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
 Redwood Symphony  Redwood Symphony Scales 'Mount Mahler,' Plants Flag for Community Orchestras
November 23, 2014

The Redwood Symphony tackles the maximally challenging Mahler's Ninth and pulls it off with flying colors.

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Recital REVIEW
 UC Berkeley Music Department  The Unparalleled Legacy of Seymour Lipkin
November 16, 2014

Pedagogue of pedagogue Seymour Lipkin gives a solo recital as part of the second annual Piano Institute program at UC Berkeley that presents a series of performances, lectures, and master classes.

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Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  A Tale of Two <em>Bohème</em>'s
November 16, 2014

San Francisco Opera's splendid new production of Puccini's 1896 La bohème features two strong lineups of singers in the double-cast 13-performance series, with Giuseppe Finzi leading the Opera Orchestra.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Music at Kohl  Food for Thought With the Escher Quartet
November 16, 2014
A concert by the Escher Quartet at Kohl Mansion offers solemn repertoire sandwiched between more cheerful music for a striking experiment in contrasts. More about Music at Kohl »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Contemporary Music Players Cal Performances Project TenFourteen Sculpts a Spectrum of Styles
November 16, 2014

SFCMP has come up with a laudable concept for their new season, commissioning work from 10 composers who, stylistically and generationally, cover a wide spectrum of new music.

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Dance REVIEW
 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts  Alonzo King LINES Ballet Remarkable Form
November 15, 2014

Alonzo King LINES Ballet brings Shostakovich and Rasa to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, works that showcase King's distinct movement style.

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Opera REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Adrift on <em>Curlew River</em>
November 15, 2014

Benjamin Britten's Curlew River, a comparative rarity in that composer's catalog, presented by Cal Performances, offered two performances of an acclaimed production that originated in London and is now touring the United States.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Festival of New American Music  The Sun Rises on New Music: Fidelio Trio
November 14, 2014

Booking the Fidelio Trio proves to be a coup for the Festival of New American Music. The trio gave a powerful but nuanced interpretation of new works by Charles Wuorinen, John Harbison, Elena Ruehr, and Evan Ziporyn.

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Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  Young Cast Shines in S.F. Opera <em>Cenerentola</em>
November 10, 2014

Mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes makes a strong impression in S.F. Operaʼs revival of Rossiniʼs La Cenerentola.

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Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Andreas Scholl and Philharmonia Baroque: Great Music Mixed With Fun
November 10, 2014

There was so much energy and uplift to the Philharmonia Baroqueʼs concert with countertenor Andreas Scholl, it felt like a party.

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