News & Features

May 28, 2017

Poseurs Beware: Patience Rings Fresh and True

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Odyssey Opera’s fully staged production of Patience; or Bunthorne’s Bride at the Boston University Theater completes the company’s vision of Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic. Conducted by Gil Rose, the show features Aaron Engebreth as Reginald Bunthorne, Sara Heaton as Patience, Paul Max Tipton as Archibald Grosvenor, and Janna Baty as Lady Jane. Tickets are available HERE    [continued]

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May 24, 2017

Island Musical Mentality

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Following an opening night gala by Renaissance Men, Boston’s acclaimed male vocal chamber ensemble on June 2nd, at 7:30 in the Village Church, the Nahant Music Festival has inked three concerts and associated masterclasses during the subsequent 7 days and nights. The complete schedule is here. Artistic director/baritone Don Wilkinson, a Boston fixture for 30+ years,    [continued]

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May 22, 2017

Sharpening La Rondine

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Reworking or remixing opera classics constitutes one of the hot current trends in American opera circles. Such transformations require more than a matter of rushing tempos and trimming dead space: in most operas, this requires significant rearrangements to the score and changes to the libretto, with choruses, duets, and even arias on the cutting room floor. These    [continued]

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May 7, 2017

A French-American Nexus at Le Lab

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In the May 19th conclusion of ECCE Ensembles’ two-year residency at Kendell Square’s Le Laboratoire, cross-cultural influence and dialogues will permeate. Ecce has already explored French composers Jean-Baptiste Barriére and Frank Bedrossian, as well as the excitingly imaginative opera by ECCE’s own John Aylward. Rather than simply contrasting the somewhat disjunct ideals of American and    [continued]

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April 17, 2017

CLT Conjures Majestic Demon

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Three weeks from now Commonwealth Lyric Theater mounts, they tell us, the nearly 150-year-late Boston premiere of The Demon, the 1871 Russian operatic masterpiece telling of the immortal Demon falling in love with a mortal beauty in the mountains of Georgia. The Demon will tread the Cutler Majestic Theater boards on May 18th and 20th. Artistic    [continued]

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April 13, 2017

‘Soir des Femmes’ Bigger and Better

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Nine months ago I reported on an enterprising group of young musicians who performed scenes from operas by historic female composers. However, the venue had only an electric piano, not what the enterprise deserved. So now Charlotte McKechnie and her “Soir” is back, and the Brookline Public Library Hunneman Hall venue has a Steinway baby    [continued]

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April 12, 2017

Crying With Teeth

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Getting ready for our Celebrity Series concert tomorrow at Sanders, I’m standing with a violist and a singer to my left, a cellist to my right, and another singer just behind us. Across the stage, the 18 musicians of A Far Cry and the 8 singers of Roomful of Teeth have interspersed themselves into a    [continued]

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Rockport Festival in Fine Fettle

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Violinist Joshua Bell opens the 36th Rockport Chamber Music Festival on a June 2nd benefit-tribute to one of the nation’s most successful and beloved presenters. Artistic Director David Deveau, who has led the organization for the last 22 years, presides this season in his signature avuncular style for the last time. On his watch, a regional    [continued]

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March 30, 2017

BSO Subscription Series Announced

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Next year’s Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-2018 Season contains a few real surprises. Once again there is a tendency toward the theater, the most radical choice being the complete Act II of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Definitely a good choice, and preceded by the lovely Siegfried Idyll for chamber ensemble. Grieg’s familiar Peer Gynt music shares    [continued]

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March 18, 2017

For This Crowd, Crossing Over Not Forbidding

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Who or what brings the colorful players of the Forbidden City Chamber orchestra to Jordan Hall in company with the Borromeo String Quartet and one of our favorite pianists for crossover program inspired by mostly Eastern European composers? Cathy Chan, the quietly essential director of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts comes to mind first    [continued]

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March 14, 2017

Another All-Day Bach Bash

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In celebration of another birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, the First Lutheran Church of Boston hosts the ninth annual Boston Bach Birthday on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Presented jointly by First Lutheran and the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Boston Bach Birthday 332 will feature organists, instrumentalists, vocalists, and one renowned researcher    [continued]

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March 11, 2017

Some Things Wilde

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Odyssey Opera’s “Wilde Opera Nights 2017” opens with the comedic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest, set by one of the 20th-century’s master film composers, Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco. The famous romp comes to life in full staging with music that pokes as much fun at the opera world as Oscar Wilde does at Victorian society. The three-act chamber    [continued]

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March 9, 2017

Women Composers in Stellar Lineup

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The Second Annual Alfredo and Dimitra Diluzio Concert will be presented by the Women and Music Mix of the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center on Sunday March 12, at 3pm in the Slosberg Music Auditorium News about International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month seems to be everywhere—except Boston’s classical music scene. If you want    [continued]

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March 7, 2017

Heron Singers Master Machaut

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Boston’s Blue Heron singers and the Cleveland-based early music instrumental ensemble Les Délices will be reviving Guillaume de Machaut’s Remede de Fortune (A Remedy for Fortune) in a multimedia extravaganza encompassing narration, music, and projected images. A cleric schooled in both Latin and French, poet, musician, and composer Machaut served as secretary and companion to    [continued]

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March 5, 2017

Speak, Memory, or Wassup With Jeremy?

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While the numbers of all those with vital memories of World War II are waning, music survives the passage of time. Next Tuesday afternoon at Radcliffe’s Knafel Center, Boston Globe chief classical music critic Jeremy Eichler, on leave as a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, will be speaking on music and the    [continued]

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March 4, 2017

Yes, We Have No Propellers

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Celebrating another revival of a certain amazing musical confection for three xylophones, four bass drums, tam-tam, two pianists, seven electric bells, a siren, three airplane propellers and sixteen synchronized player pianos, Tufts professor and George Antheil specialist Paul Lehrman will be mounting a two-day celebration of the film scores of the musical “Bad Boy” from his    [continued]

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March 1, 2017

Orchestras Without Borders

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The announcement in September 2015 that Andris Nelsons would become the 21st Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra beginning in its 2017-’18 season gave us all a bit of a shock, inasmuch as the maestro had only just assumed his full responsibilities as Boston Symphony Orchestra artistic director the year before. The BSO was quick    [continued]

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February 24, 2017

Explicating Biber’s Mysteries

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Baroque violinist Christina Day Martinson has been studying the Mystery Sonatas of Heinrich Biber (1644-1704) for more than a decade. Beginning with a lecture-recital in 2003 that topped off her Master of Music in Historical Performance studies at Boston University, she has delved repeatedly into the multiple mysteries of Biber’s sonatas and their extraordinary scordatura    [continued]

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February 20, 2017

Gubaidulina Honored by BSO and NEC

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The grippingly intense, expressive and often spiritual music of the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina (b.1931) has led many “to hail her as the truest successor to Shostakovich” (Ted Libbey). For almost 30 years Gubaidulina has had a close relationship with the BSO, but next week will be a special one for her in town. On    [continued]

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February 19, 2017

Billings, Swan, et al. Between New Covers?

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With the help of our readers, an impressive anthology of “shape-note” choral music of America from 1770 to 1860—with some pieces in the same style dating to as recently as 2008— could be published. American Harmony, the brainchild of Nym Cooke, a leading American authority on early choral music, is to be published by David    [continued]

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February 12, 2017

Local Band Makes Good: BSO Grammy Repeat

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Considering his upbringing in a formerly brutalized small country that only recently had come into liberalization and independence, it’s not surprising that Latvian conductor Andris Nelson has deep responsiveness to a collectively remembered dark past. For the second year in a row, the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons has garnered the Best Orchestral Performance Grammy    [continued]

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February 6, 2017

First Nico Muhly Festival, at BoCo Berklee

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Starting Tuesday and continuing through the weekend, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee will hold its annual New Music Festival: The Music of Nico Muhly, February 7–12, with Kunkemueller artist-in-residence Muhly on campus for the duration. He begins his residency at the Conservatory today, February 6; it ends Saturday, on the date of the 150th anniversary of the institution.    [continued]

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February 2, 2017

A New Leader for TFC

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The BSO has announced the appointment of James Burton as conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and also the new role of BSO choral director. Burton will be only the second leader of TFC, founded in 1970. The appointment of the British-born choral conductor takes effect immediately, in conjunction with this week’s Andris Nelsons-led BSO    [continued]

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January 26, 2017

BSO To Paint Light

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts running February 9 – 11 bring the popular local women’s vocal ensemble  Lorelei to the Symphony Hall stage alongside noted countertenor Bejun Mehta for the Boston premiere of George Benjamin’s orchestral song cycle Dream of the Song, a BSO co-commission for the Tanglewood Music Center’s 75th Anniversary Season in    [continued]

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Respected Chorus Plans Benefit

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Boston’s Back Bay Chorale, a 120-member auditioned chorus led since 2004 by Music Director Scott Allen Jarrett, draws experienced singers from the metropolitan area. Even in a city especially blessed by a great number and variety of singing ensembles, the Chorale has an enviable reputation among nonprofessional choruses for its high-quality performances, imaginative programming, commitment    [continued]

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