ENSEMBLE AND PERFORMER NEWSWelcoming Yannick Nézet-Séguin
November 29, 2012
As Yannick Nézet-Séguin begins his tenure as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, it marks yet another auspicious moment in the Orchestra’s rich history.
Beethoven in the Congo: Kinshasa's classical orchestra
November 20, 2012
In the heart of Kinshasa, the frenzied capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, classical music has found an unlikely band of heroes.
Benjamin Zander returns to conduct Boston’s newest youth orchestra
November 15, 2012
The smile is familiar, as is the thick white hair swaying to the rhythm of the orchestra.
Benjamin Zander, one of Boston’s most prominent classical music figures, is back leading a youth orchestra. Watching him now, one could find it hard to imagine that less than a year ago, his four-plus decades at New England Conservatory came to an ugly end.
British piano star joins NZSO for Gershwin special
November 08, 2012
Explosive British pianist Freddy Kempf and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform major classics by the American legend George Gershwin in a special two-concert tour next month.
CSO's New Program Brings Classical Music to the Community
October 30, 2012
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) launched its new seven-week initiative, “One City, One Symphony” earlier this month. The goal of the program is to get the CSO engaged with people of all walks of life through nine listening parties across the region. “One City, One Symphony” concludes with three concerts Nov. 15, 17 and 18 at Music Hall featuring A Survivor From Warsaw by Arnold Shoenburg and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Kristin Chenoweth warms up for California concerts
October 30, 2012
Less than four months after an injury on a television location, the singer-actress heads to Orange County to begin a string of California performances.
Foden's brass band celebrates double win
October 25, 2012
Foden's brass band from Cheshire has become the first band for 12 years to win the National Championships and the British Open in the same year.
Simone Dinnerstein's Bach Between The Notes
October 23, 2012
There's something about Johann Sebastian Bach's music that nourishes musicians. Pianist Andras Schiff and cellist Yo-Yo Ma have said that they play Bach almost every day — like having breakfast, it seems essential for them. Pianists Glenn Gould, Angela Hewitt and Rosalyn Tureck (among others) have based entire careers on Bach.
Then there's Simone Dinnerstein. Like Gould, she was rocketed into the public consciousness by Bach.
Nashville Symphony Extends Guerrero's Contract Until 2020
October 18, 2012
I was in Cleveland last weekend visiting my family. I ran into a few of my old high school friends there, one of whom mentioned she had just seen Nashville Symphony music director Giancarlo Guerrero guest-conduct the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra. She was blown away by Guerrero, and clearly surprised that Nashville Symphony had such a formidable force at its helm. And it struck me just how different things are for the NSO than when I first moved to Nashville 15 years ago.
Military Wives scoop Classical Brit
October 11, 2012
The Military Wives' choirmaster described the group's prize win at the Classical Brits as “the candle on the icing of a very large cake”.
Video Game Orchestra: Castlevania at the symphony
October 09, 2012
While most classical concert halls deliver the best of Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach, the Boston-based Video Game Orchestra plays tunes from the annals of beloved franchises such as Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, and others.
Glenn Gould: Beyond Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'
September 25, 2012
Today, Sept. 25, 2012, would have marked the 80th birthday of Glenn Gould, and Oct. 4 is the 30th anniversary of his death. One can only wonder what Gould might have done had he lived a full life — he had many plans and spoke of them with customary enthusiasm — but I have no doubt that he would have loved the internet above all. Can you imagine an unfettered Gould finally able to remove the middlemen and record whatever he wanted, as often as he wanted to, and immediately share the results with his audience?
So Long, Ingénues
September 20, 2012
No singer today more sharply divides opera fans than does the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. Her admirers thrill to her robust stage presence and plush, vibrant tone; they celebrate her distinctive fashion sense and crave details about her glamorous private life. Her detractors insist that her celebrity compromises her artistry; they deride her interpretive choices as obvious, fault her diction as imprecise and insist that her top notes no longer ring as purely as they once did.
Is nothing sacred? Meet the friar with the X factor
September 18, 2012
Decca's latest signing is a 34-year-old Franciscan friar from Assisi named Alessandro Brustenghi. His duties normally include welcoming tourists to the legendary Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, plus a spot of carpentry. Then the record producer Mike Hedges, looking out long-term for "the next Italian tenor", heard him sing. Now his first album, Voice from Assisi, is about to be released.
Ailing Van Cliburn shows grace, courage in appearance at concert
September 13, 2012
The Fort Worth Symphony had just finished its traditional playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" when the Bass Hall crowd and the musicians began to settle in for what was going to be a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Van Cliburn Competition.
What happened next was both stunning and historic.
Nigel Kennedy: Still pulling the strings
September 06, 2012
Violinist Kennedy can’t take an evening of pure Bach because it’s too serious. So an evening talking about his childhood might be even more complicated...
Ben Powell: In The Footsteps Of Jazz Fiddle Royalty
September 04, 2012
The late Stephane Grappelli is perhaps the best-known jazz violinist in history. His collaborations with guitarist Django Reinhardt have influenced countless musicians. A comparison to Grappelli is one of the highest honors a young, rising violinist can receive. Ben Powell is a 25-year-old, British-born, classically trained violinist who lives just outside Boston, and his new CD has won him comparisons to the violin great.
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, musicians' union at odds over reduction of performances
August 30, 2012
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has offered revised terms to its musicians after the Star published revelations of the vast distance between the two parties on Tuesday, according to musicians negotiating committee chairman Rick Graef.
Canadian Brass: Spiking The Recital With Humor
May 29, 2012
When the Canadian Brass came to NPR for a Tiny Desk Concert, the group kicked off the show with a piece its members say has been central to its repertoire for more than 40 years. It's a transcription of an organ work, Johann Sebastian Bach's "Little" Fugue in G Minor.
A Classical Trio With Room for a Little GN'R
May 21, 2012
Eric Stephenson sits in a basement studio near Brooklyn's Manhattan Bridge Overpass, demonstrating how to slaughter a chicken on the cello.