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!


Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  Bland <em>Luisa Miller</em> Revival Opens S.F. Opera Season
September 14, 2015
Extraordinary singing by Michael Fabiano was the main reward in an otherwise uninspiring performance. More about San Francisco Opera »
Modern Classical REVIEW
 San Francisco Electronic Music Festival  The S.F. Electronic Music Festival Launches With Bold Improvisations
September 14, 2015
Despite a last-minute cancellation in the opening concert, the festival debuted with panache and excitement to a delighted audience. More about San Francisco Electronic Music Festival »
Modern Classical REVIEW
 Curious Flights  A Diverse ‘English Portrait’ From Curious Flights
September 1, 2015
The concert series kicks off its second year with a look at the music of 20th century U.K. More about Curious Flights »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 New Esterházy Quartet  The New Esterházy Quartet’s Bleak Beethoven
September 1, 2015
The ensemble’s interpretations of Beethoven’s late quartets at The Berkeley Hillside Club were too temperate. More about New Esterházy Quartet »
Choral REVIEW
 Slavyanka Russian Chorus  Ringing in the 100th Anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s 'All-Night Vigil' with Slavyanka
August 25, 2015
The Bay Area Russian choral ensemble more than doubles in size for weekend performances of the timeless masterpiece. More about Slavyanka Russian Chorus »
Opera REVIEW
 Merola Opera Program  Merola Swings for the Fences in Home Run Derby of a Finale
August 24, 2015
The 2015 edition of the Merola Opera Program’s Grand Finale provided all the drama and entertainment of a reality TV competition. More about Merola Opera Program »
Choral REVIEW
 San Francisco Choral Society  A Spectacular Setting for Mozart’s Requiem
August 18, 2015
St. Ignatius Church, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay on Lone Mountain, was the perfect spot for the San Francisco Choral Society’s performance of the Mozart Requiem. More about San Francisco Choral Society »
Festival REVIEW
 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music  Young Composers Constrained at Cabrillo Festival
August 18, 2015
Pieces by Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly were the only standouts in a program of music that lacked ambition and scale. More about Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music »
Opera REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  Marais’ <em>Sémélé</em>: A Spectacular Opera of Grand Proportions
August 18, 2015
Marais’ opera get its long overdue U.S. premiere thanks to American Bach Soloists. More about American Bach Soloists »
Festival REVIEW
 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music  Cabrillo Festival’s Opening Weekend Turns Out to Be a Good Bet
August 11, 2015
It’s hard to pick winners from a crowded field of excellent new music, well-performed by the festival orchestra under Marin Alsop. More about Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music »