Brilliant Chamber Music at Peoples’ Symphony Concerts

This afternoon Peoples’ Symphony Concerts presented a brilliant chamber music program at Town Hall in Manhattan.  Lise de la Salle, a marvelous young pianist, collaborated with string players from The Knights, a flexible chamber ensemble, to present a very “multicultural” program of music by Martinu, Mozart, Jedd Greenstein, Takemitsu, and Ravel.

Everything was impressively played, but what stays with me the most is the awesome Ravel Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello, performed with great … <Read More>

Fantastic Young Singers for a NYC Musical Weekend

New York City is definitely the place to be if you want to hear lots of fantastic opera and art song singers in unusual settings.  That was my experience this weekend, when I attended the Brooklyn Art Song Society’s program at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, and Venture Opera’s presentation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Brooklyn Art Song Society is a project of … <Read More>

Beginning of the new concert season: 5BMF and BASS

My 2015-16 concert season began early this year, with season-opening concerts by the Five Boroughs Music Festival on September 11 and the Brooklyn Art Song Society on September 18.

5BMF decided to start their season in Manhattan, at the National Opera Center’s recital hall, with a program by the American Contemporary Ensemble, a youthful group of composers who perform their own music in ensemble.  Group members Caleb Burhans, Timo Andres, Caroline Shaw, Clarice Jensen and … <Read More>

Glimmerglass Festival – Summer 2015

My blog took a short break while I ventured north to attend the Glimmerglass Festival near Cooperstown, New York.  My regular opera-going companion and I have been going to Glimmerglass since 2010, when we went up specifically to see Anthony Roth Costanzo in Handel’s Tolomeo.  We were impressed enough to return the following summer for several operas, and over the ensuing years it has become a regular summer highlight.  We go for one of the … <Read More>

National Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of American presented its 2015 concert last night at Carnegie Hall, and lived up to the high standard set for the past two years.  I’ve been attending these concerts since they began in 2013 and have continued to be amazed by what can be accomplished in two weeks of rehearsals by an assembly of talented youngsters who are not music conservatory students.  The results meet the high … <Read More>

Brooklyn Art Song Society: New Voices – The New American Art Song

The Brooklyn Art Song Society is the brainchild of Michael Brofman.  It’s been around for five years, but last night was the first time I was actually able to clear my calendar and head over to Brooklyn to attend one of their concerts.  I had been invited by composer Glen Roven to help celebrate the release of a new Naxos recording that includes his song cycle, The Vineyard Songs.  I had been present over a … <Read More>

A Triumphant Weekend at Peoples’ Symphony Concerts – Johannes Quartet & ECCO

This weekend Peoples’ Symphony Concerts in New York presented two excellent concerts.  In the Arens Series at Washington Irving High School, we heard the Johannes String Quartet, joined with guests from the Guarneri String Quartet, violist John Dalley and cellist Peter Wiley.  In the Festival Series at Town Hall, we heard the East Coast Chamber Orchestra.  Each concert include one unusual “modern” work, although these were not necessarily the real highlights of the programs.

The … <Read More>

New York Philharmonic Ades Premiere & Debut

The New York Philharmonic turned over the subscription series of March 12-14 to British composer-conductor-pianist Thomas Ades, who led the programs and presented the first U.S. performances of his new work, Totentanz for Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone & Orchestra.  For many New Yorkers, the programs presented a double discovery – an excellent and energetic conductor and an imaginative and talented composer.  Some of us already knew him from another role, having heard him collaborate with Matthias Goerne … <Read More>

KLR Trio at Peoples’ Symphony Concerts

This afternoon the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio performed a concert at Manhattan’s Town Hall under the auspices of Peoples’ Symphony Concerts.  This group has performed frequently at PSC, and their return is always welcome.  Since the retirement of the Beaux Arts Trio, they are probably the preeminent piano trio currently performing.

I was a bit put off prospectively by the conservatism of their program.  This program could have been given over 120 years ago: Beethoven’s Kakadu Variations, … <Read More>

American Symphony Revives Von Schillings’ “Mona Lisa”

I haven’t been blogging concerts and theater this season… too overwhelmed with legal developments and work.  But having just attended the American Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Max Von Schillings’ opera “Mona Lisa” at Carnegie Hall, I couldn’t resist offering a few observations.

First, to thank Leon Botstein, the ASO, the singers and chorus for the enormous effort that goes into putting on these revivals of forgotten music.  They usually have to go to significant lengths … <Read More>