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  • William Kentridge's Return of Ulysses

    The Father of Opera Celebrated

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 17th, 2016

    Claudio Monteverdi is considered the first major composer of an opera. The richness of his talent is on abundant display in William Kentridge’s direction of The Return of Ulysses.

  • Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Winterreise

    Schubert Set in Carnegie Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 24th, 2016

    Ian Bostridge not only admits that he has been obsessed for years by Winterreise, but he has written a superb book on the piece and obsession. The wonderful tenor has so absorbed the music and poetry that he seems to step behind the performance and let this remarkable work shine. Thomas Adès constantly reveals Schubert at the piano.

  • Master Voices Presents "27"

    Ricky Ian Gordon's Opera Stars Stephanie Blythe as Gertrude Stein

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 21st, 2016

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit on 27 Rue de Fleurus, the Gertrude Stein/ Alice B. Toklas salon frequented by Picasso, Matisse, Man Ray, and others, largely consisted of blown up black and white photos. In every way, the Master Voices production colors these lives. In addition to the sublime presence of Stephanie Blythe as Gertrude, Heidi Stober and Theo Lebow thrilled.

  • More Fun with Jeff and Jane

    Concert at Williams Inn Nov. 19

    By: Bob Fowler - Oct 17th, 2016

    Dyno rockers Jeff and Jane Hudson will present an (ahem) New Wave Party at the Williams Inn on November 19. The vintage punk rockers are promoting their latest release The Middle which combines new and old material. Until recently they operated an antiques store at Mass MoCA. Jane is a legendary genius while Jeff is generally viewed as a piece of work. Together they make strange and rhapsodic music. Never miss one of their iconic events.

  • Brahms' Human Requiem

    White Lights Festival

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 16th, 2016

    Can listeners experience music as their own, an inside experience enjoyed by performers? Yes, in the extraordinary productioin conceived by Jochen Sanig and brought to life by the Rundfunkchor Berlin under Simon Halsey assisted by Nicolas Fink. The setting was Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Brahms' Requiem was the experience.

  • Sir Simon Rattle and Mahler at Carnegie Hall

    The Philadelphia In Magnificent Form

    By: Susan Hall and Djurdjija Vucinic - Oct 12th, 2016

    Sir Simon Rattle, the great conductor of the Berliner Philharmonika, joined forces with an A list orchestra, the Philadelphia, to perform Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony. In an interview Rattle says, Mahler "was my road to Damascus moment. This is something that has lived with me all my life. And it is something that will never stop being a challenge and a discovery."

  • Ryan Thorn and Andrew Sun at Carnegie Hall

    Marilyn Horne Makes the Case for Song

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 09th, 2016

    How fortunate we are to have class Ambassadors for the new crop of musical talent. Both Ryan Thorn, baritone, and Andrew Sun, pianist, have participated at Marilyn Horne's Santa Barbara school and in its competition. Horne stepped to the front of the altar at a church on the upper West Side of Manhattan and made the case for the importance of Song, from Solomon to Richard Rogers.

  • Simon Bolivar Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

    Gustavo Dudamel Sets the Hall A-Buzz

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 08th, 2016

    Gustavo Dudalmel went from the street to El Sistema with a music program for poor kids in Venezuela. Over time, the role of music in society has become ever more important and consuming for him. He mission is comparable only to Riccardo Muti's.

  • Sunday in the Park Stunning at Huntington

    Sondheim and Seurat Bring Out the Best in Each Other

    By: Mark Favermann - Oct 06th, 2016

    Stephen Sondheim’s stunning masterpiece centers on enigmatic painter Georges Seurat and his obssession with “the art of making art.” Certainly, one of the most acclaimed musicals ever, this Pulitzer Prize winner features a glorious score, with the songs “Finishing the Hat,” “Putting it Together,” and “Move On,” and is directed by Artistic Director Peter DuBois who did a superb job with last year's A Little Night Music.

  • Kallor Opera, The Tell Tale Heart

    Tales from the Crypt

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 27th, 2016

    The ironic title of the website for the presentations at the Crypt of the Chutch of the Intercession in New York is 'death of classical.' Surely if classical music is to survive during the 21st century it will be in performances that are taken out to its audience in venues which are unique and intimate. Andrew Ousley, who conceived the Crypt Sessions, has a deep sense of what works in the venue, buried in the beautiful arches of a church in New York. The Tell Tale Heart was his Halloween, or perhaps All Saints Day, offering.

  • Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall

    Opera's All Stars Gather

    By: Susan Hall and Susan Seidenstein - Oct 31st, 2016

    The Richard Tucker Gala began about forty years ago to celebrate the career of a tenor who made his mark around the world, moving from Synagogue to opera stage and back. Today, the annual prize is awarded to deserving young talent who often end at the top of the opera world. Tonight's awardee, Tamara Wilson, shows all the promise of a huge career.

  • Tanglewood 2017

    Expanded Role for Andris Nelsons Includes Sharing Film Night

    By: BSO - Nov 17th, 2016

    In his most significant commitment yet to Tanglewood, Andris Nelsons will lead both the opening and closing BSO concerts, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, and Beethoven Symphony No. 9; Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Kristine Opolais; an opera gala with Ms. Opolais and Dmitri Hvorostovsky performing excerpts from Simon Boccanegra, La traviata, and Eugene Onegin; the world premiere of John Williams’s Markings with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; and the first-ever BSO and festival concert performance of the complete Das Rheingold, a tour de force milestone in the history of the festival.

  • Eastman Philharmonia at Alice Tully Hall

    Renée Fleming Sings Kevin Puts

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 16th, 2016

    The Eastman Philharmonia under the brilliant Neil Varon, performed Maurice Ravel, Kevin Puts and Serge Prokofiev at Alice Tully Hall.

  • Venetian Coronation at Lincoln Center

    Gabriele Conducted By Paul McCreesh

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 13th, 2016

    For a Venetian Coronation, the golden wood of Alice Tully Hall is lit around the stage by floor floodlights cast upwards. The 1595 Coronation ritual inducted Marino Grimani who would rule until his death in 1605. The Baroque style of the performance was delivered with clarity and beauty Challenges in playing period instruments with fewer vents and using the high larynx to produce tones of exquisite beauty were not apparent in the formal but easy movements of the groups.

  • Thomas Ades and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

    British Composer Begins Three Year Partnership with BSO

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 11th, 2016

    Young (45 years old) hotshot Thomas Ades is a triple threat: composer, conductor and pianist. In his first outing with the BSO as artistic partner he showcased each of those skills. The results were mostly good. Among the highlights was the local premiere of his "Totentanz," a major work by any standard.

  • Carnegie Hall's Invites Music in the Resnick Center

    Developing Performers and Listeners Alike

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 08th, 2016

    Carnegie Hall programs explore an individual's musicality. For those who are born with the musical gene, their basic instincts are led out into the beat and the song. For those who do not have the gene, music is brought inside and listeners made.

  • Xian Zhang, Maestra of the New Jersey Symphony

    Handel, Beethoven and Strauss at the Bergen PAC

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 04th, 2016

    The New Jersey Symphony tours the state, winter, summer and fall. Starting her inaugural season as Music Director, Xian Zhang was welcomed enthusiastically by residents of Englewood.

  • Bluebeard's Castle at the BSO

    Hungarian Rarity a Perfect Halloween Opera

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 03rd, 2016

    Bela Bartok is known for his folklore inspired spiky modernism, which he applied distinctively to orchestral and chamber works. "Bluebeard" is his only opera, and it is an awkward undramatic outlier in the repertory. Its lushly beautiful music, however, is a powerful reason why it is revived on occasion. The BSO under Charles Dutoit did it proud.

  • Carnegie Celebrates Steve Reich's 80th Birthday

    To Defy God or Not is the Big Question

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 02nd, 2016

    The year long birthday celebration for Steve Reich, our country's foremost composer, continues. At Carnegie Hall, we heard a Quartet from 2013 and the world premier of Pulse with the International Contemporary Ensemble. The evening was capped by Three Tales, a collaboration between Reich and his wife, Beryl Korot, a video artist. While Reich appears to be fit as a fiddle, these tributes to his decades might better be annual for all the pleasure they offer.

  • Andris Nelsons Delivers a Sublime "Der Rosenkavalier"

    Renee Fleming Sings Her Most Sympathetic Role with Susan Graham

    By: David Bonetti - Oct 03rd, 2016

    Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" is a model of passionate communication via music. The story of the Marschallin who hands over her young lover Octavian to a girl his own age drips with fin-de-siecle melancholy. The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Richard Strauss’s beloved comedy “Der Rosenkavalier” was as close to perfection as I have heard.

  • October Sky at Old Globe

    Musical is Outasight

    By: Jack Lyons - Oct 03rd, 2016

    “October Sky” is an uplifting, feel-good type of musical that boasts 19 songs with such numbers as “Look to the Stars”, “We’re Gonna Build a Rocket”, “Stars Shine Down”, “The Man I Met”, and “The Last Kiss Goodbye”, the latter number being especially poignant as sung by the miners’ wives and girlfriends.

  • On Site Opera with Argento and Berlioz

    Stanford White's Harmonie Club Ballroom is the Setting

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 02nd, 2016

    While huge opera houses are the dinosaurs of the 21st century, smaller venues for the presentation of the original multi-media art form are thriving. Opera is alive and well in every nook and corner of the world. Even in grand ballrooms of exclusive Manhattan Clubs like the Harmonie.

  • Fresh Grass Festival Is Now!

    Best Bluegrass Festival In The Northeast

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Sep 11th, 2016

    Once a year, the Fresh Grass Festival takes over the grounds of the Mass MoCA art museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. This year's festival features the best bluegrass musicians from all over the world. Fresh Grass takes place from Friday, September 16th through Sunday, September 18th.

  • Boston’s The Verb Hotel

    Displays Bieber Collection of Rock Memorabelia

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 10th, 2016

    After graduation from the BU School of Journalism David Bieber found that the only way to research and promote rock music was to collect the material. Soon his apartment was cluttered with thousands of albums and related detritus. It is the foremost archive of a formative era when Boston emerged as a major matrix for contemporary music. Now highlights of the Bieber Collection have been installed at Boston's The Verb Hotel.

  • the loser by David Lang at BAM

    Thomas Bernhard Novel an Opera

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 09th, 2016

    David Lang was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to compose an opera. The remarkable chamber opera 'the loser' is the result. Lang has lifted the author Thomas Bernhard's words, translated by Jack Dawson, intact. He can do this because the author composes with words very much as a musician composes with notes. The subject of the piece is Glenn Gould, whose uncanny ability to separate voices is the same as Bernhard's narrative schizophrenia.

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