Around the U.S.

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.

French Quartet’s Beethoven Probes To Intricate Core

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By Perry Tannenbaum

SAVANNAH – The Quatuor Ébène delivered revelatory performances of Beethoven’s early Quartet Op. 18. No. 6, and the middle-period Serioso Quartet during the French ensemble’s U.S. tour stop at the Savannah Music Fest.

Coming Events: Taking A Breather On The Fast Track

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By Kyle MacMillan

ON TOUR – As part of the transition that has come with quick acclaim, Russian-born pianist Daniil Trifonov is
paring back his performances to have more time to relax and compose. But first, he has a six-city North American tour.

Virtuosic Pintscher Work Debuts With Soloist Weilerstein

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By Keith Powers

BOSTON – Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra performed Matthias Pintscher’s deeply contemplative new nocturne for cello and orchestra, un despertar, inspired by an Octavio Paz poem.

Bittersweet Opera Reflects On Cuba And Gay Struggle

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By John Fleming

MIAMI – Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls, which deals in freedoms sexual, political, and artistic, received its second production, by the Florida Grand Opera. The work was inspired by the charismatic gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas.

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.

Disney’s World: Perfect American, According To Glass

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By Richard S. Ginell

LONG BEACH, Calif. – In what is one of Philip Glass’ most fascinating operas, the story of Walt Disney in The Perfect American is given its U.S. premiere by plucky Long Beach Opera. But don’t expect the Disney family to approve.

Bolcom’s Dinner: Worst Of Times, But Vibrant Opera

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By Michael Anthony

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Opera gave the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight, a calamitous tale of Depression-era America and a circle of the dysfunctional rich, after the play by Kaufman and Ferber.

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.

Olmos Ensemble Pays Tribute To Women Composers

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By Mike Greenberg

SAN ANTONIO – Drawn from the San Antonio Symphony, the musicians broke an old habit by presenting works by four composers without a spare Y chromosome, too often the price of admission to concert programs.

Auerbach’s Dreams Concerto Holds Up A Personal Mirror

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By David J. Baker

NEW YORK – Her fourth violin concerto, Lera Auerbach’s NYx: Fractured Dreams, is named for the Greek goddess of night, with a doff of the uppercase Y to the city that nurtured her. The New York Philharmonic premiered it.

Visiting Viennese Affirm Heritage In Schubert, Strauss

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By James L Paulk

NEW YORK – For its annual weekend at Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Philharmonic led by Franz Welser-Möst played works by composers it pretty much owns, including Schubert (Symphony No. 9) and Strauss (Ein Heldenleben).

Heartfelt Dialogue: Chance Meeting Led To Unchained

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By Jim Farber

LOS ANGELES – A friendship James Matheson had 21 years ago caused him to compose a work that reflects on “the history of slavery and mass incarceration in this country.” The Los Angeles Philharmonic performed the premiere.

Gubaidulina Drives A Triple Between Sound And Silence

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By Keith Powers

BOSTON – Sofia Gubaidulina’s Triple Concerto for Violin,
Cello, and Bayan won a boisterous reception in its Boston Symphony Orchestra world premiere. Music director Andris Nelsons also conducted the Shostakovich Seventh.

Gubaidulina Triple Concerto Set For World Premiere

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By Kyle MacMillan

BOSTON — Boston Symphony music director Andris Nelsons will lead performances of this unusual work Feb. 23-25 in Boston’s Symphony Hall and Feb. 28 at Carnegie Hall. Sofia Gubaidulina is hoping to attend at least one of them.

A Fugitive Unseen On Copeland’s Isle Of The Unreal

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By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO  – The first commission in the 43-year history of the Chicago Opera Theater unites the composer, drummer, and co-founder of The Police with the intense fantasy of Adolfo Bioy Casares’ novel The Invention of Morel.

Early Music Fest, Born On The Bayou, Turns Five

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By William Albright

HOUSTON – The nine-day Houston Early Music Festival focuses this season on Baroque and Renaissance
vocal music in its infinite varieties. But it opened with Rameau’s Les Indes galantes, sans singing and dancing.

N. Carolina SO: Poster Perfect For Kennedy Festival

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By John W. Lambert

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Symphony under Grant Llewellyn showed why such undervalued orchestras merit the spotlight about to shine on them in the nation’s upcoming SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center.