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trip report

Luxury in Mallorca: Formentor Sunset Classics

Opera's current power couple carry off with excellence a mixed programme of opera in an outstandingly beautiful outdoor location.
interview

A bold joint venture by Kremer and Keller

Gidon Kremer and András Keller take their longstanding friendship to a new level as they join the ensembles they respectively lead -- Kremerata Baltica and Concerto Budapest -- into a dream orchestra for a tour of Asia. Where politics is floundering, could music show the way towards the benefits of international cooperation?
interview

A childhood drama queen: Aleksandra Kurzak

Aleksandra Kurzak tells us about making ten role debuts in a year as her voice shifts from bel canto to the dramatic repertoire she has been dreaming about since childhood.
feature

Nikita Mndoyants, from Cleveland to Carnegie Hall

Winner of the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition, Nikita Mndoyants spoke enthusiastically on his musical development, influences, and experiences in advance of his upcoming Carnegie Hall debut.
preview

The Varied Sounds of the Dolomites

Taking place every summer in Trentino, the Sounds of the Dolomites festival combines music and nature like never before.
Film music feature

A Flight Through the Music of Joe Hisaishi

As part of our film and game music month, we go deep into the work of Joe Hisaishi, the composer behind Studio Ghibli's best-loved scores.
film music feature

Franz Waxman's film and classical music

Franz Waxman is known for his film scores, yet he also composed classical music. In the year of the 50th anniversary of his death, we look back on his work.
film music feature

John Williams and his early aesthetic

A brief examination of the partly forgotten musical seeds that led to Williams’ distinctive cinematic soundworld
film music feature

Art as propaganda: the collaboration between Eisenstein and Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev composed scores for six films, as well as for two that were never made. We look at his collaboration with Sergei Eisenstein in the lead-up to the start of World War II.
film music interview

RSNO's Film Season Reaches New Audiences

In Edinburgh and Glasgow, the RSNO is bringing swathes of new audience into the concert hall to hear a live orchestra for the first time. 
game music interview

Creative haggling with Christopher Tin

Christopher Tin has worked in a whole range of fields, producing works that span film, video games and epic song cycles. Just don't call him a “video game composer”.
film music interview

Making orchestral musicians rockstars

Producer Orvar Säfström is bringing new audiences into the concert hall all around Scandinavia with his new style film music concert. How can that be a bad thing?
game music interview

Thomas Böcker on Symphonic Game Music

As part of out video game music season, we catch up with the man behind the Symphonic Game Music Concerts. 
game music feature

Assassin's Creed II - Magic in a video game

Assassin's Creed takes us to the Borgias' Florence and we stroll along streets and palaces, churches and galleries, with such detail that it seems we are, in fact, in the city. Accompanied by the music that Jesper Kyd brilliantly composed to the saga, we take part in a plot of revenge and disloyalty.
film music interview

Still winning awards: Ennio Morricone at 88

A brief chat with Ennio Morricone – one of the most ground-breaking and prolific film composers alive – and an introduction to his music.
Preview

BA…CHopin and his Europe international festival 2017

For nearly three weeks in August, renowned international performers and rising stars take to the stage to play the music of Bach and Chopin, and much, much more in this the thirteenth edition of the Chopin and his Europe International Festival, presented by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw.
TV & Film music Interview

Writing Music to Picture: Debbie Wiseman

Prolific TV and film composer Debbie Wiseman tells us about the craft of writing music for the screen and about how attitudes to film composition have changed.
film music feature

Film concerts go mainstream

The lights in the concert hall dim. On a large screen behind the orchestra, the titles of the movie that started the summer blockbuster era of 1975 appear. Then the onstage orchestra enters with a suddenly-familiar sound of menace.
Feature...

Bite-size opera: The Little Greats

How do you entice people to spend a night out at the opera? How do you grow new audiences? This autumn, Opera North may have a solution. 
preview...

From Valhalla to the New World

During his five seasons at the helm, Jaap van Zweden has raised the Hong Kong Phil’s international profile, particularly through his ongoing Ring Cycle in concert which reaches its conclusion in the new season.
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Preview...

Pleasure in pain: Munich's new opera & ballet season

New productions, including a stellar Parsifal starring Kaufmann and Gerhaher, mix with the standard rich repertory pickings in the Bavarian capital
interview

From Brno to London: Jakub Hrůša

Last week, Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša was appointed as one of two new Principal Guest Conductors of the Philharmonia Orchestra from the 2017/18 season. Before the announcement, Jakub talked to us about his experience working with the orchestra thus far and about Smetana’s Má vlast which he conducts next season.
preview

Deutsche Oper's new season

Deutsche Oper has a cornucopia in store for the new season. It promises some bold takes on the core repertoire, several enticing rarities, and a world première by the eminent German composer Aribert Reimann.
Pick of the bunch...

May Hot List

Welcome to your May Hot List, hand-picked by our editorial team from the wealth of listings (36 pages!) on Bachtrack's 'What's On' section. This is our largest monthly list yet, reflecting some enticing events, as well as our depth of concerts listed.
preview

Wealth of jewels at Toyko's Suntory Hall

Four of the world's great orchestras are all set to celebrate cornerstones of their repertoire in the fabled acoustic of the recently renovated Suntory Hall.
APRIL FOCUS ON TRAVEL and FESTIVALS: Click here for more information and ideas
Preview

Travels: the 2017 BRQ Vantaa Festival

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, Artistic Director of BRQ Vantaa Festival, gives us a taste of the 2017 Festival; David gives you a taste of travelling to Vantaa and Helsinki.
feature...

“Unusual": the 45th Istanbul Music Festival

Now in its 45th year, the Istanbul Music Festival embraces and celebrates an extraordinary city, bringing together Turkey’s musical heritage with music from around the world.
preview...

Opera under the stars at Festival d'Aix

Summer sends audiences scurrying all over Europe for their operatic fix. Glyndebourne and a whole host of imitators dominate the English country house scene, or you may head for Savonlinna’s Finnish castle, or the glitz and glamour of Salzburg. But one destination in South France draws the connoisseurs: Aix-en-Provence.
round up...

Italian music festivals: As prolific as pasta!

Italy has such an abundance of la dolce vita musicale it can be overwhelming, especially in the long, languid summer months when music-lovers, culture-cognoscenti and garrulous gourmands alike can savour the best of what this extraordinary country has to offer.

Postcard from Wrocław

The hardest task facing foreign visitors to the fascinating Polish city of Wrocław is how to pronounce it. 
Round up...

Summer music and opera in France

In July and August, Parisians flee the city to the provinces, where stunning landscapes and hundreds of music festivals await them. We explore the rich diversity.

Postcard from Dublin

Situated on the sea, Dublin has a rich cultural past and a lively social scene making for a very pleasant visitation. Just don't forget to pack the umbrella! 
round up...

Guide to Opera Festivals 2017

Opera with the stars or under the stars? Country house picnics or rare repertoire in smaller venues? Our 2017 opera festivals guide has something for everyone!
Postcard

Postcard from Amsterdam: unassuming riches

When you stroll through the Rijksmuseum, 17th-century burghers peer at you, self-assured and dressed soberly, mostly in black. The first impression these portraits of the superrich give is that their subjects did not much care for ostentatious display.
Make Bachtrack your guide to the best classical music concerts, opera and dance performances worldwide. You can search for your favourite composer or performer or read some of the 200 reviews we publish each month across the world.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

BarcelonaTchaikovsky Cycle Piano

Tchaikovsky
Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu; Josep Pons; Khatia Buniatishvili

MadridBruch, Shostakovich

Bruch, Shostakovich
Orquesta Nacional de España; Vladimir Ashkenazy; Pinchas Zukerman

PraguePrague Symphony Orchestra

Tansman, Haydn, Gruber, Prokofiev
Prague Symphony Orchestra; Łukasz Borowicz; Huw Morgan

ReykjavikIbragimova plays Brahms

Brahms, Shostakovich
Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Yan Pascal Tortelier; Alina Ibragimova

GlasgowSibelius Five

Sibelius, Mahler, Beethoven
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Thomas Søndergård; Jennifer Johnston

HalleSt John Passion

Handel: St John Passion
Roland Wilson; Ulrike Hofbauer; Marie-Luise Werneburg; Alexander Schneider; David Erler

ParisPoulenc, Britten

Poulenc, Britten
Sofi Jeannin; Chœur de Radio France

LondonBruckner

Bruckner
London Symphony Orchestra; Bernard Haitink; Sally Matthews; Karen Cargill; Eric Cutler; Franz-Josef Selig
Upcoming eventsSee more...

MunichTannhäuserNew production

Wagner: Tannhäuser
Kirill Petrenko; Romeo Castellucci; Bavarian State Opera; Klaus Florian Vogt; Anja Harteros

ZürichDer feurige EngelNew production

Prokofiev: The Fiery Angel
Gianandrea Noseda; Calixto Bieito; Zurich Opera; Rebecca Ringst; Ingo Krügler; Ausrine Stundyte; Judith Schmid

BerlinMedeaNew Production

Reimann: Medea
Steven Sloane; Benedict Andrews; Komische Oper Berlin; Johannes Schütz; Victoria Behr; Nicole Chevalier; Günter Papendell

BarcelonaDer fliegende Holländer

Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman)
Oksana Lyniv; Philipp Stölzl; Gran Teatre del Liceu; Conrad Moritz Reinhardt; Ursula Kudrna; Attila Jun; Elena Popovskaya

BarcelonaLa Fille du régiment

Donizetti: La Fille du régiment
Giuseppe Finzi; Laurent Pelly; Gran Teatre del Liceu; Chantal Thomas; Sabina Puértolas; Ewa Podleś

ZürichCorpusNew production

World Premiere
Douglas Lee; Filipe Portugal; Ballett Zürich; Zurich Junior Ballet; Christopher Moulds; Martin Gebhardt; Michael Küster; Orchestra La Scintilla Zurich

MunichAlice in WonderlandNew production

Talbot: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Christopher Wheeldon; Bavarian State Ballet; Myron Romanul; Nicholas Wright; Bob Crowley; Bayerisches Staatsorchester

BergenPeter Grimes - in concert

Britten: Peter Grimes
Edward Gardner; Bergen National Opera; Stuart Skelton; Giselle Allen; Ida Falk Winland; Vibeke Kristensen
Latest reviewsSee more...

Palliative and consoling Mahler 9

Bernard Haitink conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a deeply moving account of Mahler's Ninth Symphony at the Barbican the day after the tragedy in Manchester.
*****
Read more

A not so brief encounter with the Moscow Phil

An earthy – if slow – Pictures at an Exhibition from Yuri Simonov and the Moscow Philharmonic in Basingstoke is like a musical step back in time. 
****1
Read more

Splendour falls on castle walls

Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra gave a lesson in ethnomusicology as part of the their all-Bartók programme, which culminated in a towering performance of Bluebeard's Castle.
****1
Read more

Nobuyuki Tsujii’s recital in Sydney

There are not many classical musicians on the international circuit who could achieve the ‘legend’ status; whose concerts would be attended by adoring fans rushing to the stage at the conclusion of the recital, who would be referred to by a nickname, suggesting an ongoing relationship and familiarity with their fans.
****1
Read more

A strong Violetta carries an uninspired Traviata revival

Tom Cairns' production feels empty and distracted, but Kristina Mkhitaryan was a sensational Violetta, strongly reinforced by an impressive Germont from Igor Golovatenko.
****1
Read more

Peter Schneider takes the Valkyries on a wild ride in Vienna

Sven-Eric Bechtolf’s minimalist staging brought the protagonists’ complicated psychological interaction into focus but to the detriment of Wagner’s myth and magic.
***11
Read more

Maurizio Pollini proves that one doesn’t have to be perfect

At Carnegie Hall, a lion in winter focuses on Chopin.
****1
Read more

Peat graves: Reimann's Medea at the Komische Oper

A woman, mother and outcast needs to make life choices in a hostile environment.
*****
Read more
FESTIVAL PREVIEWS
Discover....

Theatrical feast: Hipermestra at Glyndebourne

This year's festival opens with the most lavish work of an exceptionally important composer. So why has it languished unperformed for so long?
Interview...

Michael Chance on the new Grange Festival

Michael Chance tells us about planned improvements to the festival-going experience and tells us about the operas that will form part of the new festival.
Preview...

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music 2017

The 41st Festival focuses on the voice, with a myriad of operatic, sacred and secular offerings, as well as a sprinkling of notable instrumental concerts.
MARCH FOCUS ON BAROQUE:
interview...

Baroque Inquisition: Rinaldo Alessandrini

The prolific recording artist and founder of Concerto Italiano answers our questions about Monteverdi and other music of the period.
interview...

Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monteverdi

Read our wide-ranging interview about Monteverdi's operas, their cultural context, performing them today and why they remain as contemporary and fresh as when they were written four centuries ago.
interview...

L'Arpeggiata founder Christina Pluhar

Christina talks about improvisation, her passion for unusual voice types, combining early music with jazz and traditional styles, and more.
interview...

A Monteverdi Odyssey: B'Rock Orchestra

Ahead of their tour of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, starting at Klarafestival, B'Rock's general director Hendrik Storme tells us about this very international young orchestra, Monteverdi's masterpiece and working with René Jacobs.
Celebrating women...

Top Six Women Baroque Composers

Following the example of Rebecca Lentjes’ January feature “Top Ten Living Women Composers”, I have made my pick of women composers of the Baroque period in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Preview...

Baroque and Early Music Festivals: the 2017 guide

Whether you're looking for Handel, Bach, Monteverdi, Telemann or mix of all of these; whether you like your Baroque music in a grand palace, an intimate chapel or a state-of-the-art concert hall, our 2017 roundup has something for you.
Best of baroque...

Photo gallery: Baroque theatres you should see

Feast your eyes on this marvellous collection of Europe's surviving baroque theatres.
Play it yourself...

Telemann: your faithful music teacher

Jane guides you through Der getreue Music-Meister, Telemann's treasure trove of pieces for amateur musicians of every description.
Baroque Australia

Pinchgut Opera: a rare compounding of age and youth

As far as you can get from opera's birthplace, a small company leads the way in exploring the repertoire of its early years.
NEW SEASON PREVIEWS
Preview...

Strong new season from Zurich Opera

At Zurich Opera, Andreas Homoki, the Intendant since 2012, and Music Director Fabio Luisi have built a strong season, with a range of new productions unveiled for 2017-18
We preview...

This is Rattle: LSO new season

It’s been the most hotly anticipated arrival in British classical music for years. Sir Simon Rattle takes up his post as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra with a refreshing season programme. 
FEBRUARY FOCUS ON OPERA
Interview...

“It’s not a Cinderella story”: Kristine Opolais

Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais shot to international fame in 2010 in Dvořák’s Rusalka at the Bavarian State Opera. She talks to us having recently performed the role in Mary Zimmerman’s much anticipated new production at The Met.
Preview...

A wealth of new productions at DNO

DNO unveils an astonishing eleven new productions next season – either completely new or co-productions which are new to Amsterdam  – with just three revivals.
Interview...

Ferruccio Furlanetto on a lifetime with Philip II

The great Italian bass talks about his relationship with Philip II in Verdi's Don Carlos, and about other seminal roles.
Interview...

Crossing borders: Roberto Alagna

Ahead of Vienna's première of Il trovatore, the tenor who crosses borders between France and Italy, opera and popular song, spoke to us about the roles of Manrico and Cyrano, being a gypsy, a hero, returning to Italy, about family and more.
Preview...

Strong women, big voices at LA Opera

Los Angeles likes to think big and so does LA Opera. It attracts star singers and the second half of its season features some big female voices taking on some of opera’s strong women.
Interview...

Stuart Skelton on tackling Tristan

The Australian Heldentenor shares his preparations for learning Tristan, his thoughts on opera productions and his passionate views about the current state of Opera Australia and ENO.
Interview...

Ermonela Jaho on her heartbreaking soprano roles

Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho is renowned for heartfelt performances as some of opera's most tortured soprano roles, especially Violetta in La traviata, the opera in which she sprang to fame in London when she jumped in for an indisposed Anna Netrebko. 
Interview...

Creating opera roles: Stéphane Degout

With two new role creations in progress, baritone Stéphane Degout will be back this summer to the Aix Festival for the world première of Pinocchio. He talks to us about the process of creating new opera roles.
News: world première...

The Castle in the Water: a new work for Savonlinna

Savonlinna’s contribution to the centenary has been to commission a new work from the country’s senior operatic composer, Aulis Sallinen. Not an opera per se in this case, but what he describes as a “chronicle for speaker, four singers, orchestra and Olavinlinna”.
News

The Wiener Staatsoper's Live at Home

The Vienna State Opera's subscription service offers 45 live broadcasts a year for a monthly fee. The intention is to foster in your home a sense of the live occasion, as distinct from the mere provision of a video library.
Interview...

Brian Jagde on flawed characters

American tenor Brian Jagde discusses two key roles in his career so far, Don José in Carmen and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
Interview...

No cookie cutter soprano: Joyce El-Khoury

Joyce El-Khoury discusses her long-awaited Covent Garden debut and the role Violetta has played in her career. 
Interview...

Wigglesworth: Throwing paint at the canvas

In rehearsals at ENO, Ryan Wigglesworth discusses his first opera The Winter's Tale which opens on 27th February. 
Interview...

Kate Lindsey on Così fan tutte in Aix

For mezzo-sopranos, playing boys comes with the job. Kate Lindsey is no different, but it's the –very feminine – role of Dorabella we spend much time discussing. 
Preview...

Operatic worlds collide in Linz

This spring the Austrian city of Linz is encompassing the world. Or rather worlds: worlds of celestial harmony and of dreams characterise two operas being mounted by Landestheater Linz.
CONTEMPORARY MONTH HIGHLIGHTS
Retrospective...

Remembering the legacy of Pauline Oliveros

“Music is a multi-dimensional, dynamic process unfolding as a relationship between an individual or a group of individuals, and sound vibrations.
Interview...

“Not a political composer": John Adams

Taking time out from working on his new opera, Girls of the Golden West, which premières in San Francisco later this year, we spoke to John Adams about politics, Scheherazade.2 and where he sees the future for classical music.
Preview...

From Crumb to Kaufmann: Holland Festival 2017 revealed

The Holland Festival has always celebrated and promoted new work and takes its 70th anniversary to both look forward, with plenty of world premières, but also to reflect on its past. 
Retrospective...

Keeping the Boulez spirit alive

Daniel Barenboim inaugurated last month the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin. The most interesting feature of the hall lies not in its flowing architecture, but rather in its name: the Pierre Boulez Saal. One year after the French composer death, what is his legacy?
Preview...

A guide to contemporary music festivals

There are plenty of occasions to hear Beethoven's symphonies or Mozart's operas throughout the year. But what about the 21st century repertoire? Contemporary music lovers often find it hard to quench their thirst for new music. Thankfully, some festivals specialise in contemporary music, giving to everyone the opportunity to drink their fill.
Contemporary focus...

Top 10 Living Women Composers

According to online showcase/podcast Listening to Ladies, during the 2015–2016 season, the top 89 symphony orchestras in the US dedicated only 2% of their programs to music composed by women. 
CONDUCTOR INTERVIEWS

Uniting through music: Q&A with Marin Alsop

Period instruments, Rusty Musicians and inspiring a new generation of female conductors: just a few topics touched upon in our interview. 

Paavo Järvi: Musical ambassador

Where is home for Paavi Järvi? The life of an international conductor consists of airports and hotel-hopping and Järvi’s passport is more well-travelled than most. 

Sincerity itself: Semyon Bychkov on Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky has a special place in the heart of Russians. Semyon Bychkov caught the bug at an early age. In an interview, he reflects on what Tchaikovsky means to him, and the man behind the notes. 

Rolling his sleeves up: Ed Gardner in Bergen

As commutes go, London to Bergen has its attractions. Nearly a year into the post of chief conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic, Ed Gardner has a bounce in his step and exudes genuine enthusiasm for the job.

A sense of theatre: Sir Antonio Pappano

Sir Antonio Pappano reflects on recent performances of Fidelio and Norma and how his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has evolved and the difficulties staging Verdi.

Valery Gergiev: “I'm a relatively busy man”

Ahead of his appearance with the Munich Philharmonic at this year’s Prom 4, Valery Gergiev gave Bachtrack a wide-ranging interview, discussing the Mariinsky, Russian music, education and much more.
RECENT ARTICLES AND PREVIEWS
interview...

Conversation with Ashley Bouder

Ashley Bouder is putting the finishing touches on her upcoming program for the Ashley Bouder Project. It is an all-women choreographers program, and the composers are also specially commissioned.
Preview...

Classical Music in Latvia in 2017

From the Early Music Festival to contemporary opera, we guide you through what Latvia has to offer this year.
interview...

Bringing world culture to Oman’s doorstep

There’s no doubt Royal Opera House Muscat likes to do things in style. Director General Umberto Fanni explains the progress of what he proudly calls “the most exciting new opera house in the world”.
News

Gergiev tops Bachtrack’s 2016 classical statistics

Some people crack open the Champagne to launch the New Year, but here at Bachtrack Towers the corks have barely popped before we dive into the classical music statistics for the year just ended.
preview...

Celebration time! All systems go for the European Day of Early Music

How best to celebrate Johan Sebastian Bach's birthday and the arrival of spring? Don't miss the European Early Music Day, organised by REMA on 21st March at venues across Europe.
Opera weekend...

A weekend at Barcelona's Liceu

Of all European cities, one of the best for a weekend break has to be Barcelona. Head there in May and you can soak up a wonderful weekend at the Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house.

Chailly and the Berliner Philharmoniker: the critics’ choice

Which are the greatest orchestras and conductors according to the professional critics? Bachtrack's poll reveals the top ten! 
Bachtrack announces Classical Music Statistics for 2016: The busiest conductors and orchestras, the most performed works, the most played living composers, most performed operas and ballet. Whatever you're looking for, check the Bachtrack statistics first HERE.