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Classical News & Reviews

Review: The Met Woos and Wins With Its Season Finale of ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 14, 2017

Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac entered the repertoire of the Metropolitan Opera in 2005, at the championing of Placido Domingo, and in Francesca Zambello’s expertly directed production ...

Music and Cocktails at The Miller Theater—Now That’s a Happy Hour!

ZEALnyc, May 12, 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: Long-Forgotten ‘Los Elementos’ Lives Again—Olé!

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 5, 2017

New York City often sees American premieres, but scarcely after such long periods of neglect as endured by Los Elementos, a one-act opera composed by largely forgotten Spanish court composer Antonio ...

Review: American Classical Orchestra Excels in a Revelatory Concert at ...

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 “era-specific performance techniques” proper ...

Art Break: Water-Inspired Works by Maya Lin at Pace Gallery

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2017 This week Art Break is highlighting Maya Lin, a unique voice in contemporary art. Among her many strengths as an artist is the ability to use unusual materials, such as water, to invoke a mood or state of ...

The Arts Converge at the 12th Annual NY Art Book ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 15, 2017 The NY Art Book Fair is a great way to kick off the fall season of art fairs in New York City. Now in its twelfth year with over 370 vendors from 28 countries, this free event showcases the intimate ...

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 ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Arts and Culture in Canada

By Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer, September 13, 2017 This fall, Canada’s arts scene is going strong with international ballets, film festivals, and tons of outdoor performances and activities. Venture up North to catch the biggest names in music, art, and the movies, and enjoy the fall ...

Celebrate All Things Italian at San Gennaro

ZEALnyc, September 12, 2017 For the 91st 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 ...

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 for legendary ...

Art Break: All You Need is Love (And Some Great ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 11, 2017 This week, Art Break is thinking about what artists do to show love, so our choices feature artists who are passionate about creating and connecting with others. Robert Rauschenberg’s friendships, Leon Polk Smith’s joyous colorful forms, ...

Review: NYCO Brings the Old West to Life in Puccini's ...

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, and ...

Jazz Notes: Drummer Matt Wilson Channels Poet Laureate Carl Sandburg ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, September 8, 2017 The kinship between jazz and poetry has been a mainstay of the fine arts world, dating back to the 1920s and most prominently spawned during the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat movement and the hip-hop generation. Most often, the ...

Review: A Taut ‘Der Fliegende Holländer’ Helmed By Nézet-Séguin

By Jose Andrade, Contributing Writer, May 3, 2017

The Metropolitan Opera’s season premiere of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer on Tuesday, April 25 was full of electricity, amply generated by incoming Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin ...

Jennifer Rowley—A Rising Star (and one to keep your eye on)!

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 1, 2017

Jennifer Rowley is the very definition of a star on the rise. But, in an age when people become famous merely for being famous, this is the rarest of stars in an even more rarefied arena: a true operatic diva. ...

Review: ‘Babes in Toyland’—A Nostalgic Delight with MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, April 28, 2017

A concert version of Babes in Toyland was presented at the exquisite Carnegie Hall on Thursday evening. First produced in 1903, the Victor Herbert operetta is considered a landmark because it was a ...

Review: Natalie Dessay Brings Artistry of the Highest Order to Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, April 27, 2017

It’s Natalie Dessay’s world; you and I just live in it.

Dessay is one of the sovereign communicative artists of our era, whose every moment onstage seems fully lived and completely expressed. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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