Lisa Hirsch

Lisa Hirsch is a technical writer. She studied music at Brandeis and Stony Brook, and blogs about classical music and opera at Iron Tongue of Midnight.

Articles By This Author

Lisa Hirsch - February 5, 2008
Once upon a time, a symphony-goer would regularly find concerts on an orchestra's schedule consisting of an overture, a concerto, and a popular warhorse or two, light programs notable more for their entertainment value than substance.
Lisa Hirsch - January 15, 2008

The Pacifica Quartet performed at Stanford Lively Arts on Wednesday, bringing with it a program of Beethoven, Carter, and Smetana. The program notes made much of the fact that the Beethoven (Op. 18, No. 2) and the Smetana (Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From My Life") were written when their composers were going deaf. Still, the works themselves, which respectively opened and closed the concert, don't have much in common.

Lisa Hirsch - January 8, 2008
As we begin the new year, San Francisco Classical Voice takes a look back at the performances of 2007 that some of our reviewers most enjoyed. As with any such list, the choices are entirely subjective.
Lisa Hirsch - November 6, 2007
When Jean Sibelius died in 1957, he had not completed a major work since the late 1920s. Nonetheless, his music dominated the Finnish musical scene until the coming of serialism and modernism around the time of his passing.
Lisa Hirsch - October 9, 2007
Appomattox, Philip Glass' much-anticipated new opera, rolled into San Francisco on October 5 as part of a wave of premieres by the composer, who celebrated his 70th birthday earlier this year.
Lisa Hirsch - October 2, 2007
Philip Glass turned 70 this year, and the Bay Area is celebrating in style, with performances of two high-profile new works, Appomattox at San Francisco Opera and The Book of Longing, a collaboration with Leonard Cohen, at Stanford Lively Arts.
Lisa Hirsch - September 25, 2007
The death of Jacques Offenbach before the 1881 premiere of Tales of Hoffmann left opera companies with a confusing mass of performance choices. In the end though, the textual decisions matter far less than whether a company succeeds musically with the piece.
Lisa Hirsch - August 14, 2007
Great performances are nearly a given at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, whether or not you find yourself loving the work being played, thanks to Music Director Marin Alsop and her fabulous orchestra.
Lisa Hirsch - August 7, 2007

Attending a concert at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is a little like going to new-music camp: No one dresses formally, in the audience or the orchestra; the concerts take place in what looks like a disused gymnasium; and helpful counselors, er, composers tell you all about the music you're going to hear.

Lisa Hirsch - June 5, 2007
In a program note written for San Francisco Opera some years ago and republished in his book The Ultimate Art, David Littlejohn called Don Giovanni "The Impossible Opera." He went into some detail about the reasons the work is so difficult to stage effectively.