Music + Culture

Music + Culture
1:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Two Leads, Two Deaths In 18 Hours

Kristine Opolais made her Madama Butterfly debut as Cio-Cio-San, only to get a last-minute call to play Mimi in La Boheme.
Marty Sohl Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:29 pm

Over the weekend, soprano Kristine Opolais sang her heart out β€” and died twice.

Friday evening she had sung the lead in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. It was her debut in that role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was a big deal. Opolais was so excited about it that she stayed up until five the next morning.

Read more
Music + Culture
8:14 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How Do You Sweep The Ivy League? Practice β€” The Viola. (Really.)

Was playing a much-maligned instrument β€” or writing about it beautifully β€” part of Kwasi Enin's secret? (Not that he is playing the 'Archinto' Stradivarius pictured here.)
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

By now, you may have heard about Kwasi Enin, the impressive young man from Long Island who has been accepted into the classes of 2018 at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale (all eight Ivy League universities) as well as Duke and three campuses of the State University of New York.

Read more
Music + Culture
2:33 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company

Gods, monsters and Rhinemaidens populate Richard Wagner's 16-hour epic Ring cycle.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

(Happy April Fools 2014. See you next year.)

Read more
Music + Culture
11:44 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Gets Quizzed On Ron Perlman

Dr. Scott M. Lieberman AP

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 8:25 am

Violinist Itzhak Perlman has played for presidents and the Queen of England, but the high point of his career is obviously for him to be right here, playing the NPR news quiz.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're no Hellboy." Three questions for Izhak Perlman about actor Ron Perlman from Hellboy, Beauty and the Beast and Sons of Anarchy.

Read more
Music + Culture
9:18 am
Mon March 31, 2014

The Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years

The Kronos Quartet (from left): David Harrington, John Sherba, Sunny Yang and Hank Dutt.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Kronos Quartet is celebrating 40 years of playing music together β€” and to mark the occasion, they're playing a celebration concert at Carnegie Hall in New York tomorrow night. Since their founding, the San Francisco-based string quartet has become one of the most visible ensembles in classical music. The players have done it by championing new and underheard music, and by coming up with a business model that was unheard of for a chamber group four decades ago.

Read more
Music + Culture
12:29 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Experiencing Nirvana: An Interview with Sub Pop Co-Creator Bruce Pavitt

Kurt Cobain was the first person Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt encountered at the Piper Club, Rome, 11/27/89.
Credit BRUCE PAVITT

Next month is the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. Two decades have passed since the lead singer of Nirvana committed suicide, yet there’s continuing interest in his life. Recently, a press photographer released photos of the dingy L.A. apartment Cobain shared with Courtney Love.

Read more
Music + Culture
7:36 am
Wed March 26, 2014

John Adams' Psychedelic Oratorio Gives Voice To 'The Other Mary'

Composer John Adams.
Margaretta Mitchell

For the millennium, in 2000 American composer John Adams completed a compelling, large-scale oratorio based on the nativity story called El NiΓ±o. Now he's composed a companion piece, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a Passion oratorio mounted with his usual collaborator, the stage director and librettist Peter Sellars.

Read more
Music + Culture
3:12 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Kronos Quartet At 40: Songs We Love

Over four decades, the Kronos quartet (from left, John Sherba, Sunny Yang, Hank Dutt and David Harrington) has premiered more than 800 pieces.
Jay Blakesberg

Read more
Music + Culture
1:44 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

In The First Violins β€” At Least For One Night

Conductor Jeffrey Grogan led a motley β€” but very happy β€” assembly of professional, student and amateur musicians at the New Jersey Symphony's #OrchestraYou project in Newark, N.J. Saturday.
Fred Stucker Courtesy of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:24 pm

Read more
Music + Culture
8:44 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Wig Out With The Big Bach Puzzler

Match your wits against the granddaddy of composers in this big Bach puzzler.
Wikimedia Commons

Johann Sebastian Bach, with his big white wig, might stand as the "supreme arbiter and lawgiver of music," as musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky says. But the composer, organist, choirmaster and teacher could also be surprisingly witty and irreverent.

Read more

Pages