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  The Creepy, Family History of the Ushers, Onstage at S.F. Opera
December 11, 2015

Gordon Getty and Claude Debussy’s one-acters on Edgar Allen Poe’s classic have different strengths and weaknesses.

More about San Francisco Opera »
Choral REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque a Resounding Success in St. Cecilia Odes
December 8, 2015
A program of celebrations showed the orchestra and chorus off to best advantage, while also testing Herbst Theatre’s revamped acoustics. More about Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra »
Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Conservatory of Music  Peter Brook’s Reshaped <em>Carmen</em> Has Soul at S.F. Conservatory
December 8, 2015
The Conservatory’s “by the Brook” Carmen was a vital emotional experience. More about San Francisco Conservatory of Music »
Modern Classical REVIEW
 San Francisco Conservatory of Music  Del Sol Quartet Caps Terry Riley Celebration With Premiere
December 7, 2015
Still active at 80, Terry Riley’s music continues to engage us, as the Del Sol’s recent performance demonstrated. More about San Francisco Conservatory of Music »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Berkeley Symphony   Berkeley Symphony Scores Full Marks With <em>Fachwerk</em>
December 5, 2015

Joana Carneiro conducted a fascinating U.S. premiere of renowned composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s latest orchestra work.

More about Berkeley Symphony »
Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  A Winning <em>Barber</em> And a Whimsical Seville at San Francisco Opera
November 29, 2015

Led by a funny, natural Figaro, the S.F. Opera revival of Barber of Seville is frothy entertainment.

More about San Francisco Opera »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  On Schumann’s Big Night at the Symphony, Strauss Stands Out
November 24, 2015
The symphony is recording Schumann’s four symphonies, but orchestra and soloist made a stronger case for Richard Strauss. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto  Playful Period Pieces from Shakespeare’s Time with the Baltimore Consort
November 23, 2015
The early music ensemble performed “songs, dances, and fancies” with flair at Palo Alto’s First Presbyterian Church. More about First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto »
Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Opera  S.F. Opera’s Massive <em>Meistersinger</em> Scores in Intimate Moments
November 21, 2015

Pageantry there is, but the S.F. Opera’s production of Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nürnberg reveals the small, human moments that make this comedy timeless.

More about San Francisco Opera »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 Music at Kohl  Catalyst Quartet Gets Down and Dirty at Kohl
November 18, 2015
The quartet shifted seamlessly between genres in a wide-ranging program. More about Music at Kohl »