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 Music REVIEW
 'Twas the Night Before Christmas  “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”: Takács Quartet Puts Ensemble First
December 9, 2014

The Takács Quartet visited the UC Berkeley campus and played an intimate, collaborative performance, even in oversized, acoustically challenged Zellerbach Hall.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque Chorale Steals Christmas (in the Best Possible Way)
December 9, 2014

With all due respect to the fine orchestra and lauded guest soloists, it was the voices of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale that made their “Joyous Christmas” concert an evening to remember.

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Recital REVIEW
 ZOFO duet  ZOFO Duet Introduces Bolcom Premiere in SFSU Recital
December 8, 2014

A ZOFO duo recital includes dazzling musicianship and a bit of flair and theatricality, too.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Symphony Silicon Valley  Kamio, Shimono Shine in Risk-Taking 2014 Finale From Symphony Silicon Valley
December 8, 2014

Symphony Silicon Valley, fortified with guest soloist Mayuko Kamio and visiting maestro Tatsuya Shimono, break new ground with Bruckner, Mozart and a surprise encore.

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Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  The Future Is Now for San Francisco Operaʼs Adler Fellows
December 7, 2014

The young singers who have been through the Operaʼs training program are already shining in mainstage productions. With the spotlight focused on them, they showed great poise and maturity.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Mälkki Unlocks a Jewelbox at S.F. Symphony
November 30, 2014

A stellar return from Finnish guest conductor Susanna Mälkki, an admirable performance by Jeremy Denk, and a climactic 30 seconds of ecstasy in a seven-minute “aperitif” not heard here since the Loma Prieta earthquake.

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Choral REVIEW
 Volti   Volti Sings of Longing and Desire
November 25, 2014

Three world premieres are featured in Volti's concert "Want Me: Songs of Longing and Desire" at the visually arresting St. Gregory of Nyssa's Church.

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Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 San Francisco Early Music Society  East of the River: Instrumental in Early Music
November 24, 2014

Nina Stern and Daphna Mor brought both their virtuosity and their educational mission to the Bay Area in the company of their East of the River ensemble.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Hope Meets Exuberance: San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
November 24, 2014
The future of music arrived at Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday in the form of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. SFCV's own star teen pianist reviews his peers. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Opera REVIEW
 Los Angeles Opera  L.A. Opera Revives <em>Florencia en el Amazonas</em>
November 24, 2014

In many ways a trailblazer, Florencia en el Amazonas was the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned by a major opera company north of the Rio Grande. Its prodigal return to the Chandler Pavilion was problematic.

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