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
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
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’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 […]
Leonard Slatkin on His Final Bow at the Detroit Symphony
On May 25, I attended the first of three final programs that Leonard Slatkin had programmed for his 10th and final season as music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. But Slatkin wasn’t there. The 73-year-old conductor was forced to withdraw from the concerts in order to undergo a heart-bypass operation (he’s reportedly recovering well).
New World Symphony, Witnessed Indoors and Out
One of the more striking design aspects of the New World Center, the performance and educational facility in Miami Beach, FL, is the capacity for its resident New World Symphony to beam concerts to the surrounding community via its 7,000-square-foot projection wall.
2001: A Space Odyssey Turns 50 and Its Soundtrack Endures
The ongoing craze among orchestras to present films with live soundtracks has split into separate creative strands. One is focused on recent blockbusters where music is of a more secondary appeal: that’s arguably the case with the “Home Alone” franchise or the later “Harry Potter” films. On the flip side are films that place music at […]
For Debussy Anniversary Year, A Fresh Look at His Violin Sonata
As the centennial of Debussy’s death approaches (March 25, 1918), appraisals of his work and career are turning up, including a new biography by Stephen Walsh, newspaper coverage (see Stephen Hough’s New York Times piece), and recordings (Warner Classics has issued a 33-CD box set of his complete catalog). It’s also a chance for scholars and musicians to […]
The Crown and Classical Music: Season Two Recap
As in the first season of the Netflix original series “The Crown,” Season Two uses classical music at key moments to heighten the drama, while also deftly mixing in 1950s pop songs and the original score by Rupert Gregson-Williams and Lorne Balfe.
How Musical Instrument Stores Are Vying with Online Retail
The recent news that Sears is closing 103 more of its namesake and Kmart stores this year is the latest symptom of the difficult times for brick-and-mortar retailers, especially those whose fortunes are tied to traditional shopping malls (or once operated as a catalog business).