Andris Nelsons and our favorite orchestra wrapped up its exploration of music of the period between the two World Wars. Running through April, this stream features Russian or Russian-born composers Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Eda Rapoport [continued]
Ten lucky listeners had heard Tchaikovsky Competition silver medalist George Li honor his teacher Russell Sherman with Beethoven and Liszt. I watched later via YouTube. [continued]
From Thursday, March 18th through Saturday, April 17th, David Robertson leads the BSO online in an all-French theme. “A Fragile Peace: Between the Wars, Episode 2” linked Milhaud, Ravel and Honegger with a soupçon of Boulanger. [continued]
The BSO ’s amalgam of Weill, Hindemith and Florence Price would never have seen the stage of Symphony Hall in a business-as-usual season. [continued]
The Boston Classical Trio’s very enjoyable video of various 17th-century works from Italy, Austria and Germany in the beautiful Salem Athenæum is running through Sunday. [continued]
On our screens came Celebrity Series At Home. A Neighborhood Arts outing by the much-touted Hub New Music, a mixed quartet self-described as “a little unique,” brought four premieres of youthful-leaning communiqués. [continued]
A remarkable seriousness rang out in Shalin Liu Hall, as lens of Director of Photography Jason La Chapelle caught Yevgeny Kutik’s continuing series, “Finding Home: Music from a Suitcase.” This time, we heard more tributes to his teachers as well as pointed Prokofiev and dancy Milhaud. [continued]
Ballets Russes Arts Initiative placed cellist Mickey Katz and pianist Hua Ye in the 19th-century confines of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts at Faneuil Hall for an attractive stream running through March 7th. [continued]
In an ongoing stream of contrasts, Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in superb renderings of the master’s fifth and seventh symphonies to conclude the online Beethoven series Music in Changing Times. With nimbleness and clarity, the players also delivered Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers and Schoenberg’s Phantasy, Op. 47. [continued]
WGBH’s Brian McCreath hosted a warm and personal milieu for composer-pianist Yehudi Wyner’s musical and conversational interactions with Concord Chamber Music Society’s founder and director Wendy Putnam. [continued]
Violinist Yevgeny Kutik’s Music from the Suitcase, mostly recorded at Shalin Liu, preserves the nature of a live concert while adding elements of a documentary—with astonishing forthrightness and inspiring musical engagement. [continued]
While Andris Nelsons’s conducting streamed, video acted as guide to Beethoven’s Eroica plus works by Hannah Kendall, and the Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Shaw. John Ferrillo’s eyebrows spoke as eloquently as his instrument. [continued]
Enigma Chamber Opera “ZOOMed and teleported” a hysterically au courant update of Mozart’s one-act Singspiel. The online run continues runs through February 22nd; providing a certain something of a pandemic purging. [continued]
Anna Rakitina led Prokofiev, Pärt, Stravinsky, and Missy Mazzoli in her video debut at Symphony Hall. Only the second woman assistant conductor in BSO history, she presided over a concert I will not soon forget. [continued]
A cat and a five-month-old baby shared the latest BSO stream with me. The thematic thread of “home” perhaps helps us reexamine our own situations, but as a jocular aside, how much do we really want to hear about “Home” after 2020? [continued]
Pieces by Thomas Adès, Debussy, Vaughan-Williams, Smetana, and Elena Langer plus related interviews and videos continued BSO’s season-long Music in Changing Times. [continued]
Boston Camerata’s An American Christmas 2020 served as a balm and a comfort this week because it captured a unique and infrequently heard repertoire in a historical space of visual and auditory beauty. It functioned both as a replacement for a concert, and as a formal record of a many-years-long performance tradition. [continued]
Artistic Director Ryan Turner and video director Nathan Troup sent the finale of Emmanuel Music’s three-part Britten Chamber Festival to viewers last night. The stream runs for 60 days. [continued]
Something of a misbegetting resulted from shoehorning an abridgment of Handel’s Messiah into an aspiringly slick chimeric Covideo to fill a 55-minute public TV slot. Expert singing and playing jousted for screen time with a sometimes inane travelogue of Boston. The H+H – WGBH production runs free for the next couple of months on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. [continued]
The third concert of this streaming BSO season, and the concluding radian of its somewhat disappointing narrative arc on America’s Promise, proffered music by Copland, Tower, Barber, and Adu-Gilmore to illustrate the thematic “optimism and openness as well as resilience and self-reflection.” Marcelo Lehninger carried the baton on December 3rd. [continued]
BMInt alerted readers HERE a couple of weeks ago to the salutary fact that Tanglewood is planning to operate this summer, albeit for half its usual run. Now we’re pleased to go straight to the lede: Click HERE for the just-released calendar in easy-to-read form.
Once again BMInt’s resident curmudgeon rants on rep. But first comes Andris Nelsons’s edited welcome.
Martin Boykan, a world-renowned composer, inspirational teacher, published author and prodigious performer, died peacefully at his home on March 6th at the age of 89, leaving his wife, Susan Schwalb, and his niece Ina Pour El and her family. His funeral took place in New York City on March 8, 2021.
Born in 1931, Boykan studied composition with Walter Piston, Aaron Copland and Paul Hindemith, and piano with Eduard Steuermann. He received a BA from Harvard University, 1951, and an MM from Yale University, 1953. In 1953–55 he was in Vienna on a Fulbright Fellowship, and upon his return founded the Brandeis Chamber Ensemble whose other members included Robert Koff (Juilliard Quartet), Nancy Cirillo (Wellesley), Eugene Lehner (Kolisch Quartet) and Madeline Foley (Marlborough Festival). This ensemble performed widely with a repertory divided equally between contemporary music and the tradition. At the same time Boykan appeared regularly as a pianist with soloists such as Joseph Silverstein and Jan de Gaetani. In 1964–65, he was the pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
BMInt: We gather that you have been depositing rediscoveries from your moldy archives onto YouTube to share of some interesting material that might not otherwise emerge from obscurity…undeserved, from what we have heard in the case of your mastertape of a cassette-only release from 1978.
FLE: The foundational story to my production of “Harmonium and Company” goes back several decades to my moderate case of arrested-development-organ-nut syndrome. After a very brief stint with organ builder Charles Fisk, I began to accumulate organ parts, including at least one, complete 35-rank instrument; and I almost took a misguided first step to lease a very large disused power plant as my private concert hall.
What stopped you?
Somehow, I came to my senses before dipping into principal. That meant selling and/or abandoning tons of useless accumulated paraphernalia…save for a four-stop partially self-built baroque positive set up in my livingroom.
I bet that sounded pretty bad.
We won’t have to make do with a virtual shed and lawn this summer! After enduring a 16-month interregnum of hermetic distancing while making do with the virtuous virtual along with their subscribers, the BSO Trustees voted unanimously yesterday to reopen Americas’ preeminent summer music festival to living, breathing, if distanced outdoor or semi-outdoor crowds. Though we will have to wait until April 8th for program details, we take pleasure in management’s revelation that the six weeks between July 9th and August 16th will include a Saturday-evening and Sunday-afternoon Boston Symphony Orchestra series; a Friday-evening series featuring recitals, special guest artists and ensembles, and the Boston Pops; and a Monday-evening Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra series. The Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy, will be featured in chamber music performances on Sunday mornings and Monday afternoons. The Tanglewood Learning Institute—launched in summer 2019—will also offer a variety of programs in summer 2021. In addition, Tanglewood will present family, community, and education programs, as well as maintain many of its free and reduced-price ticket programs for the upcoming season. Live video performance streams will be available throughout the summer on BSO NOW. And touchless ticketing starts on May 17th.
When two objects collide, the strength of one impacts the trajectory of the other, sending it flying with uncertain purpose and lifetime. That is how I would describe the effect Jim Levine had on my musical destiny when I first met him in the summer of 1967 at the Meadowbrook Orchestral Institute.
“The Boston Symphony Orchestra extends its sincere condolences to the family of James Levine at the news of his passing. One of the most profoundly gifted musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, James Levine led many extraordinary performances during his tenure as BSO music director (2004-11), including most memorable interpretations of the works of Beethoven, Schoenberg, Mahler, Ravel, and Brahms, among others, as well as composers he championed, including Elliott Carter, Charles Wuorinen, and John Harbison; he also led the BSO in an acclaimed tour of European summer festivals in 2007. The last period of his tenure as BSO music director was plagued by ill health, which resulted in his resignation in 2011. Subsequently, there emerged allegations of sexual improprieties which virtually ended his career as many musical institutions severed ties with him, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”