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!


Dance REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Ratmansky's Great <em>Cinderella</em> A Cinder-riddle
October 5, 2015
The Mariinsky dancers make the most of Prokofiev’s ballet, despite a few interpretive head-scratchers. More about Cal Performances »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Trifonov’s Otherworldly Playing Kicks Off New Season for S.F. Symphony
September 29, 2015
The performance by the Russian concert pianist was absolutely astonishing and matched by MTT and his musicians. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Dance REVIEW
 Smuin Ballet  Smuin Ballet Explores and Seiwert Soars​
September 28, 2015
The resident choreographer of Smuin Ballet premieres a confident, beautifully realized work in an evening of pleasurable surprises. More about Smuin Ballet »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Fremont Symphony Orchestra  Fremont Symphony Season Opener Displays Diversity
September 28, 2015
The program was sparkling, imaginative, and even exotic, featuring works from Chinese-American composer Chen Yi and Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. More about Fremont Symphony Orchestra »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Cal Performances  A Harmonious Beethoven’s Ninth from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
September 28, 2015
The orchestra — joined by the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, Pacific Boychoir Academy, and San Francisco Girls Chorus — gave a near-perfect performance brimming with joy. More about Cal Performances »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 New Century Chamber Orchestra  NCCO Promises Letters to Russia But Delivers Higdon
September 24, 2015
The New Century Chamber Orchestra started off its season with a program that was split between the composer and mostly Russian music. More about New Century Chamber Orchestra »
Recital REVIEW
 Grace Cathedral Concerts  Bill Frisell, Not-So-Unplugged at Grace Cathedral
September 21, 2015
It was unadulterated Bill Frisell, as the guitarist played solo with only his effects pedals as occasional accompaniment. More about Grace Cathedral Concerts »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 Old First Concerts  The Thalea Quartet Makes a Case for Hindemith
September 21, 2015
The young string quartet, the first quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, also performed early works by Webern and Beethoven. More about Old First Concerts »
Opera REVIEW
 Opera San José  Opera San Jose Opens Season with an Impressive <em>Tosca</em>
September 15, 2015

Despite some hiccups with staging and music, soprano Olga Chernisheva was riveting in the title role.

More about Opera San José »
Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  S.F. Opera Attends to <em>Sweeney Todd</em> With a Vengeance
September 15, 2015
Stephen Sondheim’s scream-fest is gory, erotic, hilarious, and tragic – everything you need for a great night at the opera. More about San Francisco Opera »