468x60 General & Logo

‘Volodos Plays Brahms’

Volodos Plays Brahms Brahms Classical If you were going to piano concerts a couple of decades back, you couldn’t possibly forget him, with his seemingly superhuman keyboard technique and penchant for mystical [Read entire story]

Petrenko, Bell team for enlightening Symphony concert

Pity the young composer who unveils his first major orchestral work — a Symphony No. 1, say — only to have it greeted by befuddlement, hostility or condescension. Written by a 22-year-old novice, the score is beset [Read entire story]

VIjay Iyer brings sprawling ‘jazz’ style to Ojai at Berkeley

The polymathic pianist and composer might as well be considered a jazz musician as anything else — but only if you consider “jazz” to be an infinitely expandable umbrella term that encompasses everything from [Read entire story]

Berkeley scholar wins prestigious Kyoto Prize

The Bay Area musicologist Richard Taruskin, a prolific and wide-ranging scholar whose work has challenged conventional notions of music history and performance, has won the prestigious Kyoto Prize — the first music [Read entire story]

An imaginative operatic pairing in San Jose

Sure, there are the standard combo packages — “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci,” for instance, or the three one-acters that Puccini assembled in what he called “Il Trittico,” or “The Triptych” — [Read entire story]

SF Boys Chorus steps into the spotlight

In the normal course of things, Bay Area concertgoers tend to run across the San Francisco Boys Chorus as contributors to someone else’s undertakings. [...] the chance to hear the group all on its own is a welcome [Read entire story]

Brusque conducting afflicts SF Opera’s ‘La Bohème’

Anyone whose attendance record at the San Francisco Opera goes all the way back to the fall of 2014 will remember when the company introduced a new — well, newish — production of “La Bohème” and luxuriously [Read entire story]

Mälkki shines a bright light on Stravinsky

[...] the musical part of it was reaffirmed yet again on Friday, June 9, when conductor Susanna Mälkki returned to Davies Symphony Hall to lead the San Francisco Symphony in a zesty, invigorating program of music by [Read entire story]

From Moscow, 2 soloists and many virtuosos

Yet for the group’s current U.S. tour, which comes to San Francisco this weekend, Spivakov seems to have left his fiddle at home. [...] he’ll be concentrating on leading the string ensemble, while ceding the soloist [Read entire story]

Free opera alfresco in Walnut Creek

Toward the end of the month, Walnut Creek’s Festival Opera will present its summer double bill of Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” and Weill’s “The Seven Deadly Sins.” [...] the company is offering patrons a free [Read entire story]

Susanna Mälkki makes a welcome return

Each successive visit by the remarkable Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki confirms her place at the forefront of a new generation of musical leaders. Happily, the San Francisco Symphony seems to have a semipermanent [Read entire story]

Opera Parallèle mounts a vivid, multifold ‘Enfants’

Singers depict the actions of the two main characters in words and music, a pair of dancers shadows them in sync, and the brilliantly robust new production by Opera Parallèle that enjoyed a four-performance run over the [Read entire story]

Ensemble champions new music from around the world

Some performers merely have a preference for contemporary music, and some have an omnivorous hunger for it. Ensemble for These Times — a trio comprising soprano Nanette McGuinness, pianist Dale Tsang and cellist Anne [Read entire story]

Orchestral music out in the sunshine

The notions of “concerts” and “concert halls” are so inextricably linked, at least in the world of orchestral music, that it can sometimes seem like an act of daring to take the festivities outdoors. To [Read entire story]

Symphony introduces a grim song cycle

With each passing year, the familiar moods, concerns and modes of expression move closer to center stage and manifest themselves in ever more distilled form. In the last symphonies and string quartets, in a pair of [Read entire story]

‘Vireo’ brings opera to the small screen, in pieces

Even without scouring the record books too thoroughly, it seems safe to assert that soprano Deborah Voigt has never before appeared in an opera with a cow. [...] Voigt and her nameless bovine colleague are indeed among [Read entire story]

Oakland Symphony rolls the dice with ‘Guys and Dolls’

The Broadway musical has spawned some of the great American music of the past century, but symphony orchestras — and the classical music world in general — is still often uncertain about how to handle it. Michael [Read entire story]

Schumann’s problem child returns to the Symphony

In 1853, a few short years before succumbing to madness and a tragic early death, Schumann wrote a violin concerto for the brilliant young virtuoso Joseph Joachim. Joachim, his friend Brahms, and Schumann’s wife Clara [Read entire story]

Gamelan music to celebrate Lou Harrison’s 100th

The musical output of composer Lou Harrison is so vast and varied that the year’s centennial celebrations have had to split off into thematic groupings. [...] we’ve had concerts focusing on his piano music, his [Read entire story]

A Baltic voice in the Bay Area

The westward stream of inventive new music from the Baltic nations, which began gathering momentum a couple of decades ago, only grows more notable with each passing year. Esenvalds is noted particularly for his choral [Read entire story]