Boulez, Vif At 90, Changed Music As Modern Pathfinder

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By Ken Keaton

Among the most notable events in honor of Pierre Boulez and his impact on our artistic world was a revelatory institute, film and concert at the Chicago Symphony that traced how far Boulez traveled from early modernists.

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Savannah Festival Embraces Opera, And It’s A Stretch

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By James L. Paulk

SAVANNAH – Now opera’s part of the mix at Georgia’s biggest music festival. Mark Delavan was Gianni Schicchi in a Puccini double bill that also gave a boost to young singers in a voice program launched by the legendary Sherrill Milnes.

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Free-Form Operas Share Space With Met Museum Art

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By Judith Malafronte

NEW YORK – No need for proscenium stages, as the Metropolitan Museum of Art proves in places normally quiet. La Celestina, a video opera, resounded in the Vélez Blanco Patio. There was song at the Temple of Dendur, too.

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Opera Monodrama By Mazzoli Shows Promise In Concert

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By William Albright

HOUSTON – Inspired by words of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss nomad who died in an Algerian flood in 1904, Missy Mazzoli’s chamber opera, bound for LA Opera, was showcased by Da Camera with Abigail Fischer as the bold but ill-fated explorer.

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2 Young Singers, Paired In Recital, Are Twin Delights

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By David Shengold

NEW YORK – Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and soprano Nadine Sierra, who won George London prizes in 2010, sang at Palm Beach Opera in 2011 and shared digs at Glimmerglass in 2013, were a duo at Morgan Library.

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Period Keyboards Recast Beethoven Works With Cello

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – How would you feel if you were brought out of 168 years of retirement? This locally owned Broadwood piano lent an authentic sound to an all-Beethoven weekend with pianist Robert Levin and cellist Steven Isserlis.

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Italian Soprano’s U.S. Stage Debut Double Triumph

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By Diane Windeler

SAN ANTONIO – In her first fully staged U.S. performance as a soprano, Anna Caterina Antonacci closed Opera San Antonio’s inaugural season with a neoclassical bonbon by Wolf-Ferrari and Poulenc’s wrenching La voix humaine.

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Around the U.S.

Dudamel, LA Phil Take Plunge Into New Italian Music

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Gustavo Dudamel is known worldwide for his extroverted conducting, his wild mop of curly hair, and his dedication to Venezuela’s El Sistema youth orchestra program. Angelenos also know him as a daring programmer.

Sibelius at 150: Probing Depths Of The 7 Symphonies

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE – “There was an element of irrationality which intrigued me a lot,” says the Seattle Symphony’s new principal guest conductor Thomas Dausgaard, a longtime advocate of Sibelius who now leads an extensive tribute.

Piano Duo Honors Modernist Boulez With Recital Tour

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By Nancy Malitz

Pierre Boulez composed first for piano, prompting Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich to take a closer look. And a recent multimedia project the composer worked on at the brink of 90, A Pierre Dream, will tour and stream.

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Around Canada

Pianist Eve Egoyan Surveys Landscape Of Modern Music

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By Holly Harris

WINNIPEG – For 24 years, the contemporary music series GroundSwell has offered a steady diet of cutting-edge artists. The latest, adventurous Canadian pianist Eve Egoyan, offered solo concerts including two of her own commissions.

‘Not For TV,’ But Lizée Work Still Prime-Time Fare

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – In a small space called the Orpheum Annex, Nicole Lizée’s “This Will Not Be Televised” anchored a concert entitled “Displaced Emotion,” part of the Vancouver Symphony’s continuing nod to the new.

East Greets West In A Now That Sounds Like Then

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – Although five works by Canadian and Chinese composers including Fuhong Shi were premieres, a New Music Concerts event Feb. 14 seemed a throwback to high modernism and post-war avant-garde tricks of the trade.

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International

Yannick Displays Russian Sound Of Rotterdam In U.S.

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By Rick Schultz

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – In his seventh year leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Yannick Nézet-Séguin says Russian music is still in its blood, a gift of his predecessor. After a start in the American west, the U.S. tour heads east.

Lucia di Hyannis Port? Bel Canto Madness Updated

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By Rebecca Schmid

MUNICH – The staging, set in 1950s America, drowned in clichés, but Diana Damrau in the title role fused music and drama into a consistent whole. Every outburst and coloratura line were endowed with convincing expression.

Beyond The Galop, Dancing Horses Sashay To Mozart

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By Rebecca Schmid

SALZBURG – Conductor Mark Minkowski and horseman-impresario Bartabas staged Davide penitente and other late works as equestrian ballet. The sight was mesmerizing at times, but some movements lacked dramatic orientation.

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Issues in the Arts

Images Slow-dance To Bach Behind Violinist Shaham

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By Kyle MacMillan

Gil Shaham tells his children to try new things and not be afraid of making mistakes. But the renowned violinist realized a few years ago that he had not done a very good job of following his own advice, so he decided to revisit Bach.

The Worldly Wag Behind Cherubino, Rosina And Figaro!

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By Susan Brodie

Beaumarchais’ own dashing story rivals the operas he inspired, and John Corigliano has written him into The Ghosts of Versailles, based on the last of the French scribe’s Figaro trilogy. A project at LA Opera prompts a closer look.

Exhaustive Tome On Schubert Songs Is Beguiling, Too

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By Rodney Punt

BOOK REVIEW – Graham Johnson’s definitive survey of Schubert’s lyric art is at one stroke the indispensable reference for singers, pianists, scholars, lovers of music in general, and Schubert fans in particular. It arrives Dec. 16.

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Disc and Stream

Partch Advocates’ Sensibility Makes Sense Of Bizarre

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The word on Harry Partch (1901-1974) is spreading slowly, thanks to latter-day disciples like the ensemble simply called Partch. Its second Partchmusik album actually won a Grammy Award a few weeks ago.

Abbado Celebrated In Music Recalling Beloved Conductor

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – When the late Claudio Abbado’s health began to interfere with his ability to function, the Lucerne Festival gathered musicians around Europe into a summer orchestra just for him. Their memorial tribute is on Blu-ray.

2 Recordings Pull Composers From History’s Shadow

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By Paul E. Robinson

Clara Schumann’s half-brother Woldemar Bargiel, well-known in his time, is one of two composers whose music has been rescued on recent recordings. The other taught Bernstein, Sessions and Carter as his own music lay silent.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

Pierre Boulez on his 90th Birthday – A Personal Memoir

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
On Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday, I’d like to share a few memories of watching this once-controversial, …

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

What do Pharrell Williams and Anton Bruckner Have In Common?

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Some rants about the verdict that a misguided jury slapped upon Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams …

It’s Back to the Future for Electric Keyboards at NAMM

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Last Saturday, on a wind-swept 81-degree winter’s day (ha!), I slipped behind the Orange Curtain to attend …

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