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Classical News & Reviews

Leonard Bernstein conducts the BSO

The Legacy of Leonard Bernstein Will Be Celebrated This Summer at Tanglewood

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, June 5, 2018 New York City has been enjoying a season bursting with Leonard Bernstein, as befitting his hundredth birthday, with everything from rare performances of art songs to various interpretations of the great “Kaddish” Symphony. But Bernstein had a ...

Pretty Yende; courtesy of artist.

Soprano Pretty Yende Joins Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the MET Orchestra at Carnegie

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, May 30, 2018 The MET Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. for the last in its series of three concerts there this season, each led by a different conductor. Following on the heels of conductors Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla and ...

The Royal Family of Broadway

Review: ‘The Royal Family of Broadway’ Strains to Please at ...

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, June 19, 2018 A new musical by William Finn is always worth seeking out, wherever it happens to be playing. Finn has a knack for crafting quirky shows about peculiar people, but in a very endearing way. From the cadre of lovable ...

Review: 'Othello' Proves Lies Conquer Love

By Jil Picariello, Theater Editor, June 19, 2018 After last summer’s uproariously trumped-up and absurdly controversial Julius Caesar and the magical elder fairyland of Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first production of the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park season seems relatively tame. But what ...

Thomas Bayrle, American Dream, 1970.

Art Break: Must-sees at the New Museum, Eldridge Street and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 18, 2018 This week, Art Break shines the spotlight on the New Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Bowery. Since its founding in 1977, the institution has given New Yorkers a front row seat to the international contemporary art scene, ...

Bill Frisell

Versatility Rules at the Eclectic Alt-Guitar Summit, Starring Bill Frisell ...

By David Rubien, Contributing Writer, June 15, 2018 When a large percentage of jazz guitarists under the age of 50 tell you that their primary influence was Jimi Hendrix, you know something interesting is going on. While the guitar has become as prevalent in jazz as almost any ...

Steve Tibbetts

Steve Tibbetts's 'Life Of' Is Both Endlessly Expansive and Deeply ...

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 14, 2018 Guitarist Steve Tibbetts’ long association with ECM has produced nine albums that span influences from Southeast Asian gamelan to Americana to jazz fusion. His 2018 release, Life of, is a quiet, meditative record that Tibbetts describes as a “sequel” to 2010’...

Anika Noni Rose

'Carmen Jones' Is Back — And She's Still Smokin' Hot

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2018 'Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?' She’s still the fictional character in a popular series of mystery video games that have been around since 1985. A question for 2018 might be: Where in the world is Carmen Jones? ...

SLK dancer

Life In Focus: Preparing for Performance in Ballet Class

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, June 13, 2018   [caption id="attachment_55885" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A stretch before class begins; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55889" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] At the barre; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55886" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] It's changement ...

Harlequinade at ABT

Review: A Nearly Forgotten 'Harlequinade' Leaps Again at American Ballet ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, June 12, 2018 The choreography of Marius Petipa is practically synonymous with classical ballet. His ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote are part of the repertoire of major and minor ballet companies all over the world and are frequently ...

Ariel DeAndrea: Crane 45

Art Break: Ariel DeAndrea's Photorealism at Louis K. Meisel and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 11, 2018 Art Break has been reflecting on the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ and the ways it can be interpreted. For instance, you could think outside the box if you decided to measure time in images instead of numbers. ...

Russell Malone © Chris Drukker

Jazz Notes Intel: Guitarist Russell Malone Gets Saluted; Dafnis Prieto ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, June 8, 2018 Maestro guitarist Russell Malone thanks six-string elder Kenny Burrell for giving him invaluable advice thirty years ago to advance his career. “Kenny told me to always be consistent,” the 54-year-old Malone said in a phone conversation from his ...

Violinist James Ehnes Prepares to Play a "Turkish" Treat with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie

Violinist James Ehnes Prepares to Play a “Turkish” Treat with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 25, 2018 The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra continues their series of appearances at Carnegie Hall in a exciting upcoming concert on Wednesday, May 30 at 8:00 p.m featuring Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, the “Turkish,” with soloist James ...

Pianist Yuja Wang

Review: Yuja Wang Is a Force of Nature, Whirling Into Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 21, 2018 Yuja Wang, whose career began in 2007 as a last-minute replacement for Martha Argerich with the Boston Symphony, and in 2017 was named Musical America‘s Artist of the Year, has been announced as Carnegie Hall’s ...

Wall to Wall Bernstein at Symphony Space on Saturday – and It’s Free!

ZEALnyc, May 15, 2018 One of New York City’s most enduring performance hosting venues just happens to have started out as a food hall (the Astor Market) in 1915, was a short-lived ice skating rink (the Crystal Palace), and eventually evolved into the iconic performing space and film center ...

Out of the Pit and Into the Spotlight — the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Kicks Off Its End-of-Season Series at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 10, 2018 The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is one of the world’s finest orchestras, and their highly anticipated appearances at Carnegie Hall are a highlight of the season. Unleashed from the pit of the opera house and taking center stage, it is a ...

Review: Mariss Jansons Leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony in a ‘Riveting’ Mahler’s 7th at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 8, 2018 The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra reinforced their stature as one of the finest ensembles in the world in a riveting performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in E Minor. Under the revered baton of Mariss Jansons, their chief ...

Review: Trifonov Transcends In ‘Decades’ at Zankel Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 7, 2018 Daniil Trifonov’s monumental Perspectives recital at Zankel Hall on Friday night is the stuff legends are made of. Calling the recital “Decades,” the 27 year old Russian virtuoso, already renowned for dazzling Liszt and ...

Review: Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes Rises Above an Unruly Audience and an Ungracious Acoustical Setting

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 4, 2018 Leif Ove Andsnes deserves an apology for the unsupportive behavior of the New York audience at the start of his recital at David Geffen Hall which concludes his artist-in-residency at the New York Philharmonic this season. Alas, amidst a stream of ...

Boston Lyric Opera’s Upcoming Bernstein Double-Bill Is All About Transforming an Ice Rink Into a 1950s Nightclub

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, May 3, 2018 This spring the Boston Lyric Opera brings its season to a close with a premiere pairing of two Leonard Bernstein one-act operas: Trouble in Tahiti (1952) and Arias and Barcarolles (1988). The music itself is enough to grab your attention with the ...

The Underground Railroad and Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Provide Inspiration for World Premieres at Carnegie With the Oratorio Society of NY

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, May 1, 2018 The Oratorio Society of New York, one of the city’s finest choruses and one of its oldest cultural institutions, brings its 145th season to a close on Monday, May 7, 2018, at Carnegie Hall, with two world premieres: an oratorio about the ...

Review: Gardner Guides the New York Philharmonic In a Passionate Performance

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 30, 2018 Making his conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic last week, British maestro Edward Gardner, currently chief conductor of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, is clearly on the rise. Also this season, he makes his first appearances with ...

The Oratorio Society of New York Maintains Its Relevance With Two World Premieres at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 26, 2018 Founded in 1873, the Oratorio Society of New York is celebrating its 145th season as one of New York City’s longest enduring musical institutions. Having made Carnegie Hall its home since the hall was inaugurated in 1891, and anchored by a ...

Review: Tenor Lawrence Brownlee Addresses the Black Male Experience In ‘Cycles of My Being’ at Zankel Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 26, 2018 Lawrence Brownlee, one of the busiest singers around, in demand for bel canto opera roles all over the world, has a commanding stage presence, flawless intonation, and crystal-clear diction. The son of a church choir director, music is in his ...

Review: Grand Rapids Symphony Returns To Carnegie In Fine Form Under the Baton of Marcelo Lehninger

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2018 The Grand Rapids Symphony, one of Michigan’s more prominent performing arts organizations, has spent the last several years increasing its visibility around the country. They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2005, and unlike many more ...

Review: With Jaw-Dropping Technique, Cellist Andrei Ioniță Dazzles at Zankel Hall

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, April 23, 2018 Andrei Ioniță, a Romanian cellist who won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, dazzled the audience at his April 19 Zankel Hall recital from the instant he started playing. His opening piece, Pietro Antonio ...

Review: A ‘Candide’ That’s The Life of the Party, But Still Loses Sight of Its Origins

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, April 20, 2018 Carnegie Hall’s “One-Night-Only Benefit Concert in Celebration of the Bernstein Centennial” took the form of selections from the concert version of Candide currently licensed by the Leonard Bernstein Office, performed by a ...

Grand Rapids Symphony Brings More Than Great Music to Carnegie

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, April 17, 2018 The Grand Rapids Symphony arrives in New York this week for its first Carnegie Hall appearance in thirteen years with 85 players, a 135-member chorus, the world-renowned pianist Nelson Freire and its dynamic conductor Marcelo Lehninger. But according ...

Review: The Drama of Mozart’s Music (and Life) Fills Geffen Hall In NY Philharmonic’s ‘Amadeus: Live’

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, April 16, 2018 The New York Philharmonic’s April 14 screening of Milos Forman’s Oscar-winning movie Amadeus, with the musical score performed live, was bittersweet; Forman died the day before, at eighty-six. Conductor Richard Kaufman dedicated the ...

From Rio With Love — Grand Rapids Symphony Returns To Carnegie With Music Director Marcelo Lehninger

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, April 12, 2018 The Grand Rapids Symphony takes the stage at Carnegie Hall on Friday, April 20 for the second time in the orchestra’s 88-year history. Having celebrated its 75th anniversary there in 2005, the orchestra returns with the 140-member ...

Ecstatic Music Festival Features Diverse Programming and Collaborative Performances

By Leonard Bopp, Contributing Writer, April 12, 2018 Kaufman Music Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival, now in its eighth year, presents collaborative performances from a broad, diverse range of musical groups. As Kaufman Music Center Executive Director Lydia Kontos notes, “since Kaufman Music ...

Review: Collegial Camaraderie Highlights the Voyage of the Four Nations Ensemble at Merkin

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, April 11, 2018 Taking off from Watteau’s ambiguous, evocative painting L’Embarquement pour Cythère, the Four Nations Ensemble came up with an ambiguous, evocative and, in the end, deeply stirring program of French music ranging over the ...

Review: Vietnam War-Inspired Programming Results In the Sublime to the Questionable

By Christopher Johnson, March 26, 2018 No one could have anticipated that the climactic event in Carnegie Hall’s months-long festival The ’60s: The Years that Changed America would coincide with the March for Our Lives, one of the biggest protests since the Vietnam War Moratoriums of 1969 and ...

Pop-Up Concerts Return To The Miller Theatre — Just In Time for Cocktails

ZEALnyc, March 23, 2018 Planning ways to connect with friends and colleagues can often be challenging, but what if you could find a way to combine socializing while hearing a cutting-edge concert and also enjoying a drink? All for free? Impossible? No. The Miller Theater at Columbia University ...

Review: Curtis Opera Theatre Brings a Newly Revised ‘A Quiet Place’ to Kaye Playhouse

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, March 16, 2018 Let’s not beat about the bush: A Quiet Place, Leonard Bernstein’s second opera, is a frustrating thing, brimming over with musical ideas of great interest and occasional beauty, but saddled with an unpleasant, implausible cast of ...

BLO’s ‘Threepenny Opera’ Is As Timely As Ever Through Its Creatives’ Vision

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, March 8, 2018 The Boston Lyric Opera is bringing back to stage writer Bertolt Brecht’s and composer Kurt Weill’s 1928 classic The Threepenny Opera, exposing a theme that has never really gone out of style. Topically, in fact, the subject matter is right ...

Review: Anne-Sophie Mutter Triumphs Through Technique and Keen Interpretive Powers

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, March 6, 2018 Anne-Sophie Mutter takes command. Those straggling late-comers? Let them shuffle in — she begins her performance as if they aren’t there, immediately seizing control of the room and setting the tone. Those (alas, seemingly inevitable) ...

Review: The Metropolitan Opera Revives Its Compelling ‘Elektra,’ And Comes Very Close to Success

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, March 1, 2018 The House of Atreus fell apart again tonight, as the Metropolitan Opera revived its crisp Patrice Chéreau production of Elektra with the American soprano (New York’s own to be specific) Christine Goerke making an anticipated New York debut as ...

Review: Dudamel Leads the Stellar Vienna Philharmonic With Humble Authority at Carnegie

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 27, 2018 Sunday’s appearance at Carnegie Hall by the venerated Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel provided art and artistry of numerous contrasts. First, the pairing of this great European ensemble, an institution with roots ...

Review: New York Polyphony Makes Beautiful Music, But At What Cost?

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 26, 2018 Thomas Tallis (1505?-1585) and his colleagues may have left virtually no information about how they wanted their sacred choral music to be performed, but they were abundantly—well-nigh exuberantly—clear about why they wrote it and ...

Review: Ax, Kavakos and Ma Achieve Greatness In Brahms Trios at Carnegie Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 26, 2018 Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax, longtime chamber music partners, have been joined by violinist Leonidas Kavakos in a brilliant recent recording of the three Johannes Brahms piano trios on Sony Classical, and are now touring the U.S. ...

Review: Anna Caterina Antonacci Captivates and Conquers in a Rare Recital Appearance at Zankel Hall

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, February 21, 2018 New York City Opera brings the celebrated Anna Caterina Antonacci to Carnegie Hall for a rare, intimate recital and audiences should run, not walk. It is a privilege to experience vocalism of this caliber, and this former mezzo turned soprano, ...

Review: The Met Revives the Rare ‘Semiramide’ With a Golden Cast

By Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief, February 19, 2018 Offering palace intrigue and plot twists that would make a Trump White House blanch, the Metropolitan Opera tonight revived its beautiful production of Rossini’s Semiramide, swathed in blue and gold and filling the house with impressive ...

Review: Drama Reigns at the New York Philharmonic, and Not All of It Onstage

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, February 16, 2018 Those weren’t boos you heard at Thursday night’s Philharmonic concert at Geffen Hall—they were howls of rage and contempt, and cries of “What an idiot!,” and a shouting-match that might have led to fisticuffs if a graybeard in ...

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