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
 Cypress String Quartet  Cypress Quartet: Brahms by Osmosis
February 16, 2016
With friends Barry Shiffman and Zuill Bailey, Cypress Quartet gave fluid performances of Brahms’ sextets. More about Cypress String Quartet »
Opera REVIEW
 Opera San José  A <em>Carmen</em> That Plays by the Book at Opera San Jose
February 16, 2016
Opera San Jose’s Carmen, which opened on Feb. 13, works well for the opera neophyte. More about Opera San José »
Opera REVIEW
 West Edge Opera  The Other <em>Barber</em> Proves Its Mettle at West Edge Opera
February 12, 2016

Less musically brilliant than the Rossini favorite, Giovanni Paisiello's Barber of Seville still provided plenty of sparkle and musical comedy.

More about West Edge Opera »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Berkeley Symphony   Conrad Tao Wows at Berkeley Symphony
February 9, 2016

With conductor Tito Muñoz pinch-hitting for Joana Carneiro, the orchestra welcomed an exciting soloist in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto.

More about Berkeley Symphony »
Festival REVIEW
 Kronos Quartet  <em>A Thousand Thoughts</em> and as Many Musical Styles, at the Kronos Festival
February 8, 2016
The premiere of one of the first Fifty for the Future Commissions highlighted the final night of the Kronos Quartet’s second annual festival. More about Kronos Quartet »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  An Adventurous Mozart Trip for Philharmonia Baroque
February 8, 2016
The orchestra welcomed fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout as soloist in an all-Mozart program. More about Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 New Century Chamber Orchestra  NCCO Celebrates Yehudi Menuhin’s Centenary with Hope
February 8, 2016
Daniel Hope joined the orchestra as guest concertmaster and principal soloist in a tribute to his mentor. More about New Century Chamber Orchestra »
Festival REVIEW
 Kronos Quartet  Only Risk Rewards at Kronos Festival
February 8, 2016
Mariana Sadovska joined Kronos in a riveting performance of her Chernobyl.The Harvest, new music that, at last, took some risks. More about Kronos Quartet »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Cal Performances  St. Louis Symphony Puts Out an Interstellar Call
February 5, 2016

Messiaen asks the orchestra to move us toward the infinite in Des Canyons aux étoiles.

More about Cal Performances »
Modern Classical REVIEW
 Earplay  Earplay Pays Tribute to Stefan Wolpe, Midcentury Modernist
February 5, 2016

The composer’s early piano sonata and an Andrew Imbrie’s Earplay Fantasy dominated the proceedings.

More about Earplay »