I noted previously that the end of January presented a maddening excess of promising NYC concerts. The glut continues in the early days of February. Tonight at Joe's Pub, for example, the deft young composer Nico Muhly and associates perform alongside the languid experimental band Doveman. Pop and classical elitists alike should stay away: Muhly has collaborated with Antony and Björk, while Thomas Bartlett, lead singer of Doveman, is a recovering piano prodigy who studied with the legendary London piano maven Maria Curcio. Icelandic sound-magician Valgeir Sigurðsson will also participate. Simultaneously, Juilliard's Focus! Festival comes to its orchestral climax with Zhou Long's The Enlightened, Jukka Tiensuu's Spiriti for accordion and orchestra, and the premiere of Paul Schoenfield's mini-oratorio Channah. I was at Juilliard the last two nights, and was struck by the huge range and energy of the offerings. Saturday night is a crisis. Lincoln Center hosts Osvaldo Golijov's astounding Ayre, with Dawn Upshaw, Kronos, and the Oscar-nominated Gustavo Santaolalla (please rise for the singing of the gay national anthem: "pling-pling-pling pling...pling... pling"); a few tickets still seem to be available. Meanwhile, at Merkin Hall, the Ear Dept. series presents Michael Gordon and Bill Morrison, creators of the stupefyingly powerful film symphony Decasia, in three other audiovisual collaborations: Light Is Calling, Gotham, and the brand-new Who By Water. Finally, as the Felsenfeld reports, Marc Mellits's Brick will be given its premiere on Saturday by Orpheus. I don't know Mellits's music, but I've heard his name dropped by knowledgeable types, and I will investigate.
— Alex Ross
P.S. Speaking of Brokeback Mountain, there's been an outbreak of insanity in Colorado: an elementary-school teacher was accused of promoting homosexuality and devil-worship after playing her students ten minutes of Gounod's Faust.