Classical Music Buzz > The Classical Beat
The Classical Beat
Anne Midgette takes the measure of the classical music scene.
1263 Entries

The National Symphony Orchestra arrived at Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago yesterday to a VIP welcome. If officials didn’t literally roll out the red carpet, they did bring the Prime Minister and the American ambassador out onto the tarmac to welcome the new arrivals before whisking them off to their hotels.

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In Friday’s Washington Post, I review Norman Scribner’s final, final farewell from the Choral Arts Society.

Charles T. Downey was intrigued by Avi Avital, a classical mandolin player, but notes that his choice of instrument probably means he will remain a specialty act.

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The National Symphony Orchestra had the first concert of its South America tour on June 13 in Mexico City. The arrival of Eschenbach and the orchestra in Mexico was heralded with much fanfare: El Universal, one of Mexico’s leading papers, averred that the NSO is considered “one of the major national treasures of the United States,” a claim that was probably music to the NSO’s ears, although most American audiences might be a little surprised to hear it.

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The Washington National Opera, having steered itself into the safe harbor of the Kennedy Center and enjoyed a season rocking gently at that anchor, has pulled one more noteworthy administrative announcement out of its hat. On Thursday Christina Scheppelmann, the company’s director of artistic operations, announced that she will be leaving the company in November.

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Web-only review: The InSeries ambitiously takes on Mozart’s “Idomeneo;” Charles T. Downey reports.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offered a quirky program with a symphony from Kevin Puts, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize, and a concerto played by the idiosyncratic Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Joe Banno enjoyed it.

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In Friday’s Washington Post: Robert Battey’s review of the last NSO concert of the season, before the orchestra leaves on its South American tour next week. Sounds like it was a beaut; Battey had high praise, too, for the cellist Claudio Bohorquez.

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“Our focus, increasingly, will be on international touring,” Rita Shapiro, the president of the National Symphony Orchestra, said in an interview in April, when the orchestra announced its tour of South America from June 12 to 28.

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To accompany our summer arts preview, here’s a list of classical music festivals in Washington, DC and the general area (within a 3- or 4-hour drive of the city).

In Sunday’s paper, I write a more general introduction to the region’s summertime music.

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Say what you will about the NSO and Christoph Eschenbach: they sound like they’re having fun. My review of Thursday’s concert.

Also in Friday’s paper was my review of Gidon Saks’s memorably theatrical recital for Vocal Arts DC.

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Neale Perl, who has served for 10 years as president and CEO of the Washington Performing Arts Society, announced Wednesday that he would step down at the end of the 2012-13 season — taking some of his board members, he said, by surprise.

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