Nancy Malitz

Ring At Midpoint: Love Is Reflected In A Harsh Mirror

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – Despite musical glories on stage and in the pit, David Poutney’s concept for Die Walküre militates in some ways against the great strengths at the opera’s core: the romantic, sacrificial, and filial forms of love.

Young Composer’s Lighted Things To Shine On The Road

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – In the 1980s, Riccardo Muti was in his 40s and led new works by elders. Now 76, he helps composers nearly half a century younger, such as Elizabeth Ogonek, 28, whose newest work he premiered and will soon tour.

Lyricism Layered In Words Of Love By Samuel Adams

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – many words of love, freely inspired by Winterreise, took its bow at the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti and travels east in early 2018. Its imaginative arc suggests the earth breathing or, perhaps, sighing.

Salonen Concerto Loops Cellist Into Cosmic Virtuosity

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – Esa-Pekka Salonen likens his cadenza-rich Cello Concerto, premiered by Yo-Yo Ma, to a comet with a tail. Now headed to New York, London, and Hamburg, it shimmers with hypnotic counterpoint and digital loops.

Hear, Hear! New Halls Diverge In Acoustic Designs

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By Nancy Malitz

When it comes to concert hall acoustics, controlled comparisons are difficult, but the temptation was irresistible on a Chicago Symphony tour of new halls in Paris, Hamburg and Aalborg, Denmark, followed by two old gems.

Wry Spirit Rules As Chicago Lyric Launches Its Ring

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – As Eric Owens sings his first Wotan, a new David Pountney staging of Das Rheingold at the Lyric Opera proves true to the original inspiration of the late designer Johan Engels, who liked to let audiences connect the dots.

Coming Events: Plans Big, Diverse In Middle America

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By CVNA Editors

DATE BOOK – Imaginative programming is the mark of the fall season at the St. Louis Symphony and six other mid-American orchestras, as they celebrate their uniqueness and music directors embark on their most ambitious projects.

Coming Events: Orchestras Launch Their New Season

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By CVNA Editors

As the 2016-17 orchestral season gets under way in the U.S., music directors celebrate prized relationships, introduce new works, and resurrect forgotten gems. Here are some late-September entries that caught our eye.

Montana Grandeur Cues Harmony Of Music, Sculpture

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By Nancy Malitz

FISHTAIL, Mont. – Arts philanthropists Cathy and Peter Halstead traveled the world in search of a remote landscape in which nature and the arts could interact. It’s called Tippet Rise, and classical music plays its part.

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.

Old-School Muti Touches Poignant Heart Of Falstaff

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – Ambrogio Maestri, the world’s reigning Falstaff, again linked up with Riccardo Muti, who taught him the role, in a week of Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert performances. There was no stage director in sight.

Coming Events: U.S. Festivals ’16 In Early Bloom

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By Nancy Malitz

DATE BOOK – As the summer festival season begins to warm up around the world, the New York Philharmonic and other U.S. presenters are kicking in with musical celebrations, often fresh and playful, throughout the month of May.

Winter Streams: Classical Bounty Close As A Click

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By Nancy Malitz

Joyce DiDonato’s Carnegie Hall master classes are being captured by Medici.tv, and other live webcasts include a world premiere cello concerto in Detroit, Wagner’s Ring cycle in Vienna, and Dudamel’s Venezuelan kids on tour.

López-Cruz Opera Bel Canto Reveals Stellar New Team

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – It only seems that Chicago’s Lyric Opera ripped its newest opera from today’s headlines. The plot that circles around a guerrilla attack at an iconic location was inspired by Ann Patchett’s novel based on a 1996 siege in Peru.

Chicago’s Lyric Casts Opera Lure Via Social Media

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – If you want to share your excitement about opera with your college-age nephew or your grandchild, how do you go about it? Do you send a letter? Leave a voicemail? Take your cue from Lyric Opera. Try social media.

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.

Pacifica Quartet Was Midwife For Fierce New Work

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO — Felix Nussbaum once wrote: “If I must perish, do not let my paintings die.” Composer Shulamit Ran has taken his work as inspiration for Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory, which the Pacifica Quartet is introducing on tour.

Rebuked Outside, Met Opens With Delectable Figaro

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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.

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.

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.