Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi/Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Komische Oper Berlin — review

(Financial Times)  —  If Calixto Bieito’s new production of Gianni Schicchi and Bluebeard’s Castle makes a strong case for pairing these one-act operas, his lewd humour and sadomasochist displays offer little psychological insight. Both works premiered in the year 1918, and the dark journey of Bluebeard and Judith emerges as a counterpart to the paradise of the young lovers Lauretta and Rinuccio. […]


New Artist of the Month: Aleksey Semenenko


(Musical America Worldwide)  —  The tension was high at the first International Boris Goldstein Violin Competition in Bern last January. As it turned out, all but one of the winners were students of Zakhar Bron, himself a living legend for having trained soloists such as Vadim Repin and Daniel Hope. […]

Musica Nova, Helsinki — review

(Financial Times)  —  As a younger generation of Finnish composers remains under the shadow of modernist pioneers such as Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho, Musica Nova’s role may be more important than ever. Founded in 1981 as the Helsinki Biennale, the festival is Finland’s largest contemporary music event, this year offering both a glimpse into local talent and a wide range of repertoire in well-conceived programmes. […]


L’Orontea, Frankfurt Opera — review


(Financial Times)  —  With its slapstick comedy and sumptuous melodies, Antonio Cesti’s L’Orontea was a mainstay of 17th-century Italian repertoire. As a piece of modern entertainment, however, it presents both scholarly and thespian challenges. […]

Pascal Dusapin’s Music Tests Mind and Body

(New York Times)  —  With his chin-length hair, jacketed attire and focused gaze, Pascal Dusapin might be mistaken for an architect. Sitting at his tidy desk in front of a wall of books, he could also be a professor of philosophy. […]



An Upstart Latvian in Ozawa’s Court


(Listen)  —  After two years without a music director, the Boston Symphony has entered a new chapter with its youngest appointee in over a century. But this new conductor, Andris Nelsons, is no gamble.  […]

Fidelio, La Scala, Milan — review

(Financial Times)  — The chorus of townspeople and prisoners storms the concrete bowels of an unfinished building where Florestan and his wife Leonore have just been reunited. Some wear construction helmets and face masks. Others toss red clothing in the air. […]


Poland’s Concert Hall Revival


(New York Times)  —  KRAKOW, Poland — Nearly 2,000 guests climbed the white stairs of the new Congress Center on a foggy evening here, their well-dressed figures visible behind a pristine glass facade. […]

International Shostakovich Days, Gohrisch

(Financial Times)  — On the final chord of a Shostakovich Nocturne for piano solo, the actress Isabel Karajan cries out into the concert tent while rain pounds on its plastic roof. “A merry funeral!” she declares with a manic laugh. […]