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Blog Profile / The Classical Beat

Filed Under:Music / Classical
Posts on Regator:306
Posts / Week:2
Archived Since:April 20, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Midgette: Rutter appointment sparks thoughts on classical music at the Kennedy Center

On Tuesday, the Kennedy Center announced the appointment of Deborah Rutter, the president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, as its next president; she will succeed Michael Kaiser in the fall of 2014. Throughout the classical...Show More Summary

Midgette: December concerts in review: of student-like recitals, opera, and concertmasters in the spotlight

A quick look at the musical highlights of the month thus far, as observed by the classical music critics of the Washington Post. Robert Battey started the month with a brace of concerts. He heard the controlled veteran Anne-Marie McDermott...Show More Summary

Midgette: Gift list: what does a person who “likes classical music” really like?

Tis the season to think of gifts. A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me to put together a list of new CDs for another friend, a woman in her 30s whom I’ve never met who describes herself as “liking classical music,” and listens to it a lot -- and not to pop music -- on the radio. Read full article >>

Midgette: “War Requiem:” the conversation continues

It’s the month of War Requiem in Washington, where two major organizations feted Benjamin Britten’s centenary with a piece that some have called his magnum opus. I had a couple of chances to talk about the piece in the Washington Post,...Show More Summary

A lost “Lost Childhood.”

In 2005, the opera “Lost Childhood” had a read-through, with singers and piano, through American Opera Projects in New York City. Like many operas these days, it’s based on a true story. It depicts a conversation between a characterShow More Summary

Midgette: Review roundup: Shao, Bailey impress on cello; Kronos plays new Philip Glass quartet; and more

It’s time for another roundup of recent classical music reviews. I attended Yuja Wang’s recital at Strathmore last week and found the playing brilliant but oddly distanced; I later heard third-hand that she may actually have been indisposed,...Show More Summary

Child opera singer goes viral, redux

In the popular imagination, opera arias have become a vehicle for all that is moving and beautiful – as long as they’re not sung in an opera house. People who would go to some lengths to avoid attending a performance of Puccini’s “Turandot”...Show More Summary

WNO’s B team earns As in “Forza”

The ways of opera houses are inscrutable. When the Washington National Opera opened its production of “La forza del destino” the other week, I tried to think of reasons they might have engaged such poor singers. It’s almost impossible to find good Verdi singers these days, so they probably – I reasoned – simply couldn’t find anybody better. Read full article >>

Midgette: Muhly’s “Two Boys” hits Met, misses connection

Nico Muhly is a composer who has everything. At 32, he’s a well-known figure in the classical music world. He’s released a range of recordings, including everything from shimmering choral music to pop-style albums, and a broad range of work demonstrating that he has something to say. Show More Summary

Midgette: Review roundup: Cosi in French and other delights

Catching up with a week’s worth of reviews. I had two red-letter nights this week: what may be my favorite appearance by the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, playing three full ballet scores by Stravinsky, on Monday night, and,...Show More Summary

Midgette: Monday roundup: of geniuses and Verdi operas

This was a big weekend of performances in the Greater Washington area, and I’m thrilled to say that all four of the assigned classical music reviews made it into the print edition of Monday’s paper. I was not at all happy about “La forza del destino,” or “The force of destiny” as they prefer to call it, at the Washington National Opera. Show More Summary

Capitol Hill is NSO’s “Neighborhood” in 2014

For the last three years, the National Symphony Orchestra has shifted its outreach focus from the United States -- which it blanketed with American residencies for more than 20 years -- to its own city. The “NSO in your Neighborhood”...Show More Summary

A dark day: Minnesota Orchestra loses music director; NY City Opera declares bankruptcy

For a long time now -- at the very least since the downturn following 9-11 -- we’ve been wringing our hands about the future of the arts; we’ve been watching institutions struggle for funding and audiences; and we’ve been braced to lose some of them. Show More Summary

Levine returns with gusto to Met “Cosi”

When James Levine announced that he’d be returning to the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2013, not everyone believed him. Levine’s recent years have been filled with injuries, cancellations, operations and bad luck, and he’d been absent from the Met for two full seasons. Show More Summary

Met opening night: Netrebko, “Onegin,” realism and its discontents

Anna Netrebko has opened the Metropolitan Opera season for three consecutive years, and on Monday night, the company finally found an opera that seemed to fit her voice. “Eugene Onegin,” in a production by Deborah Warner directed byShow More Summary

NSO to Newport News

The National Symphony Orchestra is riding the outreach bandwagon. Today, it announced that it is beginning a five-year partnership with the Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, Virginia, involving an annual concert with full orchestra and various educational and outreach programs. Read full article >>

Voigt cancels WNO Isolde, with 1 week to go

The Washington National Opera’s new season begins on September 15th, a week from Sunday, with one of the most monumental operas in the repertory: Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.” This weekend, WNO suddenly learned it was going to have to come up with a new Isolde. Show More Summary

Readers and players: Stewart Copeland on classical music.

In this Sunday’s Washington Post, I have an article on rockers and pop artists who have written operas, inspired by the news that John Paul Jones, the bassist of Led Zeppelin, was, or rather is, working on an opera. When I heard this,...Show More Summary

UMD’s Clarice Smith Center names Wollesen next director

It’s a time of changing guards in the DC arts world. This week, the Clarice Smith Center, the presenting organization based at the University of Maryland, announced its new executive director: it’s Martin Wollesen, who has been running the ArtPower! presenting program and at the University of California, San Diego. Read full article >>

DC region to host Andriessen festival in 2014

Last year, it was John Cage. This season, it’s Louis Andriessen. Washington marked the centennial of the seminal American composer with a significant festival in 2012; next spring, it will see another festival involving several major organizations to celebrate the 75th birthday of a living composer who is Read full article >>

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