Music Articles

Every week, our writers take an in‐depth look at an artist, program or topic of interest to us. Spend some time with this week's classical music feature, or scroll through the extensive SFCV archive for insights in many music topics.


Feature Article
November 11, 2008

Last week, Jason Victor Serinus investigated singer development in the San Francisco Opera Center's Merola and Adler Fellows programs. In this week’s conclusion of his two-part article, he explores the programs at the New York Metropolitan Opera and Houston Grand Opera.Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program

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Feature Article
November 4, 2008

Who are they? Who will replace the generations of singers who thrilled us and brought us to tears when we first fell in love with opera and art song? Who will ensure that young, emerging singers are equipped to face the unique challenges of 21st-century operatic stardom without declining prematurely, as did Maria Callas, Elena Souliotis, Josè Carreras, Anna Moffo, Beverly Sills, Luba Welitsch, and Titta Ruffo (to name a few of the celebrated names of the 20th century)?

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Feature Article
October 28, 2008

You know you are at a music conservatory when you are sitting in a history class and, in addition to the professor's voice, you can also faintly hear a soprano wailing in the next room, a violinist practicing fast licks in the room across the hall, a trumpet being blown in the room below, and a double bass rattling the ceiling from the room above. Music is literally all around you in a joyous din. It is noisy, but it is a harmonious noise, vibrating with youth and excitement.

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Kids & Families Feature
October 21, 2008

St. Martin de Porres is a small parochial school in North Oakland. It is named for a 17th-century Dominican brother from Peru who was famous for establishing orphanages and children’s hospitals. He was canonized in 1962.

St. Martin’s has some 200 “students of color,” fully 90 percent of them on financial assistance, and as many qualifying for a free or reduced-cost lunch. But the school had no music program whatsoever.

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Feature Article
October 21, 2008

St. Martin de Porres is a small parochial school in North Oakland. It is named for a 17th-century Dominican brother from Peru who was famous for establishing orphanages and children's hospitals. He was canonized in 1962. St. Martin's has some 200 "students of color," fully 90 percent of them on financial assistance, and as many qualifying for a free or reduced-cost lunch. But the school had no music program whatsoever. That's the kind of situation that a contemporary Venezuelan secular saint, José Antonio Abreu, was driven to change.

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Feature Article
October 14, 2008

We tend to think of composers in groups, whether by era, country, school, or style. Meredith Monk, however, has always stood apart from the crowd. Now nearly half a century into her career, this extraordinarily wide-ranging artist continues to occupy a singular space in contemporary music.

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Feature Article
October 7, 2008

The Bay Area must be one of the few places where fledgling classical music presenters can find support in an already teeming marketplace. Now you can add another newcomer to the list of those you’ve heard of: Live at Mission Blue, a relatively young chamber music series, which opens its fifth season this Saturday evening. The concerts take place in the Mission Blue Center, perched high in the city of Brisbane's San Bruno Hills, a 15-minute drive from downtown San Francisco.

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Feature Article
September 30, 2008

On Saturday, October 4, at Herbst Theatre, Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian will mark the beginning of a "Remembrance Concert Tour". She will be joined by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Anne Manson. The tour, sponsored by the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, will visit six cities in the U.S. and Canada, concluding with a concert at Carnegie Hall on October 20.

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Feature Article
September 23, 2008

Is it like this for you? You go to the market. A Whitney Houston clone is on the Muzak — again. You want to scream. Do you feel the same way when you go to the symphony and discover Brahms' Second, Dvořák's "New World," or Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto on the program? If so, there's hope for you — if you move to north Phoenix. But more about that later.

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Feature Article
September 16, 2008

If you're a dead white male composer, you probably envy Leonard Bernstein. It used to be that full-career retrospectives were reserved for major anniversaries, but New York City's cultural institutions stage one every 10 years in Bernstein's honor. In 1998, the Lincoln Center Festival produced one. This fall, in honor of the 90th anniversary of the musician's birth, and the 50th of his appointment as music director of the New York Philharmonic, the orchestra and Carnegie Hall are collaborating on another traversal of Bernstein's compositional achievement.

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