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Timelapse

For Intro, we speak with the musicians who don’t show up in press releases. We hope to portray a diversity of background and experience in classical music. This is the third interview in an ongoing series.When I thought of who I would Intro, Natalie Draper immediately came to mind. I spent the summer of 2015 […]

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Established Meaning

For some interviews, you exchange what feels like dozens of emails with publicists. You’re asked what you want to ask. When I wrote to Reinhard Goebel to see if he wanted to speak to me, he wrote, “You won’t be needing to suggest topics for us to discuss. I can talk about a lot of […]

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The Elusive Middle

Nothing heightens feelings of powerlessness more than a political season. Over the past few months, we’ve seen parties fractured, pundits paralyzed, analytics rendered ineffectual. Fault lines shatter old allegiances, and formerly stable demographics appear to no longer apply. The democratic tradition itself feels newly imperiled; as the middle class dissolves, the world’s ultra-rich consolidate their […]

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Thousands of Changes

In February, Andris Nelsons told VAN about conducting Wagner in Bayreuth: “You enjoy it masochistically.” On June 30, he asked to be released from his contract, with the festival citing “a differing approach in various matters.” The performance artist and provocateur Jonathan Meese, the director for this year’s production of “Parsifal,” was let go. It’s […]

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Some Rawness

Lisa Renèe Coons is a composer, sound artist, and professor at Western Michigan University. Through the course of several emails exchanged in the last few weeks, just after her return from a residency at the MacDowell Colony, we discussed the difficulty of honoring one’s origins, music as a vehicle for dealing with the unspeakable, welding, […]

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Succession

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 comfortable semi-retirement, though he is still composing and teaching: family, year-round good weather, separate studio, […]

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Paper Music

The South African composer Philip Miller isn’t in his room. I’m at the reception of Berlin’s Ellington Hotel, and I’m about to go home, but there he is, hurrying around the corner. There were some last minute technical problems in his work “Refuse the Hour,” a collaboration with the artist William Kentridge and the choreographer […]

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Preservation

“Messiaen is not so present here, but he is very present in me.” On June 20, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the pianist and first non-UK based artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival, realized the composer’s “Catalogue d’oiseaux” indoors and outdoors in nature in Suffolk, England. It was his last major project at the festival, where he has […]

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Dissonant and Fabulous

From August 24 to 27, at the Mostly Mozart festival, the American choreographer Mark Morris will present a series of dances to music by the festival’s namesake; on September 8, he’ll show work set to Lou Harrison and Erik Satie at Texas State University. Speaking of Lou Harrison: call the Mark Morris Dance Center on […]

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Two Tracks

At the age of two and a half, somewhere in Calcutta, Samir Chatterjee approached a tabla. An observer noticed and told his parents to give him the opportunity to learn it. He found his first teacher at age 11; he was allowed to perform alone for the first time at 15. (There’s a story about […]