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Amour

On December 1, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City will perform its first opera by a female composer since 1903. Kaija Saariaho’s 2000 opera “L’Amour de Loin” is a haunting tale of love transcending the bounds of distance and death, adapted from a medieval troubadour’s fictionalized life story. There are only three characters: Jaufre […]

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Adaptation

An Interview with Hilary Hahn By · Photography © Michael Patrick O’Leary· Date 11/17/2016 10 years ago, in an ill-tempered article for the Berliner Zeitung, a music critic coined the term “cuddle classical.” It referred to musicians whose PR strategies tended towards the sweet and approachable; alongside the violinist Hilary Hahn, he named Janine Jansen, […]

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Hierarchy of the Moment

The conductor Elena Schwarz grew up in Lugano, Switzerland, with parents who were both doctors specialized in internal medicine. Her recently work has emphasized contemporary music: she performed Olga Neuwirth at The Lucerne Festival, and Brian Ferneyhough in 2013 in Berlin, among other composers and ensembles. When we spoke on Skype, she spoke English fluently, […]

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Nuance

An Interview with Gabriel Kahane By · Title Image © Jacob Blickenstaff · Date 11/3/2016 Touring with Chris Thile. Singing Schubert with A Far Cry. Writing for the Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and many others. For a while, it seemed I couldn’t turn around in the contemporary music sphere of the Internet […]

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Recurring Themes

Maintaining an active career performing with major orchestras around the world, Canadian-American violinist Leila Josefowicz has managed to walk the line between the expected standard repertoires for violin and orchestra and more daring new works. As a testament to this, over the past year, Leila has performed Sergei Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No. 1” (1917), Alban […]

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Xylem

An Introduction to Katherine Balch By · Photography © Kate L Photography · Date 10/27/2016 New York-based composer Katherine Balch has an extraordinary number of things going on in her head at any given time. She has recently completed a piece for a multimedia project by Michiko Theurer, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, to […]

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Nonfictional Music

An interview with Jennie Gottschalk By · Illustrations Paul K (CC) · Date 10/27/2016 Jennie Gottschalk is a composer and scholar currently residing in Boston. Gottschalk holds degrees from The Boston Conservatory and Northwestern University. Her teachers have included Larry Bell, Yakov Gubanov, Jay Alan Yim, Augusta Read Thomas, and Aaron Cassidy. Gottschalk’s new book […]

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Purifying Harmonies

An Interview with Sarah Nemtsov By · Photography © Neda Navaee · Date 10/13/2016 On a cold Monday morning, the German composer Sarah Nemtsov met up with me in our Berlin office for an interview. Yesterday, Ricordi Berlin formally announced the three winners of its composition competition RicordiLab: Nemtsov, Shiori Usui, and Steffen Wick. (The […]

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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 […]

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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 […]