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  • Festival of Contemporary Music Opens

    Tanglewood's Annual Offering

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 12th, 2017

    The Festival of Contemporary Music is a highlight of the Tanglewood season. Curators assemble concerts from commissioned works and also from composers whose works form the canon of the contemporary music scene. Opening night suggested how rich this repertoire has become.

  • Lawrence Brownlee at the Park Avenue Armory

    Myra Huang and Jason Moran, Piano Partners

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 12th, 2017

    Lawrence Brownlee, tenor, showed us his stuff, ranging from the baroque to Lead Belly.. We changed rooms at the Park Avenue Armory, moving from the regal Officers Room to the Veterans Room as we moved forward in musical time. At the Armory, music is presented for pleasure, for illumination and surprise.

  • Violinist Joshua Bell

    A Master Musician Mesmerises Tanglewood

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Aug 15th, 2017

    Youthful, still, at 49, Joshua Bell proved his place in the history of great performances at Tanglewood, when playing Mendelssohn's, 'Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64.

  • International Contemporary Ensemble at Mostly Mozart

    How Forests Think

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 14th, 2017

    International Contemporary Ensemble is the go-to group for the performance of contemporary music.They presentedd three important contemporary composers as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival.

  • Company by Stephen Sondheim

    Stunning Revival at Barrington Stage Company

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 15th, 2017

    This season Julianne Boyd has taken another crack at Sondheim's Company and critics appear to be unanimous that a sensational production is on the short list of her best work. She is noted for loving musicals and this one is a corker.

  • The Fresh Grass Festival At MASS MoCA

    Thirty Days to Countdown

    By: Philip S. Kampe & Maria Reveley - Aug 15th, 2017

    We are now one month away from the opening of the three day 'Fresh Grass' festival that takes place, yearly, on the grounds of MASS MoCA, located in North Adams, Massachusetts.

  • Kirill Gerstein. at Mostly Mozart

    Celebrating the love triangle of Robert and Clara Schumann and Brahms

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Aug 17th, 2017

    The trials and tribulations of the great Romantic composers have always fascinated the classical music-loving public. From the extramarital wanderings of Richard Wagner to Frederic Chopin's stormy relationship with the lady novelist George Sand, it has provided fodder for intermission conversation over coffee and small overpriced sandwiches. Arguably, the most famous triangle relationship was between three composers: Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann (née Wieck) and Johannes Brahms.

  • Gershwin at 59E59 Theaters

    Anderson Twins Play

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 17th, 2017

    The Anderson Brothers, consummate musicians, make the case for Gershwin's popularity by citing his access to the new media, radio. The songs themselves are enough to convince us. Joined by Molly Ryan, who has a perfectly beautiful voice, the fabled composer entrances.

  • The Chastity Tree by West Edge Opera

    Pacific Pipe Warehouse In Oakland

    By: Victor Cordell - Aug 09th, 2017

    The music of The Chastity Tree is very much of its time and place. From the classic era, it still embraces baroque traces in tinkling harpsichord and clipped recitatives. The Bay Area is blessed with and attracts an abundance of great young opera singers, and West Edge always casts well from this enviable pool.

  • Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis Mostly Mozart

    Reconciliation, Restitution and Reformation

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 08th, 2017

    This concert at Mostly Mozart was billed as a musical offering from Brahms, Bach and Mendelssohn. It seemed a stretch to hear these works without the centerpiece composer featured, except as an artist who liked to spell Bach's name in notes. The spirit was Mozartian, full of joy and inviting melodies, Featuring Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis as soloists, who brought Schumann to the table in the slow movement of his violin concerto, it was a rich evening of music. A delightful offering.

  • Blues Is a Woman

    Custom Made in San Freancico

    By: Victor Cordell - Aug 09th, 2017

    After development at music venues, the musical revue "Blues is a Woman" has begun a theatrical run at Custom Made Theater in San Francisco. In a memorable production, six women wail and moan and plead in a rewarding evening of blues standards and original music by lead singer Pamela Rose in a format that is as informative as it is entertaining.

  • Footloose the Musical in Fremont. California

    Starstruck Youth Performing Arts

    By: Victor Cordell - Aug 01st, 2017

    "Footloose the Musical" is based on a film that was part of a strong cluster of movies that in some ways was a gentle echo of the youthful rebellion of the '60s. Hollywood struck a rich vein of teen and young adult musical films in the decade starting 1978. Some were based on earlier stage musicals, and others would later become live theater pieces. Starstruck Youth Performing Arts has selected a perfect vehicle for a large teen cast.

  • Tanglewood on Parade

    Popular Annual Event

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 02nd, 2017

    Indeed it was a long evening ending around 11 PM with the tradition arsenal of fireworks accompanying the climax ith a massive performance of Tchaikovsky’s energizing 1812 Overture. It evoked Moscow’s triumphant church bells and the thunderous boom of Napoleon’s captured canons.

  • Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center

    Mozart Embraces Lully and Lang

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 02nd, 2017

    Percussion was the theme of the Mostly Mozart concert featuring also David Lang. Mozart used kettle drums to underiine a point. In his comic opera, Abduction from the Seraglio, he also used triangle, cymbals and a bass drum to suggest the exotic Turkish locale. Jean-Baptiste Lully added percussion for the elevation of a Molière character to noble man. It was an inspired selection of music to surround David Lang's "man made" created to show how elemental percussion instruments are heard by their fancier orchestral counterparts.

  • Berkshire Theatre Group's Fall Programming

    Pulitzer and Tony Winner David Auburn's Lost Lake at the Unicorn

    By: BTG - Aug 04th, 2017

    Berkshire Theatre Group announces additions to the fall and winter seasons, as well as casting for the Fall production of David Auburn’s Lost Lake at The Unicorn Theatre. Therde wlll also be a number of unique musical events at its Colonial Theatre in downtiown Pittsfield.

  • A Legendary Romance in Williamstown

    Music and Lyrics, Geoff Morrow, Book, Timothy Prager

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 06th, 2017

    This is the second producton of the musical A Legendary Romance with music and lyrics, Geoff Morrow, book by Timothy Prager. While it needs more work, the norm for musicals, starring Jeff McCarthy and Lora Lee Gayer it is the best work we have seen this season from Wiliamstown Theatre Festival. It is a tragic love story set to music about lives and careers ruined during the 1950s when Holywood was on trial for its alleged communism.

  • JACK Quartet at the Whitney Museum

    Accompanying Alexander Calder

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 06th, 2017

    Members of the JACK Quartet are scattered across the eighth floor exhibit space at the Whitney Museum in which many Alexander Calder mobiles hang and stand. In the center of the room on the south wall, cellist Jay Campbell and violinist Austin Wulliman are conventionally seated with their music stands before them. They do not seem to notice violinist Christopher Otto who stands at the east entrance, only a music stand dividing him from a roaming, and finally seated and standing-still audience. At another entrance Jay Pickford Richards, violist, is completely in his own world, oblivious to in your face cameras, and the wandering audience. John Cage wrote the Quartet they will perform, not for a quartet, but for four soloists.

  • A Dog Day Afternoon at Tanglewood

    Yo-Yo Ma's Missing Dog Appeal Steals The Show

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Aug 08th, 2017

    Imagine nearly 14,000 attendees of the long awaited, Yo-Yo Ma concert of Schumann's 'Cello Concerto in A minor, Opus 129, in awe after the concert artist shuns the audience's applause, with an appeal for a concerted effort to help find Maestro David Zinman's lost puppy.

  • Hair in Chicago

    Revisiting the Age of Aquarius

    By: Nancy Bishop - Aug 08th, 2017

    A half century later in the spirit of the Summer of Love there is a revival of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Two and a half generations of later it still casts magical spells. Nancy Bishop takes on a trip down memory lane.

  • Remembering Barbara Cook

    Iconic Broadway and Cabaret Singer at 89

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 08th, 2017

    Broadway and cabaret artist Barbara Cook was 80 wehen we first saw her perform at Ozawa Hall and several times after that. In Indiana we enjoyed a concert wth Michael Feistein and an interview for critics that followed. We have compiled a collage from those reviews.

  • Gil Shaham Plays Tchaikovsky

    Langrée Leads Mostly Mozart

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 18th, 2017

    Mostly Mozart programs with intent. While the most obvious connections between a program including Prokovief's 1st Symphony, Mozart's 25th and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto may be their bridge positions between musical periods, the Classical, Romantic and Neoclassical, more than a ladder rung binds these pieces. Exuberant turns of phrase, often taken at a tear, provide their texture. Violinist Gil Shaham uses his consummate pyrotechnics on behalf of the music.

  • Adams and Riley at Carnegie Hall

    Saved by the Bells

    By: Susan Hall and Djurdjija Vucinic - Mar 31st, 2017

    For the past half century our ears and minds have been assaulted with sound. Many of us have ceased to hear. Yet modern composers are creating music to which you must listen to enjoy. They are opening up our ears. This spring, in the intimate Zankel Hall, Carnegie is presenting three generations of contemporary composers led by curator Steve Reich. There is no better way to start listening again. No matter how minimal the style, this music is saved by the marimba and vibraphone bells.

  • Boston Baroque's Giulio Cesare

    Handel's Greatest Opera a Real Challenge

    By: David Bonetti - Apr 27th, 2017

    Boston Baroque's "Giulio Cesare" marked the role debut of soprano Susanna Phillips as Cleopatra in this tale of love and war with Cleopatra and Julius Caesar its central protagonists. Full of ravishing arias and ensembles, the opera is almost an embarrassment of riches. Boston Baroque did it justice if not in the elusive definitive production it deserves.

  • Natalie Dessay at Carnegie Hall

    Love Explored from Heaven to Hell

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 27th, 2017

    Hearing this perfectly beautiful voice reminds us of all the pleasure Natalie Dessay has given as an opera performer. As a concert artist, she brings dramatic talent to the words of song writers and adds a soupçon of opera to completely satisfy.

  • War Paint on Broadway's Dueling Divas

    Veterans Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole Star

    By: Edward Rubin - Apr 28th, 2017

    As wonderful as soprano Christine Ebersole cum Elizabeth Arden is – and the lady does have a couple of sensational show stoppers - it is the in-your-face belter Patti LuPone’s Helena Rubinstein who commands the most on stage attention in this show, as Rubinstein did in her every day life with her exotic wardrobe and jewelry, her thick European accent, and fast-flying zingers. “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones,” is one of her more famous quotes.

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