Alisa Weilerstein Named MacArthur Fellow

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Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, a member of New England Conservatory’s ensemble-in-residence the Weilerstein Trio, was named as recipient of one of 22 MacArthur Fellowships for 2011. This “Genius” Grant brings her $500,000 in support over five years. Her work is very well known to Boston concert-goers and BMInt readers. A listing of all of her Intelligencer  reviews and mentions can be found here.    [Click title for complete article]    [continued]

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Critics’ Faves From Passing Year

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Among the BMInt staff, many writers have intact memories. Within that subset, several have submitted lists of their favorite concerts of the last season. We thank them for their reflections. Some have chosen to nominate concerts they have reviewed while others have chosen from concerts which they merely attended. This exercise reminds us of how    [continued]

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Four Strings Sound Six Suites

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Cellist Colin Carr delivered Bach’s six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello in a marathon extravaganza Thursday at Shalin Liu, showing the amazing range that can be accomplished with that one instrument.    [continued]

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Dreamy New Concerto From BSO

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After a swashbuckling Le corsair of Berlioz, François-Xavier Roth led Alisa Weilerstein and the BSO in the world premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s hypnotic cello concerto un despertar before the Friday afternoon concluded with a sometime-too-careful Pastoral Symphony.  Repeats tonight.   [continued]

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Tanglewood 2017 Already?

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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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More on BPYO 2016 Tour to Carnegie Hall

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I am taking the unusual step of creating a very detailed description of the extraordinary turn of events that led up to our concerts this past June on our tours to Carnegie Hall and Spain. I wouldn’t normally give such a detailed description of the ins and outs and behind the scenes deliberations that go    [continued]

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BSO’s Beethoven: Structured, Raucous

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Thursday’s Boston Symphony Orchestra performance, Christoph von Dohnányi conducting, launched the first of three performances of Beethoven, with pianist Yefim Bronfman. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who would later run into the intermission bar, raise a stem, toast the group, and cheer.     [continued]

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BSO Announces 2013-14 Season: Updated More

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 133rd season promises variety and no little excitement. The BSO management has done a fine job of choosing repertoire and assembling a cast of characters that should not disappoint even the most demanding of listeners. We can also still hope that before too much longer, the announcement for which we are    [continued]

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Joyously Exuberant Youth Symphony

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What manner of maestro can fill Symphony Hall of a Sunday afternoon with a brand new youth orchestra and give a program of almost three hours to ecstatic and prolonged ovations? These are certainly thoughts to ponder after Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s concert.     [continued]

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Larger Than Life and Generous of Spirit

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Whatever you think about Ben Zander’s hyperbolic nature, it’s hard to dispute his results with the young. Upon the conclusion of his 45 years at New England Conservatory, the 74-year-old conductor started the new Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra because, as he told BMInt, “The kids wouldn’t allow me to sit around and do nothing.” In    [continued]

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Good Reasons to Attend Tanglewood

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The July 30 concert in the Tanglewood with Christoph Eschenbach was spectacular. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein’s performance of the Haydn Cello Concert No. 1 was predictably polished, perfectly executed. The respectful, rapt audience in hall and lawn allowed her delicate pianissimos and drawn-out solo passages in the second movement to be savored. It seems so appropriate to call her rapid, right-on-intonation playing in the third movement, “bel canto from the cello.” The performance from Eschenbach and the BSO has to be one of the best I have ever heard of the Mahler Symphony No. 1. It is almost impossible hearing such a performance not to see the creation of the Mahler landscape. The entire mood struck this reviewer as more “pastoral” than that other famous symphony.      [Click title for full review.]    [continued]

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NEC Triple Grad Off for NY Philharmonic

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New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert has chosen recent NEC graduate Joshua Weilerstein to be assistant conductor for 2011-12 Season. His responsibilities in New York will begin soon after he completes his duties as assistant conductor of Aspen Music Festival and School. This is very much a local story, since the twenty-three-year-old Weilerstein has    [continued]

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Tanglewood’s Third Try: Levine Replacements Announced

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This article begins the second series of dispatches from an estimable sibling e-journal, The Berkshire Review. From time to time this summer, their writers will be covering events in the western parts of Massachusetts and nearby New York for BMInt. In the regular concert season, Berkshire Review will selectively reprint some posts from our journal. This    [continued]

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Weilerstein’s Fearless Shostakovich

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Alisa Weilerstein brought a focused fearlessness to Shostakovich’s 1959 Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat that almost eclipsed her accompanying ensemble, though that didn’t seem to bother the visiting St. Petersburg Philharmonic, on April 10 at Symphony Hall in a Celebrity Series of Boston concert. Not once did she detectably slip, and projected all the raw emotion and pained contemplation as effectively as one might wish. Many of this ensemble’s felicities, including its celebrated strings, under Yuri Temirkanov were immediately apparent in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, with a conclusion hair-raisingly effective. In Brahms’s darkly hued Symphony No.4 in E minor, one heard the inner workings of a symphony that is often played surficially. The second highlight of the afternoon was “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.   [Click title for full review.]    [continued]

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Latin Lilt to Rowe’s Flights of Flute, Weilerstein’s Stellar Cello

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On August 13 at Tanglewood Miguel Harth-Bedoya led the Boston Symphony Orchestra in seven short works of varying quality and one flashy encore that wove together soft-edged visual and auditory impressions of the lands of the Incas. Only three made lasting impressions, Illapa, by Gabriela Lena Frank, Mariel by Osvaldo Golijov, and Fiesta, by Jimmy Lopez, which offered real density and juice, and affecting solo appearances by the BSO Principal Flute Elizabeth Rowe and cello virtuoso Alisa Weilerstein. The encore, Ary Barroso and Xavier Cugat’s pop hit Brazil, recalled Cugat’s own words: “I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve.”    [Click title for full review.]    [continued]

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BSO Burnishes Brahms, Bruckner

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Austrian conductor Hans Graf led the Boston Symphony Orchestra in glowing concerts given March 19-24, 2009, of the Bruckner Seventh Symphony and the Brahms Double Concerto at Symphony Hall. Soloists in the Brahms were Dutch violinist Janine Jansen and American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, young women of exceptional talent and musical maturity. Both engaged in a good deal of physical body language, with much soulful eyes-closed ceiling-gazing from the latter. More importantly, they also constantly watched one another to coordinate their mutual entrances and handing-off of motivic elements throughout the work’s implicit give-and-take, necessary because of there being two solo voices in this concerto instead of the usual one. Graf skillfully sculpted the orchestra’s contributions into elegant frames of accompaniment. Graf’s essay of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E was tightly controlled and elegantly presented, with carefully planned balances between the choirs of the orchestra. Woodwinds and strings enjoyed freedom to play without fear of being swamped by the large section of brass instruments, augmented here by four Wagner tubas and a contrabass tuba. But was it precisely this constant control that may have contributed to the overall failure of this performance to elate and inspire? [Click title for full review.]    [continued]

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