Robert P. Commanday - May 22, 2007
Opera throughout its first three centuries has depended on private underwriting, aristocratic and otherwise. Where before has the composer himself been the patron? And why not? Plump Jack, San Francisco composer and philanthropist Gordon Getty's favorite obsession, has gone far as a piece since its 1984 San Francisco Symphony premiere.
Brett Campbell - May 15, 2007
When he decided to commission a modern Mass from a quintet of contemporary composers, Joseph Jennings, director of the men's chorus Chanticleer, faced some of life's biggest questions. Jennings wanted the new Mass, ultimately titled And on Earth, Peace, to represent different views of faith and people's experiences with faith. "Many people who don't go to church have faith," he says.
Heuwell Tircuit - May 8, 2007
Composer-performer Meredith Monk is a bit like a master chef who makes a career of combining seemingly outlandish ingredients, like veal and tuna, and coming up with a superb dish like vitello tonnato. Monk has been coming up with similarly inventive ideas in music, dance, acting, film, and staging since the 1960s. Outlandish combinations?
David Bratman - May 1, 2007
In the last few decades, classical record bins have been increasingly filled with remastered "historical recordings" of long-past performances.
Janice Berman - April 24, 2007
There's an art to making an art song. Just ask Jake Heggie or Ricky Ian Gordon. Having each scored notable successes as opera composers, they'll share the bill on April 29, when Cal Performances presents "Theater in Song" at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.
Michael Tilson Thomas - April 17, 2007

Long before he became a world-class conductor, San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas was a devotee of the music of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Hearing him changed Thomas' views on modern classicism.

Janos Gereben - April 10, 2007
Seinfeld fans fondly remember "Festivus," the holiday made up by George's father to get around the Christmas/Hanukkah dichotomy. In the world of music festivals, too, there is a difference between the real thing and festivals in name only. A real summer music festival has a special place of its own — think Salzburg, Aspen, Tanglewood — and it isn't just the extension of a regular season.
Brett Campbell - April 3, 2007
It's common for people approaching middle age to suddenly pursue youth — a sports car, a new job, an affair, a face-lift.
Robert P. Commanday - March 27, 2007
Well, what do you know? Here's a cheery, feel-good story from the White House that was born in Berkeley. It's about a bunch of East Bay teenage musicians who stood tall and brought them to their feet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last Jan. 22.