News & Features

January 16, 2017

Saying “I Do” and “Yes We Can” to Le Nozze


The Harvard College Opera Society, formerly the Dunster House Opera Society, began 25 years as the University’s premier undergraduate company. HCO now presents one full-length opera each February with an entirely-undergraduate cast and production team. This year’s Le Nozze di Figaro features over 50 students from Harvard College, Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and the    [continued]

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January 12, 2017

Eighteen Far Flyers Flocking


In the expectant room a quiet composer, 18 musicians with 18 individual parts. The musicians count to 4 together, a silent “measure for nothing.” That’s the last gesture we’ll make together for most of the first movement of the new work we’re rehearsing for our concert at Jordan Hall on Friday One by one, we    [continued]

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January 11, 2017

Juditha Triumphans(es) at Longy


Think of Antonio Vivaldi, and the brilliant violinist and prolific composer of sonatas and concertos for violin and other solo instruments most likely comes to mind. Yet Vivaldi was also an important composer of vocal music: some 21 operas, over three dozen secular cantatas, and a substantial number of sacred works have survived. While serving    [continued]

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January 6, 2017

STEPs Small and Large


A few days before the next political chapter of our polarized era officially begins, we will be honoring Martin Luther King Jr., the assassinated civil rights pioneer and man of peace, on the 88th anniversary of his birth. As part of the Monday, January 16th observance, Project STEP, the string training and education program founded    [continued]

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January 2, 2017

Collaborators Hold Mirror to Schumann and Argento


Turning the expression of a conventional song cycle graphic supports suspension of disbelief for some and suppresses it for others able to fantasize richly. Some pieces exist to burst genres—a ballet of the Matthew Passion and an opera of Mendelssohn’s Elijah come instantly to mind. An April outing had mezzo Susan Graham bring heightened intensity    [continued]

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December 29, 2016

BSO Leads: Steppin’ Out in ’17


The most self-effacing team-member orchestral musicians still like to shine once in a while, so select Boston Symphony players will be featured as soloists in a wide-ranging concerto program led by assistant conductor Ken-David Masur January 5-7. The selections, Baroque to modern, feature concertos by Vivaldi, Krommer, Schumann, Jolivet, and Rota. To ring in the    [continued]

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December 21, 2016

Yehudi Wyner Celebrated, Fittingly


The content of some “modern” music is just as human as what is thought of as “classical,” composer Yehudi Wyner explained to the audience at the concert featuring his music at the Boston Athenæum on Monday evening. His explanatory remarks were well taken; although there were a number of active composers, music critics and announcers,    [continued]


December 13, 2016

Retrospectively Ours


In early 2008, a bon vivant classical impresario, a veteran journalist, and a renowned musicologist-pianist began to free-associate about the decline of classical music print journalism. A few months later, I hit the “publish” button for the Boston Musical Intelligencer. An entirely volunteer undertaking, we’ve had no business plan or dedicated revenue stream beyond the    [continued]

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December 3, 2016

Stravinsky Streams


How often does one get a chance to hear a major new work by Stravinsky? I am at least elementarily familiar with every known work of his; I was present in 1959 for the world premiere of the Double Canon in memoriam Raoul Dufy; ten years later I heard the first performances of the incomplete    [continued]


December 1, 2016

Valedictory Schubert From Indispensable Pianist


David Deveau devotes his upcoming Kresge recital to the final two Schubert piano sonatas: the A Major (D.959) and in B-flat Major (D.960). Presented by Music and Theater Arts at MIT, the concert on Sunday at 4:00 is free and open to the public. Recently busy as a soloist abroad in such places as Shanghai,    [continued]

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November 30, 2016

Russell Oberlin: 1928 – 2016


The stuff of legend since his retirement from the concert stage in 1965, the distinguished countertenor died in New York City on November 26, 2016 at the age of 88. Russell Oberlin’s legacy will long endure in the recordings he made and musicians he mentored and inspired. One such shares his personal tribute. His beautiful,    [continued]


November 28, 2016

Celebrated Soprano and Brilliant Harpist To Collaborate


Coloratura soprano assoluta Diana Damrau is inked to play an emotional and intimate Celebrity Series recital of works by by Debussy, Smetana, Richard Strauss, Reynaldo Hahn, Chausson, Fauré, Duparc and Eva Dall’Acqua with sui generis harpist Xavier de Maistre on December 4th in Jordan Hall at 3. The complete program is here. JC: An emerging    [continued]

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November 25, 2016

Benefit Transcends Expectations


When an ad-hoc consortium of Boston-area musicians teamed up for a November 12th concert to benefit victims of Syria’s brutal civil war [see BMInt’s feature here], they were hoping to do at least as well as the similar event held last year. Rather, the emotion-laden reprise raised four times as much. On Thanksgiving Day, Joel    [continued]

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November 17, 2016

Tanglewood 2017 Already?


The programs scheduled for this coming summer at Tanglewood are variously exciting, quirky, and delightful, depending on your taste and when you’re going to be there. There’s a rich assortment of operatic, orchestral, chamber, solo, dramatic, choreographic, and even literary events well distributed over a two-month summer season from summer solstice almost to Labor Day,    [continued]

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November 15, 2016

Jules Eskin, 1931-2016


“Possessed of a certain glamor”, reported Michael Steinberg in the Globe in 1964 of the BSO’s new 32-year-old principal cellist Jules Eskin, who died today in Brookline, of cancer at 85. Of his debut, some months later, in the Brahms Double Concerto with concertmaster Joseph Silverstein: “Eskin’s tone [is] warm…. His style is chamber-musical, rather quietly inflected….    [continued]


November 12, 2016

Greek for the Strong of Heart


Boston Lyric Opera brings a new British verismo opera to Boston’s Paramount Center at Emerson on ‘Wednesday through Sunday. “Turnage’s opera Greek, and the play it’s based on, Sophocles’s tragedy Oedipus Rex  [multiple-choice test for classicists HERE], tamper a bit with the story,” according to director Sam Helfrich. “I like messing with the classic model, finding a    [continued]

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November 11, 2016

Musicians Attempt Relief


An array of classical musicians from the Boston area will be offering a free concert to benefit Syrian humanitarian work on November 12th at 8pm at the United Parish Church Brookline, 210 Harvard Street. “A Song for Syria” will bring together six well-known ensembles under the same roof to raise awareness and provide funding for    [continued]


November 10, 2016

Rare Dryden-Purcell Masque Coming


Boston has a thriving opera scene, but performances of masques and English Baroque semi-operas are a rare treat. On Saturday Nov. 19th, the Henry Purcell Society of Boston, Boston Poet’s Theater, and the Arcadia Players team up for John Dryden’s 1691 play King Arthur with Henry Purcell’s original dramatic music performed on period instruments at    [continued]

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November 9, 2016

Wrath-free Requiem Gratifies


A choral Evensong, at Christ Church Cambridge on Sunday, included the Duruflé Requiem in orchestral dress.     [continued]

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November 6, 2016

Complex Women, Impossible Situations


Composer Missy Mazzoli made her Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum debut with last Thursday’s Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt, the latest production in the Gardner’s Beth Morrison Projects series (reviewed by BMInt here.) The opera draws from the real-life exploits of Eberhardt, who left the restrictive comforts of her life    [continued]

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November 5, 2016

Understanding Sonic History


Grand Harmonie, our favorite local self-directed period wind ensemble, gives an all-Mozart program Gods and Mortals with Cynthia Roberts solo violin on Sunday at 3pm in the United Parish Church Brookline. Leading the expanded forces from the concertmaster’s chair, Roberts promises to animate Mozart’s 41st Symphony, Jupiter. Roberts will solo in Mozart’s Violin Concerto in    [continued]

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November 3, 2016

Harpsichords and Organs at an Exhibition


A very unusual show recently opened in Gloucester: a museum exhibition focusing solely on the musical instruments and furniture of a living builder. Entitled “Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker”, the exhibit remains on view through February 26th at the Cape Ann Museum. The museum’s special exhibitions gallery features a one-stop chamber organ, a    [continued]

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October 31, 2016

Madonna in Ascension


In the last few years of financial crises for newspaper large and small, many publishers have sought to develop relationships with nonprofit foundations, including the funding of fellowships in service of, for example, investigative reporting. For foundations to subsidize cultural and arts reporting is much more unusual. It is therefore with pleasure and advocacy, plus    [continued]

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October 27, 2016

Mrs. President, the Original “Nasty Woman”


A woman aspiring to be president is certainly a timely topic for operatic treatment, though Victoria Bond composed Mrs. President in 2000. The title character, Victoria Woodhull, was in 1872, the first woman to launch a bid for the U.S. Presidency. Many parallels exist with the current situation; thus the composer organized a revival  in    [continued]

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October 23, 2016

Thomas Adès Now: Present and Peripatetic


The English musician Thomas Adès, esteemed composer, pianist, and conductor who this season becomes the BSO’s first Artistic Partner, looks to be settling into a large role as contributor to the local classical scene. On October 28th he performs Schubert’s Winterreise at Jordan Hall with the acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge, in a joint presentation of    [continued]

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