San Francisco SO Ives-Kubrick Fete Bizarre, Well Knit

Share
By Jeff Dunn

SAN FRANCISCO – The plan looked puzzling on paper: two unaccompanied choral works in a bimodal program honoring Ives and Kubrick. But in his concert with orchestral and choral forces, Michael Tilson Thomas made clear his intent.

Full Story - →

Picker’s Fox Tale Merrily Romps At Opera San Antonio

Share
By Diane Windeler

SAN ANTONIO – Is it wise to launch a new opera company in a new hall with a children’s opera? The answer, based on Opera San Antonio’s offering of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, after a story by Roald Dahl, appears to be yes.

Full Story - →

Operas Illuminate Transgender Life, World Of Sirens

Share
By Rron Karahoda

NEW YORK – A transgender individual and a trio of mythic seductresses are the subjects of operas by Laura Kaminsky and Kate Soper, giving voice to characters struggling to understand themselves in As One and Here Be Sirens.

Full Story - →

As Lady Macbeth At Met, Netrebko Fearless Sensation

Share
By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – Supported by a veteran cast, soprano Anna Netrebko gave a dramatically thrilling and vocally satisfying performance in her debut in one of Verdi’s most difficult roles, laying Lady Macbeth’s feral character bare.

Full Story - →

In Montreal’s Fine Nabucco, Thoughts Fly To Curious Set

Share
By Earl Arthur Love

MONTREAL – With a superb cast including Ukrainian soprano Tatiana Melnychenko in the mercilessly difficult role of Abigaille, Verdi’s ‘Nabucco’ offered a powerful beginning to the opera season despite anachronisms and tired paint.

Full Story - →

Rebuked Outside, Met Opens With Delectable Figaro

Share
By Nancy Malitz

NEW YORK — First-nighters at the Metropolitan Opera made it past protesters of future programming to attend a new Nozze di Figaro in which everyone has sex on the brain and “downstairs” culture has the definite edge.

Full Story - →

San Antonio SO ‘Finally Home’ In New Concert Hall

Share
By Mike Greenberg

SAN ANTONIO — It’s back to its original location for the San Antonio Symphony. Tobin Center’s new H-E-B Hall is designed by LMN Architects and Akustiks as a shoebox with a proscenium and perforated wood side panels that glow.

Full Story - →

Around the U.S.

Latino Conductor Bows In Houston With Heroic Flair

Share
By William Albright

HOUSTON – The lithe and diminutive Andrés Orozco-Estrada showed an exuberant podium style as he began his directorship with the Houston Symphony by celebrating his Latin American heritage and capturing the sweep of Strauss.

Sax Star Marsalis Sparkles In N.C. Symphony Opener

Share
By John W. Lambert

Raleigh, N.C. – The first state-supported orchestra in the U.S. opened its season with 20th-century flair. Between works by Bernstein and Debussy, Branford Marsalis played Glazunov’s Concerto and Schulhoff’s jazzy Hot Sonate.

Jazz Star, Planets Light Up Night At Hollywood Bowl

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Bramwell Tovey closed the LA Phil’s alfresco season with a sure thing and a gamble – Holst’s The Planets, in sync with a NASA video, and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Erskine, for drum set and orchestra.

Browse Archive →

Around Canada

Keyed For Europe, Toronto Symphony Crowns A Festival

Share
By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – Kicking off a European tour for the city back home, maestro Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed a festival concert for Toronto Summer Music, now in its ninth season. Next stop, Vienna.

Intimate Brahms From Bremen At Lanaudière Fest

Share
By Earl Arthur Love

JOLIETTE, QUEBEC – In a bucolic setting some call “Tanglewood North,” the small but first-rate Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Paavo Järvi kicked off a final summer festival week of three visiting orchestras.

Twentysomething Handel Sparkles In Triumph Of Time

Share
By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – The music of Handel has occupied a key place in the summer offerings of Early Music Vancouver for a number of seasons. This year’s festival keystone was Handel’s first oratorio, Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno of 1707.

Browse Archive →

International

Da Vinci’s Design For Gamba-Organ Voiced At Festival

Share
By Rebecca Schmid

WROCŁAW – Leonardo da Vinci sketched a wheel-bowed keyboard instrument that he never built. At Poland’s festival Wratislavia Cantans, Sławomir Zubrzycki performed on his realization of the viola organista, completed at last.

Updating Strauss: Daphne In Denim, Up A Wall St. Tree

Share
By Susan Brodie

BRUSSELS – In Guy Joosten’s high-concept production, Daphne’s a dreamy heroine, quite literally a tree hugger, protesting against the technology-obsessed world of her parents, dissolute one-percenters in evening dress.

Rossini Festival Revives Aureliano In Vocal Splendor

Share
By Rebecca Schmid

PESARO – In the seaside town where Gioachino Rossini was born, opera has persevered with an unrivaled standard of authenticity. All productions this year, including Aureliano in Palmira, were based on recent critical editions.

Browse Archive →

Issues in the Arts

Warmed Over Gala Fare Stirs Hunger For Fresh Entrees

Share
By Barbara Jepson

Orchestras tend to pack their inaugural concerts with the tried and true, but The Bass Whisperer, featuring soloist and co-composer Victor Wooten, for the Nashville Symphony, is one of this season’s intriguing departures.

At Cedille Records, 25 Years Rounded By A Little Curve

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – James Ginsburg, founder of Cedille Records, quit law school to focus on his Chicago-based label, which is marking its 25th anniversary of off-beat and new compositions packaged in unexpected ways.

Reviving Forgotten Gems Is New Grail For Chicago Critic

Share
By Nancy Malitz

Do you know the composers shown above? You will if the American Music Project, founded by Lawrence A. Johnson, succeeds. “There is quality music in great variety that is being ignored,” he says. And he has a plan.

Browse Archive →

Disc and Stream

Crumb’s Spanish, American Songs Make CD Debuts

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Before long, it seems, the words of Federico García Lorca will be set almost as many times as those of Shakespeare. For George Crumb, Sun and Shadow (2009) is his eleventh go at the Spanish poet.

Stravinsky’s Dim Hollywood Years Conjured on DVD

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – In just 52 minutes, Marco Capalbo’s new film summarizes how Stravinsky’s stay in Southern California prompted a rebirth of his creative energies even though he was rejected by the Hollywood movie industry.

Swinging, Soulful B’way Cast Clicks In West Side Story

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

Rejecting Leonard Bernstein’s disjointed operatic approach, Michael Tilson Thomas’ new recording is all of a piece, the sound of 1957 Broadway stretching confidently into fresh, tragic territory instead of a work at war with itself.

Browse Archive →

MCANA Hosted Blogs

CD Roundup: Tchaikovsky miniatures, Rococo flute pieces and duo-violin works

Share
By Roy C. Dicks: What’s the Score?

CD Reviews: Tchaikovsky miniatures, Rococo flute works and duo-violin pieces

Hearing the Los Angeles Philharmonic Outdoors and iPalpiti Indoors

Share

By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
In the good old summertime in the Los Angeles area, classical music heads outdoors to Hollywood …

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

Lorin Maazel 1930-2014

Share

By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
It has not been a good year for followers of major maestros. First to fall in …

Browse Archive →