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Classical News & Reviews

American Soprano Jennifer Rowley Conquers Tosca at Met Opera

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 15, 2018

Up and coming American soprano Jennifer Rowley has boldly claimed for herself a new, career-changing role. Puccini’s Tosca is a monumental climb for a soprano, a career-defining mountain if, perhaps, ...

Mälkki Conducts New York Philharmonic with Violinist Baiba Skride

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 14, 2018

The New York Philharmonic welcomed busy Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki to the podium and Latvian solo violinist Baiba Skride, for a stimulating program beginning with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D ...

Review: A Traditional ‘Tosca’ Returns, With Cheers, to the Met

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, January 1, 2018

A pretty new Tosca arrived at the Metropolitan Opera last night, made exciting by the stunning work of tenor Vittorio Grigolo and an impressive debut by soprano Sonya Yoncheva in the haunted title ...

American Soprano Jennifer Rowley Conquers Tosca at Met Opera

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 15, 2018 Up and coming American soprano Jennifer Rowley has boldly claimed for herself a new, career-changing role. Puccini's Tosca is a monumental climb for a soprano, a career-defining mountain if, perhaps, not the toughest vocal peak. The opera greats, including ...

Art Break: See 'Power in Print' at the NYPL's Schomburg ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, January 15, 2018 This week Art Break celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. day with some gallery shows reflecting his ideals. Whether it’s the inclusion of all as represented by the Andrew Edlin Gallery’s show of art from around the ...

Mälkki Conducts New York Philharmonic with Violinist Baiba Skride

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, January 14, 2018 The New York Philharmonic welcomed busy Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki to the podium and Latvian solo violinist Baiba Skride, for a stimulating program beginning with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major. While it may be notable that ...

NYC This Week 1.15.2018

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, January 14, 2018 Temperatures are radically up and down here in NYC, but we have some great reasons to head indoors. Here is what's hot This Week in NYC. Read on. Everybody loves Cuba. Well, that is, most everybody who has visited ...

Elegance On Display With the Winter Antiques Show at the ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, January 12, 2018 The Winter Antiques Show is your chance to see a wonderful variety of objects from the decorative and fine arts. This year’s group of over 65 dealers and experts will be presenting items that come with a guarantee ...

Outsider Art Fair Merges A Variety of Styles and Mediums ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, January 11, 2018 The Outsider Art Fair is in its twenty-sixth year of presenting galleries and artists who specialize in what was formerly known as ‘art brut’, a French phrase that can translate as ‘unrefined art’. Today, the genre is known ...

NYC This Week 1.9.2018

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, January 9, 2018 Our young new year has been a cold one. So how about some ideas that will warm your heart, body and soul. Read on. 2ndStage Theater has a mission to tell essential American stories. And there's no more essential, ...

Jazz Notes: Umbria Jazz Festival, Orvieto Dazzles In Its 25th ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, January 8, 2018 As a result of his successful summer jazz festival founded in 1973 in the Umbria region of Italy, Carlo Pagnotta, the artistic director of the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, started a new festival twenty-five years ago in the ...

Art Break: Looking Outside the Box With Donald Judd at ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, January 8, 2018 This week Art Break starts off January with four examples of artists who weren’t afraid to explore ideas and methods outside their expertise or comfort levels. Although he didn’t know it, Donald Judd’s training in ...

Jazz Notes: Winter Jazzfest—The Best Jazz Festival of the ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, January 5, 2018 What started 13 years ago as an inspired goal of giving voice to the plethora of relatively unknown but immensely talented jazz musicians toiling in the multitude of the New York’s tiny and obscure clubs, the NYC Winter ...

Review: Bronfman Assails Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 With ‘Virtuosity and Finesse’

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 28, 2017

The great Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff has described Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as “probably the single most difficult piece that I’ve ever played, and I usually end up with a ...

Review: Jamie Barton Brings Her Charms and Talents to Songs of Love, Longing, and Sex at Zankel Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 22, 2017

As predicted, Jamie Barton’s latest performance at Zankel Hall was quite an evening. Barton is ...

Review: Baritone Andrei Bondarenko Brings His Communicative Power To Weill Recital Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 12, 2017

The voice-police were out in force for Andrei Bondarenko’s performance Friday night at Weill Recital Hall, and from the look of things, they were not most ...

Review: Violinist Janine Jansen’s ‘Perspectives’ Proves Exciting and Enlightening at Zankel Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017

Dutch violinist Janine Jansen’s reverential following is bound to proliferate in the wake of her five-concert Perspectives series this season at Carnegie Hall, the second installment of which ...

Review: Philadelphia Orchestra Is In ‘Superb Form’ Under Nézet-Séguin’s Baton

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s latest Carnegie Hall appearance under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin began exhilaratingly with the New York premiere of Thomas Adès’s newly expanded Suite from ...

Things Are Running AMOC In Boston (And If All Goes As Planned, It Will Be Spreading)

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2017

Looking for the re-invention of opera’s traditional image? Look no further, as Boston is becoming a hot-bed of boundary-pushing, inventive, chance-taking artists. Witness the launch of the American Modern ...

Review: Brilliant Programming Leads the Way With The Brentano String Quartet At 92nd Street Y

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 5, 2017

In the wonderfully warm acoustics of the 92nd Street Y, the exceptional Brentano String Quartet and beloved soprano Dawn Upshaw presented a satisfying Sunday feast that probed the depths of human expression ...

Review: Chanticleer In Concert—Very Pleasant, But Not Entirely Satisfying

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 4, 2017

Chanticleer, the award-winning all-male vocal ensemble based in San Francisco, kicked off the national tour of its annual Christmas program this past Friday evening at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola ...

Tanglewood Prepares For A Centennial Summer Celebrating Lenny

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 21, 2017

New York City is 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 ...

Review: Benjamin Grosvenor Dazzles In Recital at 92nd Street Y

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017

Hailed as a child prodigy who has gone on to a promising solo career, British concert pianist Benjamin Grosvenor dazzled New York audiences on Wednesday at the 92nd Street Y with an ambitious program both ...

Review: The Mariinsky Orchestra With Its Massive Sound Is A ‘Marvel’ At Carnegie Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 17, 2017

At least three things emerge from the Mariinsky Orchestra’s back-to-back concerts at Carnegie Hall this week. First, the Mariinsky is a world treasure. Second, Sergei Prokofiev is arguably the ...

Review: The Swedish Chamber Orchestra Presents A Magnificent ‘Missa Solemnis’ That Transcends At Geffen Hall

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 14, 2017

Nearly two centuries after its completion, people still pretty much fall into two camps about Beethoven’s Missa solemnis: they think it’s either one of the greatest pieces of music ever ...

Music In the Digital Age Sparks Creation of the Open Source Music Festival

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 10, 2017

Virtuoso pianist Joel Fan, a celebrated champion of new music and member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, is launching the Open Source Music Festival at the Lower East Side’s Abrons Art Center ...

Review: BLO Presents a Historically Hair-Raising and Highly Entertaining World Premiere

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, November 10, 2017

For Boston Lyric Opera’s latest production, The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, the mood is set immediately upon entering the circular rotunda ...

Review: The American Composers Orchestra Celebrates a Milestone With Successful Premieres

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, November 8, 2017

The American Composers Orchestra took a well-deserved victory lap on November 7, the occasion of their 40th anniversary gala concert. As the only orchestra in the country that is dedicated ...

Elizabeth Ogonek Discusses ‘Sleep and Unremembrance’ Which Debuts with ACO This Week

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, November 6, 2017

This week the American Composers Orchestra celebrates its 40th anniversary. With a mission to broaden the profile of American classical music previously underrepresented, The ACO has chosen a program of ...

Review: New York Philharmonic Continues Its Bernstein Tribute With Mixed Results

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, November 3, 2017

The second installment in the New York Philharmonic’s contextualized survey of Leonard Bernstein’s ...

BLO’s ‘Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare’ Digs Deep Into the Darker Side of History For Its Inspiration

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, November 1, 2017

As traditionally dark and tragic as opera can be, there’s a new addition to the repertoire—with an irreverent twist—in Boston Lyric Opera’s upcoming production of The Nefarious, Immoral But ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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, ...

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,” ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...