Posted inInterview

A Set Of Values

At the Mozartfest in Augsburg this year, the cellist Steven Isserlis performed during the final concert in Richard Strauss’s tone poem “Don Quixote.” Isserlis’s photograph was plastered all over the festival’s materials, but he insisted that the work was not a kind of concerto for him to star in. Before the performance, I interviewed him […]

Posted inProfile

Internal States

The bar exuded a greenish, fluorescent light. Joshua Fineberg stood outside smoking a cigarette. Recently, two people had told me that Fineberg, one of the most important living Spectralist composers alongside Tristan Murail, and a tenured professor at Boston University, had moved to Berlin and begun frequenting the city’s famous clubs. They suggested to me […]

Posted inInterview

Sensitivities

I met the soprano Kristine Opolais for this interview at her hotel in Leipzig. It was a hot, overcast day, so we sat outside. A few drops of rain fell periodically. When she laughed, she’d lean forward and create a triangle from her shoulder to her hand with her left arm, bending her wrist. We […]

Posted inEssay

The Air In Which We Swim

Thessia Machado’s Sound Art By · Photography · Date 05/11/2017 In his book Skyfaring: A Journey With a Pilot, Mark Vanhoenacker writes, “The truth that air is as substantive as concrete remains as counterintuitive as any of science’s most inscrutable revelations.” The sound artist Thessia Machado makes a similar statement: “Working with sound allows me […]

Posted inInterview

Aware Awareness

I met the composer Yair Klartag in 2011, when I moved into an apartment he was renting in the Swiss city of Basel. We studied composition there together under Georg Friedrich Haas. Even then, his music seemed lightyears ahead in its beauty—“a hard word,” he says—and sophistication. Recently, we met up in the VAN office […]

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Burdens of Expectation

In July of 2016, Jay Campbell replaced Kevin MacFarland as the cellist of the JACK Quartet. In the meantime, he’s already shown himself to be an enthusiastic participant in the quartet’s extended technique social media videos. I met him on a sunny day at the bar of the Westin Hotel attached to the Elbphilharmonie. VAN: […]

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Sails

A Profile of Michael Maierhof By · Title Image SCREENSHOT TAKEN FROM Michael Maierhof: EXIT F – Nadar Ensemble (documentary and concert) · Date 04/06/2017 In Mexico City, 7-Eleven carries bottled water in the shape of a dumbbell. One day on vacation, I bought one, drank the contents, took a picture, and sent it to […]

Posted inOpinion

Maestro Monopolies

“Worthy gentleman, and my loving countrymen,” wrote the English lutist and composer John Dowland in the introduction to his 1612 song cycle “A Pilgrims Solace,” “I have been long obscured from your sight, because I received a Kingly entertainment in a foreign climate…Some part of my poore labours have found favour in the greatest part […]

Posted inInterview

Make The Building Sing

An Interview with Olivier Latry and Iveta Apkalna By · Photography © Maxim Schulz · Date 02/23/2016 On Tuesday, the French organist Olivier Latry played a program of organ music by Olivier Messiaen, Gerald Levinson, and Jean Louis Florentz at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. In a sense, he was a guest of Iveta Apkalna—the hall’s […]