5 Classical Music Stories That Prove 2016 Wasn’t a Total Loss

  I read the news this year, oh boy... And so the Year of Death and Brexit and #MAGA comes to a merciful end. Yes, it was a horrific year for unity and truth and famous people staying alive. The awfulness extended to the classical music world as well. We said goodbye to far too many titans … Continue reading 5 Classical Music Stories That Prove 2016 Wasn’t a Total Loss

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Learning to Hate: A Story Whose Relevance Reaches Beyond the West Side

At the climax of West Side Story, Maria brandishes the gun that killed her star-crossed lover, Tony, and declares that, "We all killed him," because of the unbroken cycle of violence and hate between the two rival gangs. "I can kill now," Maria screams, "Because I hate now too!" When they programmed a concert performance … Continue reading Learning to Hate: A Story Whose Relevance Reaches Beyond the West Side

Resurrection of Hope

It's been a hell of a week. As we struggled to process the murder of Alton Sterling, we learned of the murder of Philando Castile. The Washington Post tells us 509 people have been killed by police this year. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune tells us that 148 people have been killed by police in Minnesota since 2000 … Continue reading Resurrection of Hope

Conductors Conducting the Climax of Mahler 2

The Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler is the biggest, most epic symphonic statement since Beethoven's 9th. It's subtitled "Resurrection," and the work climaxes with the words: O Pain, You piercer of all things, From you, I have been wrested! O Death, You conqueror of all things, Now, are you conquered! With wings which I … Continue reading Conductors Conducting the Climax of Mahler 2

A Devastating Double-Bill: Thoughts on Elektra and Mahler 9 at Lincoln Center (part 2)

(To read Part 1 of this post, please click here.)  The Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic don’t get together in the offseason and plan out their repertoire as a team, so it was pure coincidence that Richard Strauss’ dark psychodrama, Elektra, opened at The Met the same weekend the Philharmonic was playing Mahler’s … Continue reading A Devastating Double-Bill: Thoughts on Elektra and Mahler 9 at Lincoln Center (part 2)

A Devastating Double-Bill: Thoughts on Elektra and Mahler 9 at Lincoln Center (part 1)

  The Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic don't get together in the offseason and plan out their repertoire as a team, so it was pure coincidence that Richard Strauss' dark psychodrama, Elektra, opened at The Met the same weekend the Philharmonic was playing Mahler's bleak final symphony. Lincoln Center's coincidence was my good … Continue reading A Devastating Double-Bill: Thoughts on Elektra and Mahler 9 at Lincoln Center (part 1)