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Personal Mathematics

“Music,” says composer and woodwind player Roscoe Mitchell, “is a science.” The octogenarian is in Bergen, Norway, for the city’s annual Borealis Festival of experimental music. In a few days’ time, he’ll bring the weekend to a thrilling close with two sets, one solo (accompanied by several pre-recorded videos of himself improvising at home), and […]

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Renaissance State

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Stockholm to speak with English conductor Daniel Harding and hear a rehearsal and concert with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, which Harding has led since 2007. (Disclosure: The orchestra covered my flights and hotel for the trip.) Harding and I had lunch together at a restaurant so fancy […]

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Love Seeps Through

South-African soprano Golda Schultz is a regular at the Met and at Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2020, she sang at the Last Night of the Proms; this season she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic.  With this career stability, she’s confronting the luxurious challenge of “moving the needle” for women composers and women’s stories. […]

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The Danger of Silence

This month, conductor Vitali Alekseenok was slated to conduct concerts in Lviv, Dnipro, and Kyiv, as well as open the Kharkiv Music Festival as its new artistic director. Instead, four days after the beginning of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, he and his girlfriend drove two trucks full of aid supplies eight and a half hours […]

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A Delicate Balance

Few singers move through musical genres and eras with as much confidence as Anna Prohaska. Programs like “Maria Mater Meretrix” (designed with Patricia Kopatchinskaja) and her latest album, “Celebration of Life in Death” (recorded with baroque orchestra La Folia and Robin Peter Müller), combine everything from Hildegard von Bingen to George Crumb to Leonard Cohen […]

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The Light at the End

On February 13, English mezzo-soprano Alice Coote will perform the role of Mère Marie de l’Incarnation in Francis Poulenc’s opera “Dialogue des Carmélites” at the Zurich Opera. It’s her second production—and first set of full rehearsals—since the start of the pandemic, and there are still worries about COVID-19: The cast has made an agreement that […]

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Reserve and Release

Jeremy Denk may not have as high a profile as other classical pianists, but he has a deep range of accomplishments both inside and outside of music. Last year, Nonesuch released his latest recording: Mozart Piano Concertos with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (he plays No. 20 and 25, and the Rondo in A minor, […]

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Luxurious Boredom

When countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo was 11 years old, he performed in a Broadway production of “The Sound of Music” alongside capital-P Personality Marie Osmond. Out of the goodness of her heart, Osmond offered the boy a deep discount on her range of dolls, a line she developed with the television shopping channel QVC. Costanzo […]

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The Fault in our Chords

Born in 1985, the Swedish composer Lisa Streich writes music of engrossing timbral and dramaturgical subtlety, often using traditional instruments prepared or modified by small, homemade, motorized devices. Listening to her pieces, I sometimes feel like I’ve been shrunk down to molecular size and placed inside a music box where noisy mechanics blend with pitched […]

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