Music Reviews

Music Reviews

Nov 1st 2016

Visiting star composer-pianist-conductor Thomas Adès put on a bold show of musical versatility Sunday afternoon at Jordan Hall, joining the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in selections ranging from Purcell to Stravinsky.

Oct 21st 2016

Humans have always had the desire to live forever. Even today there are those wealthy enough to have their bodies frozen in a cryogenic state and others who fervently believe that the wizards of Silicon Valley will preserve them digitally.

Oct 5th 2016

Virtually all writing, talking and thinking about American experimental music in the 20th century turns eventually to the defining genius of the era, John Cage.

Sep 1st 2016

We have come a long way since the day when female composers suffered denigration for their supposed inability to compose anything of substance. That battle is over, and the women have won. There is no longer any such thing as “women’s music,” if there ever was.

Aug 30th 2016

The new production of Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte’s classic opera Così Fan Tutte has attracted no shortage of controversy.

Aug 26th 2016

A new sound in the realm of electronic music is evolving from the mind of a transplanted Moldavan avant-garde composer now struggling to make his way in New York. He has based his recent work on “lounge electronica” but, he adds, “with a classical twist”.

Aug 10th 2016

Certain musicians or pieces of music, for one reason or another, will always carry unsavoury associations. Wagner, whose music was co-opted by the Nazi party, is the obvious example.

Jul 26th 2016

France is a favorite European venue for summer music festivals, attracting international artists and audiences from throughout the world. Somehow, despite the often-predicted dropoff in classical concert attendance, the festivals all seem to thrive.

May 28th 2016

For the past few years I have focused my critical sense mainly on piano music and my artwork on the performers who struggle to play it. The faces of some pianists mirror the creative process and thereby inspire my approach to their portraits.

May 14th 2016

Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” sounded better than ever in Portland Opera’s opening night performance (May 6th) because of the sets that were designed by Maurice Sendak, the beloved children’s book illustrator and author who created “Where the Wild Things Are.” Sendak’s whimsical scenery elicited nu

May 6th 2016

Many young pianists, increasingly desperate to draw attention to themselves, are resorting to new levels of flamboyance at the keyboard – sometimes in their interpretations, more often in excessive showboating antics. It would seem that everyone wants to be a Lang Lang.

Apr 29th 2016

“Alexander Nevsky”, the cantata version of Sergei Prokofiev’s film score from 1938, captivated a full house at the Bordeaux Auditorium last night (Thursday, April 28) with a degree of fire and heart that other orchestras often lack.

Apr 7th 2016

Tanglewood chief piano technician Barbara Renner once won a $50 bet by proving to a male tuner that she could manipulate the nine-foot Steinway Model D as well as any man. And she has gone on to thrive in this man’s world of piano tuning, never looking back.

Apr 4th 2016

In an adventurous programming gambit Friday night (April 1) the Cantata Singers and Ensemble under David Hoose matched up two opposites – Johann Sebastian Bach and Anton Webern – and concluded with the monumental Brahms Requiem, all impeccably rendered.

Mar 18th 2016

Kent Nagano made a triumphal return to Boston Wednesday evening (March 16) with his Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, conducting there for the first time in many years before a wildly enthusiastic audience.

Mar 7th 2016

Pianist Georges Cziffra couldn’t believe his eyes when a young soldier delivered an upright piano to him on a military base in Hungary in 1942. The soldier called it “that little cupboard you tap on to make music – sorry, I don’t know the word for it.”

Mar 1st 2016


"[......] music-lovers watched the obituary columns to guess when new subscription seats might become available."

Feb 20th 2016

It’s a crowded field, but to my mind there are never too many variations of Franz Schubert’s late masterpiece, the Winterreise (Winter Journey) song cycle.

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