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
 Empyrean Ensemble  Empyrean Ensemble Debuts Works By Melinda Wagner
February 3, 2015

The Empyrean Ensemble presented new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Melinda Wagner and UC Davis composers at the 2015 Music and Words Festival.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Goodwin and Teuscher Shine in SFS Debuts
February 3, 2015

Paul Goodwin's conducting debut with S.F. Symphony was welcome, if belated, while soprano Lydia Teuscher stole the show.

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Musical Theater REVIEW
 Lamplighters Music Theatre  Lamplighters' Candide Sparkles Even in Clunky Version
February 3, 2015

The Lamplighters Musical Theater production of Candide has a lot going for it, along with a few unavoidable flaws.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 National Symphony Orchestra  The Bewitching Mirages of Wolfgang Rihm
January 29, 2015

One of SFCV’s emerging writers takes you into the world of contemporary master Wolfgang Rihm in a premiere with the National Symphony Orchestra.

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Opera REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists and the Enduring Charm of <em>Acis and Galatea</em>
January 29, 2015

ABS did a terrific job with the most winning of Handel’s theater works, introducing a fine soprano in the process.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Oakland East Bay Symphony  Oakland East Bay Symphony Triumphs Twice Over
January 27, 2015

Meeting the challenge of Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony is a struggle for both orchestra and audience, but the OEBS made it look easy.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Budapest Festival Orchestra's Action-Packed Brahms
January 27, 2015

Forget “autumnal”: The Budapest Festival Orchestra brought full-throated, heroic Brahms symphonies to Davies Symphony Hall.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Noe Valley Chamber Music  A Musical Homecoming for Noe Valley Chamber Music
January 26, 2015
Noe Valley Chamber Music returned after four years off to draw the largest audience in its 22-year history in San Francisco on Sunday, in a performance hosted by SFOO cellist Emil Miland. More about Noe Valley Chamber Music »
Recital REVIEW
 Cal Performances  A Great Singer in Her Vocal Autumn
January 23, 2015

Anne Sofie von Otter is a great performer you root for. But her recital with pianist Angela Hewitt was not all gold, despite that.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Of Pianolas and Devils: Adams and Stravinsky at SF Symphony
January 22, 2015

A star-studded week wrapped up as John Adams conducted his Grand Pianola Music and Malcolm MacDowell and Elvis Costello headlined A Soldier's Tale.

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