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Music

  • Robertson Leads Majestic NYPHil

    Alan Baer, Tuba, Superb in John Wiliams

    By: Susan Hall - May 29th, 2016

    Music of all genres and spirits is overflowing the halls of David Geffen Hall and embracing the citizens of New York. Gustav Holst's The Planets brought amateur astronomers to Lincoln Center's Plaza for a viewing of Jupiter and its moons after we had heard the composer's interpretation. Wow!

  • ACJW Ensemble at Carnegie

    Weill Hall Setting for American Composers

    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - Apr 14th, 2016

    Charming ACJW pianist Michael James Smith told us that when Carnegie first opened 125 years ago, no American music was played. Now we had an American evening, from Copland and Ives to an early Glass chamber piece and the stunning Carnegie premier of Steven Mackey's Micro Concerto. Cellist Caleb van der Swaagh explained tongue-in-cheek how hard it is to be a cellist and how easy it is to play 35 different percussion instruments, many of them featured by Mackey.

  • James Levine Resigns as Met's Music Director

    Tenure Ended by Chronic Illness

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 16th, 2016

    Speaking to the Maestro about chocolate in February, it was clear that he had not found the answer to uncontrollable hand and arm movements, although his mind was as a sharp as ever. We agreed that Mondel's was the best hand-made chocolate in New York, but he also likes Mrs. See's chocolates in Los Angeles. It would be encouraging to hear that he will continue working with young talent at the Met and at the Juilliard School.

  • Tilson Thomas Leads SFO at Carnegie

    Sasha Cooke and Simon O'Neill Evoke Mahler

    SFO
    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - Apr 17th, 2016

    Sasha Cooke and Simon O'Neill singing Mahler's Song of the Earth gave ravishing performances with the San Francisco Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas. Woodwinds and brass also stood out in Schubert and Mahler.

  • Jeremy Denk at Carnegie Hall

    Poet of the Piano Rocks With Ragtime

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 18th, 2016

    Jeremy Denk is a formidable writer and pianist. While a man of such iconoclastic and apt thoughts might let 'intent' dominate performance, Denk succeeds in melding his ideas into the keyboard and creating music of seamless satisfaction.

  • Boston Baroque Does Mozart's The Magic Flute

    Production Brought Out Its beauty

    By: David Bonetti - Apr 19th, 2016

    Boston Baroque strayed from its central focus on Baroque music to play Mozart's eternally popular "The Magic Flute." I don't like its quasi-religiosity, but Mozart's music proves irresistible. Martin Pearlman played his Baroque band with style, and the vocal cast was (mostly) excellent.

  • BSO Ends Season with French and Russian Program

    Kristine Opolais Sang Tatiana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin

    BSO
    By: David Bonetti - Apr 25th, 2016

    The BSO seems to love working with its new music director Andris Nelsons, who was ending his second season with this concert, which, BTW, featured his glamorous wife, Kristine Opolais, as the soprano soloist. In addition to the Tchaikovsky, the program included Debussy's "La Mer," Ravel's "La Valse" and Dutilleux's "Metaboles."

  • Manhattan School of Music's Superb Opera

    Ibert and Ravel Entrance

    MSM
    By: Susan Hall - Apr 28th, 2016

    Persée and Andromède by Ibert and L'Enfant et Sortilèges by Ravel with a brilliant libretto by Colette, her only opera, are staged by the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. This school's productions are among New York's finest. The singing is of professional calibre. The productions are considered from sets to costumes to a first-rate orchestral accompaniment. Year after year you can count on MSM for an evening of operatic pleasure.

  • Master Voices Presents Dido and Aeneas

    Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark Star

    Dido
    By: Susan Hall - Apr 29th, 2016

    Kelli O'Hara can sport a delightful, rich opera voice and Victoria Clark, looking like a combination of Lynn Redgrave and Camilla Parker Bowles camps it up as a Sorceress bent on doing evil. A new prologue by Michael John LaChiusa has chorus members collapsing and hints of history being made.

  • Utah Symphony Celebrates at Carnegie Hall

    Thierry Fischer Conducted 75th Anniversary Performance

    Utah
    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - May 02nd, 2016

    The Utah Symphony under Thierry Fischer gave an exciting and moving evening of music in celebration of their 75th anniversary. The Utah Symphony Orchestra was built by promoting 20th century American and European music. This priority was established by Maurice Abravael, the conductor who led the orchestra for 30 years. He retired to work at Tanglewood for another 10 years.

  • Mocktoberfest Features the Polka Brothers

    Annual Fundraiser Berkshire Country Day School on May 7th

    May 7th
    By: Philip S. Kampe & Maria Reveley - May 03rd, 2016

    If you missed Octoberfest, you will have a second chance this Saturday, May 7th. Berkshire Country Day School will hold its annual Mocktoberfest fundraiser at 6:45pm. Auction items include photographer, Gregory Crewdson's artist proof and a trip to attend Octoberfest in Munich.

  • Eve Queler Reprises Classic Parisina

    Angela Meade Thrills in Donizetti

    By: Susan Hall - May 05th, 2016

    Donizetti wrote this opera on an unusually tight schedule. Whether its differences from his other work are deliberate or accidental we will never know. The catchy arias we associate with the composer are missing, but the music is still delightful. Eve Queler introduced the opera in 1974 and reprised it at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater. A remarkable evening.

  • Mannes Produces Adamo's Little Women

    Joseph Colaneri Conducts

    By: Susan Hall - May 07th, 2016

    Little Women is Mark Adamo's first opera, and its spirited presentation of the Marsh family of Concord captures perfectly the struggle of a young woman to move from the warmth and support of her family home into the world of a woman. Simone de Beauvoir loved this book, as has the feminist community. Little Women seemed a perfect choice for Mannes, and composer Adamo, taking bows and hugging the cast, seemed to agree.

  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

    Road Company at Florida's Broward Center for the Performing Arts

    King
    By: Aaron Krause - May 12th, 2016

    If the audience at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Au-Rene Theater was any indication, people pull for King not just because of her music. They want to see her succeed in this bio-musical. She comes across as an ambitious, yet humble, talented, yet insecure underdog.

  • NY Philharmonic Performs Chaplin's City Lights

    Classic Movie with Superb Score

    By: Susan Hall - May 19th, 2016

    Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic has an uncanny knack for programming. Extending the ideas of where music does and does not belong in the classic/classical repertoire and how it should be produced. He has brought us semi-staged operas, adventuresome new music and live performance of film scores that were written to be heard live while the film is screened. City Lights, quintessential Chaplin, was accompanied by Chaplin's own score, played by the Philharmonic. The score had been restored and reconstructed by the conductor, Timothy Brock.

  • World Premiere Noir Musical Thriller Hollywood

    By Tony Winners Joe Di Pietro and Christopher Ashley at La Jolla Playhouse

    By: Jack Lyons - May 23rd, 2016

    La Jolla Playhouse has the best track record of any West Coast theatre when it comes to sending their original theatrical productions to Broadway (over 30 of them to date). Their 2008 musical production “Memphis”, written by Joe Di Pietro and directed by Christopher Ashley went on to Broadway winning a 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. “Hollywood”, again written by Di Pietro, and helmed by Ashley, is looking to pull off a Tony Award-winning ‘Daily Double’ coup.

  • Sondheim on Sondheim as Putting It Together

    Stage Door Theatre in South Florida

    By: Aaron Krause - May 24th, 2016

    Unlike in another Sondheim revue, “Side by Side by Sondheim,” has no narrator to link the songs. Rather, a dramatic framework exists in which two couples are attending a cocktail party at an upscale residence. This allows the characters to sing nearly 30 Sondheim songs outside the context for which he composed/or wrote the lyrics.

  • The Met Orchestra at Carnegie

    Christine Goerke Is the Go-To Soprano

    By: Susan Hall - May 26th, 2016

    James Levine is gloriously winding down his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera. The man who brought us the full Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera may have aged, but he is blossoming still and the stage of Carnegie Hall is the perfect venue to display his monumental talents.

  • American Academy Awards to Vocal Composers

    Kate Soper and Lewis Spratlan Honored

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 12th, 2016

    Contemporary music is alive and well in America and two special composers have been honored by the VIrgil Thomson Award and the Charles Ives Prize.

  • BMOP Revives David Del Tredici's "Child Alice"

    Neo-Romantic masterpiece gets second outing in 30 years

    By: David Bonetti - Apr 08th, 2016

    Back in the '70s, David Del Tredici was the hottest composer in town. Then he and the movement he led, neo-Romanticism, faded from view. His obsessive, rapturous works based on Lewis Carroll's "Alice" deserve to be heard. Gil Rose and his Boston Modern Orchestra Project obliges. The result - two and a half hours of lush music - was largely satisfactory. We want to hear more.

  • Opera Philadelphia's Yardbird at the Apollo

    Lawrence Brownlee Superb as Charlie Parker

    CP
    By: Susan Hall - Apr 03rd, 2016

    Charlie Parker ended up an unknown in Bellevue's morgue. While the opera Yardbird is set in the jazz club Birdland then on 52nd Street, affectionately named after the genius of bebop, Bird himself is in purgatory, not yet buried, writing a final symphonic work and plagued by memories of the women in his life. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee makes an indelible impression in the title role.

  • Tanglewood Adds Popular Artists

    Rounding Out 2016 Season

    BSO
    By: BSO - Feb 29th, 2016

    Depending on what acts are on tour it generally takes some time for the BSO to fill in the gaps with non classical programming. Of the four acts that have been added three have previously been featured at Tanglewood. In addition to previously announced artists Berkshire audiences will be offered Earth Wind and Fire, Jackson Browne, and Train. The dance band B-52s will appear with an evening of Pops.

  • Russian National Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

    Stefan Jackiw Captivates in Prokofiev

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 03rd, 2016

    Pianists approach simple, lyrical music with a delicate touch, and the prize-winning Russian pianist, Mikhail Pletnev, now a conductor, approached his orchestra in just this spirit. Borodin’s short tone poem, In the Steppes of Central Asia, was lush and yet simple, bringing forth lovely melodies, among them ‘Stranger in Paradise,” which we know well from Kismet.

  • Billstock Festival at The Log

    March Madness in Williamstown

    Bill
    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 06th, 2016

    On Saturday night The Log was packed with Williams College students who seemed oblivious to the sixth annual Billstock Festival. Under the direction of organizer Michael Williams the event was masterful in its understated lack of promotion. We hunkered down for a fun evening including a compelling Bowie tribute by the trio, Rebel Rebel, a set of plaintive love songs by Lucy Davis, and a kick-ass rock set by the legendary Jane and Jeff.

  • Bob Dylan at Tanglewood This Summer

    July 2 in The Shed with Mavis Staples

    By: BSO - Mar 07th, 2016

    Bob Dylan—with special guest Mavis Staples—will perform at Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Music Shed on Saturday, July 2. This is Dylan’s third appearance at the Western Massachusetts music festival, having performed there in the 1991 season and again in 1997.

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