Coming Events: American Masters Key Festival Fare

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By Kyle MacMillan

DATE BOOK – As if taking their cue from conductor Leonard Slatkin’s advocacy, summer festivals at Aspen and elsewhere will spotlight the mid-century American composers who invented the sound world we now live in.

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World Premieres Spark Spoleto Fest’s 40th season

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By Paul Hyde

CHARLESTON, S.C. – From now through June 12, Spoleto Festival USA is offering plenty to dazzle the ear and eye. The programming, including a new production of Porgy and Bess, is attracting considerable media attention.

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Artistry Afresh At National Arts Centre Orchestra

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By Richard Todd

OTTAWA, Canada – It wasn’t the last concert of the season or even a regular subscription concert. But the orchestra’s “Life Reflected” program was an impressive climax to Alexander Shelley’s first year as artistic director.

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Gold Amid Pyrite On Modernist Disc By Utah Symphony

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – After a Mahler tribute to Maurice Abravanel, the orchestra and music director Thierry Fischer move on to contemporary American composers, and score with Andrew Norman’s percussion “concerto” Switch.

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Coming Events: Festival Bounty Awaits In France

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By Susan Brodie

DATE BOOK – Perplexities are seldom more pleasant than what these summer fests propose: Stay in Paris for the likes of Raphaël Pichon’s Ensemble Pygmalion at Festival de Saint-Denis? Or head for splendor out of town?

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Legrand, 84, Adds To Creative Realm In New Concerto

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By C. J. Gianakaris

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The prolific and much-honored Michel Legrand not only composed a new piano concerto for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, but he also sat in as soloist at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival.

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There’s Always Room For (More And More) Cellos

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES — At midpoint of the second Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, 106 cellos crammed onto the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage. Sure, it was a stunt, but the marvelous music-making elevated it beyond that.

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Around the U.S.

Arts Groups Tweak Sights, Aiming For A Younger Crowd

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – Renée Fleming helped launch Lyric Young Professionals as a new generation support network aimed at ages 21-45. The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s effort, part of a national trend, revisits an old standby, the subscription.

Coming Events: East Coast Glories In Summer Fests

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By Jackson Cooper

DATE BOOK – From Maine to the Carolinas, from the Baroque to world premieres, from André (Previn) to (John) Zorn, the Atlantic Coast offers ample diversity in summer chamber music festivals. Herewith, a small sampling.

World Premieres Spice Centennial Of Baltimore SO

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By Charles T. Downey

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. – Celebrating with new commissions, music director Marin Alsop and the BSO offered Joan Tower’s Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman and Anna Clyne’s orchestral suite Abstractions.

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Around Canada

Coming Events: Small-Scale Gems Dot Northern Fests

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By Colin Eatock

DATE BOOK – Haitian born Canadian soprano Marie-Josée Lord’s small-ensemble homage Femmes, with archetypes from Delilah to Piaf, embodies the vibrant spirit of Canadian summer festivals in historic venues and scenic locales.

Patrician, Populist Impulses Compete In New Music Fest

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – Chamber groups Kronos Quartet and Standing Wave joined the Vancouver Symphony in a four-day fest of the new, shaped by conductor Bramwell Tovey and quirky choices of composer Jocelyn Morlock.

Long Estranged, Dutoit, Montreal Reignite Old Fire

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By Earl Arthur Love

MONTREAL — After slamming the door on the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 2002, Charles Dutoit, who is 79, returned for the first time to conduct two concerts, and a brilliant Petrouchka recaptured their storied rapport.

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International

Eclectic Fest By The Neckar, From Brahms To Jazz

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By Rodney Punt

HEIDELBERG, Germany – The 20th Heidelberg Spring tended to its Romantic-era roots with Brahms and Schumann, but also reflected the city’s
innovative present with pop and avant-garde events, and Thomas Quasthoff sang jazz.

Fresh From 1709, Steffani’s Amor Bows As If Anew

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Agostino Steffani’s international style was a model for Handel and Telemann. His renaissance seems belated, but it came at last with Amor vien dal destino at Staatsoper Berlin, the first time in more than 300 years.

Bavarian Radio SO Opens Tour With Korngold, Mahler

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By Charles T. Downey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Led by Mariss Jansons on a six-city North American tour, the Bavarians paired a specialty, Mahler’s epic Fifth Symphony, with a touch of swashbuckling Hollywood glamour by way of Korngold’s Violin Concerto.

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Issues in the Arts

Music From Japan: Bearing The Stamp Of Global Fusion

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By Richard S. Ginell

NEW YORK – Music From Japan, in its 41st year of concerts, featured works by Misato Mochizuki and eight other composers, all written after 2000 in the freeing spirit of what the event’s curator has dubbed “neo-Japonism.”

Steven Stucky’s Twin Legacies Of Music And Light

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, who died of brain cancer Feb. 14 at age 66, was an inspiring teacher, lecturer and author whose long association with top orchestras left a lasting impression on many lives.

Extra Special: Evolving Role Of Supernumeraries

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By Barbara Jepson

All of those non-singing performers on opera stages are there to help fulfill the director’s vision for a production — from serving as warriors in Aida to wearing a fish head in the dream sequence in Hansel and Gretel.

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Disc and Stream

Abbado In Berlin: The Last Concert, A Lasting Imprint

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By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Berlin Philharmonic’s release of Claudio Abbado’s last concert with the orchestra, on CD and Blu-ray, recalls his gifts as a conductor in performance and in admiring anecdotes by musicians who played for him.

Hewitt Serves Up Scarlatti Sonatas In Detailed Style

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By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Pianist Angela Hewitt, a celebrated Bach authority, has now immersed herself in Scarlatti’s music with that same scholarly thoroughness and detailed preparation, and the results are equally insightful.

Honegger, Ibert Opera Delights In Montreal Release

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Montreal Symphony and music director Kent Nagano return to the Decca label with the first complete recording of L’Aiglon, a forgotten 1937 opera with music by Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

MTT Revisits Das Lied Von Der Erde – This Time With A Mezzo

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
SAN FRANCISCO — Das Lied Von Erde, Mahler’s gigantic unnumbered symphony disguised as a song cycle, …

The Chairman Turns 100

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
While making the rounds of local garage sales over the past weekend, I spotted a box …

Pull Up A Chair at the Valley Performing Arts Center

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Frequent concertgoers are used to enduring the usual welcome  from some anonymous public-address announcer, followed by …

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