Classical Music Reviews

Every week, our professional critics attend concerts throughout the Bay Area to let you know what went well...and occasionally what didn't. Let their insights enrich your musical experiences, and feel free to share your own views!


Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Chamber Orchestra  Voices From Solitary: Neuburg Premiere Draws on Real-Life Prison Drama
May 3, 2016

In Hunger Strike, composer and vocalist Amy X Neuburg turns our attention to the conditions of solitary confinement.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Mason Bates’ <em>Auditorium</em> Is Abuzz With Musical Conversations
May 3, 2016
The heralded composer’s much-anticipated premiere was just one gem in a dazzling evening of sonic and temporal connections explored by Pablo Heras-Casado and the S.F Symphony. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Mendelssohn Scores in Thrilling Philharmonia Baroque Performance
May 2, 2016
Singing the praises of Mendelssohn’s underrated “Hymn of Praise” symphony in a powerhouse performance by Philharmonia Baroque and an augmented Philharmonia Chorale. More about Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra »
Opera REVIEW
 Opera Parallèle  Thrills and Chills at <em>The Lighthouse</em>
May 2, 2016
Opera Parallèle delivers an imaginative production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ mysterious opera for three voices. More about Opera Parallèle »
Recital REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Wanting Heart: Hilary Hahn at Davies
April 28, 2016
The violinist's recital featured Bach and a brand-new, Bach-inspired partita. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists Take Intimate View of Bach Oratorios
April 26, 2016

Despite the large forces arrayed for the Easter and Ascension Oratorios, Jeffrey Thomas and his musicians achieve chamber music-like clarity and unforced communication.

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Modern Classical REVIEW
 Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse  Wild Rumpus Evokes Psychedelia with <em>An Index of Metals</em>
April 26, 2016
The new-music ensemble takes the audience on a sonic trip with Fausto Romitelli’s eerie video opera at the Freight and Salvage. More about Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Shaham’s Moving Bach and Michalek’s Bach in Motion
April 18, 2016
The violinist and the video artist team up for a Bach-plus-video performance that was intriguingly different from other classical-plus-video projects. More about Cal Performances »
Opera REVIEW
 New Opera NYC  <em>Iolanta</em> Soars Above an Earthbound <em>Boris</em>
April 18, 2016
New Opera NYC’s Julia Lima and Viktor Antipenko are thrilling in Tchaikovsky one-act opera. More about New Opera NYC »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony Plays from the Heart in Mahler, and Schubert
April 13, 2016
The orchestra’s intimate connection with the works of Mahler continues to inspire. More about San Francisco Symphony »