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Tamino From The Past Recalls A Magical Trek Across Stages Of Opera

PERSPECTIVE – Gran Wilson is not in Oz anymore, or in his native Bessemer, Ala., for that matter. But after a colorful history of performances with far-flung opera companies, the 68-year-old tenor is still singing and pursuing new projects.

A Japanese Tone Poem Conjures Formlessness Of World At Its Dawning

SEATTLE – Dai Fujikura's Wavering World, drawing on Japanese folklore to express "the humid wetness and wonder of creation," received its world premiere by the Seattle Symphony under Kazem Abdullah. Fujikura, far right, was on hand.

Stamping Film Auteur’s Satire Of Anti-Semitism With Music’s Potency

LOS ANGELES – The visiting Ensemble Intercontemporain, led by Matthias Pintscher, performed Olga Neuwirth's electronically infused score during a screening of the 1924 silent film Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City Without Jews).

On Opera Stage, A Mom Agonizes Over Fate Of Son Driving While Black

BIRMINGHAM – “You are not who they see” carried a poignant real-world echo through dwb (driving while black), a one-act monodrama by composer Susan Kander and librettist Roberta Gumbel, produced at Opera Birmingham.

After Another Buffing, Adams’ ‘Golden’ Opera Is Brighter And Tighter

LOS ANGELES – In what amounted to its third world premiere, John Adams' Girls of the Golden West, presented by the LA Philharmonic with the composer conducting, combined notable and welcome brevity with newly sustained energy.

4,000-Year-Old Poetry Resounds Afresh In Very Modernist Music

NEW YORK – Clarice Jensen's The Exaltation of Inanna, a setting of poetic chants by Enheduanna, "the first author known by name in history" and the daughter of a high priestess, received its premiere in a concert at the Morgan Library.

A New Violin Concerto As Cosmic Dialogue, Search For Perspective

PORTLAND – Erkki-Sven Tüür described his Violin Concerto No. 3, which received its world premiere by the Oregon Symphony under David Danzmayr with soloist Vadim Gluzman, as "an individual trying to find inner harmony with his other self."

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.
Classical Voice North America