1. New Century Chamber Orchestra. This was a late call. When I looked at the program list, I didn't know what Stravinsky's "Concerto in re" - which is what they called it there - was. I thought it'd be his Violin Concerto of 1931, which is in D and which I could happily go a while without hearing again. On investigation I found a quite different and much better piece. At the concert itself, I was pleasantly surprised to find a performance at Oshman that didn't sound awful. It's been a while since I had one of those.
2. Morgenstern Trio. Pure happenstance that my annual DJ review at Kohl has been of a piano trio two years in a row, but this one fit my schedule, and I was curious about the Martin piece, new to me, and pleased to hear the others. As a fan of the Schubert Op 100 Andante, I've been inclined to dismiss that of Op 99, but this was a honey of a performance. I'm converted.
Having a live painter working to some of the music was quite the novelty. She was placed in such a way that probably only half the audience could see her, and most of them were not actually watching: painting isn't really as dynamic a process as playing violin, cello, or piano (not that most of those who could see the painter could also see the pianist). Half an hour is not long for work on a painting; fortunately, some of the painter's finished works were in the foyer, so at least I could see what sort of style she was aiming at.