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Classical News & Reviews

Tanglewood Prepares For A Centennial Summer Celebrating Lenny

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 21, 2017

New York City is enjoying a season bursting with Leonard Bernstein, as befitting his hundredth birthday, with everything from rare performances of art songs to various interpretations of the great ...

Review: Benjamin Grosvenor Dazzles In Recital at 92nd Street Y

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017

Hailed as a child prodigy who has gone on to a promising solo career, British concert pianist Benjamin Grosvenor dazzled New York audiences on Wednesday at the 92nd Street Y with an ambitious program both ...

Review: The Mariinsky Orchestra With Its Massive Sound Is A ‘Marvel’ At Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017

At least three things emerge from the Mariinsky Orchestra’s back-to-back concerts at Carnegie Hall this week. First, the Mariinsky is a world treasure. Second, Sergei Prokofiev is arguably the ...

Celebrate The Holiday With The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

ZEALnyc, November 22, 2017 On Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 9 a.m. the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin its familiar route through the streets of New York. More than 8,000 people will participate in the parade, including clowns, balloon handlers and marching bands, while 3.5 million people line ...

Review: 'Home For The Holidays' Provides a Seasonal Lift

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, November 22, 2017 It's the time of year when holiday-themed shows are popping up all over town, and with the Christmas Spectacular already underway at Radio City Music Hall, the newest addition to the traditional Christmas show lineup, Home For the Holidays, ...

Review: The Barrow Group's 'Muswell Hill' Scales the Heights

By Justin Sharon, Contributing Writer, November 21, 2017 In this, the week we give thanks for New World bounties and pioneering pilgrims who fled the mother country, it's as if the English never left. Last week a Downton Abbey exhibition opened on 57th Street and last night, 21 ...

Tanglewood Prepares For A Centennial Summer Celebrating Lenny

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 21, 2017 New York City is enjoying a season bursting with Leonard Bernstein, as befitting his hundredth birthday, with everything from rare performances of art songs to various interpretations of the great “Kaddish” Symphony. But Bernstein had a significant presence at ...

Review: Arlo Guthrie Acknowledges The Past And Looks Toward The ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, November 21, 2017 There was a very warm welcome awaiting Arlo Guthrie and his family when they took the stage at the Cabot Theater in Beverly, MA last Friday evening. While the atmosphere of the small, intimate setting of the recently renovated 1920...

Review: A Magical ‘Brigadoon’ at Encores! City Center

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, November 20, 2017 Whatever happened to Brigadoon? Not the place, the musical. Yeah, the place supposedly comes back every 100 years, but it was beginning to look like a century might pass before we saw the musical again in a full-scale professional production. ...

Review: Female-Centric Programming Takes Center Stage with the New York ...

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, November 20, 2017 Women have always been huge contributors to the arts, from celebrated costume designers, to award-winning writers, directors and producers. This past Friday the New York Pops chose to honor the musical side of the equation with its concert Women ...

Art Break: Another Side of Louise Bourgeois on Display at ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, November 20, 2017 Although Louise Bourgeois is known as a sculptor, she was also an accomplished artist in the areas of drawing, painting and printing. Less known are her works in textiles, often done in collaboration with other artists. Now on ...

Review: Benjamin Grosvenor Dazzles In Recital at 92nd Street Y

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017 Hailed as a child prodigy who has gone on to a promising solo career, British concert pianist Benjamin Grosvenor dazzled New York audiences on Wednesday at the 92nd Street Y with an ambitious program both rangy and highly rewarding. ...

Review: The Mariinsky Orchestra With Its Massive Sound Is A ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017 At least three things emerge from the Mariinsky Orchestra’s back-to-back concerts at Carnegie Hall this week. First, the Mariinsky is a world treasure. Second, Sergei Prokofiev is arguably the finest writer of music for orchestra since Hector Berlioz. ...

Review: The Swedish Chamber Orchestra Presents A Magnificent ‘Missa Solemnis’ That Transcends At Geffen Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 14, 2017

Nearly two centuries after its completion, people still pretty much fall into two camps about Beethoven’s Missa solemnis: they think it’s either one of the greatest pieces of music ever ...

Music In the Digital Age Sparks Creation of the Open Source Music Festival

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 10, 2017

Virtuoso pianist Joel Fan, a celebrated champion of new music and member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, is launching the Open Source Music Festival at the Lower East Side’s Abrons Art Center ...

Review: BLO Presents a Historically Hair-Raising and Highly Entertaining World Premiere

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, November 10, 2017

For Boston Lyric Opera’s latest production, The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, the mood is set immediately upon entering the circular rotunda ...

Review: The American Composers Orchestra Celebrates a Milestone With Successful Premieres

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, November 8, 2017

The American Composers Orchestra took a well-deserved victory lap on November 7, the occasion of their 40th anniversary gala concert. As the only orchestra in the country that is dedicated ...

Elizabeth Ogonek Discusses ‘Sleep and Unremembrance’ Which Debuts with ACO This Week

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, November 6, 2017

This week the American Composers Orchestra celebrates its 40th anniversary. With a mission to broaden the profile of American classical music previously underrepresented, The ACO has chosen a program of ...

Review: New York Philharmonic Continues Its Bernstein Tribute With Mixed Results

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 3, 2017

The second installment in the New York Philharmonic’s contextualized survey of Leonard Bernstein’s ...

BLO’s ‘Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare’ Digs Deep Into the Darker Side of History For Its Inspiration

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, November 1, 2017

As traditionally dark and tragic as opera can be, there’s a new addition to the repertoire—with an irreverent twist—in Boston Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of The Nefarious, Immoral But ...

Review: Dinner Goes Deliciously Wrong And Opera Soars As ‘The Exterminating Angel’ Arrives At The Met

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, November 1, 2017

In Luis Buñuel’s surrealist classic 1962 film The Exterminating Angel, the upper-crust guests at a formal dinner party inexplicably find that they are unable to leave the room at evening’s ...

American Composers Orchestra Celebrates 40th With an Exciting Gala Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, October 31, 2017

It is true, the American Composers Orchestra has been “innovating right before your ears” for four whole decades. Yup, it’s true: this essential ...

Review: Trifonov Presents An ‘Enormously Satisfying’ Perspective At Carnegie

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, October 30, 2017

At twenty-six, Daniil Trifonov is already one of the world’s most exciting and successful pianists, and this season he became the youngest artist ever invited to create a Carnegie Hall ...

Review: A ‘Brilliantly Rendered’ Bernstein Tribute By the New York Philharmonic

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, October 26, 2017

Of all the events marking Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, surely the most authentic, and to my mind the most intrinsically moving, is the Philharmonic’s

Bang on a Can’s ‘Road Trip’ Finds Its Way To BAM This Weekend

ZEALnyc, October 24, 2017

The Bang on a Can Festival celebrated its impressive thirty year history this summer at their regular festival venue of MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. To commemorate this landmark occasion, the three founding members, Michael Gordon, ...

Review: NYCO’s Chamber-sized Thriller ‘Dolores Claiborne’ Suffers

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, October 24, 2017

A new production of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, adapted from Stephen King’s psychological thriller, opened last Sunday in “a scaled-down version for use in smaller venues,” ...

The New York Philharmonic Hosts Centennial Festivities Honoring Its Former Leader Leonard Bernstein

Don Adkins, Managing Editor, October 23, 2017

This year the New York Philharmonic celebrates its 175th anniversary with various concerts commemorating this auspicious occasion. A milestone of this magnitude would provide most organizations with more than enough ...

Review: Violinist Maxim Vengerov is Both Fierce and Tender as Montréal Symphony Plays Carnegie

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, October 20, 2017

The Montreal Symphony made a flying visit to Carnegie Hall this past Wednesday night—literally; they’d played the same pieces the night before in their stunning new concert hall back ...

Review: Bill Murray Blurs the Lines of Literature, Classical Music, and Comedy, with Jan Vogler & Friends

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, October 18, 2017

Comedian, actor, writer, and now singer: Is there anything Bill Murray can’t do? Not likely. A chance encounter on a plane brought Murray and acclaimed cellist, Jan Vogler to the stage at ...

Canadian Composer Samy Moussa Makes Carnegie Debut with Montréal Symphony Orchestra

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, October 16, 2017

This week the Montréal Symphony Orchestra plays Carnegie Hall with a program of Bartók, Brahms and the Canadian composer Samy Moussa. Moussa, who is 33, was born and studied in Montreal, and has a long history ...

Review: American Symphony Orchestra Brings ‘Sounds of Democracy’ to Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, October 13, 2017

During these tumultuous times, it is a comfort to know that the arts are responding with bold examinations of current events. In fact, the classical music scene in New York has some important voices that are ...

A Memorial Concert For Violinist Paul Zukofsky Features Two Pianists

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, October 13, 2017

American violinist Paul Zukofsky (1943-2017) was especially renowned for his commitment to contemporary music; he premiered works by the likes of Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Philip Glass, ...

Review: Orchestra Moderne NYC is Moving and Relevant at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, October 9, 2017

The world of live classical music faces existential challenges, as ticket-buying audiences dwindle, and orchestras across the country face financial hurdles. Evenings of film music abound in programming and ...

Matthew Aucoin, Diane Paulus and Rod Gilfry Bring Walt Whitman to Life in ‘Crossing’ at BAM

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, October 6, 2017

Contemporary opera can be a tough sell in today’s world, if tonight’s fitful audience at BAM is any indication. But wünderkind Matthew Aucoin, who wrote and composed Crossing at the age ...

A Timely Exploration of the Immigrant Experience Makes Debut at Carnegie Hall

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, October 5, 2017

Peter Boyer’s Grammy-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America, for full orchestra, seven actors, and visual projections, is the centerpiece of Orchestra Moderne NYC’s October 7 ...

A ‘Rhapsody’ for the Ages as Carnegie Hall Opens Season with Philadelphia

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, October 5, 2017

The publicity for Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra under music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin was slightly confusing: we were told that jazz-fusion icon Chick ...

Orchestra Moderne NYC Is Ready To Tackle Social and Political Issues; First Stop—The Immigrant Experience

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, September 29, 2017

When Amy Andersson returned to New York after several years conducting concerts across Europe and North America, she founded Orchestra Moderne NYC with a very clear mission: to create an orchestra ...

Review: Radvanovsky and DiDonato Sparkle in a Dim New ‘Norma’ at the Metropolitan Opera

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, September 26, 2017

It’s hard to believe that Norma has opened the Metropolitan Opera season only three times. Bellini’s bel-canto masterpiece, flush with vocal fireworks, an interesting and concise ...

Review: NY Philharmonic Opens Its Season With Mahler and Glass Under the Sure Baton of Van Zweden

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, September 25, 2017

The New York Philharmonic opened its new season last week with a double-watershed: first, Jaap van Zweden made his first full-tilt ceremonial appearance as the orchestra’s Music Director Designate, ...

An Operatic Sequel to the Bible, ‘REV. 23’ Makes Its World Premiere in Boston

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 22, 2017

Biblical references are not usually a librettist’s guide to a narrative of cutting-edge inventive modern opera. But in premiering REV. 23, creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs, whose ...

Review: American Classical Orchestra Excels in a Revelatory Concert at Alice Tully Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2017

Let’s cut right to the chase: the American Classical Orchestra is one terrific outfit, and their concert this past Saturday evening at Alice Tully Hall was a mind-blower.

This is a ...

Carnegie Hall Prepares for a Powerful Season of Exciting Programming

By Christopher Johnson, September 14, 2017

Carnegie Hall opens its 2017-2018 season on October 4, with the annual gala in the main hall, this time featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra and a whole slew of bold-face names, including Yanick Nézet-Séguin, Chick ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Classical Music

ZEALnyc, September 12, 2017

The fall season typically signals a time of new beginnings, as well as the commencement of performances that we’ve been anticipating since they were first announced months ago, and this year is no exception. This season heralds ...

Review: NYCO Brings the Old West to Life in Puccini’s ‘La fanciulla del West’

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 8, 2017

New York City Opera has not only successfully risen from the ashes, but is doing so through stimulating programming that fills a needed niche. They have opened this season with Puccini’s overlooked, ...

Review: Schumann and Brahms Shine Bright at Mostly Mozart

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 18, 2017

This has been quite the year for New York audiences to revisit the music of Robert Schumann, and this former sceptic has been finding great art therein. Recent concerts at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart ...