The ensemble gave emotionally generous performances of two works written during the COVID pandemic as well as Lili Boulanger’s masterpiece, Psalm 130 “Du fond de l’abime je t’invoque, Iahve, Adonai” in Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill on Saturday. [continued]
Yevgeny Kissin headlined a a sold-out benefit at Jordan Hall last Tuesday which presented the artist as a deeply committed humanist as well as a composer and pianist. [continued]
Winsor Music’s remarkably visceral works On Sunday at St. Paul’s in Brookline centered on Milad Yousufi’s My Journey to America. The first half featured six choral preludes from Alan Fletcher’s recent arrangements of selections from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, a passionate and thrilling performance of Philip Glass’s Mad Rush, and a short Hippocratic Oath for the Spirit [continued]
The Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theater hosted the intense and powerful Merz Trio in Sunday’s and Monday’s sound and light trip into the mind of Tchaikovsky…and their own. [continued]
The Boston Chamber Music Society offered the String Quintet, Op. 77, of Dvořák, and the Clarinet Quintet in F-sharp Minor, Op. 10 of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) at Jordan Hall on Sunday, to conclude its season. [continued]
Famed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe channeled her alter ego, dramatic tenor, Blythely Oratonio in a one-act, autobiographical drag show for Boston Lyric Opera Friday night at the quaint Royale Boston. [continued]
Veteran violinist Cho-Liang Lin collaborated with the experienced chamber music cellist Clive Greensmith and the young Finish pianist Juho Pohjonen in an attractive mixed program for the Foundation of Chinese Performing Arts at Jordan Hall on Saturday night. [continued]
The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s Symphony Hall concert of Russian masters on Friday night disclosed an ensemble fully armed artistically for its upcoming embarkation upon a tour of Greece. [continued]
In the Takács Quartet’s Celebrity Series apearance with bandoneonist Julien Labro at First Church in Cambridge on Saturday, the players coaxed out subtleties — both improvised and carefully planned — that drew on a set of traditional and well-known themes. [continued]
Boston audiences bade a fond farewell to Harry Christopher’s at this weekend’s Handel and Haydn Society performances of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation, Christophers’s last as Artistic Director. [continued]
Principal cellist Blaise Déjardin’s concerto début in Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto served as a refreshing relevé between two Strauss works at Symphony Hall on Saturday night. [continued]
A dedicated group of musicians, mainly Rivers Conservatory faculty, gave a benefit concert on Saturday for Sunflower of Peace, a Cambridge-based organization aiding Ukraine, at the Rivera Recital Hall of Rivers Conservatory. [continued]
Who can complain when a great orchestra and inspiring leader fearlessly surf a constantly cresting, evening-length, Straussian wave? Only those who had expected the composer’s Four Last Songs at Symphony Hall on Thursday night. [continued]
Symphony Hall resonated Thursday with instrumental singing. Under guest conductor Alan Gilbert, La Mer chanted, swept with sensations and brushed colors, Bernard Rands echoed Debussy obliquely, and Joshua Bell “sang” in Beethoven. [continued]
The oldest work on the program clocked in at just eight years of age, though the oldest composer had reached his 92nd year. On Sunday, Collage New Music once again rewarded its enthusiastic Pickman Hall following. [continued]
Putting across cosmopolitan-sounding Russian composers at Jordan Hall yesterday afternoon, Boston Symphony Chamber Players delivered with a high polish that did not stint on enthusiastic advocacy and relish. [continued]
Flutist Emi Ferguson and guitarist Michael Poll shared many gems in “The Court, the Palace, the Ocean, the Trees” at the Stone Church in Gilbertville on Sunday. [continued]
Quatour pour la fin du Temps poured through Longy’s Pickman Hall Saturday evening. At the end, Gabriela Diaz’s heaven-sent violin left us where the devout Catholic Olivier Messiaen wanted us to be—Paradise. [continued]
BMOP painted a well-received musical portrait of its resident composer Ellen Taaffee Zwilich at Jordan Hall on Friday evening. Her compositional voice relies heavily on contrasts among different instruments, rhythms, dynamics, and styles in a melodic yet refreshingly modern manner. [continued]
Benjamin Zander led the Boston Philharmonic, soloists, and choruses memorably in the longest symphony in the mainstream repertoire at Symphony Hall Last Night. [continued]
Boston Philharmonic’s Mahler 3rd, lovingly prepared and superbly conducted by our own venerable Benjamin Zander, rose to something more than merely fabulous; it was superb in execution, expression, and faithfulness to Mahler’s specifically detailed intention at Symphony Hall on Friday. [continued]
Peter Krasinski talks at length herein about his upcoming improvised accompaniment to “Wings” the Academy Award winner for Best Film of 1927, which pictorializes actual events from World War I, including the epic Battle of Saint-Mihiel. The film runs free next Saturday at Central Congregational Church, 296 Angell Street, Providence at 7:30 courtesy of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
I met with Peter in Providence for this interview in the comfort of First Church of Christ, Scientist.
SM: So, Peter, how/what are you doing these days, post-pandemic as it were?
PK: It has been very hard for a few years now and on so many different levels, but I am full of gratitude, especially for the venues that had signed me on for performances, many of which are only beginning to happen now because of the lockdown. The government did finally come up with some help to those of us who are gig-workers. [Gig-workers is the term for freelance artists for whom unemployment benefits is a non-factor.] That we are finally being recognized is a really encouraging sign, and that is something that has grown out of the pandemic, so you might call it “a devastating gift”. In terms of what’s happening now, though, there is an explosion of performances because the desire to be back in person has not been this strong since the influenza pandemic when people were not so aware of best practices for safeguarding our health.
After you’ve celebrated your 75th season, what do you do for your 76th? This is a question which the Methuen Memorial Music Hall trustees had a year to ponder. Last year, 2021, they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Hall’s acquisition and incorporation as a nonprofit community educational and cultural center. A tough anniversary to follow! [our article from last year HERE]
But this year marks another major observance for the Hall, the 75th anniversary of the rededication of the Great Organ, following its 1946-47 renovation by G. Donald Harrison and the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company. This anniversary, plus the reopening of the Hall to the public for the full 2022 summer concert season, following COVID-necessitated closures in 2020 and 2021, is something worth celebrating.
In recent years, Methuen has opened its 15-week Wednesday evening summer organ series with a Young Artists Concert, featuring emerging organ talents. This year’s opener, on May 25, will be the Hall’s most ambitious program in that vein – a “Pipedreams Live!” concert, emceed by Michael Barone, host of American Public Media’s syndicated program, “Pipedreams.” Six young organists, ranging from 16 to 21 years of age, will perform a variety of pieces, both well and lesser known. (complete program HERE). The concert will also be recorded for broadcast on “Pipedreams” later this summer.
Winsor Music’s “My Journey to America” features the in-person world premiere of the title work by Afghan composer Milad Yousufi. His mentor, the Grammy-nominated concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein, will be playing in three other pieces on Sat., May 14th (7 pm) and Sun., May 15th (4 pm) at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 15 St. Paul Street in Brookline, Mass. BMInt spoke with Winsor’s co-Artistic Director Rane Moore and pianist Simone Dinnerstein.
FLE: Why is this concert special for Winsor Music?
This concert is special not only because we are featuring the incredible pianist Simone Dinnerstein, but also because the programming and guests beautifully embody Winsor Music’s ideals: mentorship, service, musical excellence, healing through music.
RM: How did you first connect with Simone?
Simone, who is one of the most acclaimed interpreters of Bach in her generation, originally contacted Winsor Music after hearing our Founder and Director Emeritus Peggy Pearson’s recordings of Bach with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Simone, you’re making two appearances this month—one at Emmanuel Music Bach Symposium, one at Winsor this weekend, and then again at Emmanuel in June.
SD: It’s strange how these things happen. Some years I play a lot in Boston, some years I don’t. This time it’s just a happy accident. After the Bach Symposium on May 13th, and Winsor on the 14th and 15th, I’m coming back on June 4th with two Bach, concertos, and an arrangement of Chorale Prelude that Philip Lasser arranged for piano and strings.
Tell us about your history with Winsor Music
Opening on September 22nd with Holst’s view of our solar system in orbit, Boston Symphony Orchestra inks a season of vibrancy and variety. Eighteen works by living composers, including seven world- and American premieres will share the stage with a Nelsons-led concert performance of Act III of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, the continuation of the Shostakovich cycle, and signature repertoire works by Bach, Beethoven, Bernstein, Brahms, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Sibelius, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky. Click HERE for the complete calendar. Subscription renewals are open now, and general ticketing beings on August 8th.
Mark DeVoto opines: “The BSO’s 142nd season includes much to admire and anticipate with pleasure: A number of new works by young and promising composers, including even a few Americans; many young guest conductors; a relatively low quotient of tired warhorses (Sibelius 5, Strauss Alpensymphonie, Enescu Rumanian 1), and a few grand old long-neglected but beloved warhorses (Planets, Rachmaninoff 2 — good to see those fellows listed again). BSO last did Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, a piece I derided as bad-taste in my callow youth but now recognize as an inspired work of genius, at Symphony Hall in 2016 and Tanglewood in 2018 Over the years it trended toward status as a Pops staple. Some unexpected rarely-heard major items are planned as well: Mozart’s B-flat Major Piano Concerto, K. 456, which I heard with delight 30 years ago in Symphony Hall (Orpheus with Radu Lupu); Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade for violin and orchestra, a much more valuable piece than the drab Chichester Psalms with which it shares the program; Mahler’s Sixth Symphony (an entire concert!), which back in 1966 the BSO actually recorded with Leinsdorf, and stunningly; Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite, of surpassing orchestral brilliance. Stravinsky’s 1947 Petrushka (only a connoisseur recognizes it as orchestrally inferior to the original 1911 version) and Perséphone, which aesthetically is not to every Stravinskyan’s taste. We’re getting rather too much Shostakovich, as usual, but this is one of Andris Nelsons’s current fixations and we have to give in to him; at least we get both of the piano concertos on a single concert. If Rachmaninoff seems too heavily represented with three works, at least we will hear the Symphonic Dances, his last composition (and IMHO his best — remind me to tell you how it sums up his achievement). A whole evening of Wagner’s Tannhäuser! And a tribute to Lili Boulanger with her charming D’un Matin de printemps; though it should be no one else’s concern, this is gratifying to me also because I have been president, off and on for 40 years, of the struggling Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund, Inc., which has promoted her legacy. So what of the weak spots in the season? Well, Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto is pretty bad, and so is Górecki’s Symphony no. 3; and I wish management included more American classics, such as works by Copland or Piston who were performed all the time when they were alive. I suppose you can consider Bloch’s Schelomo an American classic; I remember when Samuel Mayes played it at Tanglewood in the summer of 1959 when Bloch died, so it will be good once more to hear the “voice crying in the wilderness,” like much else we hear every day. ”
From the years of pandemic in medieval France, the touching, bittersweet story of Machaut and his impossible romance with an admiring poetess. Their ensuing epistolary relationship, recorded and recounted in Machaut’s novel Le livre du voir dit, leads to intense joy and deep sorrow, and to some of the Machaut’s most profoundly felt musical and literary works.
Camerata’s performance at First Church Boston on May 7th at 8:00 includes celebrations for Camerata Music Director Emeritus Joel Cohen’s 80th birthday and Artistic Director Anne Azéma’s elevation to Officier of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
Ticketing HERE, with on-demand streaming from May 20 – June 5.
We perform Guillaume de Machaut’s marvelous music because of its intrinsic qualities of grace, elegance, formal perfection, and (we learn, more and more) deep feeling. He is rightly remembered in our time as, above all, an inspired composer, the most gifted of his generation. Yet the musical sounds are only a part of his achievement. The story –with– songs he tells in the Livre du Voir Dit is also, despite its frequent prolixity, a literary masterpiece. By retelling this tale, basing ourselves on Machaut’s, and Peronne’s own words, along with music, much of it intended for insertion into his verse novel, we attempt to evoke a whole: musical genius, the suffering of an aging churchman, the perky élan of a young female poetess, the quest for transcendence over mortal cares and infirmities via a transcendent love.
The Celebrity Series of Boston’s next season will mark its 84th year with 77 subscription events featuring a vast variety of artistic genres, generations of performers, and diverse performances including 25 classical concerts. Expanded programming will offer new venues to explore, artist debuts, beloved returning artists, and in-person and streaming options for both the ticketed and free Neighborhood Arts events. Click HERE for the complete classical listings. The glossy seasonal brochure is HERE.
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director of the Celebrity Series of Boston, says, “Our commitment to support racial diversity and center equity, inclusion, and accessibility both on stage and behind the scenes constitute a continuing key strategic goal for the organization.”