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Classical News & Reviews

Review: Vivaldi’s ‘Juditha’ Triumphs Again with Venice Baroque Orchestra at Carnegie

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 9, 2017

To paraphrase one of Miss Austen’s heroines, we presume to know Antonio Vivaldi very well; but as my great-uncle Olin, late of Langdale, Alabama, used to say, we don’t know squat.

These ...

Review: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Is ‘Electrifying’ at Carnegie Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, February 6, 2017

On February 4 at Carnegie Hall, the famously conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra presented a performance of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto with a twist: the soloist Vadim Gluzman played the ...

Review: Venice’s Rich Musical Heritage Performed By An Array of International Artists

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 6, 2017

Add Carnegie Hall to the list of places where spontaneous political demonstrations have erupted over the past few weeks. If that setting seems improbable, the inciting event—a musico-historical ...

Jazz Notes: Jazz Icon Ella Fitzgerald Honored With NYC Mayoral ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, April 25 2017 Even though the legendary Ella Fitzgerald died in 1996 at her home in Beverley Hills, she was a bona fide New Yorker throughout her remarkable career. Her story as The First Lady of Song began at the Apollo Theater ...

Review: 'Anastasia'—A Little Girl's Dream Comes True

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, April 25, 2017 Walking into the Broadhurst Theatre I felt like a little girl at Christmas. I was finally going to see my favorite childhood movie come to life onstage. Anastasia, directed by Darko Tresnjak, boasting a book by Terrence McNally with ...

Review: 'The Antipodes' Tells Us Stories About Stories

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, April 25, 2017 There are stories. And there are stories about stories. There are stories that number stories, that outline stories, that list stories. Somehow, The Antipodes, the new play by Annie Baker, directed by Lila Neugebauer at the Signature Theater, is ...

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair Comes to Brooklyn In May

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, April 25, 2017 The third year of this up and coming fair brings a wide range of contemporary art from the African continent and its diaspora on May 5-7, 2017. You will see work from Senegal, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, ...

Review: The New York Pops Bridges the Generation Gap

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, April 24, 2017 As the older generation always says “I don’t understand what those kids are listening to these days.” I grew up in a household where I thought my parents' music wasn’t only good, but probably better than 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 Waltemath'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 ...

Review: Philip Glass Celebrates His Birthday with a World Premiere at Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 1, 2017

Well, folks, he did it: Philip Glass had his big birthday bash at Carnegie Hall on January 31, and he blew out all eighty candles. Not that there was actual cake—if they’d had a cake big enough to ...

Review: Barenboim Delivers a ‘Stellar Performance’ at Carnegie Hall

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, February 1, 2017

January 27th at Carnegie Hall was day 7 of New York’s first Bruckner symphony cycle, which brought us Bruckner’s popular Symphony No. 7 and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with Daniel Barenboim ...

Review: Dmitry Masleev Dazzles in His New York Recital Debut at Carnegie Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, February 1, 2017

The twenty-eight-year-old Siberian-born pianist Dmitry Masleev achieved worldwide fame in 2015 when he won the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He has concertized extensively since ...

Review: St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble Brings Bach and Vivaldi To Life at the Brooklyn Museum

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 30, 2017

The St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble opened its 2017 Baroque Chamber Music Series on Sunday afternoon, at the Brooklyn Museum, with a program of mostly ...

‘A Freshness I’m Pleased With’ – Glass Discusses His Eleventh Symphony and His Place

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 30, 2017

On January 26th, Carnegie Hall announced the appointment of ...

Tanglewood 2017: Exciting Programming Under the Stars

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 29, 2017

New York City music lovers have many things to look forward to in the summer “off season.” Concerts in the park and Bargemusic to name just two. But the spiritual heart of the classical music ...

Review: Barenboim is Brilliant Leading the Staatskapelle Berlin in Bruckner and Mozart

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, January 26, 2017

Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin are performing all nine Bruckner symphonies over the course of nine evenings at Carnegie Hall, coupling each symphony with a Mozart piano concerto, led by ...

1690 ‘Auer’ Stradivarius Returns to Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, with Vadim Gluzman and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 25, 2017

Vadim Gluzman, the Ukrainian-born Israeli violinist whose recent gig with the Chicago Symphony won

Philip Glass Celebrates 80 with a World Premiere at Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 24, 2017

He’s been our go-to “ascendant modernist” for so long that it’s easy to forget that Philip ...

Orchestra of St. Luke’s Returns to its Roots

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, January 23, 2017

With eighty concerts a year, a roster of impressive guest artists, a summer residency at Caramoor, and a sparkling new home at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s ...

Review: A ‘Thrilling Start’ to a Bruckner Symphony Cycle with Barenboim at Carnegie

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, January 23, 2017

Anton Bruckner has long been an important contributor to the symphonic repertoire, but January 19-29, 2017 New York City is experiencing its first Bruckner Symphony Cycle at Carnegie Hall! In honor of Daniel ...

Review: Mirror Visions Ensemble presents ‘A Visit With Emily’ and various premieres at the Sheen Center

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 18, 2017

The singer-founded, singer-run Mirror Visions Ensemble threw itself a twenty-fifth birthday party on January 16 at the Sheen Center, showing off the fruits of ...

Review: ‘Candide’ Continues to Confound

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, January 9, 2017

Every decade or so, Harold Prince serves up a dog’s breakfast and calls it Candide. New York City Opera presented the latest such repast last Friday at the Rose Theatre.

Just so you ...

An opera about Alan Turing of ‘The Imitation Game’ fame

By Miles Harter, Contributing Writer, January 7, 2017

Theater can be entertaining, but it can also educate us about unfamiliar history. Two recent critically-acclaimed theatrical releases tell the exquisite and absorbing stories of three brilliant African ...

PROTOTYPE —a ‘Visionary’ Festival Begins Today

ZEALnyc, January 5, 2017

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, PROTOTYPE – OPERA/THEATRE/NOW begins its annual festival of visionary opera-theatre and music-theatre works today by presenting a mélange of works by pioneering contemporary artists from New York ...

New York City Opera’s Road Back — An Interview with General Director Michael Capasso

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, December 27, 2016

Next week, New York City Opera continues its season with a Hal Prince mounting of Candide. From 1943 to ...

Review: New York Philharmonic Presents the Seasonal Chestnut — ‘Messiah’

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, December 19, 2016

The holiday season is upon us — a chill in the air, eggnog, decorations, and for classical music lovers, Handel’s Messiah. Many performances of Messiah abound, but when I saw that ...

Review: The Zoo is ‘onstage’ with ‘Carnival of the Animals’ at the Miller Theatre

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 18, 2016

In bringing back director/designer Lake Simons’ production of Saint-Saëns’ well-loved Carnival of the Animals for a second year, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre seems poised to turn ...

Review: Joyce DiDonato Wages War and Strives for Peace at Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 17, 2016

Joyce DiDonato is on the verge of despair, and she wonders if the world has any future, or if music and art have anything left to offer it. That was the gist of the curtain-speech she gave at the end ...

Review: The Met’s ‘L’Amour de Loin’ is Sumptuous and Shimmering

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 16, 2016

Editor’s Note: ZEALnyc reviewed the Met’s production of ‘L’Amour de Loin’ on its opening night and again at its second performance; another ZEALnyc review and opinion ...

Review: The Met Presents a New Masterpiece

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2016

Editor’s Note: ZEALnyc reviewed the Met’s production of ‘L’Amour de Loin’ on its opening night; another ZEALnyc review and opinion on this work and its important ...

Review: Fazil Say Scores a Triumph as Both Soloist and Composer with Orpheus at Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 5, 2016

PIanist Fazil Say got together again with Orpheus, the conductorless chamber orchestra, for an “evening of luxury and levity” last ...

Review: Lepage Holds Three Hostage in Met Opera’s New ‘L’Amour de Loin’ Hostage

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, December 1, 2016

Have you ever seen a really, really cute puppy sitting in a tiny, tiny crate? All full of trapped youthful life, love, joy and potential? All ready to just pop out? To be just, really fantastic?

And have ...

Review: Royal Concertgebouw ‘Wows’ with Mahler at Carnegie Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 1, 2016

During unsettled or troubling times, Mahler can seem like a spiritual balm, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s performance of the composer’s mighty Symphony No. 5 at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, ...

On the Birth of a Twentieth-Century Operatic Masterpiece

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, November 30, 2016

The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has had an active New York season. Esa-Pekka Salonen and the New York Philharmonic offered four works including Circle Map at The Park Avenue Armory in October. ...

Review: Hail to the (soon to be) Chief! Jaap van Zweden Lets His Brilliance Shine

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 18, 2016

Jaap van Zweden’s first appearance with the New York Philharmonic since being

Review: Soprano Susanna Phillips succeeds in a last-minute ‘solo’ recital at Zankel Hall

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, November 11, 2016

The Art song is a classical music genre not performed frequently here in America, so I gladly headed to Zankel Hall on Sunday, November 6 for a recital by soprano Susanna Phillips, with Myra Huang at the ...

Review: TON Presents a Student Concert at a Lincoln Center Venue

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 9, 2016

Let’s keep it real: for all the snazzy branding and top-flight design, the glossy handouts, the high-concept concert series (plural), the headline venues, and the talk of “forward-thinking, ...

A Rare Instrument Finds a Home in Montreal

ZEALnyc, October 31, 2016

Mark McLaren speaks with Montreal Symphony music director Maestro Kent Nagano and double bassist Eric Chappell on the introduction of a rare instrument to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra – the octobass. ...

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Operatic Debut In Washington DC

By Chidi Osirke, Contributing Writer, October 31, 2016

Born in Brooklyn 1933, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had, by any reasonable assessment, a storied career. She graduated from Columbia Law School and quickly became a staunch courtroom advocate for the fair ...

My Journey to Carnegie Hall Via Venezuela

By Paul Desenne, Contributing Writer, October 27, 2016

And thirteen million mouse clicks later, I was taking a bow onstage at Carnegie Hall… A very special moment, of course, but not only for the obvious reasons. There was something more that night than the ...

Review: The Met’s Guillaume Tell, Not Quite A Bullseye

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, October 27, 2016

Rossini’s Guillaume Tell is one hell of a political opera—taut, tense, ready to explode at any moment with the pent-up rage of an occupied nation against its cruel foreign overlords, full ...