Arts

Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Tue July 2, 2013

In Search Of The Great American Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have been consistent champions of American music of all shapes and sizes. Are there — or will there be — American symphonies that stand with those of Mozart and Beethoven, Mahler and Shostakovich?
Bill Swerbenski San Francisco Symphony

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 1:53 pm

Critics and fans love a good debate over the great American novel or great American movie. But what about the great American symphony?

Is there one? If not, why? If so, which symphonies are good candidates for the title? (Check out our Spotify list for some contenders.) And in the land of the melting pot, what does it mean for a symphony to be "American" in the first place?

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Deceptive Cadence
5:00 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Revved-up Vivaldi, Persian Bamboo And Soaring Spirituals: New Classical Albums

album cover for Corps Exquis

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:41 am

It's a brave new musical world. Between downloads, iPods, music sharing websites and the good old CD, we have more easy access to the songs and symphonies we love than ever before.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:20 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Maya Beiser: Tiny Desk Concert

Maya Beiser performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 9, 2013.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:25 pm

Maya Beiser's Twitter handle — @CelloGoddess — says it all. She's a brilliant cellist with a stunning command of her instrument, and she's tightly tied to technology. Beiser takes the sound of her cello and runs it through loop pedals, effects and other electronics to make her instrument shimmer, drone and groove. Then there's her magnificent sense of melody.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:36 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Why Tchaikovsky's Bells And Cannons Sound Every July 4

The Boston Pops rehearses for its Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on July 3, 2012, at the Charles River Esplanade.
Paul Marotta Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 3:44 pm

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and on the big day, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture will be heard from coast to coast, complete with fireworks and cannons. But how did a Russian composition, depicting the rout of Napoleon's Army, end up as the unofficial soundtrack for our most quintessentially American holiday?

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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Wunder Years: Sloppy Johann

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:44 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Hit The Road And Hear Some Music: Summer Classical Festivals 2013

At the Moab Festival in Utah, patrons can hike to a secret spot to hear concerts.
Richard Bowditch Moab Music Festival

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 8:55 am

Summer is heating up and so are dozens of classical music festivals all around the country. We couldn't possibly list them all, but here's a sampling of some of the best events, from open-air venues and seaside spots to historic concert halls. Been to a great summer festival we've missed? Feel free to pass along your own reviews in the comments section.

EAST

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Deceptive Cadence
1:59 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Meet The 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World

Mezzo soprano Jamie Barton, who won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition Sunday night.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 10:45 am

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

In Sharpness And In Tune

Pablo Helguera for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 2:46 pm

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Classics in Concert
11:42 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Mozart's Violin Comes To Boston, Live In Concert

Daniel Stepner performs on the violin once owned by Mozart himself.
WGBH

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:53 am

Mozart never made it to America: getting seasick crossing the English Channel put an end to any of his seafaring fantasies. But America was frequently on Mozart's mind. In fact, his closest collaborator, librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, actually immigrated to these shores and became the first professor of Italian at Columbia University in New York.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:03 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Distinctive Voices: Three Must-Hear Violin Albums

Three of today's most fascinating violinists have new albums, including Augustin Hadelich, who pairs off with Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas.
Rosalie O'Connor Avie Records

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:01 am

The violin, though centuries old, remains a popular yet remarkably unwieldy instrument. Just squeezing the contraption between your chin and shoulder, then raising your bow arm to the proper height, is enough to induce a pinched nerve. Yet every day countless numbers of people try to make the instrument sing.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:54 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Wired: Come Hear New Music That Uses The Manhattan Bridge

So Percussion.
Janette Beckman, 2012 courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:31 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:31 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Playing Mozart — On Mozart's Violin

Violinist Amandine Beyer holds Mozart's own violin backstage at Boston's Jordan Hall on Monday.
Kathy Wittman Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 1:21 pm

The violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played himself are in the United States for the first time ever. The instruments come out of storage only about once a year at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. The rest of the time, they're kept under serious lockup.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:01 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

An Inconvenient Tune

Pablo Helguera for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:50 pm

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:21 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

A Loaded Bible Story, Tweaked For The Opera Stage

Nathan Gunn and Sasha Cooke star in the new opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene as Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) and the title character.
San Francisco Opera

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Composer Mark Adamo has made beautiful music out of classic books. His Little Women is among the most produced American operas today. He also wrote the words and music for his operatic adaptation of Aristophanes' Greek drama Lysistrata.

His latest work, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, has proved more controversial. The opera, which premieres June 19 at the San Francisco Opera, tells the story of Mary, Jesus and his disciples.

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Music Videos
10:39 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Angélica Negrón On Q2 Music's 'Spaces'

Angélica Negrón gives Q2 Music a tour of her apartment.
Q2 Music

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 9:12 am

Combining found sounds and toy instruments with electronics and orchestral instruments, the music of Puerto Rican-born composer Angélica Negrón crafts a sound that's at once futuristic and nostalgic. Her compositions draw from ambient music, found sound, visual art and the hidden potential of everyday objects, as well as the classical music tradition.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:20 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Ukrainian Wins Top Prize At Van Cliburn Piano Competition

Cliburn medalists Beatrice Rana, second place winner; Vadym Kholodenko, first place winner; and Sean Chen, third place winner, receive applause from the audience at the final awards ceremony at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on Sunday.
Rodger Mallison MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 11:39 am

Winners of 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced Sunday night in Fort Worth, Texas. The competition was held over 17 days.

Vadym Kholodenko, 26, of Ukraine, won the top prize of $50,000, but he said the rankings don't mean that much.

"It's kind of fun for audience, for press. It's interesting to put first, second, 10th and so on. But in life, not so important," Kholodenko says.

And, he says, so much of life involves competing no matter what you're doing.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:26 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

David Finckel On The Emerson Quartet's Changing Of The Guard

David Finckel is a longtime member of the Emerson String Quartet. Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg is his last recording with the group.
Christian Steiner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:09 pm

The Emerson String Quartet is one of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the world of classical music. Since their founding in 1976, the group has won nine Grammys for its recordings. Now, it has a new album out called Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg — and it's the last recording with cellist David Finckel, one of the quartet's longtime members.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Being Stuck On A Tarmac With The Philly Orchestra Rocks

Artists from the Philadelphia Orchestra perform at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, capital of China.
Luo Xiaoguang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:28 am

There are few things as annoying as being stuck on a tarmac — in a cramped, packed plane — for long periods of time. But when you have some of the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra on your flight, it could turn magical.

No, seriously.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:53 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The Cage-y Consumer

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Cliburn Competition After Van

Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, 22, performs at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. The Juilliard School graduate student is among six musicians chosen for the final round.
Ralph Lauer Cliburn Foundation

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 10:26 pm

Six finalists for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced last night in Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time since its inception more than 50 years ago, the contest is taking place without its namesake. Cliburn died in February of cancer, and the competition is dealing with his loss and other changes as well.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Tue June 4, 2013

'Becoming Traviata': A Look At Opera From Behind The Curtain

Soprano Natalie Dessay, with tenor Charles Castonovo, in Philippe BĂ©ziat's documentary Becoming Traviata.
Distrib Films

It's easy to think of opera as little more than an affected flock of singers warbling onstage in lacy brocade with pancake makeup, chandeliers and champagne.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Amid The Pulsars Without A Pulse

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
5:18 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

100 Years After The Riot, The 'Rite' Remains

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony.
Bill Swerbenski San Francisco Symphony

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:51 am

One hundred years ago, a landmark of modern music was unveiled before a Paris audience. And that audience famously and mercilessly greeted it with boos, jeers and hisses. It was the premiere of the Ballets Russes' The Rite of Spring.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:48 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

We Asked, You Created: Your 'Rite Of Spring' Videos

A still from Ann Robideaux' choreography for the last minute of The Rite of Spring.
courtesy of Ann Robideaux

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:35 pm

A few weeks ago, we asked you to take the last minute of Stravinsky's famous music for The Rite of Spring, transform it into something new and post your creations to YouTube. And boy, did you guys deliver, just in time to mark the ballet's 100th anniversary — it premiered May 29, 1913 — in brilliant fashion.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:09 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Colors Swirl In A Real Rite Of Spring

Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava and jazz musician Vijay Iyer's project Radhe Radhe: a visually and sonically dazzling collaboration.
KPO Photo courtesy of Carolina Performing Arts

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:26 pm

One of the most brilliant and exciting commemorations of the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is a new work that references the Russian composer's music — but in an entirely new cultural framework. It's a pairing of film and music called Radhe, Radhe: Rites of Holi.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:03 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Watch A Mind-Blowing Visualization Of 'The Rite of Spring'

Stephen Malinowski

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:28 am

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Deceptive Cadence
6:03 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Why Jazz Musicians Love 'The Rite Of Spring'

Flutist Hubert Laws is one of many jazz artists to have recorded an adaptation of themes from The Rite of Spring.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:05 am

A 100-year-old ballet, composed by a Russian for a French audience, has become something of a jazz standard.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:03 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Leonard Bernstein's 'Rite of Spring' Thrill Ride

Leonard Bernstein leads the London Symphony Orchestra. He called Stravinsky's famously savage Rite of Spring "extremely tuneful and dancy, rhythmically seductive, beguiling."
Ian Showell Getty Images

If you think all the twitchy rhythms and random shards of melody flashing through Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring sound complicated, consider the poor musicians who have to learn it. And then there's the conductor, who needs to perfectly place every piccolo tweet and bass drum boom.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Then The Curtain Opened: The Bracing Impact Of Stravinsky's 'Rite'

An image from the 2013 production of Le Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, reflects the hard jumps and stamps of Vaslav Nijinsky's original choreography.
Herbert Migdoll Joffrey Ballet

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

One hundred years ago this week, a ballet premiered that changed the art world. Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps — The Rite of Spring — was first seen by the public on May 29, 1913, in Paris. As the orchestra played The Rite's swirling introduction, the audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées began to murmur. Then the curtain opened.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:41 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

The Cocktail Party Guide To Igor Stravinsky

Don't be caught "Stravinsky deficient" as the big centennial of his Rite of Spring approaches.
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:21 pm

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