Brian Taylor is a musician and writer. He resides in New York City.




  • The city’s pre-eminent American Songbook series, Lyrics and Lyricists presents Oklahoma! at 75, Saturday, May 4 - Monday, May 6. With Ted Chapin, writer and host, Parker Esse, director, and Andy Einhorn, music director, this should be a wonderful accompaniment to the currently-running Tony-nominated revival of the R & H classic. The cast includes: Kerstin Anderson, Phillip Attmore, Jason Gotay, and Nyla Watson.

  • Wed, May 8, 2019, 7:30 pm, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra plays Jean Françaix’s arrangement of Mozart’s evergreen Wind Quintet; Richard Strauss’ Till Euleinspiegel’s Merry Pranks, a musical illustration of the hijinks of the German folk legend, in an arrangement by Australian composer Brett Dean; harpsichordist Mahan Esfahanithe plays the folk tune-inflected harpsichord concerto of Manuel De Falla and the neoclassical concerto of Bohuslav Martinů.

  • Pianist Orion Weiss, so brilliant in The Crypt Sessions’ Quartet for the End of Time a few months ago, plays Fri, May 10, 2019, at 9 PM with a program of Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, Shostakovich’s rarely performed second piano sonata (written in 1943 during the Siege of Leningrad), and Brahms’ Op. 122, preludes for organ based on German chorales.

  • Sat, May 11, 2019, 8 pm Angela Hewitt , “the outstanding Bach pianist of her generation” (The Sunday Times, London), continues her Bach cycle with the Toccatas and the virtuosic Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903. Then, on Tue, May 14, 2019, 7:30 pm she adds the first three of the English Suites, the incomplete Suite in F Minor, and the “stormy, unpredictable” Prelude and Fugue in A Minor.


  • May 4 at 6 PM is a program called Shall We (Mostly) Dance? Rita Sloan and Jonathan Feldman, pianos, play the wonderful Samuel Barber Souvenirs, among other pieces.

  • How about a Piano Transcriptions Adventure featuring pianist Olga Vinokur? Bach transcribed by Rachmaninoff, Siloti, and Bauer, Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade” by Liszt, Leo Smit’s version of Bernstein’s West Side Story, Wild’s Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin. May 11 at 6 PM.

  • Misha Dichter, and Cipa Dichter, pianists, play Brahms’s Five Hungarian Dances and Dvorak’s Complete Slavonic Dances May 19 at 4 PM.


Heartbeat Opera — “dedicated to re-imagining opera for today’s audiences” — and Opera Lafayette —”renowned for breathing new life into rediscovered masterpieces” — bring the premiere American staging of La Susanna May 2—May 5. “Stradella’s seductive 1681 oratorio becomes a startlingly powerful opera for 2019, with women as both storyteller and whistleblower.”

Cantata Profana

Anotherdramatically and politically charged show”, Lucretia,spiraling from the intensity and drama of Handel’s La Lucrezia performed on baroque and modern instruments” stars mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen in a semi-staged production directed by Shadi Ghaheri. Also: the NY Premiere of François Sarhan’s Scenes d’amour . At the HERE Arts Center Thursday, May 23 at 8:30 PM. - Saturday, May 25 at 8:30 PM.

Carnegie Hall

There’s so much going on at Carnegie Hall, this is but a curated sample:

  • Rising star cellist Kian Soltani makes his Carnegie Hall debut on May 2, with pianist Aaron Pilsan in works by Schumann, Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Chopin. The play on his new album Home.

  • Polish-Canadian pianist Daniel Wnukowski makes his New York solo recital debut on Friday, May 3 at Weill Recital Hall performing a Handel Suite; Chopin’s 24 Preludes; and long-neglected Karol Rathaus’s Piano Sonata No. 3.

  • Thursday, May 9, the 200-voice Oratorio Society of New York performs the beloved Verdi Requiem.

  • Friday, May 10, replacing a medically disposed Murray Perahia, the renowned blind Japanese sensation Nobuyuki Tsujii is a pianist not to be missed.

  • Sunday, May 12 at 2PM, the New York Youth Symphony, under the baton of Michael Repper, performs RYAN LINDVEIT’s Close Up at a Distance (World Premiere — a co-commission with Interlochen), SHOSTAKOVICH’s Symphony No. 5, and the crowdpleasing RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2, with Fei-Fei, Piano.

  • Evgeny Kissen, one of the most famous pianists in the world, plays a hefty program of Chopin, Schumann, Scriabin, and Debussy. Thursday, May 16.

  • Saturday, May 18, The MET Orchestra takes its turn at the Schumann Piano Concerto, with Daniil Trifonov at the piano and Valery Gergiev on the podium. Also, SCHUBERT’s Symphony No. 9, the "Great."

  • The National Symphony Orchestra takes the stage Sunday, May 19 at 2 PM under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda for LISZT’s Dante Symphony. The University of Maryland Concert Choir then joins for ROSSINI’s  Stabat Mater.

  • The brilliant Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan plays a program rich with Liszt and her compatriot Khachaturian. Thursday, May 30 at 7:30.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

  • Friday, May 3, 7:30 PM at Alice Tully Hall. Deeply Inspired — “From Schubert’s early, darkly passionate sonata, to Bloch’s turbulent masterpiece composed between the wars, this concert will leave performers and audience alike breathless, touched, and yes, deeply inspired.” Barber’s Dover Beach for Voice and String Quartet; Arensky’s Quartet No. 2 in A minor; Bloch’s Quintet No. 1.

  • Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 PM at Alice Tully Hall. An Evening With the Escher Quartet — Ives’s Quartet No. 2 for Strings (c. 1913-15); Beethoven’s Quartet in C-sharp minor for Strings, Op. 131 (1825-26).

  • Thursday, May 16, 9 PM at Rose Studio. New Music — Wolfgang Rihm’s String Quartet No. 4); Joan Tower’s Red Maple for Bassoon, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello; Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Massarosa for Bassoon, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello (CMS Commission, World Premiere).

  • Sunday, May 19, 5 PM at Alice Tully Hall Ballets Russes — “Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, founded in Paris in 1909, generated ground-breaking artistic influence that lasts through today….For CMS’s season finale, we pay tribute to the company with music of composers commissioned by the Ballets Russes.” Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp; Prokofiev’s Sonata in D major for Violin and Piano, Op. 94a; Ravel’s Shéhérazade for Voice, Flute, and Piano; Stravinsky’s Petrushka for Piano, Four Hands.

The Crypt Sessions

This tough ticket to hear classical music in the magical crypt of a church in Harlem, continues with Juillard-trained clarinetist Sam Boutris playing the two pillars of the clarinet repertoire: Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major, K.581 and Brahms' Clarinet Quintet, Op.115. Boutris will be joined by a crack team of young string players. May 14 at 7 PM.

Lincoln Center Great Performers

Sunday, May 19 at 11 AM, in Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, as part of Great Performers “Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts,”Francesco Piemontesi, the celebrated pianist, in a promising program of BACH’s Italian Concerto, DEBUSSY’s Images, Book 2, and RACHMANINOFF’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor.

little OPERA theatre of ny

May 9-12, The Little Opera Theatre of NY performs Britten’s Owen Wingrave. Philip Shneidman, the company’s founder directs, and Richard Cordova conducts. Gelsey Kirkland ArtsCenter in DUMBO.

Metropolitan Opera

May 3-11, Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts “the classic John Dexter production of Poulenc’s devastating story of faith and martyrdom,” Dialogues des Carmélites, starring Isabel Leonard and Karita Mattila.

New Camerata Opera

Another Britten chamber opera on the docket this month, New Camerata Opera performs The Rape of Lucretia in a production that “will confront the harsh reality of a woman’s experience with rape, suppression, and being silenced by men and religious culture. Deaf actors will be employed to give voice to the victim.” Brittany Goodwin directs, Justin Bischof conducts, at The Flea Theatre May 2-5.

New York Philharmonic

The NY Phil’s first season under new leadership has worked for us. May’s offerings are well rounded and exciting.

  • May 2-4, the Labeque sisters play Bruch’s Concerto for Two Pianos alongside R. Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.

  • May 17-19, Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II, in which classic Looney Tunes are projected on the big screen, with their original scores performed live by the Philharmonic.

  • Memorial Day, May 27 at 7 PM, the Phil gives a FREE concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine playing Bruckner’s Eighth.

  • May 30-June 1, Jaap van Zweden leads John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, a “piercing, personal dedication to loved ones lost and the many impacted by the widespread AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. “ Also, Mozart’s 24th Piano Concerto with David Fray and Brahms Tragic Overture.

The Orchestra Now

  • Thursday, May 2 at Carnegie Hall, violinist Vadim Repin joins TŌN for this musical exploration of Psalm 130. Works by Virgil Thompson and Lili Boulanger.

  • Sunday, May 19 at 2 PM at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the series Sight & Sound continues with a program called Abstraction in Music & Art; Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra, the NY premiere of Feldman’s Orchestra, and the artwork of the Abstract Expressionists.

The Pit Stop Players

Under the baton of Joshua Rosenblum, this “exciting new chamber ensemble provides the opportunity for Broadway musicians to take center stage for a change, and play a broad range of stimulating and captivating works from all over the musical spectrum.” Monday, May 13 at 7:30 PM, at the DiMenna Center for the Arts, they will present Illuminations, features a world premiere by master Broadway orchestrator Jonathan Tunick.

Sacred Music in a Sacred Space

This beloved institution’s Choral Classics Series closes their year at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola with Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, Wednesday, May 22 at 8pm. Soloists include soprano Wendy Baker, mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney, tenor John Tiranno, and baritone Neil Netherly. SMSS Artistic Director K. Scott Warren leads the Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola and the Parish Community Choir.

St. Thomas Church

Saturday, May 18 at 3 PM, the final of six Grand Organ recitals, Ken Cowan plays the Miller-Scott Organ. The program consists of Wagner’s Overture to ‘Der Fliegende Holländer’ ; Prelude and Fugue in C major, Op. 36, no. 3 by Marcel Dupré; Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903 of Johann Sebastian Bach; Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns; and the Suite, Op. 5 of Maurice Duruflé.


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