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Recordings III: Ives, Copland, and Ginastera

February 9th, 2016

Written by: Steven Kruger

What does the music of Charles Ives sound like with an Australian orchestra and a British conductor? Different, one is tempted to to say, but not really. We’ve become used to our Ives done New York style, with Broadway snap and brass. No one gets that wrong. But Ives was a[...]

Boston and Berlin at Carnegie in 2015

February 4th, 2016

Written by: Michael Miller

The fall 2015 orchestral season at Carnegie Hall was dominated by the Boston Symphony Orchestra's traditional three-concert visit, this time in October, and a five-concert traversal of Beethoven's symphonies by the Berlin Philharmonic under their outgoing principle conductor/artistic director, Simon Rattle. Both had their joys and peculiarities, but only Berlin[...]

The New Contemporary at the Art Institute of Chicago. Reopened December 2015.

January 29th, 2016

Written by: Daniel B. Gallagher

For a museum that bills itself encyclopedic, the Art Institute of Chicago was long lacking a comprehensive contemporary section to complete its smorgasbord of the world’s greatest art. Last April, plastics tycoon Stefan T. Edlis and his wife Gael Neeson changed all that with a gift of forty-four pieces by s[...]

Krzysztof Urbański Debuts with Emanuel Ax and the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto and Dvořák's "New World" Symphony

January 29th, 2016

Written by: Steven Kruger

This was an old-fashioned program — the kind audiences like. Two grand and tuneful symphonic works. A venerated pianist. The debut of a young matinee idol conductor. And last but not least, total absence of any threatening nouvelle cuisine for the ear. So how did it go, this debut?[...]

Hangmen by Martin McDonagh, at Wyndham's Theatre, London

January 28th, 2016

Written by: Huntley Dent

After a stunning stretch of plays set in the West Country of Ireland, the playwright Martin McDonagh found himself saddled with literary freight. Could he—or did he even want to—extend the legacy of Irish drama into unforeseeable territory? From Yeats onward, the audience for Irish drama had quaffed a brew of [...]

Marek Janowski Leads the San Francisco Symphony in Pfitzner's "Palestrina" Preludes and the Beethoven Fourth and Eighth Symphonies

January 28th, 2016

Written by: Steven Kruger

Marek Janowski always brings a convincing German something to our orchestra. Polish born, Janowski was raised in Germany and reigns at the Berlin Radio Symphony--indeed is known throughout Europe for his Wagner, Bruckner, Schumann and Beethoven. He's even managed to elicit convincing Bruckner from the Suisse Romande in Geneva--that alone[...]

Husbands and Sons by D. H. Lawrence, National Theatre, London—until Feb. 10

January 27th, 2016

Written by: Huntley Dent

Down in the pit. The misery of being a woman in Nottinghamshire back when coal was king forms the preoccupation of Husbands and Sons, a composite of three one-act plays by D. H. Lawrence. Before they were rediscovered and staged, Lawrence’s dramas were an obscure part of his output, and now th[...]

True Romance on Screen: Todd Haynes' Carol...with a Sideglance at the Latest from Spielberg & Hanks

January 26th, 2016

Written by: Huntley Dent

True Romance. The essence of Carol, a film much lauded but low grossing (which has become the norm for prestige films at Oscar season) is that it is a lesbian love story as Eric Rohmer might have conceived it and Alfred Hitchcock might have photographed it. The plot is slender. At [...]

Rodin: The Evolution of a Genius, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts until March 13, 2016

January 25th, 2016

Written by: Bruce Boucher

Auguste Rodin is one of those institutional artists, whose last name has become synonymous with a distinctive​ kind of art, much the same as Donatello or Rembrandt, but Rodin: The Evolution of a Genius, currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, is as remarkable as it is unexpected. Wh[...]

King Charles III - A future history play by Mike Bartlett, Music Box Theatre, New York (11/01/2015 - 1/31/2016)

January 3rd, 2016

Written by: Michael Miller

When Mike Bartlett conceived the idea for this play, according to an article he wrote about it in The Guardian, his thoughts centered on the figure of Prince Charles at "the moment Charles takes the throne, and how his conscience would lead him to refuse to sign a bill into law. An e[...]

Vermeer’s Astronomer at the MFA

December 30th, 2015

Written by: Lloyd Schwartz

The distinguished senior curator of European paintings at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Ronni Baer, has put together a compelling and instructive exhibition of 17th-century Dutch art (mostly oil painting) that focusses on complex layers of social class (Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, through J[...]

Hagoromo - a Dance/Opera Premiered at BAM, November 3, 2015

December 29th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

BAM's New Wave Festival, from the effervescent anticipation in the lobby to the usually outstanding, rarely boring activities on its stages, must surely be one of the most upbeat environments one can find in New York. One event among those I attended stood out, because of the particular excitement of[...]

Support New York Arts and The Berkshire Review!

December 27th, 2015

Written by: Arts Press

Our publications continue to be widely acclaimed by leaders in the arts and our readers. Artists in all disciplines have expressed their gratitude for our reviews, articles, and interviews, and so have our readers, in a most gratifying way. We are constantly reminded of the value of our mission to[...]

A Crop of Recordings II: Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Schmitt, Magnard, and Beethoven

December 26th, 2015

Written by: Steven Kruger

About a year ago Sarah Connolly, Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony brought us rich rolling Sea Pictures as part of their Gerontius CD set for Chandos. In that voluptuous traversal Sarah Connolly sings like the golden girl who would be queen. This is grand Elgar in the tradition of Janet Baker, where soft low[...]

The Year that Was: Boston Classical Music in 2015

December 24th, 2015

Written by: Lloyd Schwartz

The major news from Boston was the ascendancy of Andris Nelsons, firming up his place as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which included a quickly agreed upon three-year extension of his contract into the 2020-2021 season. This announcement was soon followed by the less happy surprise for Bostonians[...]

Fiddler on the Roof: In Revival—Again!—at the Broadway Theatre

December 21st, 2015

Written by: Nancy Salz

Why would anyone want to attend yet another revival of Fiddler on the Roof? Since its premiere in 1964 it has had five major Broadway revivals and who knows how many regional theatre, school and amateur productions. Millions of us have seen this show or its film version at least once. So—you want to [...]

Yefim Bronfman plays Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas at Carnegie Hall: Program I

December 8th, 2015

Written by: David Horowitz

Yefim Bronfman is one of the names that comes up when a pianist asks "What are the highly regarded recordings of Prokofiev's piano works?" Embarrassingly, I had not visited those recordings, but was lucky enough to witness his performance of the composer's piano sonatas at Carnegie's Zankel Hall on November[...]

The Nutcracker, from Company XIV: Red, Hot and (Pretty) Blue

December 8th, 2015

Written by: Mari S. Gold

Take The Nutcracker standard and blend with a dash of Sally Bowles, a soupçon of Marie Antoinette, a pinch of dominatrix and a lot of spangles and you have the basis of the 2015 iteration of Company XIV's Nutcracker Rouge. Everyone wears heels; in many instances, no one wears a [...]

Jacob's Ladder

December 5th, 2015

Written by: Keith Kibler

Great musical communities are very like a ladder, the humblest freshman at conservatory, right up to the geniuses at the top. Music students have a natural capacity to worship great artists. First, there is a sense of wonder that a human being can do something so beautiful with a piece[...]

Kiki Smith at the IFPDA Print Fair

December 5th, 2015

Written by: Blanca del Castillo

At the IFPDA Print Fair on Saturday, November 7 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, curator Wendy Weitman spoke to Kiki Smith about what informs her printmaking practice and its inherent connection to her sculptural work. Smith’s popularity was obvious in the line of people that snaked through t[...]

Support New York Arts and The Berkshire Review!

November 29th, 2015

Written by: Arts Press

Our publications continue to be widely acclaimed by leaders in the arts and our readers. Artists in all disciplines have expressed their gratitude for our reviews, articles, and interviews, and so have our readers, in a most gratifying way. We are constantly reminded of the value of our mission to[...]

Yan Pascal Tortelier leads the San Francisco Symphony in a French Program: Bizet, Ravel, and Saint-Saëns, with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano, and Jonathan Dimmock, organ

November 28th, 2015

Written by: Steven Kruger

Yan Pascal Tortelier was levitating with exuberance last Friday. Every good conductor shows passion, of course, even those untempted by choreography. But audiences love the ones who take to the air and defy gravity—most famously Leonard Bernstein, who did so wildly and erotically—but also the occasional anomaly. I once witnessed long-gone Swe[...]

Donatello in Motion - A Spiritello Rediscovered, at the Moretti Williams Gallery, 24 East 80th Street, New York City, CLOSING November 25

November 20th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

In an art world teeming with crass nouveaux riches grabbing trophies at auction for insane prices, once prominent dealers in prison, ArtBasel Miami, and the "Da Vinci" industry, it is deeply comforting to find an enterprise like Andrew Butterfield's refreshingly sober, but gorgeous and energizing exhibition of a single work[...]

“Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia” August 18-February 15 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

November 17th, 2015

Written by: Virginia Raguin

There have been a number of excellent reviews of this exhibit, especially Holland Cotter's early piece of August 27 in The New York Times. We still have several months to profit from “Made in the Americas.” My comments are prompted by my deep gratitude as a non-specialist for an exhibition that reinforces a new[...]

José Limón International Dance Festival at the Joyce

November 8th, 2015

Written by: Mari S. Gold

The Limón Dance Foundation was founded in 1946 and remains very relevant especially in some of the pieces that made up Program D of the International Dance Festival at the Joyce Theater.[...]

Sylvia Milo's The Other Mozart returns to New York, with Ms. Milo alternating with Samantha Hoefer as Nannerl Mozart

November 5th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

October 14, 2015 - January 18, 2016 The Players Theatre 115 MacDougal Street, NYC (Third floor - no elevator) Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/943472 $45, $50. Student Rush tickets $15, at the door. After a successful series of runs in London, Estonia, Munich, Salzburg, and New Orleans, writer-actress Sylvia Milo's brilliant portrayal of Wolfgang Amédée Mozart's Sister Nannerl is back in [...]

A Crop of Recordings I: Shostakovich, Scriabin, Schönberg, Nielsen, Brahms, Strauss, and a Piano Recital

November 4th, 2015

Written by: Steven Kruger

Steven Kruger—with the kind permission of Fanfare Magazine—here begins a series of reviews of recorded music. All these are from CDs and SACDs, but of course the download is rapidly becoming a more important source for recordings. Of course the rest of us will be chipping in as well![...]

The American Ballet Theater's 75th Anniversary Performances

November 4th, 2015

Written by: Mari S. Gold

The centerpiece of the evening was Monotones I and II, set to music by Eric Satie with choreography by Frederick Ashton. Each Monotone is a pas de trois; one for two women and a man; the other for two men and a woman with II made first. Both pieces look very simple but they are[...]

Half Moon Bay by John Jiler

November 2nd, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

A man and a woman, Richie and Pam, presumably somewhere in their early thirties, that is, just at the point in life where their next successful projects will bring them to a prominent and prosperous stage in life, decide to get married. They seemed full of love and enthusiasm for[...]

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem's Upcoming Season, with a Backward Look at the Bach Festival in May 2015

October 29th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem surely must be one of the most extraordinary musical institutions in the world. Situated a small city with an important industrial history, now entirely in the past, the Bach Choir has a tradition connecting it with a point in the performance history of Bach's music[...]

Bard Music Festival 2015: Carlos Chávez and his World, Weekend I

October 26th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

As the Bard Music Festival has sailed through the great names in European and American music over the past twenty-five years—although there are some people who don't like Elgar, Liszt, or Wagner, and some who doubt Saint-Saëns' or Sibelius' importance (if they attended the Festival they left with their minds ch[...]

Ian Hobson - "Preludes, Études, Variations," Concert 1 of 6: Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Stephen Taylor

October 24th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

Ian Hobson's last appearance in New York was an ambitious Brahms cycle in September-October 2013. Extending over six weeks, it offered a comprehensive survey of Brahms' solo music for piano and his chamber music for piano. I praised this enthusiastically at the time not only for the intelligence and sensitivity of the p[...]

Daddy Long Legs, a Musical, at the Davenport Theatre

October 18th, 2015

Written by: Nancy Salz

Daddy Long Legs has tiptoed into the 2015-2016 New York theater season. It’s amazing that anyone knows about this show, and yet the word has gotten around: Daddy Long Legs is an enchanting chamber musical.[...]

Paul Taylor: Creative Domain, a Documentary by Kate Geis

October 17th, 2015

Written by: Mari S. Gold

Paul Taylor, one of the great modern masters of dance, is in his eighties and still hard at work. This documentary takes us inside the artist's creative process. It's a fascinating journey even though I couldn't explain it (and neither, it seems, can Taylor.)[...]

Support New York Arts and The Berkshire Review!

October 15th, 2015

Written by: Arts Press

Our publications continue to be widely acclaimed by leaders in the arts and our readers. Artists in all disciplines have expressed their gratitude for our reviews, articles, and interviews, and so have our readers, in a most gratifying way. We are constantly reminded of the value of our mission to[...]

Lisa Lewis' "Schooled," at the Soho Playhouse — closes October 17

October 14th, 2015

Written by: Mari S. Gold

A jaded film professor and two students form a love and work triangle in Schooled, winner of the 2015 NY International Fringe Festival Overall Excellence Award for Playwriting and part of the Fringe Encore Series at Soho Playhouse. Claire (Lilli Stein) is a smart young woman marked by her hard life background, J[...]

The United Solo Theatre Festival 2015: Two Reviews and an Exhortation

October 11th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

The sixth United Solo Theater Festival has already been underway for over three weeks, but it will continue on up to November 22, offering an even greater wealth and variety of stage work than its predecessors. When its founder and artistic director, Omar Sangare, first considered the name, I was[...]

"The Box Officer" (Shown at Sunshine Cinema, October 9 - 11, just before the midnight screenings of "Taxi Driver") is now on You Tube.

October 3rd, 2015

Written by: The Editor

Don't miss Lucas Miller's The Box Officer, a lightning-fast, side-splitting "hommage" to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, to be premiered just before Sunshine's special midnight screening of a newly restored print of the 1976 classic Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 9 through 11. Just what happens when the dark passions of the streets of New York invade the four walls of a cinema[...]

HAMILTON: An American Musical — at the Richard Rodgers Theatre following its premiere at the Public Theater

October 2nd, 2015

Written by: Nancy Salz

It is daunting to attend Hamilton. The expectations are overwhelming: Raves in all the papers including two in the New York Times – and rap!  All the songs and dialogue are in rap, that popular and often angry form of music, where every other word rhymes with truck, and the melodies are few and f[...]

MTT and Yuja Wang play their European Tour Program at Home: Bartók and Mahler

September 6th, 2015

Written by: Steven Kruger

Naked came the pianist! Or so it nearly seemed, as Yuja Wang made her way to the Davies stage last Saturday. This young performer always serves up classic delicacy spiked with erotic undulation. But nothing quite led us to expect the peek-a-lot raspberry dress, with its hip-high slit, diamond glam panels[...]

Support New York Arts and The Berkshire Review!

September 3rd, 2015

Written by: Arts Press

Our publications continue to be widely acclaimed by leaders in the arts and our readers. Artists in all disciplines have expressed their gratitude for our reviews, articles, and interviews, and so have our readers, in a most gratifying way. We are constantly reminded of the value of our mission to[...]

From Summer Opera...an Answer to the Opera Houses' Predicament?

August 30th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

Permit me to indulge in a one-sided argument…or a rant, as I believe it's called in the blogging world—which is not ours at New York Arts and The Berkshire Review! Opera in the United States is particularly unsettled at the moment, if not in trouble. Both audiences and sources of funding are[...]

Summer Russians: The San Francisco Symphony
, Edwin Outwater, conductor
 Conrad Tao, piano

August 24th, 2015

Written by: Steven Kruger

There is a special feeling at Davies Hall in summer. The weather is balmy, if we are lucky. The sun is still up as the concert begins. But our hair is let down. Children are present, and young people dot the aisles in remarkable stages of undress. The air of[...]

Friends and Foes of the Enlightenment: Glimmerglass 2015, Fortieth Anniversary Season

August 19th, 2015

Written by: Seth Lachterman

Shakespeare's stygian supernatural tragedy, replete with witches, paradoxical prophesies, grisly murders and ghosts, was embraced enthusiastically by Verdi. He made the following remark: "This tragedy is one of the greatest creations of man." His enthusiasm for the play and his own adaptation never waned. The original Italian four-act 1847 score[...]

Tanglewood in Wonderland: The 2015 Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music

August 17th, 2015

Written by: Lloyd Schwartz

This year’s Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood was celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding, by legendary BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky, of the Tanglewood Music Center, one of the great arts educational projects in this country and still going strong. Curated by composers and Tanglewood gurus John Harbison, M[...]

Summer Operas: Opposite Poles at Bard SummerScape and Boston Midsummer Opera

August 14th, 2015

Written by: Lloyd Schwartz

If I were one of those opera aficionados who thrives on adding unusual operas to a list, I’d be in heaven. I saw two opera productions this summer — not by Puccini, Verdi, Wagner, or Mozart, but by Friedrich von Flotow and Edith Smyth — and I’d never seen either of them[...]

The Bard Music Festival 2015: Carlos Chávez and His World, a Preview

August 8th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

This is the first Bard Music Festival, Carlos Chávez and his World, to be devoted to music from south of the border. Up here, Central and South Americans were much more prominent in the classical music world in Chávez's time (1899-1978) than they are in the present. Today most concert-goers see this mus[...]

Making Child’s Play of Homer

August 1st, 2015

Written by: Seth Lachterman

The work progressed from heroic numbers like “Sing to me of Odysseus,” to the blunter plaint, “Face it, he’s never coming home!” Engaging young audiences has become essential for classical music to survive in a world where digital immersion of immediacy of effect raises the aesthetic threshold.[...]

Judith & Vinegar Tom, a Double Bill by PTC/NYC (Potomac Theater Project); through August 9

July 30th, 2015

Written by: Mari S. Gold

Judith: A Parting from the Body by Howard Barker, is based loosely on the Biblical tale of this woman's heroism as depicted by artists through the ages including Artemesia Gentileschi, Botticelli, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Gustav Klimt. In Barker's rendition, Judith, played by Pamela J. Gray, comes to the tent [...]

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra at Davies Hall gets ready for its European tour

July 22nd, 2015

Written by: Steven Kruger

I had the good fortune of catching the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra by the tail last month, just as they set out on their tenth European tour. The orchestra has been wowing audiences at the Philharmonie, the Concertgebouw and the Mariinski ever since 1986. I suspect they will make[...]

Jeannette Sorrell, Music Director of Apollo's Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, talks to Michael Miller

July 9th, 2015

Written by: Michael Miller

Just yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with Jeannette Sorrell, Music Director of Apollo’s Fire, the highly acclaimed period orchestra based in Cleveland, where she founded it twenty-three years ago. Today, rather like the venerable Cleveland Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire tours extensively in North America and Europe, bringing Ms. Sorrell’s warm,[...]

Emmanuel Music, with Andrew Rangell, Piano, at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival

July 3rd, 2015

Written by: Charles Warren

It is always a pleasure to be in the Cape Ann harbor town of Rockport and to attend musical events in the beautiful Shalin Liu recital hall with its glass wall looking out to sea. The June 26th concert provided a striking contrast in styles of Baroque era music, with[...]

Opera Boom: Lots of opera in Boston, but how much was really good?

July 2nd, 2015

Written by: Lloyd Schwartz

I need more than two hands to count the number of operas I’ve attended in Boston so far this year. Two productions by the Boston Lyric Opera, our leading company; nine (four fully staged) by our newest company, Odyssey Opera; a brilliant concert version by the BSO of Szymanowski’s disturbing and mesmerizing King Roger;[...]


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