Recent News
01.13.19
James Conlon
Dull Bruch from Zuk, blazing Bartók from Conlon and New World at Arsht
South Florida Classical Review
01.11.19
Sir Andrew Davis
With conductor Andrew Davis, the BSO considers the big picture
The Boston Globe
01.10.19
Louis Lortie
PIANIST LOUIS LORTIE JOINS THE ROSTER
01.10.19
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOUNDER DURING 60TH ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 12, 2019
Ailey PressRoom
01.07.19
Teddy Abrams, Inon Barnatan, The Knights
WQXR Presents “19 for 19”: Artists to Watch in the Upcoming Year
WQXR
01.02.19
Ward Stare
Auld acquaintance is not forgotten at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert
KDHX
01.01.19
Marin Alsop, Lawrence Foster, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Mariss Jansons, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Emmanuel Villaume, Conrad Tao, Andrew von Oeyen, Inon Barnatan, Daniil Trifonov, Blake Pouliot, Isabelle Faust, Edgar Moreau, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Colin Currie Group , Brooklyn Rider , Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Lisette Oropesa, Michelle DeYoung, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Christian Van Horn, Storm Large
Best of 2018
12.17.18
Richard Kaufman
Cleveland Orchestra, Choruses make it feel like Christmas at Severance Hall
Cleveland Plain Dealer
12.17.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Vienna Boys Choir mix it up with a cosmopolitan “Christmas in Vienna”
New York Classical Review
12.14.18
Storm Large
High-energy holidays with Storm Large at the Sun
KDHX

News archive »

‘Dharma at Big Sur’ a mesmerizing experience in CSO’s all-American program

10.05.18
Christopher Rountree
Cincinnati Business Courier

Tracy Silverman lifted his six-string electric violin to his shoulder and played a low, mournful wail on his instrument. That began a mesmerizing, ecstatic journey in John Adams’ extraordinary raga for electric violin, "Dharma at Big Sur,” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Guest conductor Christopher Rountree’s all-American program opened with Adams’ early “The Chairman Dances” (Foxtrot for Orchestra) and concluded with “Dharma,” a work that Silverman premiered for the opening of Disney Hall in Los Angeles in 2003. In between were Copland’s Suite from the ballet “Billy the Kid” and Samuel Barber’s Essay No. 1.

[...] 

Rountree was a fine partner, and the orchestra provided precise, exciting playing. In Music Hall’s new acoustic, the sound was exceedingly bright and clear, which often worked well in Adams’ post-minimalist style. However, the final climax to the ecstatic conclusion bordered on sensory overload.

Accompanying the work, Larsen designed a visual dreamscape using three actors, who danced and faded in and out of various scenes of the sea. Personally, I’d prefer to imagine the stunning cliffs of Big Sur without the visual aid.

To open the program, it was interesting to hear an example of Adams’ earlier style. “The Chairman Dances” of 1985, a witty montage of dances, was a kind of “warm-up” before writing his groundbreaking opera, “Nixon in China.” The bubbling minimalism was clear and vibrant, and the conductor kept a good balance in the pulsating textures. Adams’ colorful percussion section included piano, which eventually emerged as a terrific solo (Michael Chertock).


Rountree was an engaging leader in Copland’s wonderful score to his cowboy ballet, “Billy the Kid,” using big, balletic gestures and sometimes almost dancing along to the music. I would have liked more nuance and atmosphere in those wide-open prairie numbers. That said, one of the morning’s highlights was principal trumpet Robert Sullivan’s solo in “Prairie Night.”

Rountree’s finest moment came in Barber’s rarely played Essay No. 1, which opened the second half. Here, the listener could admire the rich color of the strings, the beautifully-executed brass choir and the deft playing by the winds. It deserves to be heard more often.
 
Read the full review here