A few days back I began to whittle down my choices for what would appear on my "best of 2010" list and suddenly I realized I haven't yet seen/heard the one thing that could possibly top the list- the return of John Adams' El Niño to Davies Symphony Hall.

This contemporary masterpiece made its debut here in 2001 with performances conducted by Kent Nagano. To this day that evening remains on my top 10 list of the best performances I've ever seen (across all genres of music). With the possible exception of the The Tristan Project, I don't think I've ever heard anything in a concert hall that ever moved me as much that night did.Walking home from Davies that night I gave away all the money I had in my pocket to homeless people along the way. Absurd, I know- but that's how wonderful I felt afterward (and it's never happened since- I'm a horrible misanthrope on most days).

It returns December 2-4 with a fantastic line up of singers including Dawn Upshaw and Michelle De Young. This time Adams himself will be at the podium. On December 2nd there will be an informal Q & A after the performance with Upshaw, De Young and Jonathan Lemalu.

Update 12/1: Tickets for the Friday and Saturday night performances are now available on Goldstar.
Let me put it this way- if you are only going to attend one concert this year (which would be foolish!)- this is the one not to miss.