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The London Symphony launches its 2018-19 season

Folk Roots – from British poetry to Czech and Slavic music – form a strong thread in the LSO's new season, along with Sir Simon Rattle's commitment to contemporary music. 

Stamping her personality with charm: Anna Bonitatibus

Anna Bonitatibus talks about the composer dearest to her heart, Rossini: his operas, his false modesty and the challenges of singing his music.

Carlo Rizzi’s view from the pit

Carlo Rizzi's talks about directors, audiences and the art of conducting Italian opera ahead of a busy spring schedule.

The young take the high ground at Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad

Both lynchpin and enlightened monarch, Renaud Capuçon lifts the curtain of the festival in his third year as its Artistic Director

Classical music statistics 2017: Bachtrack digs deep

January is the time for us to look back at 2017 and discover what has changed about the repertoire and performers who graced our concert halls. If you enjoy statistics, take a look at our picks.

Dimitri Platanias on singing Verdi

Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias is currently singing Rigoletto at Covent Garden. He explains what it means to be a Verdi baritone and talks about his favourite roles. 

The young face of LA Opera: Matthew Aucoin

Aucoin was just 26 when he started his three years as Artist in Residence at LA Opera. He talks to us about composition, poetry, conducting and the Los Angeles appetite for new music.

Lisette Oropesa on Donizetti’s heroines

In November, Lisette Oropesa made her Royal Opera debut, performing the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Here, she discusses her Donizetti roles along with casting problems and critics concerned with looks over voice. 

Opera on the West Coast: the state of the art

The opera General Directors of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego tell us about their audiences, their productions, painting a picture of opera on the West Coast that is both different and in rude health.

In at the deep end: Anita Rachvelishvili

Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili reflects on her big break at La Scala and talks about the new Verdi roles she's been adding to her repertoire. 

Tannhäuser, Tristan, Der Ring: Ádám Fischer talks Wagner

At the 2018 Budapest Wagner Days, the festival's creator will conduct Tannhäuser and Tristan und Isolde. He talks to us about what makes stagings of those operas tick, about Müpa and about the renewed Ring for 2019.

Fondation Louis Vuitton: a temple to youth

We've already seen three years of intense activity, with dozens of shows of every type: recitals, concertos, chamber music, academic events, public masterclasses, jazz sessions. All this in a brand new space. It's a new and different feature of the musical landscape of Paris.

Time Unwrapped at Kings Place

Ahead of the innovative Time Unwrapped season at Kings Place, we look at some of the highlights. 

Glen Kwok on the Violin Competition of Indianapolis

The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, which has been attracting violinists from around the world since 1982, is unique in the-depth career mentorship it offers following victory. 

Prospecting for operatic gold: John Adams

Adams's new opera Girls of the Golden West could not be more different from the (nearly) eponymous Puccini favourite. Adams talks to us about the Gold Rush, the opera and new music in general.

Dominique Meyer innovates at Wiener Staatsoper

The Director of the Vienna Staatsoper discusses using technology for the benefit of the art form.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic performs Henk de Vlieger's "Orchestral Adventure" on Wagner's Ring.
The Gürzenich Orchestra performs Prokofiev's Overture on Hebrew Themes.
The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra performs the overture to Chabrier's Gwendoline.
The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra performs works by Verdi, Respighi and Martucci.
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.
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ViennaLigeti & Bruckner

Ligeti, Bruckner
Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Philippe Jordan

ParisBeethoven, Onslow

Beethoven, Onslow
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Mikko Franck; Elisabeth Leonskaja

LondonEssential Debussy

London Symphony Orchestra; François-Xavier Roth; Cédric Tiberghien; Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus; Simon Halsey


Messiaen: Turangalîla-symphonie
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko; Steven Osborne; Nathalie Forget

Costa MesaRPO on Tour

Respighi, Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Thierry Fischer; Jean-Yves Thibaudet
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MilanDie Fledermaus (Il pipistrello)New Production

Strauss II: Die Fledermaus
Cornelius Meister; Cornelius Obonya; Teatro alla Scala; Heike Scheele; Peter Sonn; Eva Mei


Strauss R.: Elektra
Simone Young; Staffan Valdemar Holm; Royal Swedish Opera; Bente Lykke Møller; Iréne Theorin; Katarina Dalayman

BerlinCarmenNew production

Bizet: Carmen
Ivan Repušić; Ole Anders Tandberg; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Erlend Birkeland; Maria Geber; Clémentine Margaine; Charles Castronovo

AmsterdamTristan und IsoldeNew Production

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Marc Albrecht; Pierre Audi; Dutch National Opera; Christof Hetzer; Stephen Gould; Günther Groissböck


Strauss R.: Elektra
Patrick Summers; Sir David McVicar; Houston Grand Opera; John Macfarlane; Christine Goerke; Michaela Martens
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Roth and the LSO open their miniature festival in style

Debussy's newly unearthed Première Suite d’orchestre, hitherto unheard in the UK, was presented in the context of music that may have inspired him.
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Fledermaus debuts at La Scala but misses some sparkle

The Temple of Opera has opened its doors to operetta. For the first time the Teatro alla Scala is staging Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus.
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Jaap van Zweden blazes trail for the HK Phil

The final instalment of the Hong Kong Philharmonic's Ring cycle merits the orchestra joining the international big league. 
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Four French masterpieces from the Philharmonia

A programme in which a great orchestra finds several 'leaders', as well as a fine first violin.
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Decisive, committed and compelling Reich

The Colin Currie Group offer an involving and scintillating experience of one of America’s great composers as part of the Time Unwrapped series at Kings Place. 
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In conversation with Alexandre Tharaud

French pianist Alexandre Tharaud will be touring Europe with the Orchestre Métropolitan of Montreal and its conductor Yannick Nézét-Séguin. On a park bench in front of the Comédie française, Tharaud tells us all.

Witnessing history: Vladimir Ashkenazy

Before launching his series Voices of Revolution with the Philharmonia Orchestra to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Ashkenazy recalls his experiences as a young Soviet pianist, his memories of Shostakovich and his witnessing history in the making.

Ed Gardner: Bringing Bergen to the world

The conductor talks streaming and touring as he starts his third season with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra 

ENB tours MacMillan's Song of the Earth this Autumn

Going from strength to strength under the leadership of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet presents MacMillan's Song of the Earth as part of nationwide celebrations of the choreographer's formidable legacy. 

“It’s a balls-buster!” Latonia Moore on tackling Aida

With a hundred performances under her belt, Latonia Moore discusses the challenges of singing Aida as she rehearses Phelim McDermott’s new staging for ENO.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the Orchestre Métropolitain

Yannick Nézet-Séguin discusses the qualities of his Orchestre Métropolitain ahead of their big European tour. 
January 2018
Evening performance
Matinee performance

Cyprien Katsaris, the good genie of the piano

Interview which strays off the beaten track with the pianist Cyprien Katsaris, ardent defender of piano transcription and of forgotten composers.
FOCUS ON MUSIC EDUCATION click here for more articles

Carnegie Hall “Links Up” the concert hall and classroom

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute is introducing young people all over the world to orchestral music with its Link Up programme. 

Music education at the Vienna State Opera

Works for children, guided tours behind the scenes and livestreams for school. Staatsoper Director Dominique Meyer is proud of the house's music education programme.

Music education at Cape Town Opera

As part of our music education month, we caught up with Christine Crouse of the Cape Town Opera to discuss how the company brings music to disadvantaged areas in South Africa. 
FOCUS ON MUSIC COMPETITIONS click here for more articles

Noriko Ogawa talks about musicianship

Pianist Noriko Ogawa, former Leeds prizewinner and sought after competition judge, shares her personal experiences and views on piano competitions.

Top international music competitions

As part of our competitions month, we look at nine major music contests on the international scene.

Gordon Back talks about the Menuhin Competition

The Menuhin Competition catches its musicians young, with categories of under-16 and under-22. Gordon Back has been with the competition since the beginning, first as accompanist and now as Artistic Director.

Ten benefits of taking part in vocal competitions

Life-changing, grueling, exhilarating, unfair. These are some of the adjectives that singers mention when describing the experience of taking part in a competition. It doesn’t matter if you end up with a monetary prize or walk out empty-handed, if you analyze the experience you will see that you have won at least on several of the points listed in this article. 

Spotting talent: Adam Gatehouse

The founder of the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme tells us about finding star quality in young musicians and his plans for the Leeds Competition.

Eyes on the prize: Interview with Gustav Alink

Gustav Alink compiles information on music competitions worldwide, aiming to help young musicians and the events themselves.
Statistics from the archive

The Top 10 Piano Concertos

As part of piano month, we take a look at the ten most popular piano concertos of recent years. 

Alice Sara Ott: Music can’t be perfection

“It’s a waste of time if you just sit there and move your fingers for the sake of practising.” Alice Sara Ott tells us about her distinctive approach to life as a pianist.

Passionate about piano: Alain Lompech

Meet Alain Lompech, music critic and piano specialist, who for forty years has watched the development of the music scene in France and abroad.

Soviet composers in the late 20th century

The list of great Soviet composers over the last hundred years will always bring out the big names, but what about those unsung heroes of the late 20th century whose music captures the mood of a generation?

Out of Time: The Music of Alfred Schnittke

Widely regarded as the greatest composer of the generation after Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke's music plays with time, style, and the biggest questions of all.

Music of the Russian Revolution

When the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent civil war smashed through Russian society a hundred years ago, the close links between Russian and European music, and between Russian art, music and literature were shattered, and a new artistic world had to be built on what was left.

Disentangling truth from propaganda: Leningrad

Many stories have been told about the genesis of the Leningrad Symphony, not least by Shostakovich himself and his many friends. 

Russian Composers and History

In attempting to cement a sense of Russian identity through music, the nation's composers looked to history for inspiration. 

The foundations of classical ballet: a French affair?

It’s common knowledge that Louis XIV developed the foundations of classical ballet in the late 17th century, during his long and rather extraordinary reign as King of France. But was the French King the true mastermind of ballet technique? 

The influence of Italian virtuosity on Russian Ballet

From the courts of Italy during the Renaissance to the grandeur of the Russian Imperial Ballet, discover more about the influence of Italian virtuosity on Russian ballet

Ballet in Paris: a little History of the French Technique

Origins: from the Royal court of Louis XIV to neoclassicism.  The Paris Opera Ballet company has a long-standing History, dating back to 1662, and the establishment of the Académie Royale de Danse by Louis XIV. At the time, the Academy’s mission was to develop the theatrical dance style performed in court, which noblemen and the King himself took part in.
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

Postcard from Seoul, Korea

Cold soju, warm people, old history, new stuff: our first trip to Korea fascinates.

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.

Postcard from St Petersburg

With great music, exceptional palaces and unique architecture, if you have any pretensions to knowing the great cities of the world, Saint Petersburg just has to be on your bucket list.

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.

Baroque Inquisition: Rinaldo Alessandrini

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

Rare gems and Baroque giants in Valletta

For five editions now, the island of Malta has played host to the Valletta International Baroque Festival, bringing together the Baroque beauty of venues in the capital city with the best music from the period. 

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.
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.
Best of baroque

Photo gallery: Baroque theatres you should see

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

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.

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?
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. 
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.