By Arthur Kaptainis
MONTREAL – A new concerto commissioned and performed by Ali Kian Yazdanfar, who is principal bass of the Montreal Symphony, comes from Tehran-born composer Behzad Ranjbaran. It is inspired by poetry of a Persian mystic.
By Anne E. Johnson
NEW YORK – When reality becomes so unraveled that the brain processes it as gibberish, poetic nonsense can help give the whole mess a kind of meaning. Composer Daniel Thomas Davis’ new chamber opera delivers Gertrude Stein.
By Richard S. Ginell
LOS ANGELES ‒ Yo-Yo Ma, Yefim Bronfman, and Leila Josefowicz gave stellar performances as soloists in Esa-Pekka Salonen’s cello, piano, and violin concertos under his baton with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
By Barbara Jepson
MIAMI BEACH – Free live simulcasts that beam concerts to an adjoining park are but part of the mix at the New World Symphony, where leaders are thinking in fresh ways about invitation, access, penetration, and relevance.
By Jason Victor Serinus
SEATTLE ‒ Music director Ludovic Morlot cleverly matched the premiere of symphony without a hero by David Lang, right, with its antithesis, Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben. But he didn’t make a case for either work.
By Rick Schultz
LOS ANGELES ‒ Gustavo Dudamel led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a musically well-balanced account of Mass, a “Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers” and a musical omnivore’s attempt to remain relevant.
By Mike Greenberg
SAN ANTONIO – Shulamit Ran’s new composition, in memory of clarinetist and friend of 40 years Laura Flax, received its world premiere in a confident and polished account by Stephanie Key. Flax died in 2017 at age 64.