News & Features

October 18, 2018

Cantatas of Love and War from the Sun King’s Fadeout


As is their wont, Les Bostonades tunes to its French Baroque channel on Friday at Gordon Chapel of Old South Church. Two cantata modern premieres are up: Gervais’s Telemaque and Renier’s L’Indifference Puni (US premiere). Zachary Wilder, onetime Boston-based tenor who has gone on to make a name for himself across Europe and more recently    [continued]

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October 15, 2018

Reviving a Searing Attack on Opera Seria


Christoph Willibald Gluck’s name appears more frequently in musical textbooks than in concert programs today; though performances of his better-known works (Orfeo, both Iphigénies, and Alceste) do visit contemporary stages periodically, they are by no means standards of the operatic stage. Therefore, his opera Alceste, will be arriving as something of a novelty, when Edward    [continued]

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October 8, 2018

BLO Rosina Confides and Opines


Boston Lyric Opera’s five-performance run of Rossini’s ever-popular Barber of Seville begins Friday at the Majestic Theater. David Angus will conduct stage director Rosetta Cucchi’s production designed by Julia Noulin-Mérat, costumed by Gianluca Falaschi, and lighted by DM Wood. The cast comprises Matthew Worth as Figaro, Daniela Mack as Rosina, Jesus Garcia as Almaviva, David    [continued]

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September 29, 2018

Donald Wilkinson: The Angel Took Risks


How, then, to say goodbye to a collaborator, colleague, and companion of 25 years, someone with whom we made music, sharing good times and bad, season after season, adding up to a full third of man’s biblical lifespan? What appropriate, meaningful words can come forth, even as we struggle with our tears and our grief,    [continued]


September 24, 2018

Twelve Tones in Tinseltown


Arnold Schoenberg fled the darkness and despair of Hitler’s Europe for 1930s Hollywood—a bold new world of golden sunshine and camera-ready beauty. Can he find a way to reconcile reflection with action, and tradition with revolution? What meaning has art in the wake of atrocity? These are questions composer Tod Machover tries to settle in    [continued]

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September 18, 2018

Gounod Grand Opera To Be Outed


Having found long-missing original parts for Gounod’s La reine de Saba, or The Queen of Sheba, Gil Rose is now preparing to lead Odyssey Opera in a concert version on Saturday, September 22nd, at Jordan Hall, in what may be both the American premiere of Gounod’s grand opera, as well as the first complete performance    [continued]

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September 15, 2018

80 Years, and 45 at the Conservatory


The genial interlocutor with the nimbus-bright silver fro who presides over First Mondays at Jordan Hall has a major birthday coming up. New England Conservatory celebrates Laurence Lesser, legendary cellist, passionate teacher, and President Emeritus, for his 80th Birthday in NEC’s season-opening orchestra concert on Wednesday, September 26th at 7:30 pm at Jordan Hall. Lesser    [continued]

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September 7, 2018

Continuing To Fulfill Mrs. Gardner’s Mission


The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s music season gets underway with back-to-back concerts of mostly site-specific repertoire this weekend. The highlight may come in a commissioned work responding to Whistler’s “Nocturne, Blue and Silver: Battersea Reach,” which hangs in the Museum’s Yellow Room. Jessica Meyer wrote Grasping for Light during her week-long residency at the Museum    [continued]

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September 5, 2018

BPYO Brought Mahler Back Home


Next week the Boston Symphony may be bringing Mahler’s Third (along with Bernstein and Shostakovich) on a European tour, but the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra got the Mahler march on the BSO last June. Benjamin Zander designed his 25th youth orchestra tour in 47 years as a kind of pilgrimage through Mahler’s life, from his birthplace to    [continued]

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August 28, 2018

Schepkin’s Glissando Series To Debut


A new concert series celebrating Bach’s 333rd birthday launches next month at First Church Boston (66 Marlborough St.). Running on eight Sundays at 4pm, the events comprise five chamber concerts, a vocal recital with piano, and two solo piano presentations, featuring a mix of beloved and recondite works. The opener, on September 23rd, promises transcendental chamber music    [continued]


August 22, 2018

New York Knights Mount Sturdy Vehicle


The innovative chamber orchestra, the Knights, will bring Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in fully staged performances to Seiji Ozawa Hall for two performance, tonight and Thursday. Tickets HERE. Bernstein based his delightful 1956 comic operetta on Voltaire’s satirical novel, which follows the title character’s traumatic adventures in imperial Europe and semi-civilized South America. All the while, Dr.    [continued]

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August 19, 2018

Competitors: Start Your Stops


Playing to win in Boston summons scenes of Fenway Park, TD Garden, or Gillette Stadium; only on the rarest of occasions do contestants vie at Old West, the Advent, or First Lutheran Churches. Yet when the City of Champions welcomes an entirely new and weeklong event, the first Boston Bach International Organ Competition, September 2nd    [continued]

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August 15, 2018

Only at the Gardner, Starting September 8th


George Steel, the Gardner Museum’s new Abrams curator of music, has inked a fall season featuring three orchestras, multidimensional Bach, a purpose-built opera, exciting debuts, rewarding return engagements, not to mention a season-long tribute to Leonard Bernstein. His inaugural interview with BMInt, last year, certainly scintillated [HERE]. So once again we asked him to reflect    [continued]

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August 12, 2018

Sounds Project Oceanic Light


Boston Landmarks Orchestra joins with the New England Aquarium to turn the Hatch Shell into a seashell next Wednesday, as cetacean song and Debussy’s La Mer evoke the mysterious power and psychological depths of wind and waves. Stella Sung’s seascape discourses a watery dialogue between marine and human life, while Moby Dick rises again in    [continued]

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August 8, 2018

范曾玥 To Play Schumann Concerto


The Mercury Orchestra will provide blessed relief from Boston’s summer orchestral doldrums at Sanders Theater on Saturday at 8:00 in an all-Schumann concert featuring the 14-year-old winner of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Concerto Competition.   Over the 11 years that Channing Yu’s Mercury Orchestra has brought “amateur orchestra musicians together … to play    [continued]

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July 29, 2018

Verdi Wakes the Grateful Dead


Next Wednesday, weather gods permitting, will find the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, One City Choir, Back Bay Chorale, and a quartet of soloists combining forces in Verdi’s monumental Requiem, a work Hans von Bülow described as “opera in church vestments.” After playing the immortally sprightly overture to Rossini’s “Semiramide,” artistic director Christopher Wilkins will summon hushed,    [continued]

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July 19, 2018

Famous Factotum To Cheer Watertown


For its lucky 13th season, Boston Midsummer Opera celebrates the immortal shenanigans of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. The master of opera buffa sees to the improper arrangements of dowries, ladders, love, noise, triangles, mistaken identity, and headaches through splendid musical hilarity, and yes, there is collusion. Susan Davenny-Wyner directs a crack orchestra and a lively    [continued]

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July 13, 2018

Pompous, Celestial, Celebratory, and Free


The Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s 12th season of free concerts on the Esplanade wakens the Hatch Shell Wednesday at 7:00, during what is also the 90th summer that Bostonians have gathered on the Esplanade to hear live orchestral music since 1929, when Arthur Fiedler began the tradition. Landmarks’ music director Christopher Wilkins opens with suitably ceremonial    [continued]

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July 10, 2018

Oliver Knussen, 1952-2018


Oliver Knussen’s recent passing leaves modern music at a terrible loss. He was a composer of our own era who wrote very good music, and no less than that, he was a conductor who cared about sustaining the modern era in performance. Only 66 years old when he died Sunday, he had suffered from significant    [continued]

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July 6, 2018

BSO: Is Its Pay Policy Suitable?


So, the question that’s burning everyone’s mind this week (or is it just that the heatwave has toasted everyone’s mind?) is whether the BSO’s first-chair flute player is worth as much (speaking strictly in dollars and cents) as its first-chair oboist. Or, put more correctly (as opposed to concisely), is the amended Massachusetts Equal Pay    [continued]


July 2, 2018

Newport News, 2018


Over 19 gilded days and nights, the Newport Music Festival’s 52 embedded musicians will enliven mansions, churches, tents, and museums with engaging mainstream offerings of chambermusic, vocal extravaganzas, and more various fares. The 43-concert festival brings Joshua Bell, A Far Cry, Imani Winds, Jake Heggie, Charlie Albright, and Frederica von Stade to such venues as    [continued]

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June 27, 2018

BSO Chorus Is a-Changin’


When in the course of symphonic events a new music director materializes, contracts likely protect performing personnel from firings. By contrast, when the new director of a volunteer chorus asks its members to reaudition, especially when doing so pointedly, and taking a new tack, few impediments exist. Why would any arts news organization pay attention?    [continued]


June 15, 2018

Meditating on the “Bounded Fields of Time”


All of us — well, except those who achieve Nirvana — rebel against time. We want to hold onto it, retrieve it, freeze it, even reverse it. And humans have always yearned for a release from time’s iron grip – an impossible return to an Edenic existence. (And what is a heavenly afterlife but lux    [continued]

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June 8, 2018

Concert Marketing 101


New England Conservatory recently announced the inaugural group of NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship (EM) Nova Fellows, a new student-run music-presenting collaborative sponsored in part by a generous anonymous donor. EM Nova, a transformation of Symphony Nova, a professional development fellowship program founded in 2007 for orchestral musicians, will be integrating its operations into NEC’s entrepreneurial musicianship    [continued]

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May 30, 2018

Fempowering Opera


Nine divas from two centuries locked in the afterlife and pitted against one another will fight for the soul of opera—what couldn’t go right? OperaHub’s timely new play with music DIVAS is a female-powered world premiere written by Boston playwright Laura Neill and packed with true stories, extravagant fashion, and gorgeous music. Including 13 selections    [continued]


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