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!

Modern Classical REVIEW
 San Francisco Conservatory of Music  Del Sol Quartet Caps Terry Riley Celebration With Premiere
December 7, 2015
Still active at 80, Terry Riley’s music continues to engage us, as the Del Sol’s recent performance demonstrated. More about San Francisco Conservatory of Music »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Berkeley Symphony   Berkeley Symphony Scores Full Marks With <em>Fachwerk</em>
December 5, 2015

Joana Carneiro conducted a fascinating U.S. premiere of renowned composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s latest orchestra work.

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 San Francisco Opera  A Winning <em>Barber</em> And a Whimsical Seville at San Francisco Opera
November 29, 2015

Led by a funny, natural Figaro, the S.F. Opera revival of Barber of Seville is frothy entertainment.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  On Schumann’s Big Night at the Symphony, Strauss Stands Out
November 24, 2015
The symphony is recording Schumann’s four symphonies, but orchestra and soloist made a stronger case for Richard Strauss. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto  Playful Period Pieces from Shakespeare’s Time with the Baltimore Consort
November 23, 2015
The early music ensemble performed “songs, dances, and fancies” with flair at Palo Alto’s First Presbyterian Church. More about First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto »
 San Francisco Opera  S.F. Opera’s Massive <em>Meistersinger</em> Scores in Intimate Moments
November 21, 2015

Pageantry there is, but the S.F. Opera’s production of Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nürnberg reveals the small, human moments that make this comedy timeless.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Music at Kohl  Catalyst Quartet Gets Down and Dirty at Kohl
November 18, 2015
The quartet shifted seamlessly between genres in a wide-ranging program. More about Music at Kohl »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 San Jose Chamber Music Society  Jon Nakamatsu Joins Imani Winds for Some Marvelous Mozart
November 17, 2015
Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds was part of the New York-based quintet’s bright and brash program at the Trianon Theatre in San Jose. More about San Jose Chamber Music Society »
 Opera San José  Opera San José's <em>Figaro</em> Proves an Imperfect Marriage
November 16, 2015
The company’s latest production of Mozart’s classic opera misses the mark dramatically and emotionally. More about Opera San José »
 Festival Opera  <em>River of Light</em> Shines at Festival Opera
November 16, 2015
Festival Opera explored Indian cultural narratives with two noteworthy chamber operas at the Oakland Cultural Center. More about Festival Opera »