Monthly Archives: May 2003

Berkeley, Berlin, Berlioz

Backstage at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall – one of the world’s less-inviting concert venues – the usual day-before-the-concert chaos reigns on a Monday night in late April. The critics and the connoisseurs have come to town for the premiere of the Violin Concerto by the young Korean composer Unsuk Chin, who is currently, as they […]

In Between

Just at the moment when our ears were most in need of refreshment and a thorough cleaning out, along came MicroFest to accomplish exactly that. Month after month the gnrr had piled up in our auricular canals: all those turgidities in the Mozart piano concertos, the scary modulations that Bach drags in to frighten small […]

Minimal to the Max

In March 1984 I lived through a week forever memorable. In Rome I sat in on rehearsals for Act 5 of Robert Wilson’s the CIVIL warS to Philip Glass’ music, at the time when there were plans for all five acts to head for Los Angeles’ Olympic Arts Festival. Then Stuttgart beckoned, where the opera […]

Four, Five, Six

Illustration courtesy the Bettmann Archive, New York The Philharmonic’s celebration of Dmitri Shostakovich – all 15 symphonies performed over five years, with all 15 string quartets as a welcome supplement – is now two years along. The observance may have lacked the snazzy added attractions of the orchestra’s previous Stravinsky and Schoenberg celebrations, but the […]

A Not-So-Silent Night

H.K. (as in Heinz Karl) Gruber paid us a welcome return visit last week, while memories of last year’s trumpet concerto – appropriately titled Aerial — continue their happy throb. At the season’s final Green Umbrella, he unfurled his Zeitfluren (“Timescapes”), a new piece co-commissioned by the Philharmonic’s New Music Group, along with music by […]