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Surrounded by artist Michael Mazur's monumental drawings of the Memorial Drive sycamores in an upstairs alcove of the Charles Hotel, pixie-ish MGM musical star Jane Powell looked even more petite than she seemed on the big screen.
Batting a Thousand
Benjamin Zander’s Philharmonic Youth Orchestra debuted at Symphony Hall last November with an especially impressive performance of Richard Strauss’s elaborately demanding autobiographical extravaganza, Ein Heldenleben (“A Hero’s Life”).
The 40-year-old Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski made an enormous impression last year at his BSO debut, conducting Shostakovich's gnarly hour-long Fourth Symphony.
Last year, Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski's BSO debut with Shostakovich's daunting Fourth Symphony was Boston's most thrilling orchestral concert in a long time.
Intrepid patrons braved ice and slush and Boston's parking ban for the North American premiere of Scottish composer James MacMillan's Clemency (co-commissioned by BLO).
"Before this pre-game show ends," mezzo-soprano Susan Graham announced on Super Bowl Sunday, near the end of her joint Celebrity Series recital with fellow Metropolitan Opera diva, soprano Renée Fleming, "I guarantee we have sung every note live ."
Sometimes a concert is so good it seems magical. Practically perfect.
Daniele Gatti’s Verdi Requiem with the BSO was a disappointment (though a friend tells me that the third performance was better than the one I heard).
Middle East meets West
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an ensemble of musicians between the ages of 15 and 36, equally Israeli and Palestinian (but also from Spain, where they rehearse), was founded a little over a decade ago by conductor-pianist Daniel Barenboim (who made headlines performing Wagner in Israel) and the late Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said.
This year marks the 200th birthday of the 19th century's two greatest operatic geniuses and polar opposites: Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner.
Even in a city like Boston with so many stars in its musical firmament, concerts in which great musicians triumphantly tackle the very greatest literature is still rare.
The BSO's first concert of 2013 featured one of its best guest conductors, but not one likely to be available for its music directorship.
Here are some of the dozens of classical-music events this winter I'm especially looking forward to (or most curious about).
Boston has too much music on the highest level for one listener to hear everything.
The last few BSO concerts of the season have had their pleasures and raised some questions, especially about who might be the next BSO music director, one of Boston's — indeed, one of the country's —major cultural positions.
There's a shiny new band in town, conductor Benjamin Zander's Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, a 117-member ensemble consisting of New England players from 12 to 21. The inaugural concert nearly sold out Symphony Hall for an auspicious debut.
Last year's most satisfying Boston Symphony concert was led by the 41-year-old British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès, who combined music from his marvel-filled opera, The Tempest (2004), with other works inspired by Shakespeare's late romance.
One of the more delightful evenings I've spent recently was at a benefit concert on November 11 for the Boston Vocal Arts Studio at the Center Makor, in the Temple Bnai Moshe in Brighton.
The first American production of any of Michael Tippett's five operas was Sarah Caldwell's The Ice Break for the Opera Company of Boston in 1979.
What artist was ever blessed with a longer creative life than Elliott Carter, who died in his New York apartment on Monday, November 5, just a month short of his 104th birthday?
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