Posted inInterview

Oud of Damascus

In February of 2011, 15 children were arrested in Darʿā, Syria. They were accused of painting slogans criticizing the regime on the school walls: “Down with the President” and “Your turn, Doctor,” an allusion to Bashar al-Assad’s degree in opthalmology. The children were beaten up and tortured in prison. In response, a protest against police […]

Posted inEssay

Teaching at Sapir College

Ever since I started my new teaching job as a music lecturer at Sapir College in the south of Israel, I’d had the itch to drive at the end of the day and watch the sunset—a beautiful desert sunset, with its giant red orb glowing in a light that is particular to the Negev district. […]

Posted inEssay

The Savior’s Gaze

Upon hearing her own stepmother the Kostelnička guiltily admit that she was the one who killed her infant child—whose frozen corpse the people of the Moravian village have now discovered—Jenůfa, initially shocked and appalled, first orders her to “stand up.” Then, going against the general bloodthirsty tenor of the crowd surrounding them, she grants her […]

Posted inReport

Drastic and Vivid

In 2014, the Colorado Symphony put on a concert series called “Classically Cannabis,” attracting media attention from around the world. On November 8, 2016, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts followed in the Rocky Mountain State’s footsteps by passing referenda legalizing recreational marijuana. As decriminalization spreads through the U.S. and perhaps to Europe, will we see more […]

Posted inEssay

Notes Towards A Movement

On November 24, 1963, two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Leonard Bernstein conducted Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony with the New York Philharmonic on a nationally televised memorial to the slain president. Three days later, Bernstein spoke before an audience of 18,000 at Madison Square Garden, where he delivered his famous words: “This […]

Posted inReport

None Shall Sleep

“I may not enjoy sitting through an opera,” wrote Donald Trump with assistance from ghostwriter Meredith McIver in his 2004 book How to Get Rich. “But I’ve always respected opera singers and enjoy the highlights of opera.” On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump used one of opera’s most iconic highlights, Luciano Pavarotti’s recording of […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Bang on a Can All-Stars Playlist

One way the Bang on a Can All-Stars describe themselves is as “a genre in their own right.” On their upcoming European tour, with performances at the Kampnagel in Hamburg (November 18), Les Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels (November 19), and Villa Musica in Mainz (November 20-21), their programs confirm this, reading more like new […]

Posted inHistory


When you think of small towns in rural England, you envision medieval stone buildings, carefully manicured gardens, and tearooms with Thomas Hardy-esque quietude, serenity, even sleepiness. That is, until you hear the bells. In every church. Ringing every hour, on the hour. Every Sunday morning, I remember incessant calls to worship at the cathedral next […]

Posted inInterview

Occupy Handel

On May 12, 2016, the Brazilian Senate voted to suspend President Dilma Rousseff, of the left-of-center Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), and begin an impeachment trial against her. Rousseff—who spent three years in prison in the 1970s during the dictatorship—is now suspended from her duties for 180 days; Michel Temer, a 75-year-old politician, will succeed her […]

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