Two afternoons of string quartets at South Mountain in The Berkshires

Two afternoons of string quartets at South Mountain in The Berkshires
The fall concert season kicks into high gear during the month of October but it’s the South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield that always get things going a bit sooner.   The entirety of South Mountain Concerts’ annual line-up runs for only four or five weeks every autumn.  Bridging that time between the busier summer and fall schedules, it gives music lovers something to savor when little else is on the calendar.  But...
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Preview and review: Bang on a Can celebrates George Crumb

Preview and review: Bang on a Can celebrates George Crumb
A piece of American music seldom stays fresh, even surprising, to succeeding generations of audiences. Datedness sets in so quickly, while nostalgia takes a long time to show up. George Crumb’s “Black Angels” is an exception. Written almost 40 years ago during the height of the Vietnam War, “Black Angels” is scored for electric string quartet and is subtitled “Thirteen Images from the...
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Weekend music reviews: ASO, Lachenmann, Brooklyn Rider

Weekend music reviews: ASO, Lachenmann, Brooklyn Rider
ALBANY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Troy Savings Bank Music Hall March 26, 2010 Music director David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony Orchestra have made a virtue out of performing lots of new little works by emerging composers. Eager for the opportunity, the youngsters gladly take the modest commissions and write under tight deadlines. The results are usually diverting and forgettable. A substantial new three-year grant from the...
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3 x 4: The Young & The Bold

3 x 4: The Young & The Bold
Call them the children of Kronos. No, not the Greek Titan, who ruled Earth and the heavens, but the Kronos Quartet, the San Francisco-based ensemble founded in 1973 that reinvented the string quartet. With an exclusive dedication to contemporary music — from minimalism to salsa — the Kronos created such a hip and flamboyantly costumed image that it was dubbed “classical music’s fab four.” Today,...
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Make space for Laura Kaminsky

Make space for Laura Kaminsky
Around 1998 when I was pulling together artists for the disc “Lesbian American Composers,” Laura Kaminsky wrote me a rather curt letter about the whole project. A simple “No, thanks” would have sufficed. I’d actually forgotten about that, having put out of my mind some of the stormier aspects of bringing to market that title and the two volumes of “Gay American Composers” discs at...
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