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Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra announces new season, Part 1

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) continues to offer top ranked performances and guest artists to enthrall local classical music devotees. The dashing figure of artistic director and maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jr. will continue to lead the LPO with authority and a keen sense of intuition as to what fits for today’s audiences.

LPO maestro and artistic director Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jr.

It all kicks off on Saturday, September 22 with pianist …more…

June in Buffalo: New Music, Upstate Edition

June in Buffalo logo; culled from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra website.

For New York-based artists and audiences alike, summertime can mean a respite from a congested city concert schedule, in the form of upstate music festivals such as Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown and Bard Summerscape in Annandale-on-Hudson. For “new music” devotees, Western New York’s annual festival June in Buffalo–hosted by the University at Buffalo during the month’s first week–is …more…

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival: Composing, Maybe… Rehearsing, Not So Much

Summer always feels like a dry spell for classical music in Alaska. The symphonies, the opera, the choirs all take summers off, and it’s no wonder. Desperate for vitamin D, with the precious warm season beckoning, most Alaskans, musicians included, are off fishing, hiking, or boating this time of year. After nine months of brutal winter, what Alaskan would reject sunshine for a windowless studio to practice arpeggios? ...more...

HYAC 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

As one the the foremost leaders in publicizing classical music for young people all over Houston, the HYAC continuing this tradition by holding its 25th Anniversary Young Musicians concert.

The mission of the Houston Young Artist’s Concert (HYAC) is to showcase highly talented young classical musicians age 4 to 18 in a variety of venues throughout the city with the hope of fostering a greater appreciation for classical music in the …more…

Free D.C.: The Strathmore Outdoor Summer Concert Series

As the warming sun heralds summer in the D.C. metropolitan area, it’s time to begin searching for the right music to infuse the balmy nights that will inevitably follow. And what better way to enjoy a warm summer evening than with free, quality music concerts?

Carmina Burana at The Houston Symphony

The 2011-2012 Houston Symphony classical season is ending on a high note with conductor Hans Graf leading the orchestra in one the of the most famous cantatas ever composed, Carmina Burana.

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana

Written by German Carl Orff, Carmina Burana is based off of the 24 medieval poems in a collection with the same name. The poems range in subject matter from the joy of spring, the fickleness of …more…

A Trio of Instrumental Concerts in Minneapolis this Weekend

There is no shortage of instrumental music experiences this weekend in Minneapolis.

On Friday or Saturday night, you can make your way to Orchestra Hall to hear the Minnesota Orchestra with a guest conductor performing an intense program of seriously beautiful music by three composers of the 20th century.

Jarvi Conducts Rachmaninoff at Orchestra Hall 
Friday, May 4, 8 PM
Saturday, May 5, 8 PM


Kristjan Jarvi conducts the Minnesota Orchestra playing Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three …more…

Spring For Music at Carnegie Hall Featuring The Houston Symphony

In what is now one of the premiere spring events for classical music in the United States, Spring For Music brings together an impressive grouping of orchestras from across the nation and Canada for a series of performances, showcasing some of the greatest music ever created, at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall.

Carnegie Hall in New York City

Our very own Houston Symphony is kicking off the sophomore edition of this series on May …more…

Norman Scribner bids farewell to the DC Choral Arts Society

This month, celebrated conductor Maestro Norman Scribner retired from his post as artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington D.C. after 46 years of leadership. The chorus, which is one of the largest and foremost choral organizations in the United States, was founded by Maestro Scribner himself.

Composer Robert Sirota Commemorates Appleton Organ’s 30th Anniversary at the Met Museum

Composer Robert Sirota. Photo by Richard Frank; culled from the composer’s web site.

While the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City may be best recognized for its expansive collections of visual art and historical artifacts, musical instruments are also significant to the museum’s holdings. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the installation of one such instrument at the museum—the Thomas Appleton pipe organ—the Met’s Department of Musical Instruments …more…

Nine (Slightly Biased) Reasons to See the Alaska Chamber Singers This Weekend

The Alaska Chamber Singers are performing this Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, and it promises to be among the best classical music offerings in Anchorage this spring. Okay, okay, I admit that I may be *slightly* biased… I am, after all, one of the altos in the Chamber Singers. But, I stand by my superlative. ...more...

Classical Music at The Woodlands Pavilion

Being the summer home of the Houston Symphony, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion has become a go-to for those who prefer to enjoy their classical music in the fresh air and under the starry Texas skies.

Although it is not summer quite yet (forget the fact that it already feels like it), The Woodlands Pavilion is taking advantage of the unparalleled talents of our very own Houston Symphony, along with a …more…

Nearly Sold-Out Bacchic Orgy: Anchorage Symphony Season Finale

The Anchorage Symphony is playing their season finale this Saturday, and, as of this writing, there are only EIGHT TICKETS LEFT for this sweet concert. If you manage to get a ticket, lucky you. Expect intellectualism, sentimentality, and musical bacchanalia.

So what exactly is on the program? A new piece for our Celestial Soundtrack! The concert will open with Comet, a ten-minute tone poem by George Tsontakis, commissioned for this concert by the Symphony’s “Musica Nova” program. ...more...

Jazz Concerto Premiere – An Interview With Lewis Porter

On April 19, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. in Paine Hall on the Harvard University campus, jazz pianist, composer, educator, and author, Lewis Porter’s Concerto for Saxophone will receive its world premiere with jazz icon Dave Liebman as the soloist (event site). Dr. Porter was kind enough to answer some questions about the piece and his collaborations with Liebman:

Your achievements as a scholar and educator are tremendous: You have been a …more…

Petrouchka and Beethoven at the Houston Symphony

With the new year comes fresh and exciting opportunities to experience the wonderful options for classical music lovers in Houston,Texas.

One of the most prominent and long-awaited performances of the spring is on April 13th-15th, when conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and pianist Jon Kimura Parker combine forces for a magnificent series of old school and new school sounds, as they tackle Beethoven, Schumann and Stravinsky in the Houston Symphony’s Petrouchka & Beethoven.

Quickly …more…

D.C. Artist Profile: Joseph Gascho and the Early Music Revival

Musical genres are better understood as complex groups of subcategories rather than as giant monoliths. Just as The Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin – different as they were in terms of style, period and audience – both contributed broadly to the larger genre of rock and roll, classical music is equally comprised of varied and nuanced sub-genres. And the greater Washington D.C. area is a prime place to choose from …more…

The Berkshire Symphony presents “Out of the Shadows”

The Berkshire Symphony will be performing at Chapin Hall, an 1100-seat concert hall built in 1910, located on the Williams College campus in Williamstown, MA.

What if Beethoven’s only opera had never premiered because he couldn’t get the overture just right? Or Brahms’s first symphony had never been composed because he felt like he couldn’t live up to Beethoven’s standards? And what if one of the greatest pieces in the …more…

Guster Pairs With the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for a Night of Pop/Classical Fusion

(photo courtesy of

The pop/rock band Guster has been making hit records for many years, finding some of their greatest success as featured artists in many popular film and television scores. With a decidedly upbeat and accessible sound, the trio, which originally hails from Boston, plans to combine their talents with those of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. In a concert scheduled on Thursday March 8, 2012, resident conductor, Scott O’Neil …more…

A Ghost, Two Elegies, Mitt Romney, and That Fine Cellist: Sitka Summer Music Festival in Anchorage, Part 2

The Sitka Summer Music Festival is coming to Anchorage’s Grant Hall Auditorium this weekend, and earlier this week I wrote about the piano trios (i.e., the pieces written for the piano, violin, and cello together) on Friday night’s program. Because each concert this weekend will present a different program, in this second post I’ll cover the Saturday and Sunday offerings, especially the piano trios. ...more...

Centennial Favorites, New Creations Meet at the Avant Music Festival 2012

Composer Randy Gibson(foreground) performing "Apparitions of The Four Pillars, Avant Music Festival 2011; culled from Avant Media's photostream on Flickr.

Rather paradoxically, “new” and experimental classical music is as much about the past as it is about the present. By its very nature, creating art that is avant-garde now demands an intimate understanding of what was avant-garde then. The aptly named Avant Music Festival–now in its third year in New …more…

Saving Humanity One Dance At A Time

Pablo Malco, choreographer and director of The Hip Hop Symphony, the dance performance extravaganza hosted by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on January 29, 2012, tells us about how he got into dance, the making of The Hip Hop Symphony and the dance company turned foundation ( that brings the art of dance into the community. ...more...

The National Chamber Ensemble Presents a Musical Journey to Russia

Photo credit: National Chamber Ensemble

The National Chamber Ensemble, one of northern Virginia’s foremost professional music groups, is gearing up for its third concert of the season on February 4.

Celestial Soundtrack: Music for Pitiable Pluto and Other Cosmic Phenomena

This weekend the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is performing Gustov Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets, and the program got me thinking. Holst has movements for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune… What about poor old Pluto?

First, some details: Performances are Saturday and Sunday, January 28 and 29, 2012, at 8:00 pm and 4:00 pm, respectively, in the Atwood Concert Hall of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. ...more...

Q2 Presents a New Year’s Countdown for “New Music” Lovers

Image by Darwin Bell; culled from the WQXR website.

Welcome to the New Year! For devotees of classical music–particularly works from the 20th century onward–I can think of no better resolution than to investigate Q2 Music’s Inaugural New-Music Countdown. The New York City-based, WQXR-operated online new music station has compiled a Top 50 list of listeners’ favorite works of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Running through midnight, January …more…

2011 Top Musical Discoveries (a personal list)

Many critics, reviewers, and bloggers end the year with a top ten list of the year’s best recordings, best performances, top news stories, etc. For my record of San Francisco and Bay Area jazz happenings, I want to offer a list of top musical discoveries of 2011. Admittedly, this is a highly personal list and I offer it in the hopes that readers respond with their own discoveries:

Early Music scene …more…