Posted inRankings & Roundups

Piano Entanglements

In the spring, while stuck at home avoiding the coronavirus, I read Lea Singer’s forthcoming novel, The Piano Student, which tells the story of Vladimir Horowitz’s affair with a 23-year-old male protege, Nico Kauffman. Drawing from Horowitz’s actual letters to Kauffman, Singer depicts a forbidden relationship in which Horowitz vacillates between ardently declaring his love […]

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Keyboard Warriors

Stravinsky puts it pithily enough: Music “expresses nothing outside of itself.” It’s a dictum that puts critics like me on the back foot, accusing us of peddling only a pale and inadequate imitation of the thing itself. Those who can’t, write. But it also describes a deeper sense of music as incommensurable, elevated by thinkers […]

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Sonic Distancing

A guide to livestream concerts during the coronavirus outbreak. By VAN Team · Title Image JD X/Unsplash · Date 3/13/2020 In the last 10 years or so, countless theories have surfaced to describe what ails classical music’s concert halls. Is it the stuffy architecture; the ban on beverages; the hushers and passive-aggressive insiders; or the […]

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#bassic

The Best and Worst of Instagram Score Studying By · Date 5/3/2018 If a musician studies a score and doesn’t post about it on social media, does it still count? No point in risking it, which is why the VAN social media channels see a steady flow of visually pleasing, life-envy-inducing photographs of scores being […]

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June 2017 Bagatelles

What classical music gets up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Date 06/15/2017 Steven Isserlis The cellist finds some tactful words for the Brutalist Barbican Centre’s bathrooms. Millenium Falcon Piano “Looks like a giant pendrive [sic],” writes one commenter. We agree. Thibaudet is known for his fashion sense, but we doubt his taste in instruments […]