Susan Hall


Recent Articles:

  • Joshua Roman and Conor Hanick at The Crypt Front Page

    Arvo Part and Alfred Schnittke Featured

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 19th, 2019

    Joshua Roman on cello and Conor Hanick at the piano performed a wild, raucous Alfred Schnittke Sonata bracketed by two transcendental works by Arvo Pärt. Andrew Ousley speaking at the outset as we waited for the artists to descend into the arched naves, suggested that we refrain from applauding at the end of each work. Instead we might absorb the afterglow of the music and let it seep further in. No one was tempted to break the silence with an inadvertent clap.

  • Martin Moran's One Man Show, All the Rage Front Page

    The Barrow Group Presents the Award-WInning Mono Drama

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 18th, 2019

    Martin Moran performs his one-man show, All The Rage, at the Barrow Group through October 5. Thoroughly entertaining, it tackles one of the deepest of subjects: forgiveness for unforgivable offenses. Seth Barrish directed this award-winning show.

  • Hitchcock's Psycho Score at NY Philharmonic Front Page

    Orchestra Performs Bernard Hermann's Classic

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 15th, 2019

    The New York Philharmonic performed the New York premiere of Bernard Hermann’s Psycho score, accompanying a huge projection of the film. Richard Kaufman, a veteran conductor of film and television productions, conducted. David Geffen Hall was filled with a hip audience of film buffs, who cheered when the classic image of the Bates Motel first appeared on the screen.

  • John Zorn World Premiere at Columbia University Front Page

    Pianist Stephen Gosling Paints in Notes

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 12th, 2019

    The first of a series of monthly pop up concerts at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University presented the world premiere of John Zorn’s 18 Studies from the Later Sketchbooks of JMW Turner. This expansive work embraces a variety of styles and forms, all inspired by the watercolors of 19th-century English painter Joseph Mallord William Turner. Pianist Stephen Gosling, a masterful interpreter of contemporary music and particularly Zorn's, performed.

  • Kamala Sankaram's New Opera at HERE Front Page

    Kristin Marting, Opera on Tap and Experiments in Opera Join Forces

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 08th, 2019

    HERE and Opera on Tap are presenting Kamala Sankaram's Looking at You, an opera which takes a provocative approach to the end of privacy. We wittingly and unwittingly allow cyber companies to strip us. Rob Handel's brilliant libretto is in the tradition of Experiments in Opera productions. Its narrative arc and apt language combine with thick orchestration using whatever style brings us face to face with issues in a story.

  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Front Page

    Live from Lincoln Center Presents first International Broadcast

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 04th, 2019

    The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is upward bound, on an odyssey filmed by Live From Lincoln Center as they journeyed through Greece. We visit the remote hills of Pelion and churches in Volos and Milies. Unusual and exotic locations are the setting of performances: from a Bach violin solo performed movingly by Aaron Boyd in a magnificent amphitheater to the wonderful Octet for strings that Mendelssohn composed at 16 years of age as he embarked on his classical career.

  • Ladies Night at Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble Front Page

    Bond, Musgrave and Viardot Intrigue and Engage

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 22nd, 2019

    Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, always venturesome, presented an evening in which three female composers were featured Franz Liszt had said that in Pauline Viardot the world had finally found a woman composer of genius. Her short opera Cendrillon was performed in full.

  • Dell Arte Opera's La Liberazione di Ruggiero Front Page

    Brilliant Baroque Presentation of the First Opera by a Woman

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 17th, 2019

    In their summer home at La Mama in New York, dell'Arte Opera is presenting the first opera composed by a woman, Francesca Caccini. The composer understands the power of women well. She also portrays the power of evil in women. An exciting performance by a stellar cast of young artists accompanied by a small ensemble featuring lutes was conducted by Charles Weaver.

  • TIME:Spans Festival at DiMenna Center Front Page

    Nikel with Tscherkassky's CinemaScope Trilogy

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 17th, 2019

    TIME:SPANS is a Contemporary Music Festival presented by the Earle Brown Music Foundation Charitable Trust at the DiMenna Center in New York. The Nikel Ensemble was featured in the first half of the Festival. Nothing daunts them. Wearing long extensions on their fingers, they kept the beat to Simon Løffler's music which accompanied a Peter Tscherkassky adaptation of The Entity, a classic psychological horror film.

  • Oliver Beer's Vessel Orchestra at the MET Breuer Front Page

    Nico Muhly and John Zorn compose for the Vessels

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 13th, 2019

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art has mounted its first sound-based installation. British artist Oliver Beer selected 32 vessels from the Museum's vast collection. They form a 32 note chromatic scale which can performed on an electronic keyboard. The exhibit was a feast for eyes and ears.

  • Yang Liping's Under Seige at Mostly Mozart Front Page

    Stunning Dance at the David Koch Theater

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 11th, 2019

    Yang Liping has created a dance drama in such startling colors and designs that the audience is swept into the single Ancient Pipa melody of the same title. The tapping of swords, soldiers cries and horses whinnying and snorting are all suggested as the song portrays the end battle of the war for control of China in 205 B.C. The armies of the Chu and the Han face off in dance. Blood has never been so beautifully suggested, as a mass of red feathers fly through the air, some streaking the bodies of soldiers.

  • Little Gem at the Irish Repertory Theater Front Page

    Marsha Mason Stars in Elaine Murphy's Play

    By: Rachel de Aragon - Aug 09th, 2019

    Irish Repertory Theatre Presents the award-winning Little Gem by Elaine Murphy. This piece about three Irish women won the Fishamble New Writing Award in 2008 and the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award in 2009. The density of her language and the poignant humor of her vision captivates.

  • International Contemporary Ensemble Front Page

    The 12th Annual Journey of Sonic Landscapes

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 06th, 2019

    You can count on every International Contemporary Ensemble concert to deliver surprise, shock and awe. Performers are always in tip-top shape. You might hear an instrument you’ve never heard before, like the Cimbalon or the Kamanchah at a Mostly Mozart concert at Merkin Hall. ICE is superb and daring.

  • Blck, Whyte, Gray at Mostly Mozart Festival Front Page

    British Hip Hop Takes Us Deep into Dance

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 03rd, 2019

    Blck, Whyte, Gray is performed at the Mostly Mozart Festival, a clear invitation for a wide swathe of ethnic groups to join the Festival audience, and also a pleasure and a revelation for regulars. Advance notice was served at the White Light Festival last fall, when Blck, Whyte, Gray was a smash hit of the Festival.

  • International Contemporary Ensemble Front Page

    12th Annual Appearance at Mostly Mozart

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 27th, 2019

    The International Contemporary Ensemble started off its 12th annual Mostly Mozart season at the David Rubenstein Atrium in Lincoln Center. The first concert was free and attracted an overflow crowd. Bringing the audience up to date and beyond, Mostly Mozart has offered free concerts of contemporary music in an act of generosity. People appreciate the chance to listen to a new landscape of composers.

  • Davone Tines in The Black Clown Front Page

    Langston Hughes Inspires the Journey to Manhood

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 25th, 2019

    Davone Tines was looking for a project to touch him deeply. His college classmate Michael Schacter suggested reading Langston Hughes' poems. The Black Clown hit him in the gut. Years ago Hughes had felt just as he did. Schachter and Tines collaborated on a moving and energetic musical monologue prompted by the poem. It is a wild theatrical success in its New York premiere.

  • Kian Soltani and Julio Elizalde at Mostly Mozart Front Page

    A Little Night Music at the Kaplan Penthouse

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 24th, 2019

    Cellist Kian Soltani partnered with pianist Julio Elizalde in a late evening concert in Lincoln Center's nightclub in the sky, the Stanley Kaplan Penthouse. Mostly Mozart presented Soltani, who like Mozart, was born in Austria.

  • Kevin Puts Premiere at Tanglewood Front Page

    Andris Nelsons Conducts Renee Fleming and Rod Gilfry

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 21st, 2019

    The Brightness of Light by Kevin Puts had its world premiere at The Shed at Tanglewood. Rod Gilfry, baritone, and Puts' collaborator Renee Fleming, sang the baritone and soprano roles of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keefe, who were married for twenty-two years. Often living and working in different parts of America, they corresponded. Puts scoured the correspondence to develop an arc for his orchestral song cycle. It is a brilliantly achieved work.

  • La Gazza Ladra Performed by Teatro Nuovo Music

    Beautiful Music at the Rose Theater

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 19th, 2019

    Teatro Nuovo presented Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) at the Rose Theater in New York. The company fulfilled all the promise of Rossini’s inventiveness. The simple set served to present the semiseria dramma perfectly. La Gazza or Magpie (Christopher Hochstuhl) flew about the stage at the start. A white table cloth on which the bird’s image was drawn reminded us throughout the evening that all would be well when the true culprit was discovered. A maid is accused of the theft of silverware and is under the threat of execution.

  • In The Penal Colony Updated by Miranda Haymon Front Page

    Powerful Kafka in the Present

    By: Rachel de Aragon - Jul 18th, 2019

    At Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop The Hodgepodge Group and Lucy Powis presents, In the Penal Colony, a new and dynamic re-creation of Kafka's story by writer/director Miranda Haymon. What are the personal responsibilities of those who bear witness to the abuse of power? What is the relationship of the victim to the support of breaking institutional norms? What of the admiration for power, and the adulation of murderous solution?. At what point can we shed the reverence for brutal traditions?

  • The Great Buster at Mostly Mozart Front Page

    What Buster Keaton and Mozart Have in Common

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 17th, 2019

    Mostly Mozart programmers ask the most obvious question at the start. Why a film about Buster Keaton in this festival related to Mozart? Seeing the film, an easy comparison can be made with Papagano, the physical actor/singer in The Magic Flute, which will play in a charming version at Lincoln Center. Yet it is the quality of the work that is truly similar.

  • Michael Gordon's Acquanetta at Bard Front Page

    Texture and Noir Images Engross in Video Opera

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 14th, 2019

    Acquanetta, the video opera by Michael Gordon, a multi-dimensional composer on the contemporary scene, was premiered as grand opera in Aachen, Germany in 2006. Commissioned in chamber form by Beth Morrison Productions, it now is mounted at Bard SummerScape. Grand or not grand, the sound in this version, with members of the Bang on the Can Ensemble, is big. Loud was the word used in warning. The nature of the production, details of which remain closely held, enables the electronic bass and also the string instruments to resound throughout the hall. The music makes the show, as it should in opera.

  • A Mark Morris Concert at Mostly Mozart Front Page

    Satie, Ives and Schumann at the Rose Theater

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 13th, 2019

    Mark Morris is as serious about music as anyone. A questioner dared to state that of course music performed for dance was not up to concert expectations. Morris quickly took exception. His standards are the highest. He expects the music to be performed as written by the composer. He decried excessive rubatos. Yet Morris is as impish as Eric Satie. Satie's Sports and divertissements inspired a world premiere commissioned by Mostly Mozart.

  • Ronald K. Brown's Evidence Troop at Bard Front Page

    Classic Grace is Followed by Premiere of Mercy

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 07th, 2019

    Ronald K. Brown’s classic Grace was mounted in the Sosnoff Theater at the Fisher Center of Bard. For the first time, accompanying music was live, an adaptation of the tapes usually run with the dance. Grace was followed by a world premiere of Mercy, a work commissioned by SummerScape at Bard among others.

  • La Voix Humaine Mixes Poulenc and Cocteau Front Page

    DIVAria Brings Emotion Forward

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 28th, 2019

    The Human Voice/La Voix Humaine by Francis Poulenc and Jean Cocteau melds text from the play by Cocteau with the monologue opera Poulenc was inspired to write. DIVaria and Sergej Productions often work together to present works pared down to their emotional heart. They effectively reach audiences unfamiliar with the opera form by drawing them in to beautiful music and understandable stories.

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