If you believe that the only thing better than some Tchaikovsky is lots of Tchaikovsky, the New Mexico Philharmonic is about to make you very happy. Its three-concert Tchaikovsky Festival launches on Saturday, Oct. 15, with a program featuring his Symphony No. 4 and the Piano Concerto No. 1. (The “Polonaise” from his opera Eugene Onegin is included as a bonus.) The soloist is Olga Kern, who won the gold medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001, the first woman to do so in more than 30 years.
The Symphony No. 5 anchors the matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 16, following several selections from Tchaikovsky’s ballet scores. The final concert, on Oct. 22, includes the “fantasy overture” Romeo and Juliet and the Piano Concerto No. 2, with Brazilian pianist Sylvia Thereza as soloist. The festival goes out with a bang, courtesy of the 1812 Overture. Roberto Minczuk, the orchestra’s music director, conducts all three concerts.
6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico, 203 Cornell Drive NE, Albuquerque, $22-$75 (plus $12.50 per ticket service charge), 505-925-5858, nmphil.org