January 20, 2017 • 8:14 am
Soloist Aleksey Semenenko with the Seattle Symphony and Pablo Rus Broseta conducting; (c) Brandon Patoc
The Seattle Symphony’s Shostakovich Concerto Festival started off last night with a powerful program covering half of the Russian master’s six concertos for solo instruments.
It’s a fascinating opportunity to hear, compare, and contrast each of the pairs of concertos for piano, violin, and cello in a two-evening marathon. Ditto the three young artists appearing as the soloists: pianist Kenvin Ahfat, violinist Aleksey Semenenko, and cellist Edgar Moreau. Leading the Seattle Symphony is its marvelously talented associate conductor, Pablo Rus Broseta.
I’ll have a report on the whole festival later on in Strings magazine. In the meantime, based on the caliber of the performances — not to mention the new relevance of Shostakovich at the dawn of an era of profound political and cultural angst — I highly recommend Part Two this evening. On the program tonight: the Second Piano and Cello Concertos and the First Violin Concerto.
Filed under: Seattle Symphony, Shostakovich
January 19, 2017 • 5:54 pm
Getting in the mood for the start of Seattle Symphony’s two-concert Shostakovich Concerto Festival.
Filed under: Seattle Symphony, Shostakovich, Uncategorized
January 17, 2017 • 8:00 am
La traviata director Mika Blauensteiner, in rehearsal at Seattle Opera
This familiar story of Violetta, her love, and death is the world’s most-performed opera. With new staging that marks the North American debut of the German director Peter Konwitschny, Seattle Opera hopes to shed fresh light on Verdi’s 1853 masterpiece.
Filed under: directors, Seattle Opera, Seattle Times, Verdi
January 15, 2017 • 6:13 am
Filed under: photography
January 13, 2017 • 12:58 am
My cover story for the February 2017 issue of Strings is now online:
Two years ago, in February 2015, Alan Gilbert announced his surprising decision to step down from his position as music director of the New York Philharmonic…
Filed under: New York Philharmonic, Strings
January 11, 2017 • 9:05 pm
Arte has made the opening event available for streaming here:
And here’s a report (in German) on the new hall’s acoustics.
Filed under: music news
January 6, 2017 • 2:08 pm
The Seattle Symphony, with guest musicians and vocalists, perform works by Messiaen and Beethoven this weekend. (Brandon Patoc)
My Seattle Times review:
In their first program of the new year, Ludovic Morlot, the Seattle Symphony and guests offer an inspired pairing of Beethoven’s immortal Ninth and the spiritually attuned music of Olivier Messiaen.
Filed under: Beethoven, Olivier Messiaen, review, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Times
January 5, 2017 • 3:48 pm
On the first anniversary of Pierre Boulez’s death.
MEMETERIA by Thomas May
Here’s my obituary for Napster:
French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who wielded incalculable influence on the modern music scene, died at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany, on Tuesday, January 5. He was 90.
Boulez gained fame as an uncompromising champion of the avant-garde and ranked among the towering figures of European modernism in the 20th century. He remained a powerful force for innovation in the world of classical music until his death.
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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 3, 2017 • 10:40 am
I found the above image accompanying a review of The Cunning Little Vixen (aka Das schlaue Füchslein) from a Wiener Staatsoper production reviewed on Bachtrack.
Am I imagining things, or is this uncannily reminiscent of Seattle Opera’s so-called “green Ring” set?
Filed under: Seattle Opera, Wagner
January 1, 2017 • 12:00 am
It was premiered almost two centuries ago. And Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 still feels as urgently needed today as ever.
Filed under: Beethoven, Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Times