Classical Music News
The 'Gold Rush of 2018' for the Nibelung treasure reached a feverish pitch on June 12, when the first of three Ring Cycles opened at the War Memorial Opera House.
SF Symphony presents semi-staged performances of “Boris Godunov” featuring Mussorgsky’s original orchestration, June 14–15 & 17
Domingo said, “The Virtuosos talent show and activities that surround it are a wonderful addition to the world of classical music, the encouragement of young musical talent and broadening the appeal of classical music…”
Summer music festivals around the U.S. every classical music lover should know about…
On May 18, members of the press were treated to a panel discussion with some of the singers from San Francisco Opera's upcoming Ring Cycle.
A huge audience sitting through the Bach cello suites: that’s proof the centuries-old music still has things to tell us and do for us.
Grammy-winning 81-year-old leaves his post ‘for the immediate future’ after accusations that he forcibly kissed and groped musicians over a period of 15 years
David Cooper, principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2013, has won one of the most prestigious orchestra posts in the world: principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic. He'll take the job in September 2017.
Houston Grand Opera announced their plans to resume the 2017/18 season at the George R. Brown Convention Center, while their home base the Wortham Center is undergoing extensive repairs for flood damage.
I loved director Kenneth Lonergan’s lyrical and poignant “Manchester by the Sea” — for its acting, its screenplay (it won Oscars for both) and, less obviously, its score. The director uses classical music not only to support the dialogue, but also, in some cases, to replace it
Rattle has always had a hotline to contemporary music, whereas his performances of the German classics have sometimes been the subject of criticism.
Stemme's magnificent technique is also informed by a rare intelligence and sensibility – she is the most thoughtful and serious of prima donnas.
The 89-year-old woman was named sole heir after a lengthy judicial battle. She dedicated her life to the memory and the enhancement of her grandfather's image.
Thirteen musicians, artists and authors have created visual re-imaginations of Musorgsky’s iconic work to raise money for the charity The Passage
Under the motto "Look at you and not on the phone!" The Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit (KFV) launched a campaign against distractions in traffic this morning at the Vienna Graben.
The Mariinsky Theater Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra performed under the motto "Distant Love." After 55 concerts, the Beethovenfest Bonn comes to an end.
Two of the six symphony orchestras enter the new season with new head conductors; Barenboim returns to the renovated Staatsoper.
There were no scandals, no family intrigue and no diva moments in Bayreuth, just an acclaimed "Mastersingers" premiere. But 2018 could get juicier, with Plácido Domingo waving the baton and a conductors' row to resolve.
Your complete guide to the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy. And all the sights, sounds and tastes of the Marche region.
Don't go to the Bayreuth Festival without this complete survival guide!
Reviews: Los Angeles
This month, the LA Phil put Schumann front and center in a comprehensive survey of his works, including an illuminating talk by Dr. Richard Kogan on mental illness and creativity.
Like the happy-go-lucky Duke of Mantua in Act II of the opera, the curse was lifted by the opening night and, judging from the winning performance last evening, “Rigoletto” is probably the finest, most compelling show of the current opera season.
Bychkov’s version of Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 was decidedly not your grandfather’s mellow, good-natured walk in the Bohemian forest. Rather, it was fiery, edgy, dramatic…
When the 71-year-old pianist André Watts sat down to play, he immediately commanded attention by the sheer scale of the sound he produced – big, bold, effusive.
Bernstein’s work is a bold liturgical work for the common men, while Beethoven’s Ninth is a quasi-religious paean of universal brotherhood. Together, they formed a musical bond…
the main feature of this performance, a video projection of animated objects – some lifelike, some obstract – that interacted with the two soloists as they explored the narratives and dreamlike state of their songs.
MTT favored a more astringent sound and clarity of details, but still achieved the same noble and grand results...
This “Orpheus” is a balletomane’s dream. Not only does it feature the Joffrey Ballet, but the singers are asked to play dancers -- Orpheus as choreographer, Eurydice as his prima ballerina wife, Amor as his assistant.
What’s even more astonishing, they made music together like a well-honed, silk-road smooth ensemble, with nary a hint of egos at play.
The 'street people' chorus, in Christine Crook's psychedelically colorful hippie costumes, were as brutally relentless as McKinny's celebrant was serenely spiritual in his "A Simple Song".
Reviews: San Francisco
Musically, there was an excellent, large cast of mostly Eastern European singers. Heading it was bass Stanislav Trofimov as Boris
The afternoon began with a prelude of Bernstein orchestral music from “West Side Story”, as the stage was transformed into a museum, with 1950s patrons stopping to admire the statue of Venus.
Kurt Herbert Adler, for whom the program is named, was a long-time General Director of San Francisco Opera; the two-year Adler Fellowships began in 1987 and have graduated many world-renowned artists since then...
Nina Stemme was a shimmering icy princess. Dressed in a sea-foam green flowing gown she looked and sounded terrific.
Adams wrote his own music to words from diaries, journals, and mining songs...Sellars mixed and matched these many texts to form the libretto. The two men have worked together extensively and seem to have a very mutual admiration.
Soprano Ellie Dehn makes her role debut. Her performance was energetic and her voice grew more confident throughout the evening. She has a sweet and pleasant soprano...
The production is an old one, done initially by the world-famous British producer John Copley in 1987 and used six times previously between then and now. It has aged extremely well.
It was just last year that the young Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbanski made a knockout debut with the San Francisco Symphony, leading the orchestra with a rare combination of dramatic intensity and kinetic flair. It was the kind of performance so striking that it left you not quite believing what you’d just witnessed.
Soprano Christine Goerke...was masterful in the role of Elektra, with her voice rich, full, and dominating in every scene. Dressed in basic unadorned black and ready for action in black running shoes, she moved with energy and grace all over the stage.
David Hockney, the original designer, celebrates his 80th birthday this year with many exhibits of his work throughout the US and internationally.
Reviews: New York City
The centerpiece of this season’s opening on Wednesday, featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra, was Gershwin’s enduringly popular “Rhapsody in Blue.” But with Carnegie’s blessing, the performers turned this classic into a shameless gimmick.
The opening of The God’s Entrance into Valhalla was as opulent, dazzling, radiant, as this mind can conceive. A veritable tidal wave of sound filled the theater
Wagner, performed on each of the three concerts were given glittering, incisive, larger than life readings under the baton of maestro Valery Gergiev.
From the marvelous string unisons in the opening of the Freischütz Overture...one was struck by the breadth of tone color, the exquisitely shaped phrases, and the dramatic commitment of the entire ensemble.
a diminished figure walked on stage and made his way to the crook of the piano... the music began and the familiar dark, lustrous voice, produced with the same assurance and ease, filled the hall once more.
This distinguished pianist has been a consistent player throughout her career, and tonight was no exception. Every note seemed to obediently fall into place, the tone was glossy, the phrasing graceful.
The sound produced by New York Philharmonic’s full complement of musicians tonight was ravishing, and the various choirs of brass, strings, and winds spoke with impeccable ensemble.
A dazzling performance of Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka brought cheers from the house,..the bold rhythmic force, the overwhelming quantity of sound he produced and sustained over such an extended period of time, were indeed heroic and praiseworthy.
The Orchestra Nationale de France began a beautifully shaped program with Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Fawn” displaying the lush, shimmering sound of the orchestra’s string section.
In Mahler's arrangement of Beethoven's 11th String Quartet, the traditionally celebrated strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra rang out brilliantly recalling the past days of Ormandy and Muti.
People In the News
Two Scottish sisters, who shot to prominence with their version of Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk, are topping the UK classical music charts with their debut album.
Making a belated Carnegie debut with these performances and also a rare appearance with the New York Philharmonic in February, Mr. Pappano is, at 57, unflashy but experienced and energetic, his performances stylish and dramatic. He is one of our most sought-after conductors, and the music world is eagerly waiting to learn what course he will choose in 2020, when his Royal Opera contract expires.
About Winterreise… one song leads to another and the shape unfolds. Sometimes I go right into the next song, sometimes I wait. I listen for what should come next and let it unfold.
The great American choral conductor was a major contributor to the "Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky" project at Columbia Records, and a champion of contemporary American choral music.
Pirgu possesses the lion’s share of the virtues, and an astonishing minimum of the shortcomings
Raymond talks to Russian pianist Kharitonov before his May 20 Carnegie Hall recital.
Raymond talks to Tom Solon of Canticum Scholare before their December 12th concert.
"I don't like people leaping to their feet all the time. I think a standing ovation is a rare and special event. That's what people do now. At any performance they leap to their feet at the end. ‘Ah! Bravo! bravo!’
The opera legend shares her candid views on her colleagues and career
The Audiophile Corner
The HP-3 utilizes 52 mm “free-edge biodynamic drivers” that the company states results in “high efficiency, low distortion, and full range sound.” It’s a semi-open design...
Sony A1E is among the finest TVs available today. With super-deep blacks, bright highlights, rich colors, razor-sharp detail, superb motion processing, mostly excellent shadow detail, good (though not perfect) off-axis performance
Sony’s HT-ST5000 is fantastic – pairing a real sense of height with a sophisticated sound quality. If you’ve been looking for a fuss-free way to get Dolby Atmos into your home, this is the best we’ve seen so far.
Oppo's new UHD Blu-ray player will sell for $499 in Q4 2016
With the price tag of almost $4000, the Focal Utopia costs more than the AKG and Sennheiser together, but it is worth every penny...
LG's new and improved flagship OLED TV is $2,000 cheaper than last year's flagship and will start shipping next month. Improvements from last year: greater color gamut, 100 more nits brightness, HDMI 2.0, supports HDR-10 and Dolby Vision.
The R-15PM powered monitors deliver room-filling sound without taking up much space, and feature five inputs: USB, Bluetooth, optical digital, RCA analog stereo (with phono), and 3.5mm analog stereo
DirecTV will launch its 4K channel by broadcasting the Masters Tournament golf classic from Augusta National Golf Club April 7-10, 2016.
Will you need a new disc player? Will they be backward compatible? Will you need new cables, a new receiver, or any other new equipment? All the answers in plain English.
Exciting new audio and video products from the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- HDR and Hi-Res are the buzz words
The Foodies Corner
The restaurants below were chosen based on their close vicinity to the concert venues. They are either on-site or less than 15 minutes by car.
See what foods were served at royal courts and festivals in early Europe.
When Richard Wagner built his Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, he probably underestimated the torrents of pilgrims that would inundate and overwhelm the sleepy Bavarian village
Famous classical musicians and their favorite dishes and recipes
Transcribed from Paganini's own handwritten recipe, the 'Devil's Ravioli' is filled with beef, veal, sausage, butter and... calf's brain!
Filet mignon pan-fried in butter, served on a crouton, and topped with a hot slice of fresh whole foie gras briefly pan-fried at the last minute. The dish is garnished with slices of black truffle and finished with a Madeira demi-glace sauce