Posted inOpinion

Patchwork History

Andreas Staier was born in 1955 in Göttingen, Germany. He was the harpsichordist for Musica Antiqua Köln for three years and has performed as a Hammerklavier and harpsichord soloist with all the major early music ensembles. In this article, he responds to the controversial VAN interview with Mahan Esfahani from April 6, 2017. By now […]

Posted inInterview

Snow and Granite

As part of the preparations for this year’s St. Magnus International Festival, I interviewed the Scottish-born pianist Steven Osborne. His connection to the place is deep: he loves its “few trees” and “barrenness,” he told me. Recently, we met up in his Edinburgh home to discuss performance anxiety, his own unlovely piano, and the struggle […]

Posted inInterview


Iranian-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani was born in Tehran in 1984. Known increasingly for his dynamic programs combining 20th and 21st century works with music from the 16th-18th centuries, his approach to the instrument stands out in contrast to the traditional associations of the harpsichord with the historical performance movement. But that’s not all he talked […]

Posted inInterview

Make The Building Sing

On Tuesday, the French organist Olivier Latry played a program of organ music by Olivier Messiaen, Gerald Levinson, and Jean Louis Florentz at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. In a sense, he was a guest of Iveta Apkalna—the hall’s main organist and “artistic adviser” in matters related to the king of instruments. Before the performance, I […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Víkingur Ólafsson Playlist

Backstage at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, a mens’ choir is rehearsing. It’s their 100th anniversary, and a group of craggy old men in suits are talking to Víkingur Ólafsson like he’s a favored son-in-law, back for one of his many regular visits.Ólafsson has a lot on his plate right now. Last week, he […]

Posted inReport

On the Road

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 Stephen Brady—a soft-spoken, no-nonsense, award-winning piano technician who, in his spare […]

Posted inInterview


“Messiaen is not so present here, but he is very present in me.” On June 20, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the pianist and first non-UK based artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival, realized the composer’s “Catalogue d’oiseaux” indoors and outdoors in nature in Suffolk, England. It was his last major project at the festival, where he has […]

Posted inInterview


For Intro, we speak with the musicians who don’t show up in press releases. We hope to portray a diversity of background and experience in classical music. This is the first interview in an ongoing series. Andrew Trovato is a pianist, composer, and childhood friend. In the course of two long Skype sessions—he was lying […]

Posted inReport


There’s something about an annoying office job that makes you idealize working with your hands, even if you have—like me—no aptitude for it at all. Last winter, I applied for an apprenticeship at the organ builder Orgelbau Scheffler, in the tiny, former East German village of Sieversdorf, outside Berlin, with a romantic idea of learning […]

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