and presented by San Francisco Performances. 10 a.m. Saturday and Feb. 22, $15-$50. SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium, 201 Franklin St., S.F., (415) 392-4400,

American Bach Soloists: Director Jeffrey Thomas leads a 25th anniversary all-Bach program featuring the cherished “Magnificat,” secular and sacred cantatas and Bach’s second Orchestral Suite in B Minor. 4 p.m. Jan. 26, $20-$64. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., S.F., (415) 621-7900,

Marc-Andre Hamelin: The Canadian pianist performs Schubert’s tender Four Impromptus, Medtner’s “Night Wind” sonata and Hamelin’s own “Barcarolle.” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31, $38-$68. Nourse Theatre, 275 Hayes St., S.F., (415) 392-4400,

S.F. Symphony, with Osmo Vänskä: The Finnish conductor directs the orchestra and 22-year old Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov in a program including Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 6 and Stravinsky’s “Symphonies of Wind Instruments.” 2 p.m. Jan. 30, 8 p.m. Jan. 31-Feb. 1, $34-$157. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,(415) 864-6000,

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble: “Some Serious Fun” features 2013 competition contest winner Michael-Thomas Foumai’s “Scat” and the world premiere of Steve Horowitz’s “The Wonder Pets Save the Circus.” 8 p.m. Feb. 3, $15-$30. S.F. Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F., (415) 617-5223,

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang join the group in a performance of C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord and Haydn’s Symphony No. 68. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, $10-$95. Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen St., Stanford University, (650) 725-278, Also at 8 p.m. Feb. 7, $25-$97. SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., S.F., (415) 392-4400,

New Century Chamber Orchestra: San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows join NCCO in performing Donizetti’s rarely heard one-act comic opera “Rita”; the program also includes works by Strauss, Verdi, Massenet and Mascagni. 8 p.m. Feb. 15, $29-$59. Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F., (415) 392-4400,

Oakland East Bay Symphony: Music director Michael Morgan leads a program including the world premiere of Bay Area composer-pianist-vocalist Mary Fineman's song cycle “It's About Love” featuring guest singer Wesla Whitfield, and the Symphony's Young Artist Competition winner Matthew Linaman performing Bloch's “Schelomo.” 8 p.m. Feb. 21, $20-$70. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, (510) 444-0801,

Quatuor Ebène: The edgy French group known for its wide-ranging repertoire performs quartets by Mozart, Bartok and Mendelssohn. 7:30 p.m. March 3, $38-$65. St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., S.F., (415) 978-2787,

Angela Hewitt: The pianist appears in her only U.S. performance of Bach's complex “The Art of Fugue.” 7 p.m., March 9, $38-$68. SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., S.F., (415) 978-2787,

Peninsula Symphony Orchestra: “Fountain of Youth” features the world premiere of a new Double Concerto for Cello, Clarinet and Orchestra by composer and clarinetist Jonathan Russell, who, along with cellist Nathan Chan, is guest soloist. 8 p.m. March 21, $20-$40. Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Delaware St., San Mateo, (650) 941-5291,

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Lauren Gallagher

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