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Show Some Emotion

Currently, Laurence Osborn is moving house, from Notting Hill (West London) to Notting Hill (West London). We meet for coffee on Gloucester Road (West London) in an hour squeezed between cardboard boxes. As someone whose magpie-like tendencies have steadily transitioned from shiny sounds to juicy words, I remember being struck by the title of Osborn’s […]

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The Threshold of Change

Juliet Fraser is on sabbatical. “Actually,” she corrects me, “it’s a semi-sabbatical”—she’s still performing, but only sparingly. Mostly, she’s taking some long-overdue time to breathe, and to devote more attention to her other spinning plates. (She keeps several in the air, no matter the season.) When I call her early on a Friday morning, she […]

Posted inInterview

A Spiritual Condition

200 years ago, Schubert completed his sleek and touching song cycle “Die schöne Müllerin.” When tenor and lieder expert Christoph Prégardien sings the work, his voice has a lean tone and a silvery shimmer; each verse seems to flow out of him, both freshly invented and fully formed. Prégardien’s voice embodies Schubert’s actual protagonist: a […]

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The Manifestation of Forces

I was captivated by Grawemeyer Award winner Lei Liang’s “A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams” when Gil Rose of the Boston Modern Orchestra  Project performed it at Carnegie Hall. Again in Ojai, California, Lei Liang caught my attention with “Vis-a-Vis,” a lively dialogue between Wu Man on pipa and Steven Schick on a variety of […]

Posted inPlaylist

An Edward Said Playlist

Edward Said reigned as the poster child for public intellectuals, having made early waves with his breakout 1978 tract, Orientalism. Just a few weeks after the 20th anniversary of his death from leukemia at the age of 67, his name is being invoked again on all sides of the news cycle. His criticism of both […]

Posted inEssay

Boredom! At the Opera

Despite being a classical singer, I’ve fallen asleep at every Wagner opera I’ve ever attended. “Das Rheingold,” for example, makes it too easy. The seats are comfortable, the lights are dim, the exposition is endless. I feel cocooned, sardined up next to countless other people who all seem to have a higher tolerance for leitmotif than […]

Posted inInterview

Spit On Me

Steven Takasugi’s Piano Concerto will be premiered by Roger Admiral, Ingo Metzmacher, and the SWR Symphonieorchester in collaboration with the SWR Experimentalstudio on October 22. It will be the final work of the 2023 Donaueschingen Music Days, a festival for contemporary music in southwestern Germany. The following texts were extracted from an interview held at […]

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