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Deutsche Mega-phon

Photography © NILS DITTBRENNER There aren’t many brands like Ferrari or Lamborghini in classical music. For a long time, Deutsche Grammophon was one of the only ones. It was obvious why: the label stood for tradition, good taste, objects of value, cutting edge technology. When you bought something from Deutsche Grammophon, you knew you were […]

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Too Little, Too Late

On May 3, 2017, a young violist named Armando Cañizales Carrillo was killed in Caracas during clashes between demonstrators and the Bolivarian National Guard. The following day, the Venezuelan conductor and director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, published a statement on Facebook calling for President Nicolás Maduro and the national government “to rectify […]

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The Age-Old Problem of Aging

Physicality and The Soloist’s Career By · TITLE IMAGE Jeremy Brooks (CC BY-NC 2.0) · Date 02/16/2016 There’s a strange clip after a beautiful performance in “I Am The Violin,” the 2004 documentary about violin virtuoso Ida Haendel. On a simple string crossing in the first movement of the Brahms Concerto, Haendel’s bow bounces uncontrollably. […]

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Temperature and Energy

The Future of the Archivio Luigi Nono Text and Photography · Date 12/8/2016 The Fondamenta Sant’Eufemia, on the Venetian island of Giudecca, is a street that parallels the water. Its presence, rising out of the waves, feels almost arbitrary. Between storefronts numbered 610A and a chipping 655 is a lane where houses in red and […]

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Drastic and Vivid

Marijuana in the Concert Hall In 2014, the Colorado Symphony put on a concert series called “Classically Cannabis,” attracting media attention from around the world. On November 8, 2016, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts followed in the Rocky Mountain State’s footsteps by passing referenda legalizing recreational marijuana. As decriminalization spreads through the U.S. and perhaps to […]

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None Shall Sleep

The Arts Community Reacts to the Election By · Date 11/17/2016 “I may not enjoy sitting through an opera,” wrote Donald Trump with assistance from ghostwriter Meredith McIver in his 2004 book How to Get Rich. “But I’ve always respected opera singers and enjoy the highlights of opera.” On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump […]

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In Ink

On November 29th, the auction house Sotheby’s will be offering the complete manuscript of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony (the “Resurrection”) at auction from their London saleroom. Sotheby’s predict it will sell in excess of £3.5 million, the highest ever estimation for a musical manuscript offered at auction. Late in August, I met Simon Maguire, Sotheby’s […]

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Buried

On the Paul Sacher Stiftung By · Title Image From a print by Mariana Castillo Deball and Carlos Sandoval, commissioned and originally published by Sur Magazine in 2015 · Photography Jeffrey Arlo Brown · Date 09/22/2016 From 1991 to 1994, Carlos Sandoval, a man with thick grey hair, brown eyes, and wide shoulders, was an […]

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On the Road

Days with a Piano Technician Text and Photography · Date 09/08/2016 When I received an email with an assignment to follow a piano technician during the course of his work, to explore the instruments and places he encountered, I found it hard to resist. I spent a few days on the road in Seattle with […]

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I Am Singing About Myself

Conversations with Black Otellos By · Title Image © Roy Peters · Date 06/09/2016 Introduction On a late night this past spring, I saw a headline in The Independent that would soon provoke exasperation in parts of the opera world, outrage in others: “Otello: Why is a white tenor leading the Royal Opera House’s new […]