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Violin Concerto Brings Fiery Edge To LA Phil’s Pan-American Initiative

LOS ANGELES – The concerto by Gabriela Ortiz, inspired by Mexican architecture and played by 18-year-old soloist María Dueñas, progresses from a mysterious Romantic opening movement to a jagged scherzo-finale with a slam-bang finish.

Opera ‘Hamlet’: Fewer Words, Words, Words; Yet Not To Be Missed

NEW YORK – The Met's powerful production of Australian composer Brett Dean's Hamlet, which premiered at the 2017 Glyndebourne Festival with several of the same singers, is well worth seeing. It runs to June 9 with an HD broadcast June 4.

‘Rheingold’ In Zurich, Or Wagner Does Hollywood (Jean Harlow Sighting)

ZURICH – There are no splashing Rhinemaidens (they cavort with Alberich on a bed) in Andreas Homoki’s Das Rheingold for Zurich Opera. Loge channels Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, and Mime springs from the Three Stooges.

A Bravura Performance Of Musical Memorial To A Brave Young Woman

ROCHESTER – Juliana Athayde, concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic, played the world premiere of Roberto Sierra's Violin Concerto, written in memory of music director Andreas Delfs' daughter Lydia, who died at age 23.

Yiddish Cabaret Echoes In Fresh Form And Spirit Of String Quartet Fare

VANCOUVER – In the intimacy of a synagogue, the Jerusalem Quartet, with Israeli soprano Hila Baggio, offered a nuanced program featuring a work based on cabaret-inspired songs by Ukrainian-born composer Leonid Desyatnikov.

Duo Recital By Siblings Mirrors The Rare Story Of A Prodigious Family

NEW YORK – Isata and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, pianist and cellist who offered an impressive program at Carnegie Hall, are among seven siblings, ages 25 to 12, all classically trained on string instruments or piano or both.

Rhinestones On Rhine: It’s Grand Ole Wagner With Tennessee Twist

NASHVILLE – Staging Das Rheingold might seem wildly ambitious for Nashville Opera, whose new production opened in a new venue, the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Belmont University. But like the costumes, voices sparkled.

On Portland’s Vibrant Music Scene, New Is Nourished Everywhere

PORTLAND, Ore. – This city has become a busy hub for new music. Its vigorous creativity ranges from chamber ensembles dedicated to contemporary music to companies that explore the latest operas. The place is jumping.

A Ring Of Authenticity: ‘Das Rheingold’ Played On Period Instruments

PERSPECTIVE – Kent Nagano led the early-music ensemble Concerto Köln in a version based on lengthy research by a special committee that sought the sound Wagner might have hoped for when composing the piece in the 1850s.

Michael Tilson Thomas Returns To SF Podium In Warm Homecoming

SAN FRANCISCO – His characteristic erect posture unaltered by the recent physical and emotional challenges of brain-tumor surgery, MTT, who turns 77 on Dec. 21, led the San Francisco Symphony in his own music and Schumann's.

Hail, Bright Abode! Life (And Art) Reaffirmed At The Resurgent LA Opera

LOS ANGELES – Defiantly back in business after a long pandemic-induced hiatus, the LA Opera took a giant step toward normalcy by staging Wagner’s Tannhäuser, the company’s first production of anything by Wagner in eight and a half years.

Not Bass, Not Baritone, Davóne Tines Revels In A Register All His Own

PERSPECTIVE – Tines, who has burst onto the world's music stages, commands a range of more than three octaves, from low D to high E-flat. He says he is neither a bass nor a baritone: “It’s a broader conception of how to think about voice.”

Summer Fests: Warm Air Renews Its Familiar Lure Across Midwest

PREVIEW – At last, some good news! William Grant Still's opera Highway 1, U.S.A. is among the offerings this summer as Midwest opera and orchestra festivals offer their novel enticements to draw people back into the concert habit.

Sleuths Pursue Chopin As Genius And Enigma Across Pages Of Time

BOOK REVIEW – Three recent books about the composer-pianist offer rich insights into his life as man and musician. All three offer much to ponder, and time and again had this reader reaching for a score or a recording to follow up.

Composer Schwantner, Marching To His Own Drum, Chimes, Crotales

PERSPECTIVE – Even with some 60 works and a Pulitzer Prize to his credit, Joseph Schwantner's far-ranging sound palette and distinctive voice remain something of a hidden treasure, unfamiliar to much of the concertgoing public.

On Foot And In Song, Retracing Stony Course Of Blacks In New York

NEW YORK - In its series of site-specific operas in unconventional locations throughout the city, On Site Opera now offers The Road We Came, walking tours with streamed music recalling the richness and the trials of Black history here.

Radio Host Is Bridging Gap Between Blacks, Classical Music World

PERSPECTIVE – Terrance McKnight has always lived his life "between the two worlds" of being Black and being part of the classical music culture. He wants to bring everyone’s culture to the table, "not putting one above the other."

‘Insurrection Songs’: Rzewski Redux, Only This Time It’s Global

DIGITAL REVIEW - Echoing his prodigious, politically inspired variations The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, for solo piano, Frederic Rzewski offers a still more ambitious work, Songs of insurrection. Pianist Thomas Kotcheff nails it.

Juilliard Turns Table, Creates Splendid New Music School in China

TIANJIN – Chinese students have long enjoyed a presence at The Juilliard School in New York. Now Juilliard has brought to China an impressive single-building campus with an international faculty to focus on ensemble training.

One Pianist’s Rising Sun Streams A Fresh Light On Black Composers

DIGITAL FEATURE – Lara Downes' recording project, called Rising Sun Music and offered on streaming platforms, explores the neglected legacy of composers ranging from Hazel Scott and Nora Holt to Benny Golson and Eubie Blake.
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