[ classical ]
It’s always a pleasure to attend a classical concert with a living composer present, especially when it’s in a less traditional venue like William Way, whose folding-chair setup and after-performance mingling belie a quality music series that feels more like a salon than a concert hall. This weekend, pianist Ching-Yun Hu (who took the top prize in the Rubenstein Competition a few years ago) plays repertoire from Philly’s own Jennifer Higdon, a Curtis comp professor and a Pulitzer and Grammy winner. The bill includes Higdon’s “Secret and Glass Gardens” and, with the Philly Orchestra’s Judy Geist, “Sonata for Viola and Piano,” as well as other piano works. VIP tickets ($75) include a meet-the-artists reception at 6 p.m. with all three musicians, an opportunity that isn’t that common. But no worries if the price is too stiff — this concert series is truly humanizing even without the hors d’oeuvres, and there’s a free coffee-and-cookies Q&A afterwards, too.