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Classical News & Reviews

Review: Drama Reigns at the New York Philharmonic, and Not All of It Onstage

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 16, 2018

Those weren’t boos you heard at Thursday night’s Philharmonic concert at Geffen Hall—they were howls of rage and contempt, and cries of “What an idiot!,” and a shouting-match that might have ...

Review: Clémentine Margaine’s ‘Haunting Vocalism’ Highlights Muti Leading Chicago Symphony at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 12, 2018

One of the Second City’s greatest cultural institutions, the revered Chicago Symphony Orchestra, visited Carnegie Hall in a varied program under the baton of Riccardo Muti. Of particular interest was ...

Review: The Dynamic Duo of Bell and Denk Deliver a Powerful Memorial Concert at Carnegie

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 9, 2018

With an eagle’s wingspan and a long arching torso, Bell’s charismatic playing fills the Isaac Stern Auditorium. In a recent, lofty, recital program alongside his frequent pianist, the expressive ...

Review: Drama Reigns at the New York Philharmonic, and Not ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 16, 2018 Those weren’t boos you heard at Thursday night’s Philharmonic concert at Geffen Hall—they were howls of rage and contempt, and cries of “What an idiot!,” and a shouting-match that might have led to fisticuffs if a ...

Review: The York Theatre's Oy-Vey-Worthy 'Bar Mitzvah Boy'

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, February 15, 2018 First, let’s all acknowledge a deep debt of gratitude to the venerable York Theatre and their commitment both to fostering new musicals, and to unearthing old ones, polishing them off, and giving them a chance to shine in ...

Review: 'Hey, Look Me Over' Surprises at Encores!

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, February 13, 2018 As any musical-theater devotee can tell you, Encores! is the annual series of performances at New York City Center of historical musicals that have somehow fallen through the cracks. Every year, Encores! chooses three musicals to resurrect, and each ...

Aaron Tveit In Concert With Lincoln Center's American Songbook: All ...

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, February 12, 2018 In case we’ve never met, there’s something you should know about me: I’m a little loony on the subject of Aaron Tveit. It all started a decade ago when I snagged a $10 preview ticket to an ...

Review: Clémentine Margaine's 'Haunting Vocalism' Highlights Muti Leading Chicago ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 12, 2018 One of the Second City's greatest cultural institutions, the revered Chicago Symphony Orchestra, visited Carnegie Hall in a varied program under the baton of Riccardo Muti. Of particular interest was the New York premiere a newly commissioned concerto by ...

Art Break: Love Is All Around (or at least in ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, February 12, 2018 Valentine’s Day is this week and we’ve got a lot of lovely art to share with you (and it won’t cost a thing!). We start with Desiree Dolron’s show downtown at the Grimm Gallery ...

What's Coming Up at JALC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 9, 2018 Jazz at Lincoln Center's ideological goals could not be more evident from merely perusing the upcoming event listings for the most intimate space in its arsenal, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. The nightspot runs on a daily basis with bookings ...

Review: The Dynamic Duo of Bell and Denk Deliver a ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 9, 2018 With an eagle's wingspan and a long arching torso, Bell's charismatic playing fills the Isaac Stern Auditorium. In a recent, lofty, recital program alongside his frequent pianist, the expressive Jeremy Denk, paid tribute to the hall's namesake Stern, in ...

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Features Legends, ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 9, 2018 After the dust had settled from the 2000 demolishing of the once-touted, then-mocked New York Coliseum at Columbus Circle, the majestic twin-towered Time Warner Center rose from the ashes a few years later and revitalized the neighborhood as a ...

Lincoln Center's American Songbook Brings the Stars Together For the ...

ZEALnyc, February 8, 2018 While many people think every concert or event that occurs at Lincoln Center is of a "classical" nature, that couldn't be any further from the truth. While many of New York City's foremost classically-based arts organizations call Lincoln Center home (New York Philharmonic, ...

Review: Matthias Goerne and Daniil Trifonov Join Forces for ‘Magnificent Music-Making’ at Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 7, 2018

No one ever accused Matthias Goerne of being a cutup, and his joint recital with Daniil Trifonov—ninety minutes of disappointment and death in a single uninterrupted sweep—will yield no exception. ...

Review: Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin Steals the Show in Met Opera’s ‘Parsifal’ Revival

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 5, 2018

Tonight demonstrated that the Metropolitan Opera has made a brilliant choice, and perhaps the only real choice, in its replacement of James Levine. Levine, who conducted regularly at the Met after retiring from ...

Review: Conductor Stéphane Denève Brings Passion to Prokofiev With the NY Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, January 29, 2018

Led by guest conductor Stéphane Denève, the New York Philharmonic recently presented an exhilarating all-Prokofiev program, which I attended on Friday afternoon, January 26. Denève’s program bio ...

Review: U.S-Mexico Border Issues Given Voice Mariachi Style in NYCO’s ‘Cruzar La Cara De La Luna’ at Rose Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 26, 2018

Billed as “the world’s first mariachi opera,” Cruzar la Cara de la Luna opened for a limited run at the Rose Theater this week, in pretty much the same production seen at Houston Grand ...

Review: Haydn’s Rarely Performed Oratorio ‘The Seasons’ Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 26, 2018

Haydn’s The Seasons (1801) is one of those gifts that won’t stop giving: a glorious country-picnic that rejoices the spirit and delights the mind, interrupted every now and again for ...

Review: Tenor Jonas Kaufmann Brings Sincerity and Earnestness To Schubert’s Quintessential Song Cycle at Carnegie

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 23, 2018

Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin is a peculiar thing, part Romantic tragedy, part fairy-tale, part parade of gentle ironies, and part teenage melodrama, at once heart-on-sleeve and eloquent ...

Review: The Met Bets Successfully On Jennifer Rowley in Its Latest ‘Il Trovatore’

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, January 22, 2018

Surrounded by three opera powerhouses, a young American soprano tonight made another hefty, iconic role debut at the Metropolitan Opera. Her second such in ten days. And fearlessly.

The soprano is Jennifer ...

Review: Royal Concertgebouw Lives Up To Its Reputation as One of the World’s Finest In Carnegie Hall Residency

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 22, 2018

Carnegie Hall hosts a great variety of the world’s finest orchestras, and witnessing each ensemble relish the Hall’s flattering acoustics is a rewarding adventure for the curious listener. The most ...

Review: Pianist Simone Dinnerstein Succeeds With an Unlikely Pairing of Glass and Schubert at the Miller Theater

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, January 22, 2018

The pianist Simone Dinnerstein had an unusual concept for her piano recital at Miller Theater on Thursday night, January 18: she presented a collection of pieces by Philip Glass and Franz Schubert, both ...

Review: American Soprano Jennifer Rowley Conquers Tosca at Met Opera

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 15, 2018

Up and coming American soprano Jennifer Rowley has boldly claimed for herself a new, career-changing role. Puccini’s Tosca is a monumental climb for a soprano, a career-defining mountain if, perhaps, ...

Mälkki Conducts New York Philharmonic with Violinist Baiba Skride

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 14, 2018

The New York Philharmonic welcomed busy Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki to the podium and Latvian solo violinist Baiba Skride, for a stimulating program beginning with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D ...

Review: A Traditional ‘Tosca’ Returns, With Cheers, to the Met

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, January 1, 2018

A pretty new Tosca arrived at the Metropolitan Opera last night, made exciting by the stunning work of tenor Vittorio Grigolo and an impressive debut by soprano Sonya Yoncheva in the haunted title ...

Review: Bronfman Assails Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 With ‘Virtuosity and Finesse’

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 28, 2017

The great Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff has described Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as “probably the single most difficult piece that I’ve ever played, and I usually end up with a ...

Review: Jamie Barton Brings Her Charms and Talents to Songs of Love, Longing, and Sex at Zankel Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 22, 2017

As predicted, Jamie Barton’s latest performance at Zankel Hall was quite an evening. Barton is ...

Review: Baritone Andrei Bondarenko Brings His Communicative Power To Weill Recital Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 12, 2017

The voice-police were out in force for Andrei Bondarenko’s performance Friday night at Weill Recital Hall, and from the look of things, they were not most ...

Review: Violinist Janine Jansen’s ‘Perspectives’ Proves Exciting and Enlightening at Zankel Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017

Dutch violinist Janine Jansen’s reverential following is bound to proliferate in the wake of her five-concert Perspectives series this season at Carnegie Hall, the second installment of which ...

Review: Philadelphia Orchestra Is In ‘Superb Form’ Under Nézet-Séguin’s Baton

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s latest Carnegie Hall appearance under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin began exhilaratingly with the New York premiere of Thomas Adès’s newly expanded Suite from ...

Things Are Running AMOC In Boston (And If All Goes As Planned, It Will Be Spreading)

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2017

Looking for the re-invention of opera’s traditional image? Look no further, as Boston is becoming a hot-bed of boundary-pushing, inventive, chance-taking artists. Witness the launch of the American Modern ...

Review: Brilliant Programming Leads the Way With The Brentano String Quartet At 92nd Street Y

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 5, 2017

In the wonderfully warm acoustics of the 92nd Street Y, the exceptional Brentano String Quartet and beloved soprano Dawn Upshaw presented a satisfying Sunday feast that probed the depths of human expression ...

Review: Chanticleer In Concert—Very Pleasant, But Not Entirely Satisfying

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 4, 2017

Chanticleer, the award-winning all-male vocal ensemble based in San Francisco, kicked off the national tour of its annual Christmas program this past Friday evening at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola ...

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 ...

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 ...