Posted inReview

Vulnerable to the Unknown

On Yarn/Wire’s “Currents” Series By · Title Image © Bobby Fisher · Date 06/01/2017 The setup itself, two pianists and two percussionists, is not conventional. Yet it formed naturally, without a deliberate plan. This naturalness elucidates why giving a title to each member of Yarn/Wire is perhaps misleading: there’s a fluidity to the quartet that […]

Posted inReview

Iterations

Rhymes With Opera’s Improvised Theater By · Photography © Janette Pellegrini · Date 05/25/2017 Among landmarks of opera, 20th-century Hungarian composer György Ligeti’s “Aventures” (1962) and “Nouvelles Aventures” (1962-5) count as two of the most bizarre. They’re both written for singers and a small (seven-piece) orchestra, but that’s where the concessions to operatic conventions end. […]

Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inReview

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, […]

Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inReview

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 […]