Jeff Dunn

Jeff Dunn is a freelance critic with a B.A. in music and a Ph.D. in geologic education. A composer of piano and vocal music, he is a member of the National Association of Composers, USA, a former president of Composers, Inc., and has served on the Board of New Music Bay Area. 

Articles by this Author

CD REVIEW
  Korngold: Symphony in F Sharp Orchestration Is the Plus in Korngold’s Once-Shunned Symphony
July 12, 2011

Did Hollywood success spoil Erich Korngold? Not according to a new CD of his must-hear symphony, with its lush Romanticism.

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CD REVIEW
  Christopher Theofanidis: Symphony No. 1 A New “American” Symphony
July 5, 2011

Christopher Theofanidis’ First Symphony is engaging and emotional, and will give sound systems a good workout.

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CD REVIEW
  Holst <em>The Planets</em><br>Sir Andrew Davis Out of This World Holst <em>Planets</em>
June 21, 2011

Andrew Davis’ CD, with goosed-up sonics, journeys to Holst’s overexplored Planets and also contains two less-known works inspired by Morocco and Japan.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 BluePrint New Music Series  BluePrint Offers Doppelgängers, Drums, and Songs
March 12, 2011

A recent BluePrint concert offered a disconcerting, echoing trope in a major new work offered at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, just one piece in a series of experimental works that impressed.

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CD REVIEW
 Bay Brass Bay Brass: Sound the Bells! For Brass the Bell Tolls
March 12, 2011

The latest release from the Bay Brass, an ensemble made up of some of the best musicians in the S.F. Symphony, Ballet, and Opera orchestras offers attractive compositions and more than belies prejudices often conjured up by brass ensembles, with excellent playing and first rate sonics.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Oak-and-Pearl Night at the San Francisco Symphony
March 5, 2011

The S.F. Symphony and Anne Sofie von Otter dressed up their offerings with immensely enjoyable performances of works by Hindemith, Brahms, and a panoply of Scandinavian composers.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Oakland East Bay Symphony  Billy Childs Charts a Planet of His Own
February 25, 2011

Three interpreters at Oakland East Bay Symphony's concert on Friday transformed composers’ dreams into art worthy of both praise and concern.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 BluePrint New Music Series  Illuminating Paul Bowles Between the Lines
February 5, 2011

Paul Bowles, once described as “famous for not being famous,” was an allusive artist of elusive categorization. On Saturday, Nicole Paiement’s Blue Print project began its ninth season, with a intriguing focus on Bowles’ music.

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CD REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony San Francisco Symphony: Beethoven's 5th Symphony S.F. Symphony Raises a Sublime Noise
February 8, 2011

Our very own San Francisco Symphony have come up with an excellent performance of the most famous symphony of them all. This release is worth making some sublime noise about.

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CD REVIEW
  Bach: A Strange Beauty Simone Dinnerstein's “Strange” Bach
January 31, 2011

When lauded strangeness becomes vastly public, it may herald a change of fashion. Such seem to be Simone Dinnerstein’s Bach interpretations, which bring elements of romanticism back into baroque performance practice. Bach: A Strange Beauty is will not disappoint her new-found fans, nor will it convince her detractors.

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CD REVIEW
  John Corigliano: Circus Maximus The Maximus Experience
January 25, 2011

Circus Maximus is a scream, an impressive piece of workmanship, if a debatable work for the ages. In its latest incarnation as a high-definition Blu-ray disk, it’s a first-class device for showing off your latest surround-sound system.

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CD REVIEW
  American Music For Clarinet and Piano “Hot Dog!” Clarinet Music
January 4, 2011

What better way to usher in a new year than to have fun with that funmost of instruments, the clarinet? Those who love William Bolcom’s Graceful Ghost reinvention of ragtime will take instantly to the first four cuts of this new Harmonia Mundi release.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony Does Different Planes
December 8, 2010

Vision and a certain sense of rightness made for an exceptional evening at last Wednesday’s San Francisco Symphony subscription concert: Three masters, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, guest violinist Gil Shaham, and principal trumpet Mark Inouye, provided hole-in-one performances.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Berkeley Symphony   Berkeley Symphony Basks in Sea of Love
December 2, 2010

Supercharged love ... That’s what Music Director Joana Carneiro programmed in two works for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. But it was the sultry presence, superb expressiveness, and fine singing of mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway that really heated up the sea of love to bubbly.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Ensemble Zellig Slides In and Out of Music History
November 7, 2010

The French Ensemble Zellig focuses on innovation and experimentation and is fully at ease traveling through time and musical styles. In its West Coast debut on Sunday night it was a breath of fresh air.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
   Dresden Staatskapelle: Tradition, and Then Some
October 24, 2010

This symphony orchestra is so old, Franz Schubert is one of the first violinists. So what can be learned from experiencing the first visit from the Dresden Staatskapelle in Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday, an ensemble rated as one of the top five in Europe, with a 462-year-old pedigree, and it lays before you a Schuman-Beethoven-Brahms program right from their sweet spot in musical history?

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CD REVIEW
   Music of the African American Experience
October 12, 2010

“Recorded Music of the African Diaspora” is the first release of what promises to be a series in a partnership between Albany Records and the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago. This series starter can be strongly recommended for the Wilson song cycle.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Other Minds  Dane Rudhyar: Other Minds’ Find
September 27, 2010

Does the personality of a composer matter? Will knowing more about the life of a composer enhance our experience of his or her music? “You bet!” is Other Minds’ answer, as judged from its Sept. 27 combo of exhibit, discussion, and performance that brought the remarkable Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985) back to life.

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Feature Article
August 23, 2010

Symphony concerts are good places to bring friends. There’s excitement, variety, time to talk at intermission, a focal point to the evening, and a chance to do something together afterward. The fall season in the Bay Area is crammed with goodies everyone can love. 

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Festival REVIEW
 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music  Cabrillo Does Eternity at the Mission
August 15, 2010

Ah! The Cabrillo Festival finale: “To hear infinity in the Mission San Juan Bautista and eternity in 97 minutes” — such was the hope implied by its “in aeternam” moniker.

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