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Classical News & Reviews

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 end, even though they are not physically ...

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 cutting-edge-of-everything organization, which justifiably bills itself as “the only ...

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 “Perspectives” series. He gave the first of ...

Jazz Notes Intel: Eclectic French Violinist Scott Tixier Soars; Pianist ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 22, 2018  (No. 1) In a Saturday early-afternoon conversation, Scott Tixier stresses that he’s beyond busy. “I get distracted easily,” said the rising-star France-born, Brooklyn-based jazz violinist and composer when asked if he were ramping up for a new recording ...

Review: 'At Home At The Zoo' — Albee At His Best

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, February 22, 2018 In Edward Albee’s world, people quarrel, threaten, argue, fight, and struggle against each other. They bite, tussle, demean, condemn. His world is a bleak place, and yet it’s so much fun to be there, at least from ...

Review: Anna Caterina Antonacci Captivates and Conquers in a Rare ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 21, 2018 New York City Opera brings the celebrated Anna Caterina Antonacci to Carnegie Hall for a rare, intimate recital and audiences should run, not walk. It is a privilege to experience vocalism of this caliber, and this former mezzo turned ...

The 30th Anniversary Edition of The Art Show Can Change ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, February 21, 2018 The Art Show is one of those events that can change how you look at art. This show, now in its thirtieth year, is composed of ADAA (Art Dealers Association of America) members, all with extensive experience in ...

Review: The Met Revives the Rare 'Semiramide' With a Golden ...

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 19, 2018 Offering palace intrigue and plot twists that would make a Trump White House blanch, the Metropolitan Opera tonight revived its beautiful production of Rossini's Semiramide, swathed in blue and gold and filling the house with impressive vocal pyrotechnics. ...

NYC This Week: 2.19.2018

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 19, 2018 This President's Day, take some time to plan a great week of New York City culture. We have some great ideas. Tony Kushner's monumental Angels in America took Broadway by storm in 1993, with its unvarnished examination of AIDS ...

Art Break: LaToya Ruby Frazier Champions the Oppressed Through Photography ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, February 19, 2018 Art Break knows that art and the act of creating it is a powerful thing. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the pieces of LaToya Ruby Frazier, now at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in upper Manhattan. Her ...

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 ...

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 three-week festival, aptly titled Bernstein’s Philharmonic, which opened last ...

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, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe came ...

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,” commissioned and produced by New York City Opera, ...

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 reason to celebrate, but not the New ...

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 home—bringing a recent piece by Samy Moussa, a ...

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 Carnegie Hall this past Monday evening. While ...

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 with the Montréal Symphony. His ...

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 presenting programming relevant to ...

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, and many others. A few months before ...

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 orchestral tours are built around, of ...

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 of twenty-five, and conducted this ...

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 concert at Carnegie Hall. Those unfamiliar with the ...

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 Corea and classical superstar Lang Lang ...

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 that is fully integrated into the ...

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 book, and a title role that defines greatness seems just ...

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, playing a piece written by one of ...

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 Ouroboros trilogy produced last September, was “the most ...

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 “period-instrument ensemble,” using ...

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 Corea, and Lang Lang. Like much of this ...

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 the initial centennial celebrations ...

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, but heavenly, La fanciulla del West, ...

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 Festival presented an opportunity to ...

Commentary: Thoughts on Polymath’s Exploration of Music and Philosophy

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, August 17, 2017 This past Sunday there was a summer lab project performance at National Sawdust involving the combined forces of Found Sound Nation and Polymath Club. In order to appreciate the work of Polymath Club, a research/creation collective that ...

Review: A Dynamic Duo—Bell and Isserlis—Are ‘Perfectly Synched’ at Mostly Mozart

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, August 9, 2017 Not many musicians can match violinist Joshua Bell for the sheer ferocity he brings to his music-making, but cellist Steven Isserlis is his perfect foil. Friends, colleagues, and sparring partners for three decades, they are symbiotic in ...

The State of the Art—Thoughts on the Final Week of ‘Bang on a Can Festival’

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, August 8, 2017 NORTH ADAMS, MA.  When curating a project, an exhibition, a concert, even a festival, there are typically two approaches the producing organization may take. One, is to organize around a particular idea, theme, or message (as many exhibitions, ...

Bard Music Festival Focuses on ‘Chopin and His World’

ZEALnyc, August 8, 2017 As many summer festivals are beginning to wind down, there’s one just to the north of New York City that is getting ready to commence. The 28th annual Bard Music Festival, taking place on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, prepares for the ...

Review: Ksenija Sidorova—Accordionist Extraordinaire—at Mostly Mozart

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, August 7, 2017 Ksenija Sidorova’s program bio says that she is “the world’s leading ambassador for the accordion.” After seeing her solo recital on August 5 at the Kaplan Penthouse, as part of Mostly Mozart’s “A Little Night Music” series, ...

Review: Bang On A Can’s ‘Road Trip’ Reflects on the Journey

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, August 2, 2017 North Adams, MA.  Music and art, at their best, have always been modes of communication, methods of making abstract qualities of beauty feel experiential, tangible, visceral. But some works manage to so profoundly capture elements of the human ...

Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble Is UNTAMED! at La MaMa This Summer

ZEALnyc, August 2, 2017 Now that the summer doldrums are upon us, you may feel as though you need something to shake things up a bit. Well, you’re in luck, because the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble is bringing lots of wildlife and “wild things” into the theater this summer. ...

Mostly Mozart Festival Opens Tomorrow—What To See and Hear

ZEALnyc, July 24, 2017 Summer in New York brings many performances and festivals for which we look forward, from the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in Central Park to the Lincoln Center Festival, bringing the world’s theater, music and dance to our own backyard, followed by their Out ...

An International Opera Festival in HD at Symphony Space

ZEALnyc, July 18, 2017 While many of the major opera houses are on hiatus until their fall seasons begin (at least here locally), there’s no reason you can’t still get your opera fix through some welcomed programming by the stalwart venue on the Upper West Side, Symphony Space.  While ...

Bang On A Can Festival Is Making Some Noise Again This Summer in North Adams, MA

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, July 14, 2017 Thirty years after their debut concert—a day-long marathon concert of experimental music in a SoHo art gallery—the founders of Bang on a Can, the composer trifecta of Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang, remain committed to their ...

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