This Betty Freeman image, captured in 1992, appears in an online collection of Los Angeles Philharmonic photos. One senses that the conversation is off to an awkward start; perhaps it will warm up shortly. All three men had associations with Frank Zappa, as it happens. In 1989, Raksin moderated a discussion between Boulez and Zappa; the LA Times account of the event is amusing.
March 29, 2015 | Permalink
Or so this juxtaposition of posters at the Philharmonie de Paris might lead one to believe. The Boulez exhibition is sprawling and superb. Bowie is outside my field of expertise.
At the Cité de la Musique bookstore, I picked up a copy of the Actes Sud publication Pierre Boulez — the companion book to the exhibition — and a new ten-CD compilation devoted to Boulez's Domaine Musical.
March 28, 2015 | Permalink
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 Another beguiling musical fiction from the fertile mind of Jennifer Walshe: Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde.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 Eichler on Feldman and Rothko. An outstanding recent Feldman release is the Flux Quartet's rendition of the First Quartet, Structures, and Three Pieces, on Mode.
March 24, 2015 | Permalink
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.
Previously: For Andrew Patner.
March 17, 2015 | Permalink
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."
March 14, 2015 | Permalink
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.... Talea plays 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.
March 05, 2015 | Permalink
Portrait by Tom Bachtell.
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.
February 03, 2015 | Permalink
Bea pays homage to the late Gordon Willis.
All praise to NewMusicBox, which goes from strength to strength: Heather Stebbins's posts from Estonia, Tim Rutherford-Johnson on new music and globalization, Eugene Birman on the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.... LA's Jacaranda goes British-Irish this weekend, with a program of Adès, Barry, and Peter Maxwell Davies (his Vesalii Icones).... Another strong editorial from the Overgrown Path: "Stop trying to serve everybody, instead just serve the music."... The Walden School, a celebrated summer program for young musicians and composers, hosts an event at NYC's Greenwich House tomorrow, with premières by alumni composers and Sky Macklay and Paul Moravec moderating .... Read Gavin Borchert on the Ives Fourth in Seattle.... An interesting new site: 21CM, the DePauw University School of Music's resource for professional and aspiring musicians.... It's Riccardo Muti Day on WFMT. Earlier, Muti spoke to Andrew Patner in advance of a slew of Chicago appearances and of the Chicago Symphony's Carnegie Hall residency, in which the maestro indulges his love of Scriabin.
January 30, 2015 | Permalink