Concert Reviews

Five concerts in to the London Philharmonic’s ‘2020 Vision’ series of 20 concerts, and, after a hiatus on Wednesday-last without Beethoven (Spohr was the substitute), here Osmo Vänskä – eschewing...
Palm Beach Opera continues its 2020 season with a production of Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbieri di Siviglia that combines hilarious staging and comic acting with consistently outstanding music-making. Beginning with...
Viviana Durante has been a name in British dance for some time, for a long time as a much-loved artist at The Royal Ballet. In recent years, she has returned...
The Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček won the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Piano Competition with his performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, and he chose this work to make his debut with...
It has been five years since I last heard Simon Trpčeski in a solo recital, and it was reassuring that the pianist and general musical dynamo from Macedonia still radiates...
It cannot be often that operas commissioned by major opera companies find their world premiere stage performances being given by those still learning their craft at one of London’s premiere...
Kindertotenlieder is a seminal work in Mahler’s oeuvre. Motivic and melodic phrases as well as cadential passages from the song cycle cast a spell over his symphonies from the Fifth...
The NHK Symphony Orchestra, established in 1926, is currently on a western European tour under its chief conductor, Paavo Järvi, taking in Tallinn, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Cologne, Dortmund, Brussels...
The New World Symphony, which describes itself as America’s Orchestral Academy, is a post-conservatory training program co-founded thirty-two years ago by Michael Tilson Thomas. After three years of working with...
There is something sad about Alina Cojocaru, by which I mean her dancing persona is often characterised by an underlying melancholy. She is not a naturally sunny ballerina (although she...
The Royal Festival Hall was full for Mahler’s blockbuster Resurrection Symphony, one of the late-romantic repertoire’s most fecund talismans. Less predictable, though, was how it would flow with the Philharmonia...
Joshua Bell's brilliant performance of Paganini’s First Violin Concerto was the highlight and centerpiece of this entertaining concert by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Bell’s virtuoso mastery...
This debut appearance from one of Sweden’s oldest chamber orchestras gave a varied programme of nature-related music in the second of its UK concerts begun at St George’s Bristol and...
Ballet double bills are difficult evenings to get right; directors do not have the luxury of “well, at least I liked the other two” they get with a triple. Both...
Just occasionally you go to a concert such as this where you know you have witnessed something quite extraordinary. Sir Simon Rattle opened with Berg’s 1934 Lulu Suite, which is...
To stage Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier successfully one needs a steady and a judicious eye, and an ability to strike a balance between the often riotous ensembles and the work’s...
Agrippina was Handel’s first great operatic hit, its intrigue-filled plot about power struggles in ancient Rome so immediately successful with Venetian audiences that 27 performances were quickly scheduled at Teatro...
This unusually structured program opened with Brahms’s ever-popular Violin Concerto, with the Dutch violinist Janine Jansen. Playing the 1707 “Rivaz, Baron Gutmann” Stradivarius, Jansen produced a stunningly pure and vibrant...
Whatever the overkill, 2020 does enable a modicum of lesser-known works by Beethoven to gain high-profile performances – not least among them Christ on the Mount of Olives, which here...
As a protégé of Daniel Barenboim and newly appointed chief conductor of both the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic expectations are high for Lahav Shani, and he certainly didn’t...
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