It’s the time of year when I begin to look closely at the season ahead in anticipation of penning the Fall Arts Preview for my newspaper, part of which is prognosticating Ten Best Bets.

I don’t really enjoy doing this last part. Picking which concerts or performances are going to be good is beyond me. Who knows? I certainly don’t. Besides, it’s not my job to sell tickets.

So, with a certain Orange County bias and some other political considerations, I usually just choose 10 concerts or performances that I, personally, look forward to going to.

Still, I did pretty well last year. Eight of the ten concerts I chose for my Best Bets were by most any evaluation among the best of the year (though of course there were several superb performances that weren’t on my list — Ray Chen comes to mind, as does Jeremy Denk). One of them was a disaster (you’ll know which one if you were paying attention); another was fine but so-so. But I’d take eight out of ten any year.

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