I'm headed back to Southbank for the final weekend of the Rest Is Noise Festival. On Saturday, I'll give a talk about early-21st-century music, presenting four "case studies" (Georg Friedrich Haas, Liza Lim, Stefan Prins, John Luther Adams); and on Sunday I'll chat with Colin Greenwood, the brilliant bassist of Radiohead. Eternal gratitude to Jude Kelly, Gillian Moore, and all others who made the festival happen.
Parterre Box, the formidable online hub for opera critique and chatter, celebrates today its twentieth anniversary. The publication began life as a zine — youngsters may have to look up the word — and found a robust second life on the Internet. I treasure my stack of vintage Parterres, with their juicy backstage stories, salacious illustrations, and learned jeremiads by the likes of Dawn Fatale, Dr. Repertoire, Enzo Bordello, and, of course, James "La Cieca" Jorden, Parterre's founder, who is now a respected and incisive print critic, if that still means anything. Auguroni!
An explosive revelation in Paul Morley's fine piece on the Huddersfield Festival: Cage, Boulez, and Messiaen once dined together at the Huddersfield Pizza Hut.... The Serbian-born composer Djuro Zivkovic has won the 2014 Grawemeyer Award, for his work On the Guarding of the Heart.... The fascinating and difficult-to-classify Icelandic composer Anna Þhorvaldsdóttir is featured Thursday in Miller Theatre's Composer Portrait series.... Kyle Gann, the godfather of new-music blogging (among many other distinctions), makes waves at the ISCM in Vienna.... No one understands Parsifal, with the possible exception of the Boulezian.... Sundry pundits have analyzed the demise of New York City Opera; it's another thing to witness the event through the eyes of a singer, namely Nick Phan.... Notable operatic rarities playing in New York next week: Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All (which received an unforgettable City Opera production in 2000) at the Manhattan School of Music (Dec. 11-15) and Strauss's Feuersnot in a concert performance by the American Symphony (Dec. 15).... Somebody loves Martinů: at a recent Sotheby's auction, the manuscript of the Czech master's Fourth Symphony sold for 177000 Euros, far above evaluation.... I'm deeply saddened to hear of the death of Marion Lignana Rosenberg, one of the most passionate and perceptive of opera critics. Her last piece for WQXR ended with a salute to Joyce DiDonato and these words: "Here’s to countless voices singing out in freedom, dignity, and joy in 2014 and beyond."
Here is the full schedule for Trinity Wall Street series, the great event of the Britten season here in New York; the final performance is on Jan. 5. The Decoda Quartet plays the Third Quartet and Berg's Lyric Suite on Thursday, and Chris Herbert sings Who Are These Children? on Dec. 12.
Liza Lim's Tongue of the Invisible introduced me to the lupophon, a modern variant of the heckelphone. In this video, the composer discusses the lupophon's capabilities with Peter Veale, the oboist of Ensemble musikFabrik, who plays transfixingly on the Wergo CD saluted below.