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In the Moment

by B.A. Nilsson August 18, 2011


Pairing music by Martinu and Dvorák is a safe bet. Dvorák’s unashamed, lyrical folkishness is echoed in the sometimes more austere Martinu style—although in the case of the two works juxtaposed at the beginning of ...

Spa Little Theater

And Again

by B.A. Nilsson August 18, 2011

It makes sense, if you’ve been playing Rachmaninoff for a half an hour, that a spirit of Rachmaninoff would inform anything you make up thereafter, and pianist Gabriela Montero’s encore after performing that composer’s mighty ...

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Sweet Sophistication

by B.A. Nilsson August 10, 2011

Although Noël Coward’s operetta Bitter Sweet followed the more modern-sounding Showboat by two years, 1929 was still an era of melodramatic passion played out against frothy tunes, with Rudolph Friml and Sigmund Romberg, among others, ...

Bard College Richard B. Fisher Center

That’s Entertainment

by B.A. Nilsson August 3, 2011


Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique don’t share a program well. The first is sweet but comparatively shy, almost to the point of introversion. Bombast takes over the second piece, after a ...

1 comment Saratoga Performing Arts Center


by B.A. Nilsson July 20, 2011


Newly installed Glimmerglass Opera artistic director Francesca Zambello plans to nestle an American musical theater piece among the operatic offerings every summer, presented in a manner as close as possible to the original production. This summer, ...

Glimmerglass Opera

Mamma Mia!

by B.A. Nilsson July 14, 2011

thumb_28classicalpic Julieta Cervantes

Murdering your children always grabs headlines, and Greek mythological Medea long ago grabbed the title of most famous filicide. Her story varies from source to source, but by the time Luigi Cherubini got hold of ...

Glimmerglass Opera

On the Rise

by B.A. Nilsson May 4, 2011


Where’s your backbone, people? I’m talking to you, the audience at Ray Chen’s dazzling recital last week. The violinist finished with a Wieniawski finger-buster that spewed wicked spiccato, left-hand pizzicato, harmonics true and false and ...

Union College Memorial Chapel

A Perfect Pairing

by B.A. Nilsson May 4, 2011


Burrow inside the first movement of one of Mozart’s violin concertos and you’ll be amazed at the intricacies of effect that lurk within seemingly simple passages. Little dramas abound, reminding us that whether lyrics were ...

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Thoroughly Professional

by B.A. Nilsson March 23, 2011

Massry Center for the Arts, Picotte Recital Hall, March 21 Without some of the specific history attached to the concert, it still would have been a very pleasant program of music for strings, but much ...

Like Clockwork

by Ali Hibbs March 16, 2011


The composer: Steve Reich   It was only after stagehands wheeled the fourth grand piano onto the stage that the scope of what was about to transpire came fully into focus. Even the title of Steve Reich’s ...

In the Spirit

by B.A. Nilsson March 16, 2011


Auspicious: Jennifer Rivera   Jennifer Rivera, mezzo-soprano, Yehuda Hanani, cellist, Walter Ponce, pianist Close Encounters with Music, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., March 12   At the center of a program titled Thus Spake German Romanticism was a ...

Renaissance Men

by B.A. Nilsson February 23, 2011

thumb_Barry Richman

Although Barry Richman pursues most of his musical passion behind the scenes, you may have spotted him, more than 20 years ago, playing percussion with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. “I graduated with a performance major ...

Sparkling Conversations

by B.A. Nilsson March 24, 2010

Although the violin-cello duo of Madalyn and Cicely Parnas have local roots, they’re destined for an international career that could make this area but a memory. Neither is 20; both have impressive virtuoso chops that ...

Royal Harmonies

by B.A. Nilsson February 11, 2010

Legendary choral conductor Sir David Willcocks likes to tell the story of a group of singers who worked with him at King’s College in the mid-1960s and aspired to go out on their own. “You’ll ...