Posted inHistory

Siegfried Idyll

Some babies are put in swaddling clothes. Others are born into families where expectations are so great that they begin to resemble similarly physical restrains. Siegfried Wagner, the only son of Richard, was born in 1869. Richard wrote the “Siegfried-Idyll” to mark the occasion, a work with and flashes of mesmerizing genius. As the male […]

Posted inReport

Temperature and Energy

The Future of the Archivio Luigi Nono Text and Photography · Date 12/8/2016 The Fondamenta Sant’Eufemia, on the Venetian island of Giudecca, is a street that parallels the water. Its presence, rising out of the waves, feels almost arbitrary. Between storefronts numbered 610A and a chipping 655 is a lane where houses in red and […]

Posted inInterview


Round-number anniversaries of composers’ births and deaths can often feel arbitrary, excuses to keep programming the same music. Not Monteverdi’s 450th birth year. His operas are universal, important reminders that us humans have always had the same struggles, that we’ve been here before: 450 is a number that puts things in perspective. The conductor John […]

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Drastic and Vivid

Marijuana in the Concert Hall In 2014, the Colorado Symphony put on a concert series called “Classically Cannabis,” attracting media attention from around the world. On November 8, 2016, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts followed in the Rocky Mountain State’s footsteps by passing referenda legalizing recreational marijuana. As decriminalization spreads through the U.S. and perhaps to […]

Posted inInterview

What Is Indie Classical?

“During my dissertation research, I felt a certain mournful nostalgia for the world that I was investigating,” writes William Robin in “A Scene Without A Name: Indie Classical and American New Music in the 21st Century.” Reading it, I was surprised to find myself emotional at times too—a testament to Robin’s writing, which is precise […]

Posted inInterview

I Am The Wound

Title Image © ASTRID KARGER It took me a long time to even think about translating this interview. Helmut Lachenmann, the German master of a music often referred to as musique concrète instrumentale, a noisy, raw, gorgeous music, is almost as noted for his words as for his sounds. These words can seem inextricable from […]

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On the Paul Sacher Stiftung By · Title Image From a print by Mariana Castillo Deball and Carlos Sandoval, commissioned and originally published by Sur Magazine in 2015 · Photography Jeffrey Arlo Brown · Date 09/22/2016 From 1991 to 1994, Carlos Sandoval, a man with thick grey hair, brown eyes, and wide shoulders, was an […]

Posted inEssay

Mezzo-sopranos from Outer Space

Morton Feldman’s “Three Voices” By · Title Image NYPL (PD) · Date 08/04/2016 In 2015, the writer Lisa Bolekaja published a short story in Uncanny, a magazine for science fiction and fantasy, called “Three Voices,” inspired by the Morton Feldman piece of the same name. At the climax, a vocalist’s skin pigmentation drains from her […]

Posted inInterview


An Interview with Tristan Murail By · Title Image By Marls9393 (CC) · Date 07/14/2016 I reached the French composer Tristan Murail on a Tuesday afternoon at his home in Provence. Since moving back to Europe from New York, where he taught at Columbia University for 13 years, Murail has built himself a kind of […]