This year, I’m even more relieved than last year that I’m not a professional critic assigned to assemble a “top ten” music list for 2013. Instead, here is a year-end offering of highlights from my personal musical journey throughout the year.
Melodies appear as inexplicably as a dirty blond in Philip Marlowe’s office.
—Mark Swed, reviewing City Noir
The first time I visited Los Angeles, a friend took me to a favorite taco place, a low-slung building trapped under a freeway labyrinth. Another time, I was part of a Writers Guild negotiations team. In my infirm recollection, nighttime had a feel at once seedy and glamorous: swank hotels cheek by jowl with crumbling stucco buildings, sidewalks empty of walkers, sulfurous street lamps piercing the dark. The city seemed an unnavigable maze, with a culture I couldn’t fathom. Continue reading →
Bassoonist Dávid Adam Nagy (photograph by János Sutyák)
One thing I’ve particularly enjoyed about my explorations into contemporary classical/new music is the chance to hear instruments in soloist positions that aren’t often heard in that role. I first encountered bassoonist Dávid Adam Nagy in a solo role in Contemporaneous’s world premiere performance of Dylan Mattingly’s A Way A Lone A Last A Loved A Long the Riverrun. Nagy’s accomplished performance led me to race to hear him when I learned that, as a winner of the 2011 Bard College Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition, he’d be performing as soloist with Bard’s American Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading →
While I remain offline for the moment and don’t ordinarily use this space for announcements, in this case I must make an exception to both rules. The occasion is a Central European Tour of Chamber Music from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, including stops in Debrecen, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Brno, and Prague. Continue reading →