Classical Music News
Hollywood has always tried to do too much with their adaptations of ‘The Nutcracker,’ without seemingly understanding why people go to the stage versions each and every year: the music and the dancing.
Montserrat Caballe, a Spanish opera singer renowned for her bel canto technique and her interpretations of the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, has died. She was 85.
20-year-old Bostonian impressed with rendition of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto.
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
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!
When complete, The Grand will include a 20-story hotel, retail and entertainment, and a 39-story residential tower with 128 condos, 214 market-rate apartments, and 86 affordable housing units.
After receiving approval from the County Board of Supervisors in Decembe, the 53-year-old plaza is poised for a major transformation into a new, modern outdoor gathering space.
Patterns created by Turkish media artist Refik Anadol are being projected onto the facades of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles each night from Sept 28 to Oct 6.
After a two year search that brought nine guest conductors to Long Beach, Maestro Eckart Preu takes the baton in his first official performance as new music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.
The price hike will be from $1 to $12, depending on the event and the seat. General parking is also going up by $4 and valet is rising by $5.
Concerts and events will take place at multiple venues in Greater Palm Springs including the new Rancho Mirage Amphitheater, The Helene Galen Auditorium at The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower and the Gardens of El Paseo.
On February 7, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and Gustavo Dudamel will share the stage with Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.
The stellar lineup includes Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Itzhak Perlman, Yuja Wang, Vienna Boys Choir, Canadian Brass.
The 30th-anniversary season opens with Macbeth, and continues with Philip Glass' Akhnaten, Tales of Hoffmann, Tosca, Salome, Abduction from the Seraglio and Bernstein's On the Town.
"Winter @The Wallis" series in Beverly Hills features cross-cultural programs and artists, including Wu Han, Shanghai Quartet, Cho Liang Lin, Jeffrey Siegel, Santa Cecilia Orchestra and the Colburn Orchestra
In his 151st career role, Maestro Domingo plays the title role of Juanillo, an outlaw known by the nickname “El Gato” (the “wildcat”).
One was impressed with their very smooth and articulate ensemble playing, particularly in the soft passages, and the powerful, but not over-driven, climaxes.
The relatively unknown pianist, Víkingur Ólafsson, has made a name for himself in his native Iceland playing J.S. Bach and Philip Glass
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s “unique interpretation” of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s explosive The Rite of Spring.
Hélène Grimaud was the soloist in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G-Major. She brought her own individual stamp of crisp articulation and unsentimental phrasing to the piece
Visually, the LA Opera production is a stunner. The grand mise-en-scène of Thaddeus Strassberger, dramatic lighting of JAX Messenger, and brilliant costumes by Mattie Ullrich all come together to evoke the classical grandeur of Ancient Rome.
Korean lyric soprano Yunah Lee is a touching, detailed and delicate Cio-Cio-San, more adapt, perhaps, in emotional force and tragic power of Acts II and III than as a fifteen-year-old Geisha girl of Act I.
To Los Angeles, conductor Simone Young brought her keen sense of drama and theatricality to the music of Britten and Strauss.
Beyond all the pomp, comedy and magic, John Williams’ music is also capable of great emotion, as evidenced in the Theme from Schindler’s Lis, played poignantly by violinist Simone Porter.
On January 27, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, in co-partnership with Classical KUSC, presented an evening of new and old “Mozart + Beethoven’s Fifth featuring a world premiere by Sara Gibson” at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
Opera Parallele's first commissioned opera about a new beginning in the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe. The music is by Laura Kaminsky and the libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed.
This little company, which performs in the local Elks Lodge Ballroom in downtown Alameda, put together a simple but effective production of Puccini’s “La Rondine”.
The opera transports the action to 1950s Boston with Howard’s End on the coast north of the city (Marblehead, for those familiar with New England).
Everything about the production, from start to finish, was first rate...The parts were very well cast and each of the singers brought out the salient aspects of their characters.
It’s always exciting to guess who the biggest stars of the future will be. But each year it gets harder to do that.
The role of George Bailey was sung by American tenor William Burden. He isn’t Jimmy Stewart but he has a strong voice with warm resonance and the acting skills to carry off the part.
Opera star Isabel Leonard as narrator. She bore a striking resemblance to Ms Hepburn—tall, slim, dark hair pulled back, a charming look of innocence in her demeanor.
American soprano Ellie Dehn, making her role debut. She is tall and elegant, and has a clear soaring voice.
Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio makes her much heralded San Francisco Opera debut and her role debut. She was a credible diva with a sparkling voice to match.
Singing Queen Elizabeth is soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. She can go from haughty and regal sovereign to aging (and almost bald) pitiful lovelorn woman and still keep our attention and our sympathy.
New York City
Principal oboe Liang Wang and Associate principal trumpet Matthew Muckey have been placed on unpaid leave after a 5-month investigation.
Music directors from abroad have had an avenue for advancement unavailable to most homegrown aspirants. One result: a tradition of foreign-born maestros leading U.S. orchestras.
The Metropolitan Opera announced Saturday night that it would open an investigation into its famed conductor, James Levine, based on a 2016 police report in which a man accused Mr. Levine of sexually abusing him three decades ago, beginning when the man was a teenager.
Two of the world’s most important opera companies, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Bolshoi Theater here, will collaborate on three stagings in coming years
The media mogul David Geffen, one of the cultural world’s leading philanthropists, attacked wealthy New Yorkers on Wednesday for what he called a “shameful” record of failing to donate to the city’s concert halls and allowing these institutions to downsize their ambitions.
During the second intermission of William Tell, musicians reported a man sprinkling a powdery substance into the orchestra pit.
A chronicle of the Met's labor dispute saga (2014-2015)
With his "abrasive style" and old-school taste, will Van Zweden be a good fit for the orchestra?
Season 2 of Amazon's surprise hit, nominated for two Golden Globes, features a cameo by LA Phil's maestro Gustavo Dudamel
Tenor Ilker Arcayürek and his remarkable accompanist, Simon Lepper, presented a program of Schubert songs in the newly restored Board of Officers Room at New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
Propulsive energy is carried along by the guest turn of MacArthur Fellow, Leila Josefowicz, performing Stravinsky’s modernist Violin Concerto in D. An infectious example of a soloist model meets rock star.
Anita Rachvelishvili made one understand why Verdi originally intended to name the opera Amneris. Her technique is transcendent, and her luminous voice is at its zenith.
Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s firstborn daughter, has written a memoir of her family, a family that her overwhelming dad—loving, inspired, and sometimes insufferable—dominated for decades.
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.
People In the News
In January, Raymond chatted with the busy maestro between two concerts on a variety of topics, including Beethoven, Toscanini, Mravinsky, cello and Hollywood music.
Educated in the U.S. and Austria, now residing in Hanover, Germany, the globe-trotting, multilingual maestro is an ideal candidate to present the multicultural facets of the Taiwan Philharmonic.
Now in his 60s, Ma is offering here his third complete recording of the Bach Cello Suites…the years of experience tell in the way that added depth of expression.
He was a singular American talent and one of the great orchestra conductors of his generation.
Classical Voice talks to baritone George Gagnidze on the eve of his LA Phil debut singing Iago at the Hollywood Bowl.
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
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
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony release Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette on SFS Media November 30, 2018
$7.99/month gives access to vast catalog including Warner Classics, Sony Classical, Universal Music Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and EMI.
Editor's top picks for classical Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray titles
Editor's favorite classical SACDs
Top Blu-ray titles of 2015, courtesy of Ralph Potts of AVS Forums. It's a great site for seasoned and budding hi-res AV enthusiasts alike.
The Third Symphony, under review here, is specially successful in the depth and breadth of its recorded sound
The latest recording by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, is released in Dolby Atmos sound: what can this extended surround format bring to our musical enjoyment?
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