MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

In Pastoral Vastness, Grand Art Harmonizes With Music’s Intimacy at Tippet Rise

Composer Reena Esmail and cellist Arlen Hlusko

Here’s my report on Tippet Rise Art Center and its opening weekend for the 2022 season, which I wrote for Classical Voice North America:

FISHTAIL, Mont. — Set amid endlessly rolling hills, mesas, and grasslands that are framed by rugged mountains and the vast Montana sky, Tippet Rise Art Center beckons with a unique intersection of pristine nature and interdisciplinary artistic adventure. The surrounding landscape inevitably injects itself into each musical experience, while looming sculptural shapes retune the sounds of wind and distant thunder. The metaphors proliferate so abundantly here that you need to take care not to step on them — to adapt Brahms’ famous observation about a favorite summer idyll that stimulated his creativity…

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Filed under: Classical Voice North America, commissions, Reena Esmail, Schumann, Tippet Rise

Gabriel Kahane Returns to the Stage

Gabriel Kahane (photo Josh Goleman)

My review of Gabriel Kahane’s return to live performance at the University of Washington’s Meany Center with a preview of the new crop of songs from his internet hiatus:

SEATTLE — In November 2019,Gabriel Kahane embarked on a yearlong hiatus from the internet. He disengaged himself completely from social media and cut off the cell phone umbilical cord. But several months into this experiment, he was forced into further isolation by the pandemic. His appearance Nov. 6 at Meany Center, the University of Washington’s main performance venue, marked one of Kahane’s first occasions enjoying live contact with the public since lockdowns began. The singer-songwriter-pianist is one of four Meany Center Creative Research Fellows this season at the UW.

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Filed under: Classical Voice North America, Gabriel Kahane, review

Beijing Music Festival: A Report

BMF-Du Yun-Angel's Bone

Du Yun’s “Angel’s Bone,” in its premiere production in the People’s Republic of China (photo credit: Beijing Music Festival)


Earlier this month, I visited the 22nd annual Beijing Music Festival. Here’s my report for Classical Voice North America, with a focus on BMF’s emphasis on new music under the dynamic leadership of Shuang Zou (now in her second year as the festival’s artistic director):

“Golden Week” is the name for the national holiday period held in the People’s Republic of China at the beginning of October. This year, it also signaled an earlier-than-usual start to the annual Beijing Music Festival (BMF) — the country’s largest and most extensive festival devoted to classical music…

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Filed under: Beijing Music Festival, Classical Voice North America, festivals, Long Yu, new music, new opera, Shuang Zou

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