Posted inInterview

Across And Over

For 42 years, Daniela Huber has been a violinist in the Bavarian State Orchestra. She also plays chamber music, composes, arranges, appears in cabaret performances as part of a string quartet, and founded a jazz band in which she plays mainly piano. Outside the concert hall, too, Huber rarely remains silent. In 2014, a group […]

Posted inEssay

Political Rites

For the past 80 years, I have started each day in the same manner,” Pablo Casals told his biographer when he was 93. “It is a sort of benediction to the house. I go to the piano, and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach.” Then, Casals would stretch his legs, admire the dew […]

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The Riddle of Silence

Michael Pisaro is an American composer, guitarist, and early member of the Wandelweiser Group. He teaches music composition at CalArts, where he is the founder and director of the Experimental Music Workshop. His 75-minute immersive work “A wave and waves” (2007)  for 100 performers will be featured at the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival on […]

Posted inProfile

Windows

It starts with the name. He gets irritated when you ask about it. Americans can’t pronounce the “ij” in “Bijlsma,” but the U.S. market is important, so marketing had the last word. He settles for “Bylsma.” He’s Dutch. In 1959, he won the International Pablo Casals Cello Competition, the Nobel Prize for cellists. When he […]

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In Three Dimensions

Some art works live off the music of Bach like parasites. They sample him, stage him, ritualize him, dance to him—and often end up sucking the original work dry of its life blood. These semi-new works rarely hold their own in the face of the original. Instead they are banal, merely decorative, or kitsch. But […]

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Give Them A Vision

I studied with the violinist Roberto González-Monjas at the Mozarteum, in Salzburg, from 2009–2011. My age and once my neighbor in a dormitory, he is now principal concert master of the Swiss chamber orchestra Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Selfies of him with Yuja Wang appear from time […]

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Alchemy

The audience had to creep carefully around the performance space, as a constellation of strings were stretched at hip-height from one wall to another. Ellen Fullman had spent the day here, setting up her traveling installation, the Long String Instrument; she had stretched dozens of stainless steel and phosphor bronze strings across the room in […]

Posted inHistory

Pieces of History

In 2011, the Stradivarius violin known as the “Lady Blunt” sold for $15.9 million—four times the amount for any previous Stradivarius. The hefty price tag for these instruments is commensurate with their reputation. The Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, who plays the 1717 “Gariel” Strad, has spoken of its “addictive quality,” while Anne-Sophie Mutter, who plays […]

Posted inInterview

A Set Of Values

At the Mozartfest in Augsburg this year, the cellist Steven Isserlis performed during the final concert in Richard Strauss’s tone poem “Don Quixote.” Isserlis’s photograph was plastered all over the festival’s materials, but he insisted that the work was not a kind of concerto for him to star in. Before the performance, I interviewed him […]

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