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    1. June 1, 2015

      New Century Chamber Orchestra, First Congregational Church, Berkeley, USA — review

      Every sophisticated, self-respecting musical community needs a chamber orchestra of distinction, and after two decades, San...

    2. May 11, 2015

      Mahler, Mozart and Scelsi, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      Here was a night of polar opposites. By the time we reached Mahler/Cooke’s decadent 10th Symphony, we were galaxies away...

    1. May 5, 2015

      Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Xinghai Concert Hall, Guangzhou — review

      Unlike Mahler, his mid-career role model, Krzysztof Penderecki’s fascination with China has come firsthand. Conducting more...

    2. April 13, 2015

      SoundBox 2, Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall, San Francisco — review

      The San Francisco Symphony concluded the first season of its innovative, club crowd-directed concert series last weekend...

    3. March 20, 2015

      Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9 — review

      Gustav Mahler Symphony No 9 Mark Elder (Hallé) The distinctive sound of The Hallé orchestra is now reaching out well beyond...

    4. February 26, 2015

      Le Chant de la terre, Palais Garnier, Paris — review

      It was one for the history books. On the night of his 73rd birthday, John Neumeier gave Paris his Song of the Earth — half a...

    5. February 16, 2015

      Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      Almost everything was in place. The string ensemble was immaculate. The phrasing was spot on, sidestepping such vulgar...

    6. January 12, 2015

      Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra: second concert, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      The trombones were shrieking. The child beside me was whimpering. My inner child was cowering. Under their music director...

    7. December 21, 2014

      Jörg Widmann’s Trauermarsch for Piano and Orchestra, Philharmonie, Berlin — review

      A piano soliloquy evoking Schumann ceded to a procession of dry string attacks and inescapable cacophony, a power struggle...

    8. December 19, 2014

      Christian Gerhaher, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      Many singers come to song recitals through singing in opera and find themselves enjoying the opportunity to bask in the solo...

    9. November 2, 2014

      San Francisco Symphony/Tilson Thomas, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco – review

      Next week, the San Francisco Symphony and its music director Michael Tilson Thomas will set out across America to prove that...

    10. October 31, 2014

      The Slow Lane: Common censorship

      A couple of months ago, preparing a broadcast discussion on Schubert and Mahler, I was amazed to discover the extent of...

    11. October 13, 2014

      MET Orchestra/ Levine, Carnegie Hall, New York – review

      James Levine, born in 1943, is a phenomenon. No other cliché will do. Since joining the Metropolitan in 1971, he has...

    12. October 10, 2014

      Mahler: Symphony No 7 – review

      Mahler Symphony No 7 Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (DG) On its international tours the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra...

    13. September 24, 2014

      New York Philharmonic/Gilbert, Avery Fisher Hall, New York – review

      After last week’s opening night gala consisting of a lightweight survey of Italian film music, the New York Philharmonic got...

    14. September 16, 2014

      Andrew McCormack Trio/Empirical, Kings Place Festival, London – review

      Pianist/composer Andrew McCormack gambled 18 months ago on moving to the competitive forcing house of New York jazz. It paid...

    15. September 9, 2014

      Cleveland Orchestra, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London – review

      Who said that orchestras are sounding more and more alike? The Cleveland Orchestra has not visited the Proms for 10 years,...

    16. September 5, 2014

      The Slow Lane: Peaks and Promenades

      How many people nowadays read Abraham Maslow? The American psychologist first gained prominence with a paper published in...

    17. August 18, 2014

      BBC Proms: ‘Meld’ and LSO/Haitink, Royal Albert Hall, London – review

      It has taken three years to figure out a way of performing Benedict Mason’s Meld. Even the BBC Proms, home of the gigantic...

    18. August 6, 2014

      BBC Proms: European Union Youth Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London – review

      It’s always so touching when performers remember their manners, but Sinfonia, Berio’s collage of music and literary texts,...

    19. July 22, 2014

      World Orchestra for Peace, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London – review

      Perhaps Valery Gergiev and his World Orchestra for Peace should refrain from bringing Mahler’s works to the BBC Proms....

    20. May 19, 2014

      The puzzle of relieving the strain of a migraine

      What did Julius Caesar, Gustav Mahler and Sigmund Freud have in common? They all suffered from debilitating migraine...

    21. April 27, 2014

      BBCSSO/Donald Runnicles, City Halls, Glasgow – review

      There are two ways of understanding Mahler. The first is to see the music objectively as an outpouring of one hypersensitive...

    22. April 4, 2014

      The hotel that lost its composer – and loos with the best views

      It is gratifying for me to discover that quite a few readers have contacted me via FT.com to comment about my observations...

    23. April 4, 2014

      Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Jansons, Barbican, London – review

      Mariss Jansons never used to be a Brucknerian. In the years when he was forging his reputation, in St Petersburg and then...

    24. March 17, 2014

      San Francisco SO/Michael Tilson Thomas, Royal Festival Hall, London – review

      American orchestras are always welcome in London: they clarify what unites and divides us. We speak the same language –...

    25. March 10, 2014

      Mahler Remixed, Zankel Hall, New York – review

      Goodness gracious. The attraction, in the intimate chamber buried beneath Carnegie Hall, began at 10pm. It attracted a...

    26. December 27, 2013

      Mahler: Symphony No 6

      Chailly’s latest Mahler DVD was filmed in Leipzig in 2012, with an intelligent podium discussion as part of the package. I...

    27. December 26, 2013

      MET Orchestra/Levine, Carnegie Hall, New York – review

      James Levine keeps on rolling. Literally. Having survived a two-year hiatus during which he coped with numerous physical...

    28. October 28, 2013

      São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, London – review

      As the World Cup and the Olympics draw near, Brazil is the place to be. The country’s orchestras have never previously made...

    29. October 18, 2013

      The sounds of science: how physics and music can help each other

      I can’t pretend ever to have fully grasped the space-time continuum but two minutes into a conversation with Heinrich...

    30. August 22, 2013

      All the best: Claudio Abbado

      When Claudio Abbado turned 80 in June, the only sector of the music world to trumpet his birthday was the record industry:...

    31. August 2, 2013

      Mahler: Symphony No 7, Symphony No 8

      Austrian conductor Michael Gielen (born 1927) had a reputation for gruffness. He was not easy for music managers to handle...

    32. August 2, 2013

      BBC Proms: Aurora, Orchestra/Mahler, Chamber Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London

      The night birds at the BBC Proms are the ones with a sense of adventure. Unperturbed by the prospect of getting home as the...

    33. July 19, 2013

      Mahler: Symphony No 4

      Pinnock and Mahler?! Seeing these names side-by-side may provoke disbelief in many British music lovers, given that the...

    34. May 23, 2013

      Marco Polo, Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway – review

      Tan Dun’s opera Marco Polo has had a chequered history. Originally commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival in...

    35. May 3, 2013

      Mahler: Symphony No 4

      The third of Chailly’s live Mahler DVDs with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra has the same abundant virtues as the...

    36. April 11, 2013

      Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, Opéra Bastille, Paris – review

      The celebrations scheduled for the tricentenary of the Paris Opera Ballet School will be upon us next week, and with them...

    37. March 15, 2013

      Debussy/Mahler: Mélodies de jeunesse

      This young French soprano made a splash last month in the title role of Hahn’s Ciboulette at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, and...

    38. November 19, 2012

      Alceste, Vienna State Opera

      Perhaps the most arresting moment of the Vienna State Opera’s “new” Alceste production is the Queen’s arrival at the gates...

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