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Music

Deceptive Cadence
3:03 am
Fri November 30, 2012

The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden

A garden serves as the stage in the opera.
Zhang Yi

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 8:43 pm

The Peony Pavilion is one of China's most famous operas, but uncut performances of this romantic 16th century work can take more than 22 hours. Chinese composer Tan Dun, who's best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has adapted the work into a compact 75 minutes.

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A Blog Supreme
5:03 am
Thu November 29, 2012

A Young Prodigy's Search, Cut Short

Austin Peralta.
Ben Olsen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:50 pm

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Live At The Village Vanguard
11:20 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Wilson, Rosnes, Washington: Live At The Village Vanguard

Steve Wilson (saxophone), Renee Rosnes (piano) and Peter Washington (bass).
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:48 am

A saxophonist, a pianist and a bass player walk into a bar. But the bar happens to be one of the world's preeminent jazz clubs, where they're regularly sighted on stage. And they're working as a new collective band: no drummer, no hierarchy. So much for that joke.

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Concerts
8:55 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Holiday Treats: Violinist Ray Chen Plays Sweet Sounds At LPR

Live At The Village Vanguard
8:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Sound Prints Quintet: Live At The Village Vanguard

The Sound Prints Quintet is (L-R): Lawrence Fields, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Linda Oh, Joey Baron.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:49 am

Few jazz bandleaders are as active — and as actively acclaimed — as saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas. But while they've met from time to time on the bandstand, their brief overlap in the SFJAZZ collective — during a season when the compositions of Wayne Shorter were featured — got them to lead a band together. It's a quintet in which they share compositional duties and top billing. And it's a band featuring two up-and-coming musicians in pianist Lawrence Fields and bassist Linda Oh, as well as Joey Baron, a drummer with whom they've grown up in music.

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Around the Nation
1:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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A Blog Supreme
1:14 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

'Treme' Ep. 31: To Call It Quits

The Lambreaux family meets with New Orleans city planners concerning a national jazz center.
Paul Schiraldi HBO

At the end of Treme's season three, with only an abbreviated season four to come, we find many characters walking away from opportunities. Spoiler alert for what follows.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Joyce DiDonato: Sublime Singing Makes The Unreal Real

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:24 am

It's true — opera is totally over the top. Plots can strain even the barest semblance of credulity (too many cases of ghosts and mistaken identities to count), with characters that could get you thrown out of an introductory writing course, down to the blushing ingenues and the evil connivers who might as well be twirling waxed mustaches.

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Music Reviews
11:15 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Jason Kao Hwang: From The Blues To China And Back

Burning Bridge personnel, left to right: Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Wang Guowei (erhu), Sun Li (pipa), Ken Filiano (string bass), Andrew Drury (drum set), Joseph Daley (tuba), Steve Swell (trombone), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet/flugelhorn).
Scott Friedlander Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Jazz reflects who we are as a people — democracy in action and all that. But a jazz tune or solo is also a portrait of the musician who makes it; the music reflects the particular background and training that influences how composers compose and improvisers improvise. Jason Kao Hwang makes that autobiographical component explicit throughout his extended composition for eight pieces, Burning Bridge. His parents made the move from China around the end of WWII, and he grew up attending Presbyterian services in suburban Chicago.

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