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Music For The Thinking Ear

The New Pierre Boulez Concert Hall By · Title Image © Volker Kreidler · Date 03/09/2016 “Music for the thinking ear” is the slogan for Berlin’s new Pierre Boulez Saal, which opened its doors to the public on Saturday, March 4. Why a new hall? The city’s Philharmonie (Zirkus Karajani, or “Karajan’s Circus,” as West […]

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Listening to Homelessness

On Robert Ashley’s “Dust” By · Photography Martin Seck / Courtesy The New School · Date 02/09/2016 It’s arguable whether Robert Ashley’s 1998 opera “Dust,” scored for solo voices, prerecorded orchestra, and electronics, is a masterpiece of opera—but it is certainly a masterpiece of political art in its evocation of empathy for marginalized people. During […]

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The Erotic-Elegiac

On “Dichterliebe/Divine Bitches” By · Photography © Paula Cort · Date 10/20/2016 On a early fall evening, a packed audience at the Kitchen theater in Chelsea’s art district sat quietly as the visual artist and gallerist Emily Sundblad took the stage. Dressed in a red and black Proenza Schouler gown with suggestive cutouts and a […]

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They That Mourn

Experiencing the “Human Requiem” By · Photography © Matthias Heyde · Date 10/13/2016 We took our shoes off in a foyer with wooden floors. In the center of the room was a communal jug of water, in which leaves were floating. Plain white paper lay nearby, so that we could fold it into cups and […]

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Decluttered

In Peckham with the Multi-Story Orchestra By · Photography Ambra Vernuccio · Date 09/08/2016 On a sunny if slightly windy evening this July, a group of young instrumentalists came together in southeast London for a performance of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. The concert took place in an unexpected setting: a disused multi-story car park. Since 2011, […]

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Cosmos

Paola Prestini’s “The Hubble Cantata” By · Photography Katalina Studio · Date 08/11/2016 At 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, the line just outside the entrance of the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, New York, was already sprawling around the block. It was the kind of large crowd that might be expected for, say, the […]

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Sing Her Name

Black Women Composers in Concert By · Photography Courtesy of The Dream Unfinished Date 07/21/2016 “Sing Her Name,” a concert presented by The Dream Unfinished, was the first time, in nearly 20 years of concert-going, that I have heard a performance of classical music composed by a black woman. It is the only concert I’ve […]

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Surroundings

On the New York Opera Fest By · Photography © Pavel Antonov, from On Site Opera’s “The Marriage of Figaro” · Date 06/23/2016 I honestly thought I knew all about the New York City opera scene. I tracked Opera On Tap. I had been to LoftOpera in Brooklyn. I spent years going to local opera […]

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Rhythm or Reason

Political Music at the Apollo By · Photography Shahar Azran · Date 05/26/2016 It’s the question us politics writers have not stopped asking each other over the past year: when we talk about Donald Trump, even if it’s to point out something ridiculous about him, are we helping or hurting? The election cycle has proved […]