Monday, May 30, 2022

Friday, May 27, 2022

Nathalie Stutzmann at SFS

Davies Symphony Hall
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

I recently reviewed concerts by San Francisco Symphony guest conductors Gustavo Dudamel and Karina Canellakis. One thing they had in common, in retrospect, was some kind of competition, perhaps internal, perhaps with an imagined other conductor, to make the SFS play as loudly as it possibly could with the forces required by each work they led. And, you know, that is loud

Both are also, stylistically, purveyors of Big Conducting Gestures. Dudamel is so active a conductor that I honestly wondered whether he'd like a trampoline installed under the podium so that he could end Mahler 5 with a backflip over the orchestra and into the timpani, which would have amazed the audience and appalled principal timpani Edward Stephan.

Given the unnecessary decibels the two of them produced, and my feelings about their musicality, it was an enormous relief on multiple axes to see the French conductor Nathalie Stutzmann last night in a program of Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Now, I'm a well-known lover of Brahms and also possibly known for avoiding most Tchaikovsky, but after last night I've realized that I need to revisit Tchaikovsky with a more open mind.

Readers, Stutzmann was everything that Dudamel and Canellakis were not: slightly reserved on the podium, conducting efficiently and gracefully with smallish, but effective, and evocative, gestures, and getting subtle and extremely beautiful musical results. Rather than setting the volume on high, she explored the ppp to mf range, and when the music did call for more volume, it had far more impact than fff does when it's sitting atop a minimum volume of mf. Also, her phrasing was gorgeous throughout the concert, so supple, and so sensitive to the musical line and harmonic flow of whatever she was conducting. 

I'll also say that the pure sound she got from the orchestra, especially in the Tchaikovsky, was really something. MTT and E-PS, to my ear, mostly go for a slightly lean and transparent tone, a style I think of as American (though that could be wrong, and of course E-P is not American). Stutzmann aimed for a richer, warmer sound than I'm used to hearing at Davies; it was no less transparent, somehow, than the usual. Particularly in the Tchaikovsky, you could hear every layer of his writing; let's say that I came out of the program with a great deal of respect for his pure craft as a composer. (On the way home after I got off BART, I turned on the radio and found myself going "what the heck is this, it's great" and uhhh it was....Souvenirs of Florence, by Tchaikovsky.)

Last night's program started with three of Brahms's shorter works for chorus and orchestra, NänieGesang der Parzen, and Schiksalslied. How I loved soaking for forty minutes in Brahms's magnificent writing for this combination! The second half of the show was Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathetique, and it was a big wow all around. Marvelous conducting and great playing from the orchestra. Special kudos to Catherine Payne, principal piccolo, sitting in the principal flute chair for this program - she has a beautiful sound - to principal clarinet Carey Bell, for his apparent ability to play in a thousand dynamic gradations, and to the aforementioned Edward Stephan, so consistently amazing in the sharpness of his playing and how it undergirds everything the orchestra does. Well, I loved everybody, really.

Stutzmann started her musical career as a singer, and now she has become quite a prominent conductor, with good reason. She is the incoming music director of the Atlanta Symphony and the principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. They are lucky to have her, and I hope that she'll be back at SFS sooner rather than later (she's not on the schedule for 2022-23, alas).

Friday Photo

Rainbow and sailboat
Kauai North Shore
April, 2017


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Principal Oboe Musical Chairs, LA Phil Edition

Walt Disney Concert Hall
March, 2017
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

The excellent Mr. CKDH, who blogs at All is Yar, covers vacancies in the LA Philharmonic in great detail. He's been reporting on the orchestra and its members for long enough that he's been able to interview principal players and retirees. (See, for example, his two-part interview with Michele Zukovsky, legendary principal clarinetist for 54 years, on the occasion of her retirement. Part 1 Part 2)

For out-of-towners, this might not be of interest, unless you're a nerd, which I am. Also, as a former flutist, I followed the LA Phil's multi-year principal flute issues with some fascination.

There's a big exception this year, however. The LA Phil has an opening for principal oboe, where they choose someone who served for a few months before deciding that the job wasn't for him. And the other week, Eugene Isotov, San Francisco Symphony's fabulous principal oboist, was in LA playing a trial week.

He is a great player and I'm sure that he is under serious consideration for the job. Me, I hope that he stays here! If you're interested in SFS, in the audition process, or the LA Phil, definitely take a look at the principal oboe post at All is Yar.

Monday, May 23, 2022

News of the Day, Julia Bullock Edition; Media Round-up of History's Persistent Voice

History's Persistent Voice
Julia Bullock, seated left; Christian Reif, conducting
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Symphony, (c) Kristen Loken

On Tuesday, the soprano Julia Bullock gave a remarkable performance in History's Persistent Voice, a concert of works by Black women composers interspersed with readings from incarcerated people, quilters, and artists. This is a fabulous program, created by Bullock; all of the works were written for her and she make substantive contributions to each, as an editor or curator of the texts. I hope that it will appear on CD or DVD; it's a marvelous program in every way and I would love to see it again.

Reviews here:
And today came the announcement of something I had been wondering about: Bullock has withdrawn from the world premiere performances of John Adams's new opera, Antony & Cleopatra, which will open San Francisco Opera's centennial season in September. You can't tell from the photo above, but Bullock was wearing a jacket with a slight flare at the hips, and, well, I did notice. I especially noticed when she remarked that "...motherhood is on my mind a lot these days." I made some inquiries immediately after the program, putting a member of the SFO publicity department on the spot with questions that the company wasn't ready to answer yet. (Joshua Kosman caught that comment, as did Janos Gereben, so I guess we were all waiting for the shoe to drop. Christine Goerke made her SFO debut while visibly pregnant, but not everyone is in a position to do that!)

Big sigh, but after reading the SFS press release, it does appear that she will be in future bring-ups of the opera, which is co-commissioned by Barcelona’s Liceu Opera, Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, and the Metropolitan Opera. 

Best wishes to Amina Edris, a lovely singer, for a great success as Cleopatra!

Here's most of the press release:





Amina Edris to Perform Cleopatra, Replacing Julia Bullock

San Francisco Opera today announced a cast change for the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra, opening on September 10, 2022 as the first operatic presentation of the Company’s 2022–23 Centennial Season.


Soprano Amina Edris will create the role of Cleopatra, replacing Julia Bullock, who has withdrawn from the production. Bullock and her husband, conductor Christian Reif, are expecting the birth of their first child this fall. While Bullock will not debut the role in San Francisco, she remains connected with the project for future engagements.


San Francisco Opera Tad and Dianne Taube General Director Matthew Shilvock said: “Julia has been such an inspiration in the creation of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra and we will miss her dearly from the premiere, but it is for the happiest of reasons imaginable! We wish Julia and Christian great joy as they begin a family together. We are so grateful to Amina for joining us to create this extraordinary role and excited for the depth of character and beautiful artistry she will bring to Cleopatra. Amina is having such success around the world, and we’re thrilled to welcome her back to San Francisco Opera to help us launch our second century in such a special way.”


Julia Bullock said, “I am deeply grateful to Matthew and San Francisco Opera for being so respectful and supportive as I came to the decision to withdraw from the premiere to prepare for the birth of our first child. Amina will be thrilling in the role of Cleopatra, and I wish the entire cast and crew my very best as they bring this new work to life.”


Born in Egypt and raised in New Zealand, soprano Amina Edris is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most exciting young stars on today’s operatic stage. Following post-graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Edris participated in the Merola Opera Program (2015) and Adler Fellowship Program (2016, 2017). As a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, she performed roles in CarmenDream of the Red ChamberRigolettoElektra and La Traviata on the War Memorial Opera House stage. In 2019 she returned to the Company, starring as Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, opposite the Roméo of her husband, tenor Pene Pati.


Edris made her Canadian Opera Company debut last month as Violetta in a starry cast for Verdi’s La Traviata and her performance was hailed as “beautiful of tone throughout her registers, with accurate coloratura and no shortage of power” and “the revelation of the night” (Bachtrack). She has performed Manon in Massenet’s opera to widespread acclaim at Opéra National de Bordeaux and Opéra National de Paris where Opera Forum said of her interpretation: “Amina Edris literally brought the Opéra Bastille to its knees with her superlative incarnation of the title role, both vocally and theatrically.” Recent appearances include Alice in Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable at Bordeaux, Micaëla in Carmen at Opéra du Rhin, Violetta for Opéra de Limoges. This summer, she returns to Europe for engagements with the Paris Opéra as La Folie in Rameau’s Platée and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma. Next spring, she makes her house debut at Barcelona’s Gran Theatre del Liceu as Manon.

Edris is a featured artist in San Francisco Opera’s 2022 Webby People’s Voice award-winning video portrait series, In Song. Filmed on location in her native Cairo, In Song: Amina Edris follows the soprano’s journey from a childhood infused with Arabic music to her emergence as an operatic soprano. The free, 19-minute episode showcases Edris performing the song “Ghanili Shway Shway,” first performed by iconic Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum, and the French art song “Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe” by Carmen composer Georges Bizet.


Edris joins a notable Antony and Cleopatra cast for San Francisco Opera. Bass-baritone Gerald Finley, an acclaimed Adams role creator for his performances as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic, is the Roman general and triumvir, Antony. Tenor Paul Appleby, who created the role of Joe Cannon in the Company’s 2017 premiere of Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, is the young Caesar, Octavius. Bass-baritone Alfred Walker is Antony’s confidante Enobarbus and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong portrays Octavia, Caesar’s sister and the wife of Antony. San Francisco Opera Music Director Eun Sun Kimopens the 100th season with this highly anticipated world premiere by the distinguished composer and Bay Area resident.


Created for San Francisco Opera’s centennial, Antony and Cleopatra is a co-commission and co-production with Barcelona’s Liceu Opera, Palermo’s Teatro Massimo and the Metropolitan Opera. With a libretto adapted from Shakespeare’s tragedy with supplementary passages drawn from Plutarch, Virgil and other classical texts, Adams, director Elkhanah Pulitzer and dramaturg Lucia Scheckner blend the mythic imagery of antiquity with the starry glamour of 1930s Hollywood. Pulitzer heads a production team of Tony Award-winning set designer and MacArthur Fellow Mimi Lien, costume designer Constance Hoffman, lighting designer David Finn, projection designer Bill Morrison and sound designer Mark Grey.

Museum Mondays


German U-Boat Sailors' Playing Cards
Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago
November, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2022

It Wasn't Actually Donizetti.

I went to the opera this afternoon, expecting to see a third-rate Donizetti comedy. What I got, though, was a better-than-first-rate Donizetti comedy.

The weirdest thing about it was that it wasn't by Donizetti and it most certainly wasn't written in Italian. That's because it was Das Liebesverbot, Richard Wagner's second opera, here performed by Pocket Opera in Donald Pippin's English translation as No Love Allowed.

Friends, mostly you wouldn't have recognized it as Wagner. The Sorcerer-of-Bayreuth-to-come peeped out occasionally in small harmonic pings, though what struck me most strongly was the composer's skill in structuring the music effectively. It's true that the source material, William Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure, is good, and in creating his libretto, Wagner apparently dealt well with it.

The music is lovely, sometimes better than that. The big ensembles that end both acts are mighty impressive; the composer did a good job of handling potentially difficult material. The Pippin translation is pretty funny. The singers were all excellent and appeared to be having a darned good time; they worked together fabulously as an ensemble. The staging by Nicholas Garcia is straightforward and effective and does a lot with about six pieces of furniture. The orchestra under Jonathan Khuner played well and with great spirit. One performance remains, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, on Sunday, May 29, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. You can buy tickets at Pocket Opera's web site.

Any opera company in search of a comedy should take a look at Das Liebesverbot. It's not canonical Wagner, but so? It's a fine romp through comic fields and should be performed regularly. (Here are Joshua Kosman's thoughts on the performance and work.)

As I said, everyone was darned good, so here are all of their names:

Leslie Sandefur as Isabella

Michael Dailey as Luzio

Spencer Dodd as Friedrich

Aléxa Anderson as Mariana

Sonia Gariaeff as Dorella

Michael Grammer as Brighella

Eric Levintow as Antonio

Julio Ferrari as Angelo

Pete Shoemaker as Danieli

Michael Mendelsohn as Pontius Pilate

Maria Caycedo, Ensemble

Daphne Touchais, Ensemble

Christopher Pilcher, Guard

Andrew Green, Ensemble

Chase Kupperberg, Ensemble

Friday, May 20, 2022

Media Round-up of the Past: Dream of the Red Chamber, 2016

I didn't blog about or formally review Bright Sheng's Dream of the Red Chamber in September, 2016, so here I am playing catchup on everyone else's reviews. One odd point: I cannot find the SFCV review and there must have been one. Perhaps it disappeared in the same data migration effort that wiped out some of my older reviews.

Related: Amy Qin in The NY Times (2016) and Emily Wilson at SFCV (2022).

Friday Photo

Two palm trees overlooking the sea; in the distance, on the sea, a sailing ship and a rainbow

Palm trees, ship, rainbow
Kauai North Shore
April, 2017


Thursday, May 19, 2022

San Francisco Symphony Cast Change


Davies Symphony Hall

This landed in my mailbox the other day, but I forgot to post about it: Ton Koopman had visa issues and has consequently withdrawn from this week's SFS programs. He is being replaced by Bernard Labadie.

The two Mozart works Koopman planned remain on the program (Serenade No. 6, Serenata Notturna and Symphony No. 36, Linz), but Haydn's Symphony No. 80 is replaced by No. 103. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Oakland Symphony Change of Program

I can't find this on the Oakland Symphony web site, but a well-informed person told me earlier today that the big work on the program, Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time, has been cancelled owing to COVID cases in the chorus. It has been replaced by Elgar's Enigma Variations. Still on the program are Cindy McTee's Circuits and Alan Hovhaness's  Symphony No. 2 , Mysterious Mountain.

San Francisco Opera Cast Change: Don Giovanni

War Memorial Opera House
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

Soprano Carmen Giannattasio, recovering from surgery and in need of more time and physical therapy before she will be ready for staged performances, has withdrawn from SFO's new production of Don Giovanni, which opens on June 4. She will be replaced as Donna Elvira by Nicole Car, who was scheduled to make her SFO debut in the end-of-season Verdi concert.

Best wishes to Giannattasio, a memorable Tosca several years ago, for a full and complete recovery.

Here's most of the press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 18, 2022) — San Francisco Opera today announced a cast change for its new production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni, opening June 4. Soprano Nicole Car will make her San Francisco Opera debut as Donna Elvira, replacing Carmen Giannattasio who has withdrawn from the production.


Giannattasio said: “I am incredibly sad to share that I will not be singing Donna Elvira in San Francisco Opera’s new production of Don Giovanni. I had been postponing a necessary surgery in my abdomen for quite some time. Between my performance schedule and COVID delays at the hospital it was not possible to have this procedure until just weeks ago, and I am facing a more difficult recovery than expected. I had hoped to be completely recovered by the time I started rehearsals, but unfortunately, I am not healed properly and must return home for additional physiotherapy to be able to meet the physical demands of singing in a staged production. I want to thank the San Francisco Opera and my colleagues, as well as my family and friends for their support, especially during these last couple of months. I look forward to returning to the stage this summer to sing Tosca in Macerata, Italy.” 


San Francisco Opera’s Tad and Dianne Taube General Director Matthew Shilvock said: “We are deeply saddened that Carmen is having to withdraw from the role of Donna Elvira this summer, but we wish her all good health as she continues her recovery. Carmen is a great friend of San Francisco Opera, having made such an incredible impact on our stage as Tosca in 2018, and both we and our audiences were so eager for her return this summer. We look forward to working with Carmen in the future. We are deeply grateful to Nicole Car for joining this new production, making her house debut a few weeks earlier than planned.”


Nicole Car, who was already scheduled to make her first appearance with San Francisco Opera at the Eun Sun Kim Conducts Verdi concert on June 30, now makes her debut with the Company in the fully staged production of Don Giovanni. Car has performed the role of Donna Elvira on many leading stages, including in March 2022 at the Paris Opera under the baton of Bertrand de Billy, who also conducts San Francisco Opera’s performances. In San Francisco, Car joins a cast headed baritone Etienne Dupuis, her husband and occasional onstage colleague, who is making his Company debut as the title role of Don Giovanni.


Car regularly performs on the stages of the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. Opera News praised her 2017 appearance in Puccini’s La Bohème at Covent Garden as “the evening’s exceptional vocal performance” and said “Car’s long-breathed, assured Mimì suggested a star in the making.” The Australian soprano’s repertory features leading operatic heroines, such as Mimì, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Marguerite in Faust and Micaëla in Carmen. Her recordings include Andre Messager’s Passionnèment for Palazzetto Bru Zane and two recital discs, Heroines and The Kiss, and Brahms’ A German Requiem for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Speaking of Loud

Eun Sun Kim, San Francisco Opera's Music Director, conducts the National Brass Ensemble at Davies next month, on June 20 at 7 pm. The program isn't very long, but given he personnel, I'd expect it to be loud:

RICHARD STRAUSS Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare

JONATHAN BINGHAM DEIFIED [Emerging Black Composers Project Commission, World Premiere]

ARTURO SANDOVAL Brass Fantasy [World Premiere]

RICHARD WAGNER (Arr. Timothy Higgins) The Ring [World Premiere]

Here's the player list:

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Michael Martin - Fourth/Utility Trumpet
Toby Oft - Principal Trombone
James Markey - Bass Trombone
J. William Hudgins - Principal Percussion
Jessica Zhou - Principal Harp

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Gail Williams - Former Assoc. Principal Horn, Professor of Horn, Northwestern University

The Cleveland Orchestra
Michael Sachs - Principal Trumpet
Nathaniel Silberschlag - Principal Horn
Richard King - Fourth Horn, former Principal Horn
Randy Hawes - Acting Bass Trombone
Yasuhito Sugiyama - Principal Tuba
Marc Damoulakis - Principal Percussion
Paul Yancich - Principal Timpani
Trina Struble - Principal Harp

Indiana University
Demondrae Thurman - Euphonium, Professor of Music

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Conrad Jones - Principal Trumpet

Nashville Symphony 
William Leathers - Principal Trumpet Designate

New York Philharmonic
Christopher Martin - Principal Trumpet
Richard Deane - Assoc. Principal/Acting Principal Horn
Leelanee Sterrett - Third Horn/Acting Assoc. Principal Horn
Joseph Alessi - Principal Trombone

Philadelphia Orchestra
Jeffrey Curnow - Associate Principal Trumpet
Jennifer Montone - Principal Horn

San Francisco Opera & Ballet Orchestras
Adam Luftman - Principal Trumpet

San Francisco Symphony
Mark Inouye - Principal Trumpet
Robert Ward - Principal Horn
Jonathan Ring - Second Horn
Jessica Valeri - Fourth Horn
Timothy Higgins - Principal Trombone
Jeffrey Anderson - Principal Tuba
Jacob Nissly - Principal Percussion
Jonathan Dimmock - Organist

Too Loud

Davies Symphony Hall

Karina Canellakis guest-conducted at San Francisco Symphony last week. Here are the reviews that I'm aware of:

Not in my review, but something I definitely thought: "Guest conductors beware: Davies doesn't respond well to quadruple forte." I was well aware of the general loudness of the program, and I'd noticed the last several guests also tending to go overboard. Of those, Gustavo Dudamel was the worst because his Mahler completely missed the dynamic range from double-piano to mezzo-forte, and the work really suffered as a result.

With Canellakis, there was an absence of musical layering that blunted the potential effects of the works and made them too much of the same thing. I definitely did a mental compare-and-contrast with Esa-Pekka Salonen, whose conducting always has much more nuance than I heard last week. Well, except for that Strauss thing.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday, May 09, 2022

Friday, May 06, 2022

Friday Photo

Hollow heart potato - when cut open, this potato appeared to have somehow had a section shaped like a long vertical part crossed by two horizontal parts hollowed out from inside.

Hollow heart potato.
This happens when there are variations in the water available to a potato.
They are edible.
Oakland, March, 2022


Monday, May 02, 2022

Museum Mondays

Photo of a game where you use a magnet to place magnetic filings in the correct hairdo for each Beatle.

Beatles Magnetic Hair Game
Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood
London, May, 2014


Sunday, May 01, 2022

Women on the Podium

Joshua Kosman had a fine column the other day in the SF Chronicle, about the several upcoming concerts at San Francisco Symphony that are conducted by women, namely, Xian Zhang, Karina Canellakis, Nathalie Stutzmann, and Ruth Reinhardt. 

This reminded me of my response, back in 2007, to a truly godawful profile of Marin Alsop, by Anthony Tommasini. Among other things, he had the nerve to say that "The dearth of leading female conductors is ultimately inexplicable," which, of course, it's not. (This is here to remind you that the NY Times paid him to be their chief classical music critic for quite a few years, years during which the women who were writing regularly for the classical music section failed to be hired as full-time employees and then largely disappeared from its pages. I'm sure that this is inexplicable too.) 

Joshua goes on to write the following about conductor Talia Ilan on the lack of women on the podium:

Ilan subscribes to a mathematical explanation as well. If we assume that conducting talent is evenly distributed throughout the population, she points out, then an all-male profession makes space for the weakest 50% of men, who would be squeezed out of a workforce that was half female. That’s a lot of mediocre men with an incentive to oppose gender equity.

Also: men get appointed to multiple conducting positions, even though there is more than enough talent out there that organizations don't need to do this. Some examples, including one that came to mind reading the biography of this week's SF Symphony guest conductor:

  • Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal.
  • Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandaus Orchestra.
  • Klaus Mäkelä leads the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and Turku Music Festival. He is 25 26 years old.
  • Gustavo Dudamel leads the LA Phil and Paris Opera. (H/T Joshua Kosman for reminding me of this.)
I don't understand why organizations like the BSO, Met, and Philly don't demand the full attention of their music directors. Stopping the practice of multiple appointments would be a great way to open up more opportunities for talented conductors who aren't white guys.

Briefly Answering a Bad Take

John McWhorter, who is a guest columnist at the NY Times, decided last week that it was his turn to decry that awful modern music, meaning serialism, so he wrote a really pretty bad column. It starts with his personal experience with one piece of music that he sang in a chorus, but he doesn't say who wrote it or what it was. He then goes on to condemn serialism, state that melody isn't unsophisticated, and cite a limited number of sources, including Joseph Horowitz's recent book on Dvorak and John Mauceri's book on 20th c. classical music.

Where to start. Well, there is so much that could be said that I'm going to just give you an incomplete bullet list.

  • McWhorter is entitled to like or dislike any music he wants to like or dislike.
  • Some people like serial music, and they also get to like what they like. 
  • He's fighting the style wars of 50 years ago.
  • He's not a musicologist. He is dabbling by reading music writing that fulfills his preconceived notions. It's possible to be better read than he is in current music writing.
  • You'll hear a lot more music in U.S. concert halls by (for example) Adams, Reich, Glass, Harbison, Corigliano, Picker, Adamo, the other John Adams, Riley, Rouse, Holloway, Chin, Adès, Gubaidulina, Golijov, Saariaho, Lindberg, Ligeti, Dessner, Lutoslawski, Montgomery, Sallinen, Rautavara, Paart, Dutilleux, Messiaen, Bates, Stucky, Mackey, Clyne, Yi, Bernstein, Harrison, Feldman, Muhly, Diamond, Copland, Stravinsky, Salonen, and others than you'll hear by serialists or by composers using different compositional techniques whose music is dissonant.
  • It's a bad idea to write about serialism as though all composers who use the technique write similar music. Remember, that means that you're lumping together composers as distinctive as Berg and Webern, to go back to early serialists.
  • Whatever Boulez need to look at the totality of his career. The guy who talked about blowing up opera houses ultimately conducted at a few opera houses.
  • If you're going to read it at all, Horowitz's book must be read in tandem with Douglas Shadle's Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony. Doug is a musicologist specializing in American music.
There's lots more that could be said, but I don't have all day to write a NY Times-ready column, so that's it for today.