Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 5:41pm
Christopher Cerrone

Art never really exists in a vacuum. It may not always be obvious, but each artistic creation fits somewhere in the constellation of human experience, drawn from and given meaning by the array of stars surrounding it. Whether the connections are made explicit by the artist, implicit in the work or simply in the mind of the spectator, there is always some link in the vast network.

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 3:24pm

It’s difficult to describe Danilo Brito's expression when he plays. His face seems to go through subtle emotional shifts as the music progresses: One moment nostalgic, the next joyful, the Brazilian mandolinist slips between different states almost imperceptibly. If you weren’t paying close attention you might not even notice. But whatever the state may be at any given time, one thing Brito’s face will always express is a profound sense of being at ease. No matter how hard the music is — and some of what he plays really is fiendishly difficult — he always looks relaxed.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 8:54pm
The Last Word

I don’t remember who first told me about The Last Word. A friend, maybe, or a friend of a friend. It could have been when I asked musicians coming through town where they were going after a show. Or maybe it was someone else entirely. I just can’t remember. But that’s the kind of place The Last Word is — you have to hear about it from someone, you don’t just find it. I feel a bit bad writing about it, honestly, because this word-of-mouth nature is a large part of the charm.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 6:20pm

But whether it’s overt or implicit, confrontational or oblique, musicians who use their work to change our world are essential to the way we do art. Because nothing exists in a vacuum, and nothing ever changes without a push. So maybe that push is exactly what a musician can give.

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 5:49pm
Classical Music Column

And that’s how you expand the genre. You give people something concrete and meaningful to grab onto. You give them a reason to want to listen.

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 12:51pm

If music is to be — as its most strident champions assert — the universal language, it has to do better with speaking in a universal voice.

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 6:02am

When it came time to finally prepare a definitive edition of “Porgy,” Shirley was approached about the task, a labor which he has described as one of his greatest states of happiness.

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 5:42pm

Dissonance and cacophony turn to resonance and figuration. Menace and dread turn to grief and yearning.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 5:45pm

For all the technical wizardry, superb musicianship and stellar score, the most compelling aspect of the opera remains the story itself.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 6:17pm

Our whole disposable capitalist culture is obsessed with novelty and progress. Is a value system based on the newness of music really as countercultural as I think it is?