Issues in the Arts

Classical Radio’s Magic Still Rules In Face Of Change

Share
By John Fleming

How is classical music radio adapting to the digital world? Directors of enduring stations and programs in the U.S. paint a picture of an industry in flux. They pledge to compete by accenting on-air programs that are live – and lively.

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.

Tanglewood’s New Music Fest Honors Enduring Legacy

Share
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

Share
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.

Like Super Heroes, Subs Often Save The Musical Day

Share
By Adeline Sire

Kristine Opolais’ back-to-back role debuts as both Butterfly and Mimi within 24 hours at the Metropolitan Opera is just one example of last-minute bravery that occurs regularly, often with mad chains of events backstage.

Chicago Academy Is Major Key For Young Musicians

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO — How many cello concertos did Mozart write? A music theory contest caps the elite academy school year at the Music Institute of Chicago with applause, cheers and laughter, but the dedication to learning is serious.

NY Phil Biennial Boosts New Music By Reaching Out

Share
By George Loomis

NEW YORK – A wealth of participants in the first-ever NY Phil Biennial, currently underway, includes the Gotham Chamber Opera, which brought Toshio Hosokawa’s monodrama “The Raven,” inspired by Poe.

A Far Cry Makes Diverse Music In Democratic Spirit

Share
By Adeline Sire

BOSTON – The chamber orchestra A Far Cry comprises musicians, called Criers, who perform everything from 12th-century pieces to newly commissioned works. Each player has a say in repertorial and interpretive matters.

Chicago to D.C.: Rutter’s Tale Of Two Cities

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – As she prepares to leave the presidency of the Chicago Symphony to take up the reins at the Kennedy Center, Deborah Rutter talks about the accomplishments and challenges of running esteemed arts organizations.

B’way, Opera Join In Chicago Lyric’s Sound of Music

Share
By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO — An ambitious venture into the golden era of Rodgers and Hammerstein pursues an increasingly recognized connection between the mid-century American musical and the European tradition of operetta.

What Makes Any Music Classical? Tradition!

Share
By Richard Nilsen

COMMENTARY – Pittsburgh-raised Lorin Maazel soaked up the Viennese tradition like a sponge, reflecting the reality that classical music is “classical” because it has been handed down. A score tells us only so much.

Forget Wagner, Quartet Dials Up New Ring Cycles

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – Among life’s minor annoyances are cheesy ringtones, but the Spektral Quartet has just the antidote: Mobile Miniatures. It has recorded more than 60 ringtones, alerts and wake-ups by 46 composers.

CVNA Rounds Up Critics’ Coverage Of Sarasota Verdi Fest

Share
By Members of the MCANA

SARASOTA, Fla. – Ten members of the Music Critics Association of North America headed south in March 2014 to cover Sarasota Opera’s latest installment of its ongoing Verdi cycle. We are pleased to provide links to all of these articles here, in one convenient place.

Did Dessay Say Adieu Past Manon? Mais Non, Perhaps

Share
By George Loomis

Reports to the contrary, French soprano Natalie Dessay isn’t yet ready to abandon the opera stage. But she’s branching out by planning a monodrama and giving recitals in North America with pianist Phillippe Cassard.

Campus Concerts Rebuff Notion Of Classical Decline

Share
Raymond Sokolov

Reports of the death of classical music ring out with the regularity of noon on a grandfather clock. Don’t worry: the safest haven for serious music in America is on campus, and this is no ivory-towered phenomenon.

Suddenly Schubert Is The Song On Everyone’s Lips

Share
By Rodney Punt

An unusually large bounty of Schubert is to be discovered in this bicentennial year of “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” composed by the seventeen-year-old Schubert in 1814. Three wide-ranging projects focus on his influence.

Did Fleming Play Fast, Loose With Anthem? You Bet

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

A lot of money was riding on the outcome Sunday evening. I refer, of course, to the duration of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as sung by Renée Fleming. One popular over/under betting line was two minutes, 25 seconds.

Osmo Vänskä, In Job Limbo, Wields Traveling Baton

Share
By Robert P. Commanday

SAN FRANCISCO – He was the beating heart of the Minnesota Orchestra. Vänskä’s recent guest conducting appearance with the San Francisco Symphony made it clear why the Minnesota musicians love and need him. A CVNA commentary.