STAFF FAVORITESWhere are all the female musicians?
November 29, 2012
Do you need to be male to play Mahler? Or have a Y-chromosome to interpret Janacek? Does it take more than metaphorical balls to render Bruckner? And is it really so difficult to be a woman and perform Williams (John, that is). Given the relatively few women playing in the London Symphony Orchestra's concert featuring the best-known works of the latter at the Barbican recently, it would seem so.
Delta's Musician Unfriendly Skies
November 15, 2012
Rejection is a powerful feeling and one we have all experienced in one form or another but I have to say that I was dumbfounded when I received a Dear John letter from Delta Airlines at the beginning of 2012. Like most rejection letters, it started off with such a polite tone I thought it was going to be good news but it turned ugly in short order and by the end, it seemed as though they were trying to make me feel like some sort of master criminal. And it seems my offense was nothing more than accruing miles for the full fare tickets purchased for my cello.
Light and Dark
November 13, 2012
With his new production of Un Ballo in Maschera, set in a cinematic Swedish atmosphere, director David Alden aims to integrate the stylistic paradoxes of Verdi’s endlessly intriguing opera.
Streetdancing goes classical
November 08, 2012
Who would have thought that mixing streetdancing with classical music would produce such a satisfying spectacle? And who would have thought that if anyone was to attempt such a thing, they'd be Japanese? Or, at least, one of them would be.
What are the scariest pieces of classical music?
October 30, 2012
As Halloween casts its shadow over us, what better time to delve into the darker side of classical music.
A Chat With Argento Chamber Ensemble Conductor Michel Galante
October 25, 2012
The Argento Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of conductor Michel Galante, will perform on Oct. 27th at 7:30 pm at St. Bart’s Episcopal Church all fragments of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem K. 626 along with composer Georg Friedrich Haas’s Sieben Klangräume (Seven Soundspaces).
'Nixon In China': An American Opera Inches Toward Classic At 25
October 23, 2012
Twenty-five years ago today, Houston Grand Opera mounted the world premiere of Nixon in China, the first opera by a young composer named John Adams. Two days later, The New York Times described it as a "coy and insubstantial work" and "hardly a strong candidate for the standard repertory."
But over a quarter century, Adams' opera, based on President Nixon's 1972 peacemaking visit to China, has become nearly as strong a candidate as Nixon himself was.
Sexism with strings attached
October 11, 2012
Recently I went to the Gramophone Awards, the Oscars of classical music. Every prize-winner was excellent and deserving. But only one award out of 21 went to a female musician, the violinist Isabelle Faust. Women who participated in other winning recordings – like Nina Stemme, the lead soprano of the opera category's triumphant Fidelio, or cellist Tanja Tetzlaff in the chamber music one – were relegated to the shadow of male colleagues.
The MacArthur 'Genius' Bow Maker Who Makes Violins Sing
October 09, 2012
Among the 23 recipients of the MacArthur "genius" grants this past week: an economist, a mathematician, a photographer, a neuroscientist, and a Boston-based stringed instrument bow maker.
India’s Only Symphony Orchestra
September 20, 2012
Western classical music has historically struggled to find a place in India, a country that has its own vibrant tradition of classical music.
20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS WITH: Soprano Angela Meade
September 18, 2012
Soprano Angela Meade is part of “Opera’s Next Wave” (Opera News) and she’s leading the wave in the demanding 19th-century bel canto repertoire and the operas of Verdi and Mozart.
How Deep Purple’s Jon Lord bridged the eternal gap between classical and rock
September 13, 2012
The conductor Paul Mann, whose performance of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra is released this month, has written a detailed essay on his engagement with its inspirational composer, who died in July.
Pierre Boulez: A very modern maestro
September 06, 2012
In his youth the composer called for the burning down of opera houses. Now aged 87, he is no less fiery.
Leif Ove Andsnes: Fatherhood And Freedom At The Piano
September 04, 2012
August 9, 2012Now that Andsnes has a new daughter, he says he hears music a bit differently — with more freedom and an ear for "childlike beauty." Hear the thoughtful pianist talk about fatherhood and play Granados and Grieg in the WGBH studios.
August 29, 2012 Klaus Heymann: Defy Labels, to Be the One
August 30, 2012
There was a time, not so long ago, that Klaus Heymann was accused of trying to destroy the classical music industry. That was around the same time that the world realized that Naxos, Heymann’s budget-record label, was not just another series of CDs in the bargain bin.
Vanessa Perez: A Rising Star From Venezuela
May 29, 2012
Some of the best recent classical music stories have come from Venezuela, that country's youth orchestra program El Sistema and its most popular graduate, Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
Now, you can add pianist Vanessa Perez to the list.
Fischer-Dieskau and the War Requiem
May 21, 2012
Not many people in the musical world intimidated Benjamin Britten; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was one of them. Below, I've excerpted two letters that Britten wrote to the baritone — the first almost comically meek in tone, the second considerably warmer.
Independent podcast: Naxos 25th Anniversary
May 17, 2012
The super-budget priced label NAXOS came into our lives 25 years ago at a time when the notion that you only got what you paid for and that anything so inexpensive couldn't possibly be good was beginning to get turned on its head. In just a quarter of a century Naxos has created - and I quote - "a catalogue comprising the largest number of individual works and the widest available repertoire of any classical label since the beginning of the recording era."
Classical Music Fueled Maurice Sendak's Creative Muse
May 08, 2012
The Brooklyn-born illustrator and author Maurice Sendak, who died Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. at 83, was best known for his dark fantasy “Where the Wild Things Are,” but he made his mark in the classical music world as well.
The legendary, and tragic, voice of a generation at war
May 03, 2012
Could any British singer ever have been better loved than Kathleen Ferrier? It seems unlikely. The great contralto's centenary falls this year; and 2013 will be the 60th anniversary of her death from breast cancer at the age of only 41. By the time she died, she was said to be the second most popular woman in the country after the then recently crowned Queen.