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Classical News & Reviews

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 ...

Lincoln Center Goes 'Out of Doors' With a Big Free ...

By Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer, July 21, 2017 Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival is bringing an other-worldly level of performers for an "only in New York" kind of experience. The festival’s free performances (that's right—FREE) runs July 26 through August 13, and includes a Double Dutch ...

Review: The Elusiveness of Peace Brought To the Fore In ...

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, July 20, 2017 In this era of dismal, seemingly endless intractability in the Middle East, it’s startling to be reminded that, not too long ago, the prospect of peace between Israel and Palestine was tantalizingly close. That reminder, and the horrible ...

Review: Compagnie XY Proves Its Strength Is Working Together

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, July 20, 2017 Compagnie XY is a French-based circus, but there’s no big top, no trapeze rig, no spangled leotards nor wild animals. Instead, it is a troupe of individuals with extraordinary abilities and exquisite training who develop theatrical programs that ...

Jazz Notes: Passing the Newport Jazz Festival Baton from Founder ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, July 19, 2017 As the new artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, Christian McBride has put his stamp on this year’s lineup for the 2017 performances, adding a mix of incredibly diverse musicians—though, by his own account, he was totally ...

Review: 'Assassins' Chills and Thrills at Encores! Off-Center

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, July 19, 2017 For years, I’ve been threatening to write a book entitled Everything I Know I Learned from Musical Theater. I have Andrew Lloyd Webber to thank for my religious education. I listened to Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and ...

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 ...

Art Break: You've Heard of Pop Art—Now There's Pope ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, July 17, 2017 Time to test those history skills by visiting our Downtown pick this week. Devon Dikeou has created a combination photo/object installation of ten chairs that reference portraits of Catholic Popes. Each chair is linked to an artist ...

Bang On A Can Festival Is Making Some Noise Again ...

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 ...

Review: Uplifting Theme Overshadows Post-Combat Realities in 'Almost Sunrise'

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, July 14, 2017 Almost Sunrise, the documentary film from award-winning filmmaking team, Michael Collins (director) and Marty Syjuco (producer) challenges and explores the misconceptions war and the inevitable and consuming effects Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has on the men and women ...

It's Time For The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition at ...

ZEALnyc, July 13, 2017 Summertime brings all sorts of special treats and delights, from outdoor performances and dining al fresco, but occasionally there are things that may draw you back indoors. Patek Philippe is collaborating with the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club to present The Art ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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