REVIEW: Teatro Nuovo Makes Rossini New Again

Now, the opera world has Teatro Nuovo. Founded last year by Will Crutchfield, formerly Director of Opera for the Caramoor International Music Festival, is a breath of fresh air. True to its name (Italian for “new theater”), Teatro Nuovo promises to revive neglected Bel Canto works with a rigorous, historically informed performance practice.

REVIEW: Mitsuko Uchida Unleashes a Beastly Side of Schubert

Mitsuko Uchida is a pianist celebrated for ultra-refined Mozart and peerless in music of more complicated harmony and texture like Schumann and Schoenberg. She’s naturally made a career of meticulous readings of Schubert, a composer who falls somewhere in the middle. Schubert was a pupil of Salieri and at first glance, his piano sonatas appear to be made of Classical-era stuff. Uchida has arrived at what feels like a different take on Schubert’s most personal creations.

REVIEW: New York Philharmonic Tunes into 'Toons

Bugs Bunny, the iconic carrot-chomping rabbit with a Brooklyn accent, the first cartoon character to appear on a postage stamp, was the star at David Geffen Hall this weekend. The New York Philharmonic presented Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II, a parade of timeless Warner Bros. “Looney Tunes” shorts. Not just for kids, this variation on the popular film-with-live-orchestra concept is a celebration of classical music’s storytelling power.

REVIEW: Mahan Esfahani Shows Orpheus the Harpsichord Underworld

Mahan Esfahani is a harpsichordist on a mission. He is rescuing the antique keyboard from the doldrums of Baroque music and the shackles of the period instrument movement. Esfahani’s harpsichord is as vital and viable as it ever was, and he commissions new work for the instrument, in addition to reviving a body of literature written for it over the past century. The award-winning musician, born in Iran, raised in the US, and currently based in Prague, made his New York concerto debut with the illustrious Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at the 92nd St. Y on Wednesday evening.

REVIEW: Labèque Sisters, New York Philharmonic, and a Hero's Life

The New York Philharmonic performed Max Bruch's Concerto for Two Pianos only once in 1917, but the composer might not have recognized it, had he been in attendance. The late-Romantic German composer, whose limited fame rests largely on his more widely performed Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, had entrusted the work to the Sutro sisters, Rose and Ottilie. But they edited it heavily for their two performances of the piece (the other with Stokowski in Philadelphia), even jettisoning a movement, and copyrighted it for themselves. Apparently they went on to scam Bruch out of the profits of that Violin Concerto, too. 

REVIEW: Perlman and Kissen Sell Out Carnegie Hall

Itzhak Perlman debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1963. He has been winning Grammys since 1977, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2015. Evgeny Kissen, 26 years Perlman's junior, rose to fame as a child prodigy in Russia and made his Carnegie debut in 1990,. His star has not faded. The two joined up on this storied stage for a hefty program of hearty meat-and-potatoes repertoire, and it was enlightening. 

REVIEW: CMS Celebrates Crumb, American Maverick, at 90

It’s a cliché to describe George Crumb, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer turning 90 this year, as a maverick. But, the word perfectly describes this composer who forged his own path, bucking established pretenses and becoming an original, vital voice in American music. Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center celebrated Crumb’s career in two rewarding concerts amounting to one of this year’s most significant artistic events. Two expansive evenings, exceptionally produced and performed, exhibited the humanity, and curiosity about the universe, in Crumb’s musical output.

REVIEW: Simone Young Returns to New York Philharmonic with a Bang

Simone Young knows every note of Mahler's gargantuan score, and thanks to her complete mastery of the conductor's tools, she commanded the Philharmonic like a virtuoso. As soon as she appeared on the podium, her focused, clearheaded energy galvanized the orchestra. The "Tragic" calls for impressive forces, all hands on deck, and New York's musicians filled the stage at David Geffen Hall, and under the vibrant leadership of Ms. Young, they played as brilliantly as ever.