Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 W. 37th St.; 646-731-3200; bacnyc.org
Baryshnikov Arts Center’s severe performance spaces are largely dedicated to dance, but one alluring series offers an antidote to classical concerts that are overlong, expensive, and inchoate: It’s called the Movado Hour, and its free, compact, intermissionless 60-minute programs include music you can’t easily hear elsewhere. On December 8, for example, the Ensemble Organum will perform Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame, the fourteenth century’s most bracingly beautiful and influential work of sacred music.
Issue Project Room
232 3rd St., Gowanus; 718-330-0313; issueprojectroom.org
Since its founding in 2003, Issue Project Room has moved twice and lost its founder, Suzanne Fiol, to cancer. A measure of stability is on the horizon in the form of a new executive director (Ed Patuto) and a future long-term home at 110 Livingston Street. Meanwhile, it cultivates a studied unpredictability, leaping from a genre mysteriously called “minimal synth electro techno body wave” (on November 19) to a four-part festival of canonical twentieth-century works, ranging from Berio to Stockhausen and Philip Glass (December 1 to 4).
376 9th St., Park Slope; 347-422-0248; barbesbrooklyn.com
Barbès, named after a funky North African neighborhood in Paris, is a hangout for musicians who have little use for categories: Regulars include Chicha Libre, purveyor of something called “psychedelic cumbias”; the Balkan funk collective Slavic Soul Party; and the Guinean band the Mandingo Ambassadors. But some recognizable labels are helpful. The bar has repeatedly hosted Opera on Tap, an extroverted collective of singers and composers who believe in the divine pairing of arias and beer.
354 W. 45th St.; 212-563-6269; thetanknyc.org
A “low-cost, high-concept” home of experimental arts, the Tank crams a vast range of video, theater, comedy, film, and dance into a cozy professional theater and a tinier black-box space. (Even the most esoteric programs can fill the seats here.) The series “Pairings” divides each of four concerts between music by a venerable composer and a much younger colleague. On November 22, the ensemble Either/Or joins the avant-gardist Helmut Lachenmann, an old-school high priest of weird clashy sounds, with his instrument-bending heir from Iceland, David Brynjar Franzson.