Symphomania, Will Robin's twenty-four-hour festival of twenty-first-century orchestral music, is under way on Q2. The discovery of the morning has been Georges Lentz's gorgeously hellish Jerusalem (after Blake), a pick by the ever-inquisitive David Robertson.... I'm looking forward to hearing John Adams's latest big piece, Scheherezade.2, at the New York Philharmonic this week. It's billed as a "dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra."... Another beguiling musical fiction from the fertile mind of Jennifer Walshe: Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde. More here.... The first installment of Lisa Bielawa's online opera Vireo, subtitled "the spiritual biography of a witch's accuser," will appear on March 31.... Heartiest congratulations to Zachary Woolfe, who, after several years of incisive free-lance criticism for the New York Times, has been hired as the paper's new classical-music editor. This is the first classical hire by the Times since Tony Tommasini joined the staff in the late nineties.... Tim Rutherford-Johnson listens to the scary, brilliant music of Adam de la Cour.... Steve Smith, whose blog is springing back to life, listens to Pierluigi Billone.... Also in the Globe: Jeremy Eichleron Feldman and Rothko. An outstanding recent Feldman release is the Flux Quartet's rendition of the First Quartet, Structures, and Three Pieces, on Mode.
A rare tribute from a musician to a critic: Riccardo Muti speaks to WFMT's David Polk about the late Andrew Patner, in advance of the Patner Celebration in Chicago tomorrow. Andrew mentioned the music played at the end — Franck's Symphony in D Minor and Bob Dylan's Shadows in the Night — in e-mails to me a couple of days before his shockingly sudden death. We exchanged, on average, three or four messages a day, adding up to tens of thousands over the years. I miss him every morning.
Kozinn: "Today, newspapers across the country have reduced their staffs of critics and the space they devote to performance coverage, sometimes drastically, and it is not uncommon to hear the culture editors at even prestigious papers wondering—with no apparent realization that perhaps they should be in a different business—why they are publishing reviews at all, particularly of performances that happen only once."
On March 18, the Chicago Symphony will host a Celebration of Andrew Patner.... The twentieth Other Minds festival unfolds in San Francisco this weekend: featured are Don Byron, Frode Haltli, Tigran Mansurian, Miya Masaoka, Michael Nyman, Pauline Oliveros, David Tanenbaum, Maja S.K. Ratkje, Errollyn Wallen, and Charles Amirkhanian.... The JACK Quartet plays a new Augusta Read Thomas piece at NYC's Miller Theatre tonight. Next week they'll be at the National Gallery of Art's American Music Festival in DC, and toward the end of the month they will reprise Czernowin's HIDDEN at MaerzMuzik in Berlin.... Boston's Sound Icon devotes a program to Salvatore Sciarrino this Saturday, with a Pierluigi Billone portrait following on April 1.... TENET will conclude their epic survey of Gesualdo's Responsoria in the period March 12-15 (concerts in New York, Florida, and Georgia).... Gesualdo will also appear on a March 11 Italian Academy program by the Mivos Quartet, whose major novelty will be a new work by Kate Soper.... Taleaplays Enno Poppe's Speicher at EMPAC, in Troy NY, on March 13.... The Dallas Opera's Institute for Women Conductors is receiving applications through April 15.... The pianist Philip Thomas will make a short North American tour later this month, stopping in Ithaca, Buffalo, and Toronto. He offers a program of Skempton, Wolff, and Finnissy.... Spectrum in NYC will host a Finnissy Fest from March 22 to March 25, with four world premières on the schedule.... In New York, Justin Davidson writes excellently on Thomas Adès's Totentanz and Andrew Norman's Play.... On March 24, Will Robin hosts a Symphomania festival on Q2.
I can hardly bring myself to write this, because I do not yet accept it, but my dear friend Andrew Patner, one of the wisest, wittiest, most generous, most avid, most altogether vital people in the world of the arts, died this morning in Chicago, at the age of fifty-five. It was a constant joy to have Andrew in my life, and it was an endless, enriching education. He offered advice, he offered criticism, he offered time, he offered knowledge (staggeringly encyclopedic knowledge, on every imaginable subject), and, above all, he offered companionship. I feel lost and lonely without him, as do many others around the world. I'm too heartbroken to say much more, but obituaries in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune and tributes from WFMT, the Chicago Symphony, Marc Geelhoed, and Amanda Ameer give some idea of the greatness of Andrew's mind and spirit. Deepest condolences to Tom Bachtell, his longtime partner; to his mother, Irene; to his brothers, Seth and Joshua; and to innumerable friends.