Around the U.S.

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.

Adès Presides Over Dances Of Death Program In LA

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Among the pieces in which the admired British composer Thomas Adès led the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall were two of his most recent works in U.S. and West Coast premieres.

Voices Illuminate Dark Landscape In Mahler’s Das Lied

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By Daniel Hathaway

CLEVELAND – Under the baton of Donald Runnicles, the Cleveland Orchestra, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, and tenor Paul Groves offered an unflinching take on the bittersweet ambivalence of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.

Ah, Venice! Fest At Carnegie Is A Feast Of Entertainments

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By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – Through Feb. 21, the hall is presenting major artists in “La Serenissima, Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic,” which brings to life the sumptuous and vibrant arts of the flourishing republic.

Tüür Cranking Out Symphonies As 6th Gets U.S. Premiere

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By John Fleming

BRADENTON, Fla. – The Sarasota Orchestra conducted by Anu Tali gave the first American performance of Symphony No. 6 (Strata) by Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür, composer of eight symphonies – No. 9 coming.

New Met Rusalka Reflects Tradition In Surreal Images

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By James L Paulk

NEW YORK – Spooky! Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka starring Kristine Opolais at the Met is a twisted hybrid bordering on a parody of convention. If capricious and confusing, it’s also beautiful and intriguing.

At San Diego SO, An American Fest And Maestro Hunt

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By Timothy Mangan

SAN DIEGO – As the orchestra pursued its search for a new music director to succeed Jahja Ling, an ambitious celebration of Americana drew a string of guest conductors, including one seen as an active candidate, James Gaffigan.

SOLI Conjures Animated Vision Of The Magic Flute

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By Mike Greenberg

SAN ANTONIO – The music for the live performance version bears no audible references to Mozart, leaving only an atmospheric backdrop of drones, pulses, and bursts. The sound design is too generically New Agey.

Nixon Returns To Houston As Trump Enters Washington

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By William Albright

HOUSTON — It was pure coincidence that produced the convergence of two controversial American presidents on Jan. 20. John Adams’ Nixon in China reappeared in a 2004 production from St. Louis.

Weill Program Unfolds Amid Political Protests

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By Richard S. Ginell

GLENDALE, Cal. – Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra couldn’t have known that their “Lift Every Voice” Festival would coincide with the Women’s March happening in Los Angeles and around the world.

Shankar’s ‘Garland Of Ragas’ Blooms In West Coast Bow

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By Rick Schultz

LOS ANGELES – With the LA Phil under Zubin Mehta, Anoushka Shankar played her father’s Sitar Concerto No. 2, more a string of colorful moments than a unified whole. Or does that view just reflect Western conditioning?

SF Symphony Goes Multimedia With ‘Klagende Lied’

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By Richard S. Ginell

SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Tilson Thomas combined the ‘Blumine’ movement from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with Songs Of A Wayfarer and a semi-staging of Das klagende Lied. It was very clever, instructive programming.