Warmed Over Gala Fare Stirs Hunger For Fresh Entrees

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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.

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

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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.

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Jazz Star, Planets Light Up Night At Hollywood Bowl

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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.

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Four New Maestros Take Over At Top Florida Orchestras

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By John Fleming

FLORIDA – In roughly the same time frame, conductors were separately chosen to head the largest professional orchestras in Florida. They include Michael Francis, 38, who started out on double bass. Here’s a look at them all.

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Small Orchestra’s Big Effort Wins Right Conductor

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By Dorothy Andries

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – How does a regional orchestra find a music director? That was the challenge faced by the Lake Forest Symphony in Chicago’s suburban north, where Vladimir Kulenovic emerged from a field of 150 candidates.

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At Cedille Records, 25 Years Rounded By A Little Curve

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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.

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Around the U.S.

Knights, Ma Share Blithe Spirit At Ravinia Festival

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By Daniel Hautzinger

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – One might expect the New York City-based chamber orchestra called the Knights to be vainglorious, but its democratic, relaxed spirit of camaraderie made it an ideal collaborator for Yo-Yo Ma.

Figure To Note, Iceland Composer Is Etched in ICE

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By Barbara Jepson

NEW YORK – Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, 37, was the focus of a Mostly Mozart Festival concert by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Her music is not yet widely played in the U.S., but it should be.

Bolcom Premiere Crowns 80th Year For Chicago Fest

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By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – The Grant Park Music Festival has long championed Pulitzer-winning William Bolcom, beginning with his landmark Songs of Innocence and of Experience in 1986. Now comes Millennium: Concerto-Fantasia.

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Around Canada

Intimate Brahms From Bremen At Lanaudière Fest

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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

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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.

2 Chamber Music Festivals Enrich Ottawa’s Summer

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By Richard Todd

OTTAWA – Cellist Julian Armour first founded Chamberfest, then Music and Beyond, making Canada’s capital a top destination for music lovers in North America. Why such festive abundance? Therein lies a tale.

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International

Rossini Festival Revives Aureliano In Vocal Splendor

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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.

Schubert Rarity Fierrabras Is Star Of Salzburg Fest

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By Rebecca Schmid

SALZBURG — In today’s fierce competition, when one can view a world of arts on the computer screen, Salzburg must prove its offerings are not only a cut above but available nowhere else. A new ‘Fierrabras’ does that.

Keyed For Europe, Toronto Symphony Crowns A Festival

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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.

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Issues in the Arts

Reviving Forgotten Gems Is New Grail For Chicago Critic

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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.

Tanglewood’s New Music Fest Honors Enduring Legacy

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By Leslie Kandell

LENOX, Mass. – The annual Festival of Contemporary Music bifurcates Tanglewood for five days each year. This year’s music featured Tanglewood fellows and teachers, a who’s who of the last half century or so.

Maazel In His 80s Rode In To Rescue Chicago SO Tour

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By Nancy Malitz

Lorin Maazel was 84 when he died July 13 of complications from pneumonia. But in early 2013, he was vigorous, mentally sharp, and openly thrilled to be able to step in for ailing Riccardo Muti on a Chicago Symphony Asia tour.

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Disc and Stream

Crumb’s Spanish, American Songs Make CD Debuts

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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

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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

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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.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

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

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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

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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

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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 …

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