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Classical News & Reviews

Review: The ‘Next Generation’ Is Showcased By the NY Phil

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2017

Three vital young musicians, as a group representing a younger demographic from which this audience might be accustomed to hearing en masse, helmed a concert by the New York Philharmonic that was ...

Tanglewood Is Building For the Future—Literally

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, April 21, 2017

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home away from Boston, Tanglewood Music Center, is located in the Berkshire Hills, between Stockbridge and Lenox, MA. Recently an exciting and eagerly awaited announcement ...

Review: The Met’s New ‘Rosenkavalier’ Moves Timelessly Forward with a Timeless Renée Fleming

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, April 14, 2017

After nearly fifty years, the Metropolitan Opera has staged a crisp, colorful, audacious and ultimately elegant new production of Richard Strauss’s touching comedy, Der Rosenkavalier. And in it the ...

Review: Dance Theatre of Harlem Continues Its Legacy

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, April 24, 2017 Founded in 1969 and inspired by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Dance Theatre of Harlem was established as a beacon of hope for young people. Through training in classical art form, instilling discipline and focus, a challenged ...

Review: The Rust Belt's Unraveling Is Explored In Lynn Nottage’...

By Andrew Koenig, Contributing Writer, April 24, 2017 Drive around Reading, Pennsylvania at night and you’ll see a town in distress. The streets are empty, the shops all shuttered. Tracey (Johanna Day), one of the lead characters in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play Sweat, ...

Art Break: Math and Art Merge With Joan Waltermath's 'Fecund ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, April 24, 2017 Back in high school, you could easily separate the math nerds from the artsy people. They each claimed to use different parts of their brains and after a couple of conversations with them, you decided they were right. ...

Review: The 'Next Generation' Is Showcased By the NY Phil

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2017 Three vital young musicians, as a group representing a younger demographic from which this audience might be accustomed to hearing en masse, helmed a concert by the New York Philharmonic that was extraordinarily gratifying, both in concept and execution. ...

Review: Don't Let This Parade Pass You By - Midler ...

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, April 22, 2017 Entertainment legend Bette Midler arrives boldly on Broadway following a fifty-year career that would shame the bloomers off the character she takes on. Midler inhabits Dolly Gallagher Levi effortlessly in this revival of the classic American musical, Hello ...

Tanglewood Is Building For the Future—Literally

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, April 21, 2017 The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home away from Boston, Tanglewood Music Center, is located in the Berkshire Hills, between Stockbridge and Lenox, MA. Recently an exciting and eagerly awaited announcement was made by the BSO and Music Director ...

Review: 'Citizen Jane: Battle for the City' Provides Perspective on ...

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, April 21, 2017 If you've ever admired lower Manhattan's picturesque brownstones (and who hasn't), you might want to send a grateful thought to activist Jane Jacobs that they are still here. Matt Tyrnauer’s new documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City ...

Revisiting (and Revising) Home: 'Marsden Hartley’s Maine' at the ...

By Andrew Koenig, Contributing Writer, April  20, 2017 What’s most interesting about the stark, expressive works featured in “Marsden Hartley’s Maine,” on display at the Met Breuer through June 18, is the interplay between representation and memory. For Hartley, Maine was a place to leave in ...

Jazz Notes: 4 Stars for Guitarist Ralph Towner's New ECM Solo ...

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, April 19, 2017 It’s been more than ten years since guitarist Ralph Towner’s last solo album, but his latest release on ECM, My Foolish Heart, has made the wait worth it. On this album, Towner seeks out the delicate interplay ...

Art and Nature Mix at the New York Botanical Gardens

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, April 18, 2017 Dale Chihuly is considered to be one of the finest artists working in glass today. His site-specific installations at art institutions, public spaces and gardens across the world have brought attention to its beauty, as well as respect ...

A Superstar Makes a Life Change — a Conversation with Soprano Renée Fleming

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, April 12, 2017

Tomorrow night, the opera superstar Renée Fleming comes to the Metropolitan Opera House in what will be her final performances as the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Fleming, ...

Review: San Francisco Symphony Is ‘Gripping and Wondrous’ at Carnegie Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, April 10, 2017

In 1940, Béla Bartók and his family fled Hungary and fascism for the United States. By 1943, he was impoverished, in poor health, and in despair over his composing career. Fortunately for all of us, ...

Review: Munich Philharmonic, One of the ‘World’s Great Orchestras,’ in Concert at Carnegie

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 8, 2017

Valery Gergiev is one of today’s most controversial conductors, if the protestors outside Carnegie Hall are any indication, for political reasons as well as his bizarre, fluttery ictus. Recently, he led ...

Review: Uchida and Widmann Bring ‘Joyful Purity’ To Zankel Hall

By Christopher Johnson, April 4, 2017

Jörg Widmann, clarinetist and composer, had his New York recital debut at Zankel Hall this past Sunday afternoon. His partner was Mitsuko Uchida. And there was joy, as they say, in heaven.

As performers, Uchida and ...

Review: A Buried Treasure Is Unearthed In NYCO’s ‘La Campana Sommersa’

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, April 3, 2017

Respighi’s La campana sommersa was the toast of the town when the Metropolitan Opera gave it its World Deuxième in 1928, in an eye-popping production designed by Joseph Urban, conducted by ...

Review: ‘Transcendent’ Mitsuko Uchida in Recital at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 1, 2017

Mitsuko Uchida, one of today’s most transcendent pianists, appeared at Carnegie Hall in a captivating program of Mozart and Schumann, music she has long been interpreting, balanced with the New York ...

Review: Matthew Rose Makes an Impressive Recital Debut at Weill

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, March 30, 2017

For over a hundred years, one of the hallmarks of a classically-trained singer was a New York recital debut. Last Saturday night bass Matthew Rose carried on this tradition in fine fashion at Weill Recital ...

Music and Cocktails at The Miller Theater—How Can You Go Wrong?

ZEALnyc, March 24, 2017

Looking for a way to relax after a hard day at the office? Or maybe a way to hear a little music? Or maybe a place to have a drink? How about combining all these needs into ‘one-stop shopping’?  The Miller Theater at Columbia ...

Review: Rossini’s ‘Otello’ In Literally an ‘Underground’ Production by LoftOpera

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, March 21, 2017

LoftOpera, a young, edgy enterprise based in Brooklyn, started up a few years back by asking itself, “What kind of show do we actually want to see?” The answer, they realized, was obvious:

Review: Salonen’s ‘Stunning’ Cello Concerto ‘Creates a Glimmering Sound Tapestry’ with the NY Philharmonic

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, March 20, 2017

One of the highlights of 2017’s classical music season was undoubtedly this Thursday’s sold-out concert at the New York Philharmonic with the inimitable Yo-Yo Ma playing the New York premiere of ...

Review: BLO’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ Is a Modern Take On a Cautionary Tale

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, March 18, 2017

On a night where Stravinsky’s music was to take the stage in Boston Lyric Opera’s new production of the his opera The Rake’s Progress at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theater, there was ...

Review: Mark Morris Presents Two Operas at BAM

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, March 17, 2017

Mark Morris’s Dido and Aeneas has been widely accepted as a masterpiece since it opened in 1989, and his recent mounting of Britten’s Curlew River was hailed as a transformative ...

The Game’s Afoot With American Lyric Theater’s Opera About Sherlock Holmes

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, March 15, 2017

Musical arrangements that combine two styles can be charming and surprising. The TV series Glee periodically featured clever combinations of songs from different eras and singers. In one smart mash-up, ...

Review: Philip Glass Continues to Celebrate With Collaborating at National Sawdust

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, March 14, 2017

Philip Glass’s eightieth-birthday celebrations continued this past Sunday with a charming joint recital with Foday Musa Suso, before a packed house at National Sawdust. The program consisted of ...

Review: New York Philharmonic Presents a Birthday Tribute to Composer John Adams

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, March 13, 2017

David Geffen Hall, as the home of the New York Philharmonic is presently called, is awaiting, with some trepidation owing to money troubles, a long anticipated renovation which will forever change (and in ...

Review: Philadelphia Orchestra Pairs Ballet and Opera at Carnegie Hall

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, March 13, 2017

Carnegie Hall’s commitment to presenting the best performers in classical music today was evident last Tuesday, March 7 as the Philadelphia Orchestra brought an evening of ballet and opera to New York. Led by ...

Carlisle Floyd Discusses Composing, the NEA, and Young Opera Composers

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, March 8, 2017

The composer Carlisle Floyd was in New York recently for the city’s premiere of his latest opera, Prince of Players. Mr. Floyd, who is ninety, has composed opera for seven decades. Speaking with a light ...

Review: Shostakovich Shines With the St. Petersburg Philharmonic

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, March 6, 2017

Yuri Temirkanov, the venerable and much awarded Russian conductor, has led the storied St. Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988, during which period he also held posts with the Baltimore Symphony and the ...

Review: Boston Symphony Plays With ‘Staggering Beauty’

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, March 6, 2017

From 1918 to 1962, when it was led, sequentially, by Henri Rabaud, Pierre Monteux, Serge Koussevitsky, and Charles Munch, the Boston Symphony took a lot of affectionate ribbing as “the best French ...

Review: Boston Symphony Presents a Well Balanced Program at Carnegie

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, March 3, 2017

The Boston Symphony continued its recent three concert visit to Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, March 1 with a program balancing a rarely performed twentieth century work with repertory staples. Andris Nelsons, a 38 ...

Stravinsky is a Character in Boston Lyric Opera’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, March 2, 2017

What do you get when you combine a brilliant composer writing for the operatic stage with a storyline of greed, illicit carnal desires and a pact with the devil? One of the Twentieth Century’s musical ...

Review: Buchbinder is Sparkling in Brahms with the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, March 2, 2017

On the second evening of the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall (February 25), Maestro Franz Welser-Möst presented Johannes Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished” ...

Review: Boston Symphony Premieres a Work of ‘Searing Beauty’ at Carnegie Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, March 1, 2017

Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931) is one of our great living composers, but when she was a student in Soviet Russia her work was deemed “irresponsible” for its modernist tendencies, like the use of alternative ...

Composer Carlisle Floyd Discusses His Latest Opera, and His Earliest Success

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 28, 2017

Composer Carlisle Floyd was in New York last week for the city’s premiere of his latest opera, Prince of Players, and I sat with the composer for a talk in his hotel suite. Mr. Floyd, who is ...

Review: Vienna Philharmonic Brings World-Class Music-Making to New York

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, February 27, 2017

One of the great orchestras in classical music today, the Vienna Philharmonic, is on a brief tour of the United States this winter, and thankfully, New York is their first stop where they presented a series ...

Review: LOTNY Premieres Carlisle Floyd’s Masterful ‘Prince of Players’

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 24, 2017

Carlisle Floyd’s latest opera Prince of Players had what Opera News called an ...

Review: Orchestre National de Lyon Soars With Storytelling Repertoire at Carnegie Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, February 22, 2017

Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon brought a fascinating mix of the old, the new, and the rediscovered to Carnegie Hall on February 20th, all centered around Ravel. The ...

Review: Turkish Delights Are Served Up at Zankel Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 21, 2017

[Full disclosure: Your Faithful Scribe cannot be rational about this concert. Twenty-four hours after it ended, aforesaid scribe still reels with giddy-goat excitement, not having had such an ...

A Weekend With Carlisle Floyd and the New York Premiere of His Latest Opera

ZEALnyc, February 17, 2017

Carlisle Floyd may have turned 90 this past June, but he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down his artistic output. His latest opera, The Prince of Players is being mounted by The Little Opera Theatre of New York (LOTNY) ...

Review: Illness Provides Yende Unexpected Opportunity to Triumph at the Met

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 15, 2017

The Met’s current revival of Bellini’s I Puritani became an instant must-see, with

Slatkin Travels With His Orchestre National de Lyon to Carnegie In a Rich Program for Unsettled Times

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, February 15, 2017

A visit from an international orchestra as renowned as the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL) is always cause for celebration, but their upcoming American six-city tour, which hits Carnegie Hall on ...

Review: Assistant Conductor, Joshua Gersen, Keeps the Music Playing at the NY Phil

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 13, 2017

Poor old Taneyev—he just can’t catch a break! Here he goes and spends seven years writing his magnum opus, a three-act opera based on Aeschylus’s Oresteia, and the poor thing gets cut ...

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