Posted inInterview

A Climate of Fusion

Aeham Ahmad, known as the Pianist of Yarmouk, gives concerts throughout Germany and the world and has published a book about his life, also titled The Pianist of Yarmouk. He grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Syria, before fleeing the war there, and came to Germany in 2015.  His concert format often includes passages […]

Posted inBreaking

Music in the Background

Classical music-theory academia is a small field with limited professional opportunities, to say the least. So it might seem surprising that the Journal of Schenkerian Studies, an annual music theory journal dedicated to the work of Austrian-Jewish musicologist Heinrich Schenker based at the University of North Texas, has been searching for a new editor (or […]

Posted inInterview

Closing the Timeline

In 2020, British mathematician Sir Roger Penrose was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory that black holes are “inevitable and perfect,” as cosmologist and author Janna Levin summarized his work: “A black hole is like a fundamental particle in its flawlessness. The event horizon hiding any individuality, they become indistinguishable.”  One year […]

Posted inInterview

Anti-Angelic Aesthetics

The harp world is small and isolated, often ignored by media outlets. But changes are afoot among those who play the instrument at the highest level. New repertoire and collaborations are on the rise, as are different ways of thinking about the harp’s past and why it’s an instrument overwhelmingly played by cisgendered women. (An […]

Posted inInterview

Title Change

Has New York’s Metropolitan Opera, led by manager Peter Gelb since 2006 and probably at once the most beloved and most hated institution in all of classical music, been going through an astonishing rough patch? Or has its visibility simply made it a lightning rod for systemic issues facing the entire field? The last seven […]

Posted inReport

For Better, For Worse

At the beginning of Ingmar Bergman’s “Scenes from a Marriage,” we meet Marianne and Johan, a couple being interviewed for a magazine story about successful relationships. In the next scene, Marianne asks Johan, “Do you believe two people can spend a lifetime together?” “It’s a ridiculous convention passed down from God knows where,” he answers.“A […]

Posted inOpinion

Fiddling While California Burns

After these long lockdowns, what a pleasure to finally attend concerts and new musical seasons. For instance, in 2020, the MusikFest Berlin was online-only; this fall, it featured live performances by nine of the best international music ensembles and orchestras in addition to prestigious orchestras and ensembles from Germany, with a varied and daring program, […]

Posted inReport

“The Perfect Voice in the Wrong Body”

“A chubby bundle of puppy fat.” “Unsightly and unattractive.” “Repulsive figure.” These comments count as professional feedback in the world of opera. At first glance, they may appear to be isolated cases; only seldom does body shaming make headlines in the opera industry. The most prominent exception was the “little black dress” which did not […]