Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 1:57 pm
Elliott Carter turns 103 today. Amazingly, he's still composing, still doing fine. At the end of the birthday concert given in his honor last Thursday, the composer trundled up to the stage of Manhattan's 92nd Street Y to receive a resounding rendition of "Happy Birthday," which, in Carter-like fashion, devolved into clusters of wild sounds.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:41 pm
The silly season of endless lists is upon us. You might notice that here at Deceptive Cadence, we don't even try to enumerate which albums were "best" — we use the word "favorite" quite intentionally, as you'll see from the pan-genre list painstakingly compiled with our NPR Music colleagues.
Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 2:10 pm
High expectations lie with Iván Fischer as he prepares to step in as music director of Berlin's Konzerthaus and principal conductor of the house orchestra next season.
In a guest appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic last weekend, the Budapest native explored his passion for the Austro-Hungarian tradition, which he cited as a main incentive for taking on the former East Berlin ensemble earlier this year.
"Our native language is the music of the Hapsburg Empire," he told the local press.
Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 1:52 pm
Berlin would seem the obvious candidate to occupy the cutting edge of developments exploring the common ground between electronica and contemporary classical music.
The city boasts a techno music culture still colored with the anarchy of the city's post-wall years; a new music scene envied for its experimentalism and generous state funding and elegant converted industrial spaces that lend themselves perfectly to everything from DJ events to sound installations.
Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 11:10 am
Francophile romantics, and fans of violin sonatas, will discover a pleasant surprise in this new album of music by Luis de Freitas Branco, a Portuguese composer, teacher, musicologist and critic.
At age sixteen, Branco studied in Lisbon with Belgian organist-composer Désiré Pâque, who introduced him to Cesar Franck's music. And it must have made a great impression on the young composer if his four-movement first violin sonata of 1907 is any indication.
Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 12:00 pm
Audio Only: Gabriel Kahane's Tiny Desk Concert
Gabriel Kahane seems to enjoy blurring the lines between indie rock and indie classical. He arrived at the NPR Music offices with a string quartet and an electric guitarist in tow, and though they hadn't played together for long, you'd never know it.
Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 6:00 am
December is just around the corner — a time when we look back at musical events, catalog our favorite records of the year and, inevitably, remember musicians who died.
One of 2011's biggest losses was composer Daniel Catán. Tomorrow (Friday the 25th), many PBS stations will broadcast his final opera, Il Postino, in the world premiere LA Opera production starring Placido Domingo.
Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 5:14 pm
Emily Dickinson is all over Tucson, Ariz. Reading, lectures, classroom lessons — it's all part of the Big Read Project, a National Endowment for the Arts project devoted to "inspiring people across the country to pick up a good book." In Tucson, people aren't just picking up Dickinson's poetry books — they're celebrating her in reading, dance and even desserts.