Posted inPages Turned


“It’s a bit of a shame that there is no confrontation anymore,” Nuria Schoenberg Nono reflected in an interview with Wolfgang Schaufler, a publisher at Vienna’s Universal Edition. “Everything is in order today; [audiences] only have ­enthusiasm for the great interpreters, and that is right—but the music itself often has little or nothing to do […]

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Trust the Truths

Can an opera album stand on its own as an opera? I listened to Christopher Cerrone’s 58-minute “In a Grove” while walking in Nebraska. I passed a deserted main street, barking dogs tied to porches, children learning to bike, and Trump 2024 signs, while listening to the story of a murder. Based on the Ryūnosuke […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Kaija Saariaho Playlist

The world lost a bit of its wonder on June 2, when Kaija Saariaho died at the age of 70 following a battle with glioblastoma. Diagnosed with the aggressive brain cancer in early 2021, Saariaho gave no major announcement about her health, nor did she document the two years of treatment that followed. When she […]

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Breaking Points

Cassandra Miller is all process. It’s not the same word that Steve Reich thought a gradual, directional inch through time, but something more all-encompassing, that goes far beyond any finished product. In the past few years, process and its verb-y associates–transcribing, improvising, collaborating, balancing, musicking–have become the primary concerns in Miller’s creative life.  Though this […]

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Sketching Lyricism

Anna Thorvaldsdottir sits on a stool with wheels but no back. The hum of electric garden equipment underscores our conversation in her composing studio, and it’s funny to think that the heavyweight harmonic frameworks of one of today’s most sought-after composers might be influenced, on a subconscious level, by the drones of suburban lawnmowers. “I […]

Posted inPages Turned

In The Sonorous Air

It’s my first time visiting Berlin in springtime. Incapable of shaping my own destiny, I find a tongue-in-cheek itinerary for a couple of politics-themed hours in the German capital, designed for irony-addled people with time to burn. I decide to follow the plan with slavish sincerity, heading from Alexanderplatz down Karl-Marx-Allee towards Cafe Sibylle, a […]

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Tender Transitions

Nicole Mitchell is a leading flutist in jazz, a player with one of the strongest senses of swing there is, either inside a beat or playing freely. Her thematic albums and projects like “Mandorla Awakening” and “EarthSeed” are inspired by, and develop, Afrofuturist ideas that she first discovered through the great speculative fiction writer Octavia […]

Posted inEssay

Out of the Woods

In the studios at Maida Vale, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers are warming up for a world premiere recording. It’s an opera that once graced the stages of Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Berlin State Opera. But the piece has gone without a professional performance for […]

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Fabric of Her World

“As with Ethel, Rebecca’s friendships were the very fabric of her world,” writes the musicologist Leah Broad in Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World. Queer academia’s gleeful dismantling of history’s “just friends” trope has ventured as far as the Gen Z mainstream, with Atlanta TikToker Oublaire’s sage reminder that “History Hates Lovers.” (“Historians […]

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Collapsing Time

A pioneer of modern electronic music, Morton Subotnick not only encouraged technical innovations but defined new sonic paradigms for the creation of electronic music. Approaching his 90th year in April, he remains as energized and dynamic as ever. As a tech geek and extreme music fan during my high school years in the late 1960s, […]

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