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Unsuk Chin © Priska Ketterer

Unsuk Chin on literature, creativity and solitude

With two premières just around the corner, we talk to the idiosyncratic composer about prize culture, her relationship with literature and the difficulty of being seen as an individual.  
Daniel Kühnel

British Museum challenges us with music

The Artistic Director tells us about the inspiration and his hopes for  the British Museum's upcoming music festival, with two weeks of music from all corners of the world and all eras set into context in the BM's galleries.
© Wilfried Hösl

Curtain up on Munich's 2018-19 season

With seven new productions under the title "Alles was Recht ist" (All things just) the Bayerische Staatsoper promises an exciting new season.
Jón Leifs © Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Bringing an Icelandic epic to life

Ahead of Iceland Symphony’s première of Jón Leifs’ Edda II, we speak to expert Árni Heimir Ingólfsson about bringing this gargantuan piece to life.
Focus on contemporary music

Bang on a Can’s utopia in a crazy world

Julia Wolfe © Peter Serling
Looking back on 30+ years of contemporary music-making and discussing new projects with Bang on a Can founders Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon. 

Accessing the future with Kronos Quartet

Kronos Quartet © Jay Blakesberg
We speak to David Harrington, founder of the intrepid Kronos Quartet, to discuss building a string quartet repertoire for the 21st century. 

Ten works that shaped contemporary music

© George Grantham Bain Collection/Fred Palumbo/Dutch National Archives
From jazz-inflected musical theatre to consciousness-expanding musique concrète, these are the most influential works of the last century.  

Technology and spirituality at Holland Festival

Trojan Women © National Theatre of Korea
Esoterica from Armenia, video game operas, algorithmic audiovisuals and more: Holland Festival doesn’t let you settle into one genre.  

Patricia Kopatchinskaja on new music and innovation

Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Julia Wesely
Moldovan-born violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja enjoys challenging the limitations of traditional concert formats and is a passionate advocate for new music and doing things differently.

An Indian classical maestro on his sarod concerto

© Dilip Bhatia
Ahead of a live streamed performance of his concerto with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, we talk with renowned sarod master Amjad Ali Khan.
Articles and previews

Christian Merlin: the 21st century orchestra

Following our discussion of music criticism, the second part of our interview revolves around the symphony orchestra.

The art of criticism: Christian Merlin

In the first of two interviews, one of the most respected critics in France talks about the state of his art.

10 facts about Der fliegende Holländer

Albert Pinkham Ryder's The Flying Dutchman © Public domain | Wikimedia Commons
Ahead of Bergen Philharmonic and Bergen National Opera’s live-streamed performance of the work, we cover the need-to-knows.

Bernstein and the art of symphonic ballet

Joseph Gordon and Tiler Peck of NYCB in Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free © Paul Kolnik (Photo courtesy of New York City Ballet)
Bernstein’s significance is emphasised through the golden thread that conjoins his classical and musical theatre compositions ... with ballets an important part of his musical legacy. Leading ballet companies and contemporary choreograhers mark Bernstein100 around the world.

Singapore Piano Festival celebrates 25 years

Martha Argerich © Adriano Heitman
Not one, but two appearances by the legendary Martha Argerich crowns the festival's 25th edition. 

A cultural melting pot: the Istanbul Music Festival

Aya Irini © IKSV
The three-week festival is a highlight of the Turkish classical year, attracting a huge number of visitors, with opportunities to explore this fascinating capital city, as well as soak up music in wonderful locations.

Pierre Audi: thirty years of mythic mystery

Pierre Audi © Sarah Wong
The director/producer of more than 400 operas tells us about La morte d'Orfeo, his last production before leaving for Aix in September, about Wagner, about working with the visual arts and more...

Marek Štilec on Czech Masters in Vienna

Marek Štilec and the Prague Symphony Orchestra © ArcoDiva
The Czech conductor "wants to complete the whole picture" by promoting the music of almost forgotten Czech composers.

Leading from the front with Sakari Oramo

© Benjamin Ealovega
The Finnish conductor talks about feeling a part of the orchestra and which Nordic country performs the best Nielsen. 

Pierre Audi's valedictory season in Amsterdam

Girls of the Golden West © Cory Weaver | San Francisco Opera
Stepping down after 30 years as DNO Artistic Director, Audi unveils a season bursting with new productions from Donizetti to Stockhausen.

The NHKSO launches its 2018-19 season

Paavo Järvi © Kaupo Kikkas
From monumental Germanic grandeur to Nordic elements – European Music forms a strong thread in the NHKSO's new season.

Classical music statistics 2017: Bachtrack digs deep

Herbert Blomstedt © Martin U.K. Lengemann
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.
Bachtrack At Home
Concert videos from top orchestras and broadcasters. See this week's recommended videos below
Members of Royal Stockholm Philharmonic perform Tarrodi's Akacia.
Håkon Kartveit performs Paus' Timpani Concerto with Bergen Philharmonic.
Gothenburg Symphony performs Borisova-Ollas' Second Symphony, "Labyrinths of Time".
François-Xavier Roth and Gürzenich Orchestra perform Boulez's Livre pour cordes.
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.
We recommendSee more...

BasingstokeVoices of Revolution: Russia 1917

© Keith Saunders
Mosolov, Prokofiev, Glière
Philharmonia Orchestra; Vladimir Ashkenazy; Behzod Abduraimov; Ailish Tynan

BergenVerdi's Requiem

Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Edward Gardner; Lise Davidsen; Jennifer Johnston; René Barbera; Matthew Rose

AmsterdamTon Koopman and Concertgebouw Orchestra: Bach's St Matthew Passion

© Foppe Schut
Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV244
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Ton Koopman; Tilman Lichdi; Manuel Walser; Christina Landshamer; Ann Hallenberg

ReykjavikEdda II – The Lives of the Gods

Leifs: Edda, Part 2, "Líf guðanna" (The Lives of the Gods)
Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Hermann Bäumer; Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir; Elmar Gilbertsson; Kristinn Sigmundsson; Schola Cantorum

RotterdamMahler 8

Mahler: Symphony no. 8 in E flat major "Symphony of a Thousand"
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor); Orfeón Donostiarra; Rotterdam Symphony Chorus
We recommendSee more...


Malin Byström (Fedora) © Markus Gårder
Giordano: Fedora
Eugene Tzigane; Christof Loy; Royal Swedish Opera; Herbert Murauer; Malin Byström; Daniel Johansson

BerlinDas Wunder der HelianeNew Production

Das Wunder der Heliane
Korngold: Das Wunder der Heliane
Marc Albrecht; Christof Loy; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Johannes Leiacker; Barbara Drosihn; Sara Jakubiak; Josef Wagner

BarcelonaAndrea Chénier

Andrea Chénier
Giordano: Andrea Chénier
Pinchas Steinberg; Sir David McVicar; Gran Teatre del Liceu; Robert Jones; Jenny Tiramani; Jorge de Léon; Michael Chioldi


Aleksandra Kurzak (Desdemona) und Roberto Alagna (Otello) © Michael Pöhn | Wiener Staatsoper GmbH
Verdi: Otello
Graeme Jenkins; Christine Mielitz; Vienna State Opera; Christian Floeren; Roberto Alagna; Aleksandra Kurzak

BasingstokeVoices of Revolution: Russia 1917

© Keith Saunders
Mosolov, Prokofiev, Glière
Philharmonia Orchestra; Vladimir Ashkenazy; Behzod Abduraimov; Ailish Tynan
Latest reviewsSee more...

Méphistophélès, the master puppeteer

Christian Van Horn (Méphistophélès) © Cory Weaver
Chicago's new Faust is a quest for youth but also a reflection on insipiration, fabrication and manipulation. 
Read more

Handel’s Ariodante comes from Vienna to Madrid

Kate Lindsey (Ariodante) © Javier del Real | Teatro Real
William Christie and Les Arts Florissants show true Baroque musicianship in Madrid, in an Ariodante with a solid cast.
Read more

Passionate Beach Piano Quintet from members of the St Paul Chamber Orchestra

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra © Chelsea Tischler
The musically meaty Piano Quintet of Amy Beach was the centerpiece of a varied program of works by women composers.
Read more

Sumptuous Barber Cello Concerto with Weilerstein and Cleveland Orchestra

Alisa Weilerstein © Roger Mastroianni courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra
A rousing Dvořák Symphony no. 8 and that composer’s The Water Sprite filled out a highly satisfying performance.
Read more

Paul Taylor: Preservation and Innovation

Michelle Fleet, James Samson and Laura Halzack in Musical Offering © Paul B Goode
Everywhere you look, there is kindness, consideration and generosity of spirit.
Read more
Opera: Recent interviews and features

Joseph Calleja on the genius of Puccini

Joseph Calleja © Simon Fowler | Decca
“Everything you hear about me is true!” Joseph Calleja reflects on taking on the role of Cavaradossi as well as discussing other Puccini roles and the way his voice has developed. 

Dimitri Platanias on singing Verdi

Dimitri Platanias
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. 

In at the deep end: Anita Rachvelishvili

Anita Rachvelishvili © Jiji Rejini
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. 

Lisette Oropesa on Donizetti’s heroines

Lisette Oropesa © Jason Homa
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 Festival highlights for Summer 2018

Glyndebourne © Mark Pullinger
Country opera house picnics, floating stages and opera under the French stars. Our 2018 opera festivals guide has something for everyone!

Opera on the West Coast: the state of the art

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home of LA Opera © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
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.
March 2018
Evening performance
Matinee performance

Time Unwrapped at Kings Place

Hugo Ticciati, artist in residence for Time Unwrapped © Marco Borggreve
Ahead of the innovative Time Unwrapped season at Kings Place, we look at some of the highlights. 
Focus on Baroque
In depth

Alessandro Stradella: cloaks, daggers, genius

Manuscript of La Doriclea
A swindler and a seducer who met his death at the hands of a seducee's furious brothers, Stradella was also one of the pioneering figures of the baroque, whose little remembered music sounds fresh and exciting to this day.

Top ten baroque cities: a visitor's guide

© Google MyMaps
Baroque art, baroque architecture, baroque music. From Prague and Wrocław in the East to Versailles in the West to Valletta in the South, we take lovers of the era on a tour of Europe.

Raw and Realistic: Handel's Brockes Passion

Caravaggio: The Crowning with Thorns ( Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) © Public Domain | Wikipedia
As Concerto Copenhagen prepare a tour of Handel's unusual work, Artistic Director Lars Ulrik Mortensen tells us why he thinks it is unjustly neglected. 

Recovering humanity through music: Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall © David Ignaszewski
The doyen of Early Music explains his blending of music and history, starting with his most recent project, The Routes of Slavery. We talk about the recording industry, Eastern music and more.

Handel – the top ten of his operas, plus one

George Frideric Handel, by Thomas Hudson, 1756 © National Portrait Gallery, London
From emperors and empresses to nymphs, gods and giants by way of faithful wives, sorceresses, knights, dastardly noblemen and dazzling coloratura arias, here's your guide to the master showman of baroque opera.
Music Competitions

Glen Kwok on the Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Jinjoo Cho (South Korea) - 2014 Gold Medalist with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra © Denis R. Kelly, Jr.
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. 

Top international music competitions

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

Noriko Ogawa talks about musicianship

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

Gordon Back talks about the Menuhin Competition

Gordon Back
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.

Spotting talent: Adam Gatehouse

Adam Gatehouse © Simon Jay Price
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 © Alink-Argerich Foundation
Gustav Alink compiles information on music competitions worldwide, aiming to help young musicians and the events themselves.
Focus on Music Education

Carnegie Hall “Links Up” the concert hall and classroom

Link Up in action © Chris Lee
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

Die Zauberflöte © Michael Pöhn | Wiener Staatsoper GmbH
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

Children's impressions from CTO's production of Hansel and Gretel
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. 
From around the world

Postcard from Seoul, Korea

Myeongdong at night © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Cold soju, warm people, old history, new stuff: our first trip to Korea fascinates.

Postcard from Amsterdam: unassuming riches

Canal boat © Jenny Camilleri
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

The Bronze Horseman - Peter the Great © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
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.