Salonen Proclaims ‘Stravinsky Time’ In Musical Toasts

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – For two spring weekends, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic are playing nothing but the music of Stravinsky, one of the city’s most distinguished and productive musical citizens.

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Singing A Bridge Across Centuries At The Cloisters

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By Anne E. Johnson

NEW YORK – For those who miss Anonymous 4’s mix of medieval and contemporary, ModernMedieval has taken up the tapestry without dropping a stitch. In this concert, chant by Hildegard of Bingen is in dialogue with five new works.

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Stenhammar CD: On A Path Apart From Schoenberg

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Herbert Blomstedt, championing the early 20th-century output of Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar, draws attention to his music via recordings, concerts, and an upcoming Berlin Philharmonic webcast.

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Elegant New Home Frames California Festival In Promise

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By Richard S. Ginell

LA JOLLA, Calif. – Being evicted was the kick in the pants that helped La Jolla Music Society’s summer festiival get the music hall it deserves. The new Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center bowed to applause all around.

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Barefoot Violinist, Off-Beat Premiere On Quirky Concert

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By Rick Schultz

LOS ANGELES – Moldovan-born violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who likes to perform shoeless, played the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the LA Phil under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, who also led Unsuk Chin’s intricate new SPIRA.

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Why Tito? Mozart Masterpiece Makes Rousing Comeback

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By Ilana Walder-Biesanz

La clemenza di Tito was neglected for more than a century, but the opera seria set in ancient Rome has been widely performed in the 2000s. Productions at Los Angeles Opera and the Metropolitan Opera showed its appeal.

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Janáček’s Diary Staged As Collage Pieced From Life

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By Xenia Hanusiak

BROOKLYN – Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s approach to Janáček’s song cycle Diary of One Who Disappeared, produced by the Flemish company Muziektheater Transparant, evokes Braque in its many facets and textures.

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CD Memorializes Stucky In Works By 32 Composers

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Pianist Gloria Cheng, who initiated the collection as a memorial project, performs pieces dedicated to the composer, ranging from the intensity of a work by Esa-Pekka Salonen to a little waltz by John Harbison.

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Around the U.S.

Daniel Hope Plays Stirring Swan Song As Festival Leader

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By Perry Tannenbaum

SAVANNAH – The news that Daniel Hope’s 16th season would be his last to direct classical programming at the Savannah Music Festival, now underway, places focus on the zest, dedication and fiery form that he brings to the event.

Voice Alterations Create Soundscape Of Novel Delights

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By Mike Greenberg

SAN ANTONIO – Clarice Assad, the adventurous Brazilian-American composer and vocalist, explores electronic alterations to her voice in an intriguing work she premiered with the SOLI Chamber Ensemble.

Austin Symphony Salutes Gifts Of Women Composers

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By Paul E. Robinson

AUSTIN ‒ Music director Peter Bay led a stimulating program spanning some 177 years, from the Overture in C major composed around 1830 by Fanny Mendelssohn (right) to Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto 4-3, premiered in 2007.

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Around Canada

Herbig Illuminates Inner Landscape Of Bruckner Ninth

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By Arthur Kaptainis

TORONTO – Gunther Herbig, former music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, made his first podium return since 2012 with unfinished symphonies by Schubert and Bruckner, and most of the rewards centered on the latter.

Hardy Opera Buffs Cheer Climbers In Harrowing Everest

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By Bill Rankin

CALGARY – About 1,700 Calgarians braved bitter Arctic cold to see Joby Talbot’s 2015 Everest at Calgary Opera. The largely Canadian cast featured bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch as a climber left for dead. The staging originated in Dallas.

Warsaw Winner Seong-Jin Cho Poetic, Virtuosic

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By Arthur Kaptainis

TORONTO – In music by Chopin and Debussy, the 2015 Chopin Competition gold medalist gave an impressive demonstration of pianistic métier while leaving room for reservations regarding his willingness to communicate.

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International

Old French Delight Is Polished Anew By Opéra Comique

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By Susan Brodie

PARIS – The famed company has scored a 21st-century hit with a former company staple not seen in Paris for 125 years: Adolphe Adam’s Le Postillon de Lonjumeau. American tenor Michael Spyres’ solid high D secured the stylish enterprise.

Separate Stages, Two Results For Myths As Opera

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Operas based on ancient myth might seem a difficult sell today, but March saw a new version of Jörg Widmann’s Babylon at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and Manfred Trojahn’s Orest at the Wiener Staatsoper.

Endgame As Opera: Wait Finally Ends For Kurtág Work

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By John Rockwell

AMSTERDAM – The musical adaptation of Beckett’s play, begun by György Kurtág in 1990 and repeatedly deferred, got an airing at the Dutch National Opera. A more ideal marriage of text and music could hardly be imagined.

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Issues in the Arts

Mary Ann Feldman Left Her Mark As Musical Whirlwind

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By Michael Anthony

MINNEAPOLIS –  A gifted writer, Mary Ann turned out erudite and witty program notes for the Minnesota Orchestra for 33 years. She died Feb. 18 at age 85, perhaps the Twin Cities’ most prolific advocate for classical music.

Ensemble Project Sparks Surge Of Creative Energy

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – The recently debuted Grossman Ensemble, a contemporary sinfonietta set up with funding for 15 years, includes thirteen award-winning instrumentalists committed to work with a dozen composers each season.

Amahl Production Connects Artists With Community

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By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – For On Site Opera’s version at Church of the Holy Apostles, host to Manhattan’s largest soup kitchen, audience members were asked to donate food in lieu of cash. Tickets released online went in 20 minutes.

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Disc and Stream

Robust Americana: Hampson Explores Chicago Art Song

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Baritone Thomas Hampson, a tireless champion of American music, records songs by composers tied to Chicago: Ernst Bacon, Florence Price, John Alden Carpenter, Margaret Bonds, and Louis Campbell-Tipton.

Violist Makes Bold Solo Venture From Bach To Moderns

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Spanish violist Jesus Rodolfo, 31, has recorded 20th-century works for his chosen instrument by Ligeti and Hindemith, as well as J.S. Bach’s formidably challenging Sonata in C major, originally intended for violin.

A Bouquet Of New Discs From Utah And Pacific Coast

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Five symphony orchestras in the West released new CDs within weeks of each other. Four of them stuck with Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Saint-Saens, while the Oregon Symphony boldly explored new American music.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

Monterey Jazz Salutes The Year Of The Woman

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West

MONTEREY, Calif. – The 61st Monterey Jazz Festival Sep. 21-23 was billed as a salute to “The Year Of The Woman” – and they weren’t kidding. Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and alto saxophonist Tia Fuller were designated as the artists-in-residence, singer Dianne Reeves was the 2018 Showcase Artist. The schedule was loaded.

Unreleased Coltrane CDs Stir Up The Jazz World – Again

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Everyone in jazzland seems to be weighing in on the release this week of Both Directions …

Fanciful Turandot Takes The Stage At Lyric Opera Of Chicago

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By Dorothy Andries: Windy City Arts

A China-that-never-was opened on the stage of Lyric Opera of Chicago, complete with a giant eye-popping dragon, which hovered with considerable menace in Puccini’s “Turandot.”

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