Category: Blog

  • 5 New Developments on the Summer Music Festival Scene For 2019

    5 New Developments on the Summer Music Festival Scene For 2019

    Because summer music festivals rely heavily on the tourist dollar, most do not take on a lot of risk when it comes to programming. After all, rehearsal time can be limited in the summer, leaving little room to learn new works, let alone promote them. But as I discovered while putting together a summer festival […]

  • Jimmy López Highlights Dreamers in New Oratorio

    Jimmy López Highlights Dreamers in New Oratorio

    Peruvian composer Jimmy López has explored his Latin-American heritage in a number of orchestral, chamber and vocal works. Dreamers, his new oratorio created with the Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz, focuses specifically on the subject of immigration. It receives its premiere at Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA, on March 17 (the performance will be live streamed). […]

  • Method Acting, Steve Jobs, and Opera

    Method Acting, Steve Jobs, and Opera

    Can method acting enhance an opera performance? Should an opera singer look like the character they are portraying, down to their body weight and hairstyle? These questions came up recently in a conversation with John Moore, the baritone who is starring as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the Seattle Opera production of The Revolution of […]

  • Enjoy Messiah? Conductor Jane Glover Recommends 5 More Handel Works

    Enjoy Messiah? Conductor Jane Glover Recommends 5 More Handel Works

    Even as “Home Alone” screenings with live accompaniment are a growing staple of orchestra programming in December, Handel’s Messiah remains a holiday season favorite. Like the 1990 holiday hi-jinx film, with its John Williams score, Messiah was a popular success from its 1742 premiere in Dublin. Unlike “Home Alone,” Messiah, of course, didn’t have a […]

  • Florence Price: A New Chapter For An Undervalued Composer

    Florence Price: A New Chapter For An Undervalued Composer

    Advocates of American classical music have often complained that there is a whole generation of mid-20th century symphonic composers whose work has been unjustly neglected. It includes figures like Roy Harris, Charles Ives, Walter Piston, Roger Sessions, and William Schuman, to name a few who were active from roughly 1930 to 1960 and who now rarely […]

  • Classical Music Podcasts: 12 to Listen For

    Classical Music Podcasts: 12 to Listen For

    The universe of classical music podcasts is expanding. Some of these shows have an educational focus while others specialize in roundtable-style banter. The most sophisticated feature elaborate sound design and narratives; others have a quirky, home-spun feel, with guests veering off-mic and conversations peppered with “um’s.” Here are a dozen to check out, depending on your […]

  • Landfills, Icebergs and Far-Flung Piano Performances

    Landfills, Icebergs and Far-Flung Piano Performances

    The most attention-getting moment in a new short film by Russian pianist Pavel Andreev comes near the end, when a front-loader carrying a mountain of household garbage approaches him from behind, seemingly ready to dump it on the musician and his 11-foot grand. Andreev (pictured, above) sits at a piano in the middle of a landfill […]

  • Visiting the Brahms House in Baden-Baden

    Visiting the Brahms House in Baden-Baden

    Visitors to Baden-Baden usually have a few items leading their agendas, whether visiting an old-school thermal spa, spending euros (or perhaps, rubles) on boutique-lined Sophienstrasse, or trying lady luck at the casino. The town is tucked away in the Black Forest region, and it feels, it in some ways, like the German equivalent to Aspen […]

  • Classical Music from Mexico: A Starter Playlist

    Classical Music from Mexico: A Starter Playlist

    As a potential Mexican border wall sharply divides opinion in the U.S., a number of visual arts institutions have rolled out exhibits aimed at shining a light on Mexico’s cultural riches.

  • John Luther Adams, With 800 Singers, Takes on Central Park

    John Luther Adams, With 800 Singers, Takes on Central Park

    John Luther Adams’s In the Name of the Earth, which premieres on August 11 in New York’s Central Park, may rank among the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’s most logistically ambitious works to date: It calls for 800 singers, divided into four groups and perched around the Harlem Meer, the lake at the park’s northern tip bordered by bluffs […]