Posted inInterview

The Constraints of the Present

Since founding the early music ensemble Le Poème Harmonique in 1997, Vincent Dumestre has brought Palmeritan puppeteers to perform a forgotten opera about the mad Roman emperor Caligula; collaborated with circus players on 17th-century church music; and invited a diverse array of contemporary theater directors and choreographers to stage, among other things, a Spanish Baroque […]

Posted inBreaking

After Barenboim

Every era has to end. Except, so it seemed, the Daniel Barenboim Era at the Berlin Staatsoper. His legacy for the musical life of Berlin is so monumental precisely because it extends far past the city’s musical life. Instead of merely administering his legacy, the Staatsoper needs a fresh start.  When Daniel Barenboim signed his […]

Posted inInterview

The Threshold of Time

In the big pond full of big fish that is the New York contemporary classical music scene, the Argento New Music Project, led by composer and conductor Michel Galante, is an unusual and irreplaceable specimen. As artistic director of the ensemble, Galante combines two qualities that rarely go together: An ear for logical and creative […]

Posted inProfile

Go Out, Keep Playing

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I’m a fan. In the last 30 years I’ve heard him play many times, many more than any other pianist or conductor: Bach, Liszt, Mahler, Schoenberg. My main motivation was curiosity. You could call it professional curiosity. But you could also call it professional bias. Why do […]

Posted inInterview

A Glimpse of the Butterfly

Few conductors manage to cross the invisible boundary separating contemporary music ensembles (with their emphasis on ephemeral premieres) from mainstream orchestras (where even the 867th rendition of a Brahms symphony is expected to sound gripping and fresh). The American David Robertson is one such conductor. In 1992, Pierre Boulez appointed Robertson music director of the […]

Posted inInterview

Holding the Center

In 2018, outgoing Berlin Philharmonic music director Simon Rattle told the orchestra’s in-house magazine, 128, “You probably need to be 90 to conduct this orchestra correctly.” Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, age 95, proved the truth to this remark in a concert with the orchestra at the end of September. The Berlin Philharmonic is known for […]

Posted inInterview

The Direction of History

Gambist and conductor Jordi Savall has recorded over 200 albums, most featuring music written before 1750—the year most mainstream conductors’ repertoire begins. Then, in 2018, Savall began a plan to perform multiple projects of Mozart and Beethoven. He was dipping his toe into the 19th century. Last week in Barcelona, Savall performed Schubert’s Eighth and […]

Posted inBreaking

In Between Worlds

“I don’t know if there is a creator, but if he exists, all I could do is tip my hat to him and say, ‘Thank you,’” pianist and conductor Lars Vogt told me in May 2021, when we spoke shortly after his cancer diagnosis. Vogt died on Monday in a hospital in Erlangen, Germany, surrounded […]

Exit mobile version