Arts

Arts and culture

Austro-Hungarian Nostalgie At The Berlin Philharmonic

Dec 5, 2011

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.

The Rockford Dance Company and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra team up for their annual performances of The Nutcracker.  WNIJ’s Guy Stephens has more.

Berlin's 'C3' Brings Classical Underground

Nov 30, 2011

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.

(Talk Like An Opera Geek attempts to decode the intriguing and intimidating lexicon of the opera house.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lesser Shostakovich Finds A Home In Liverpool

Nov 23, 2011

For this sixth volume of their complete Shostakovich symphony cycle, conductor Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have a task and a half at hand: transforming two works – among Shostakovich's weakest conceptually and architecturally – into forceful, persuasive and galvanizing performances.

It's tough to untangle the sonic appeal of Follies — the landmark 1971 musical that stirs Stephen Sondheim fans to a frenzy each time it gets revived — from the show's visual splendors.

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