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Classical News & Reviews

The latest news in New York City classical music. From Carnegie Hall to the Metropolitan Opera, from the New York Philharmonic to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, find previews, reviews and commentary here at ZEALnyc.

New York Philharmonic

Review: New York ‘Officially’ Meets Jaap with Philharmonic’s Season Opening

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 22, 2018 The 2018-2019 season, and a new era for the New York Philharmonic, began with a gala concert at David Geffen Hall on Thursday evening. Entitled “New York, Meet Jaap,” Jaap van Zweden made his debut with the orchestra as its new ...

PermaDeath

The First Video Game Opera, ‘PermaDeath,’ Receives Its World Premiere in Boston

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 19, 2018 At first glance, the title of Cerise Jacobs’s upcoming world’s first video game opera PermaDeath seems to imply another dark take or tale using the commercial success and wide-spread popularity of the multiplayer video game phenomenon. But ...

There Will Be Blood

Review: Film Soundtracks Take Center Stage in NY Philharmonic’s Art of the Score

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 If the New York Philharmonic were to program an evening of music by avant-garde Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, I suspect it would be a tough sell. The audience would be limited, and probably dwindle in number as the night went along. ...

Jazz Notes Intel

Jazz Notes Intel: Overcoming Boundaries Chapter — Guitarist Lionel Loueke Journeys ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, October 9, 2018 In jazz, there is a plethora of guitarists, each with a voice on the six strings that rocks with fire or soothes with pastel colors or embellishes with strokes that support the surrounding conversations. Then there’s the ...

Art Break

Art Break: Engage in the Thrill of Discovery at Galleries ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 24, 2018 One of the best things about a new season of art shows and exhibitions is that moment when you walk into the room, look around, and say “Wow – this is where I want to be!” If you want ...

New York Philharmonic

Review: New York 'Officially' Meets Jaap with Philharmonic's Season Opening

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 22, 2018 The 2018-2019 season, and a new era for the New York Philharmonic, began with a gala concert at David Geffen Hall on Thursday evening. Entitled "New York, Meet Jaap," Jaap van Zweden made his debut with the orchestra as ...

New York Renaissance Faire

Life In Focus: It's Fairy-Nice at the New York Renaissance ...

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, September 20, 2018   [caption id="attachment_60766" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Consulting a Book of Magic and Spells at the Faire; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_60771" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Villagers of the Renaissance Faire; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [...

PermaDeath

The First Video Game Opera, 'PermaDeath,' Receives Its World ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 19, 2018 At first glance, the title of Cerise Jacobs’s upcoming world’s first video game opera PermaDeath seems to imply another dark take or tale using the commercial success and wide-spread popularity of the multiplayer video game phenomenon. But ...

Judson Dance Theater

Roots of Modern Dance Are Traced through MoMA's Current Exhibit ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2018 The current exhibit at MoMA entitled Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done is an homage to the dance artists who created work at the Judson Church in the 60s and 70s. The dancers and choreographers who created ...

The Power of Art

Art Break: The Power of Art Through the Ages at ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 17, 2018 This week, Art Break is looking at a wide variety of art movements as well as their purpose and meaning. The oldest material on our list comes from The Frick’s exhibition of fifteenth century religious and devotional ...

There Will Be Blood

Review: Film Soundtracks Take Center Stage in NY Philharmonic's Art ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 If the New York Philharmonic were to program an evening of music by avant-garde Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, I suspect it would be a tough sell. The audience would be limited, and probably dwindle in number as the night ...

Agnes

Review: 'Agnes' Brings Dramatic and Meteorological Tensions to 59E59 Theater

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, September 14, 2018 Agnes is a compelling play about family, friendship, and connections. Set in a three-bedroom New York City apartment, Agnes presents five millennials sheltering themselves from a major storm. The talented playwright, Catya McMullen, adeptly sets up the backstory for ...

Feast of San Gennaro

The Feast of San Gennaro Returns to NYC's Little Italy

ZEALnyc, September 13, 2018 For the 92nd time the Feast of San Gennaro, a faith-based celebration honoring the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy, takes place in the neighborhood of Manhattan affectionately known as "Little Italy" (Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets; the festival stage is located ...

Fall Preview Classical Music

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Classical Music

ZEALnyc, September 6, 2018 With performing arts organizations across the globe having finished an almost two-year celebration of the life and music of multi-faceted artist Leonard Bernstein, we’re now ready to move into a brand new season of concerts, recitals, and performances which will be ...

Bernstein Celebration

Review: The Stars Align To Celebrate Bernstein’s Centennial at Tanglewood

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 28, 2018 Thousands gathered on the grounds of Tanglewood to celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s hundredth birthday, in a culmination of the past year’s world-wide celebration of his life and music. Under a bright full moon, in crisp pine-scented ...

Leonard Bernstein

TODAY: A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein on His Centenary

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, August 25, 2018 I grew up in a very small town in western Georgia, back when TV came in black, white, and three shades of gray, and reception was limited to two network affiliates beaming unreliable signals out of Atlanta and a local-only station coming ...

Tanglewood

Review: Bernstein Memorial Concert is a Standout with Young Virtuosos of the TMCO

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 22, 2018 Tanglewood’s 2018 Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra was an auspicious event, drawing a large, enthusiastic crowd. To call this a student orchestra would be selling them short — these are tomorrow’s ...

BSO at Tanglewood

Review: Boston Ballet’s ‘Fancy Free’ Highlights an All-Bernstein Night at Tanglewood

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 21, 2018 In 1940, then 22-year-old Leonard Bernstein, the musical wunderkind now being celebrated for his inimitable significance in American classical music, as well as Broadway musical theatre, attended the inaugural season of the Berkshire Music ...

ICE; photo: Armen Elliott.

Review: A Mozart-less Evening Turns to ICE with ‘Grand Pianola Music’

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, August 6, 2018 The Mostly Mozart Festival’s recent presentation of the International Contemporary Ensemble at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College was a welcome respite from the summer’s punishing mugginess. Entitled “Grand Pianola ...

Review: Adès Conducts Adès and Tetzlaff Is ‘Heart-Stopping’ in Sibelius with the BSO at Tanglewood

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, July 24, 2018 I have heard it said that composers should never conduct their own music. Nonetheless, I’ve always envied those that got to see great composers like Stravinsky and Copland conduct their own music, even if their conducting skills were ...

Review: Mostly Mozart Brings a Visually and Aurally Stunning ‘Creation’ to Life

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, July 23, 2018 Mostly Mozart Festival’s recent presentation of Barcelona-based La Fura dels Baus’s and conductor Laurence Equilbey’s version of the Haydn oratorio The Creation is one of my favorite types of creations. Multimedia iterations of ...

Review: Bernstein’s Ever-Controversial ‘MASS’ Receives a Galvanizing Performance at Mostly Mozart

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, July 20, 2018 It’s genuinely startling how much critical passion Leonard Bernstein’s Mass can still stir up, almost a full half-century after it debuted in 1971 to celebrate the opening of the Kennedy Center. In anticipation of the Mostly Mozart ...

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Join the NYO

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, July 12, 2018 Since 2013, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA) has drawn young musicians ages 16-19 from all over the country and Puerto Rico for a two-week residency at SUNY Purchase and a performance at Carnegie Hall, before ...

Tanglewood 2018

The Legacy of Leonard Bernstein Will Be Celebrated This Summer at Tanglewood

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, June 5, 2018 New York City has been 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. Now consider Leonard ...

Pretty Yende and the Met Orchestra

Soprano Pretty Yende Joins Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the MET Orchestra at Carnegie

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, May 30, 2018 Pretty Yende and the MET Orchestra return to Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. for the last in its series of three concerts there this season, each led by a different conductor. Following on the heels of conductors Mirga ...

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Violinist James Ehnes Prepares to Play a “Turkish” Treat with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 25, 2018 The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra continues their series of appearances at Carnegie Hall in a exciting upcoming concert on Wednesday, May 30 at 8:00 p.m featuring Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, the “Turkish,” with soloist James ...

Yuja Wang in recital at Carnegie Hall is a force of nature

Review: Yuja Wang Is a Force of Nature, Whirling Into Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 21, 2018 Yuja Wang, whose career began in 2007 as a last-minute replacement for Martha Argerich with the Boston Symphony, and in 2017 was named Musical America‘s Artist of the Year, has been announced as Carnegie Hall’s ...

Bernstein at Symphony Space

Wall to Wall Bernstein at Symphony Space on Saturday – and It’s Free!

ZEALnyc, May 15, 2018 One of New York City’s most enduring performance hosting venues just happens to have started out as a food hall (the Astor Market) in 1915, was a short-lived ice skating rink (the Crystal Palace), and eventually evolved into the iconic performing space and film center ...

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Out of the Pit and Into the Spotlight — the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Kicks Off Its End-of-Season Series at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 10, 2018 The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is one of the world’s finest orchestras, and their highly anticipated appearances at Carnegie Hall are a highlight of the season. Unleashed from the pit of the opera house and taking center stage, it is a ...

Bavarian Radio Symphony

Review: Mariss Jansons Leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony in a ‘Riveting’ Mahler’s 7th at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 8, 2018 The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra reinforced their stature as one of the finest ensembles in the world in a riveting performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in E Minor. Under the revered baton of Mariss Jansons, their chief ...

Daniil Trifonov

Review: Trifonov Transcends In ‘Decades’ at Zankel Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 7, 2018 Daniil Trifonov and his monumental Perspectives recital at Zankel Hall on Friday night is the stuff legends are made of. Calling the recital “Decades,” the 27 year old Russian virtuoso, already renowned for dazzling Liszt and ...

Leif Ove Andsnes

Review: Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes Rises Above an Unruly Audience and an Ungracious Acoustical Setting

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 4, 2018 Leif Ove Andsnes deserves an apology for the unsupportive behavior of the New York audience at the start of his recital at David Geffen Hall which concludes his artist-in-residency at the New York Philharmonic this season. Alas, amidst a stream of ...

Boston Lyric Opera

Boston Lyric Opera’s Upcoming Bernstein Double-Bill Is All About Transforming an Ice Rink Into a 1950s Nightclub

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, May 3, 2018 This spring the Boston Lyric Opera brings its season to a close with a premiere pairing of two Leonard Bernstein one-act operas: Trouble in Tahiti (1952) and Arias and Barcarolles (1988). The music itself is enough to grab your attention with the ...

The Oratorio Society of New York

The Underground Railroad and Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Provide Inspiration for World Premieres at Carnegie With the Oratorio Society of NY

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, May 1, 2018 The Oratorio Society of New York, one of the city’s finest choruses and one of its oldest cultural institutions, brings its 145th season to a close on Monday, May 7, 2018, at Carnegie Hall, with two world premieres: an oratorio about the ...

Edward Gardner

Review: Gardner Guides the New York Philharmonic In a Passionate Performance

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 30, 2018 Making his conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic last week, British maestro Edward Gardner, currently chief conductor of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, is clearly on the rise. Also this season, he makes his first appearances with ...

Oratorio Society of New York

The Oratorio Society of New York Maintains Its Relevance With Two World Premieres at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 26, 2018 Founded in 1873, the Oratorio Society of New York is celebrating its 145th season as one of New York City’s longest enduring musical institutions. Having made Carnegie Hall its home since the hall was inaugurated in 1891, and anchored by a ...

Lawrence Brownlee

Review: Tenor Lawrence Brownlee Addresses the Black Male Experience In ‘Cycles of My Being’ at Zankel Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 26, 2018 Lawrence Brownlee, one of the busiest singers around, in demand for bel canto opera roles all over the world, has a commanding stage presence, flawless intonation, and crystal-clear diction. The son of a church choir director, music is in his ...

Grand Rapids Symphony

Review: Grand Rapids Symphony Returns To Carnegie In Fine Form Under the Baton of Marcelo Lehninger

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2018 The Grand Rapids Symphony, one of Michigan’s more prominent performing arts organizations, has spent the last several years increasing its visibility around the country. They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2005, and unlike many more ...

Andrei Ioniță

Review: With Jaw-Dropping Technique, Cellist Andrei Ioniță Dazzles at Zankel Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2018 Andrei Ioniță, a Romanian cellist who won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, dazzled the audience at his April 19 Zankel Hall recital from the instant he started playing. His opening piece, Pietro Antonio ...

Candide

Review: A ‘Candide’ That’s The Life of the Party, But Still Loses Sight of Its Origins

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, April 20, 2018 Carnegie Hall’s “One-Night-Only Benefit Concert in Celebration of the Bernstein Centennial” took the form of selections from the concert version of Candide currently licensed by the Leonard Bernstein Office, performed by a ...

Grand Rapids Symphony At Carnegie

Grand Rapids Symphony Brings More Than Great Music to Carnegie

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, April 17, 2018 The Grand Rapids Symphony at Carnegie arrives in New York this week for its first Carnegie Hall appearance in thirteen years with 85 players, a 135-member chorus, the world-renowned pianist Nelson Freire and its dynamic conductor Marcelo ...

Amadeus: Live

Review: The Drama of Mozart’s Music (and Life) Fills Geffen Hall In NY Philharmonic’s ‘Amadeus: Live’

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, April 16, 2018 The New York Philharmonic’s April 14 screening of Milos Forman’s Oscar-winning movie Amadeus, with the musical score performed live, Amadeus: Live, was bittersweet; Forman died the day before, at eighty-six. Conductor Richard ...

Marcelo Lehninger

From Rio With Love — Grand Rapids Symphony Returns To Carnegie With Music Director Marcelo Lehninger

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, April 12, 2018 The Grand Rapids Symphony takes the stage at Carnegie Hall on Friday, April 20 for the second time in the orchestra’s 88-year history. Having celebrated its 75th anniversary there in 2005, the orchestra returns with the 140-member ...

Ecstatic Music Festival

Ecstatic Music Festival Features Diverse Programming and Collaborative Performances

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, April 12, 2018 Kaufman Music Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival, now in its eighth year, presents collaborative performances from a broad, diverse range of musical groups. As Kaufman Music Center Executive Director Lydia Kontos notes, “since Kaufman Music ...

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