Around the U.S.

3 Cliburn Winners Showed More Than Flashy Technique

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By Kyle MacMillan

FORT WORTH, Tex. – The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winnowed 30 contestants to three winners, including gold medalist Yekwon Sunwoo, who played Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto in the final round.

Angels In America, As Opera, Loses Its New York Focus

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By David Shengold

NEW YORK – The filleting of literary works for operatic treatment is nothing new, but the New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’ Angels in America finds Tony Kushner’s epic drama to be robbed of its rich socio-political specificity.

Met Orchestra Scales Heights In Mahler And More

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By Lawrence B. Johnson

NEW YORK – Led by Esa-Pekka Salonen at Carnegie Hall, the Met’s pit band confirmed its status as one of the world’s top orchestras in three programs pairing music by Mahler with works by Schumann and Sibelius.

In Wang’s Bartók, An Entrée In Need Of More Seasoning

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Yuja Wang is in the midst of a rare
cycle of Béla Bartók’s three piano concerti with the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. There should have been nothing for her to fear in the ferocious first concerto.

Music And Art Meld To Salute Holocaust Legacy

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE – Music of Remembrance, the Seattle-based organization that keeps memories of the Holocaust alive through music, presented its 21st commission, a work by Armenian-American Mary Kouyoumdjian.

Kahane Says Adieu To LA Ensemble In Grand, Small Ways

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By Richard S. Ginell

GLENDALE, Calif. – Twenty years after taking leadership of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane gave a scintillating account of Schubert’s last completed symphony (the Ninth) to end his tenure as music director.

Youth Speaks Transformatively In Silent Voices

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By Anne E. Johnson

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Brooklyn Youth Chorus marked its 25th anniversary by letting singers’ voices be heard in a new way, connecting commissioned works by eight composers with choristers’ personal testimonies.

Frank’s Colorful Requiem Sings In Three Tongues

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By William Albright

HOUSTON – The Houston Symphony and music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada premiered its newest commission, Gabriela Lena Frank’s Conquest Requiem, on May 5, the Mexican holiday known as Cinco de Mayo.

Magic Flute Zips, But Also Overruns Spirit Of Mozart

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE – A cast of young singers had shining moments in Seattle Opera’s production of Mozart’s beloved work, but brisk tempos and directorial choices created problems that compromised the music in style and essence alike.

Power Of Berlioz Requiem Endures In Dutoit’s Hands

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By Rodney Punt

SAN FRANCISCO – Because the Berlioz Requiem is what we would today call a “site-specific” work, it requires modification in scale for modern halls. Charles Dutoit led a reduced version for 330 musicians, still a mighty force.

Mist, Mystery And Magic In Colorful, Soft-Edged Pelléas

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By Daniel Hathaway

CLEVELAND – In the latest of the Cleveland Orchestra’s annual opera performances, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is given a strange and wonderful staging that features actors and dancers as “mythological doppelgängers.”

Ear Snared Twice Amid Sonic Lures At Hear Now Fest

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By Richard S. Ginell

PASADENA – At the opening of the seventh Hear Now Music Festival, two compositions caught the imagination as well thought-out works with something pertinent to say, a sense of drama, and an idea of where they were going.

Old Is Newly Apt In Rameau’s Temple of Glory

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By Janos Gereben

BERKELEY, Calif. – The first modern revival of the song-and-dance spectacle, with a politically charged libretto by Voltaire, capped a nearly quarter-century quest by the Philharmonia Baroque’s Nicholas McGegan.

Shower Of Roses For Nézet-Séguin’s Dutchman At Met

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By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – In his first Metropolitan Opera production since being named music director designate, Yannick Nézet-Séguin led a triumphant performance of Der fliegende Holländer, with Michael Volle in the title role.

Mannes Celebrates Training Musicians Through A Century

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By Anne E. Johnson

NEW YORK – With a centenary concert at Carnegie Hall on April 25, the Mannes School of Music will honor its bountiful history and its founders, David Mannes and Clara Damrosch Mannes. The school’s lineage and its vision will resound.

Poignancy In Tune As Fleming Closes A Marschallin Era

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By James L. Paulk

NEW YORK – In Robert Carsen’s new production of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera, soprano Renée Fleming takes her final turns in a role she has virtually owned for two decades, and shows why.

This Orchestra’s Tradition Is To Buck Tradition

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By Kyle MacMillan

LOUISVILLE, KY. – Striving for a place among the world’s most interesting orchestras, Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams
presides over the second edition of the Festival of American Music, April 15-29.

In Reykjavík Fest, LA Phil Samples Stylistic Mash-Up

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – The main events in the Reykjavík Festival sold out months in advance – partly because of LA Phil’s conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, but mainly because Iceland’s rock band Sigur Rós was on the bill.

Uchida Points Up Composer’s Other Gift: The Clarinet

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By George Loomis

NEW YORK – When Mitsuko Uchida plays a new work for piano at Carnegie Hall, you can bet the composer will want to be there, and the German Jörg Widmann proved to be no exception. He also brought his clarinet along to team up.

New ‘Miniatures’ Pack Program For Spirited Orchestra

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By Esteban Meneses

NAPLES, Fla. – Andrey Boreyko will lead the Naples Philharmonic in three diverse “miniature” world premieres by Nicholas Jacobson-Larson, Giya Kancheli, and Gabriel Prokofiev, in honor of the late art collector Olga Hirshhorn.