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Alan Rich

... the words young and youth

Bravo, Gustavo!

It has been a mere four years since Gustavo Dudamel began his conquest of the musical world, and he has spent that time very well indeed. The steps he has climb...
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So I Keep Hearing

Classical music critic 1992-2008 May I presume? Leonard Bernstein, whose anniversaries we widely and wisely celebrate this year, made his first public noise — that famous New York Philharmonic broadcast — in November 1943. Merely one year later, almost to the day, I too generated a kind of noise: my......
Credit: Kyle T. Webster

Hallelujah Junction: A Minimalist Life

Is there anything about the composer John Adams that still needs writing down? The critics have surely had their say: Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, Alex Ross in the eloquent epigram to his important book (The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century), myself in these (sob!)......

A Street Musician's Symphonic Movement

Back in September 1964, Jascha Heifetz, the formidable fiddler, was attempting an ill-advised comeback recital at Carnegie Hall. The crowd out front was enormous, and it naturally included many people with long faces hoping for a turned-back ticket to this sold-out event. I was covering it as a music critic......

Parting Shots

The Last Romantic Betty Freeman (Click to enlarge) Composer Helmut Lachenmann Helmut Lachenmann cuts a solitary figure in today’s musical world. At a time when much of the talk centers on accessibility, on a generation of composer-heroes — Adams, Adès, Reich, Saariaho, Salonen, just for starters — who have found......
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Dear Old Friends

Before There Was Ambien The air was full of memories at the season finale of the “Piano Spheres” concerts last week; the music was too. Ursula Oppens was the pianist — “Oyssla,” as Morty Feldman always called her in his high Brooklynese — and everything on her program was also......
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And When the Dust Had Settled …

Don’t Feed the Animals (Click to enlarge) Fabio Biondi of Europa Galante More of the same: The new guy has come and gone after his two-week Philharmonic guest shot, leaving behind echoes of adoration and tumults of anticipation — next Disney gig: November 24 — and memories of a sound......
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Fantastique Shake-Up

Genius, Age 27 Sylvia Lelli (Click to enlarge) He’s real, he's ours: Gustavo Dudamel. You could almost say they were made for each other, even to a similarity of hairdo — Hector Berlioz, who astounded musical society with his Symphonie Fantastique at the age of 27, and the Philharmonic’s maestro-designate,......