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Boston Symphony Orchestra

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R.I.P.: The BSO’s Verdi Requiem

This year marks the 200th birthday of the 19th century's two greatest operatic geniuses and polar opposites: Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner.

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 01, 2013
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New York to Boston: Alan Gilbert returns to the BSO

The BSO's first concert of 2013 featured one of its best guest conductors, but not one likely to be available for its music directorship.

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 18, 2013
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Phrygian not frigid: Classical concerts to come

Here are some of the dozens of classical-music events this winter I'm especially looking forward to (or most curious about).

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 21, 2012
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The BSO’s conductor roulette

The last few BSO concerts of the season have had their pleasures and raised some questions, especially about who might be the next BSO music director, one of Boston's — indeed, one of the country's —major cultural positions.

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 14, 2012
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Adès returns

Last year's most satisfying Boston Symphony concert was led by the 41-year-old British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès, who combined music from his marvel-filled opera, The Tempest (2004), with other works inspired by Shakespeare's late romance

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 30, 2012
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Dutoit at the BSO, plus the Pacifica Quartet

Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, a visitor to the Boston Symphony for more than three decades, was back for two of his three guest appearances this season (he'll return in January).

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 02, 2012


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Vladimir Jurowski sets the BSO on fire

Vladimir Jurowski has bigger and better credentials than most of the contenders for the next BSO directorship. Did he strike sparks?

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 19, 2012
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Bell and Lehninger at the BSO

The young Brazilian conductor Marcelo Lehninger has been one of the brighter lights among recent Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant conductors, and it's good to report that his appointment has been renewed for a (rare) third year.

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 12, 2012
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Review: 'The Harry Partch Legacy' and the BSO season openers

At Symphony Hall, with its legendary warm and natural acoustics, the amplification created a distorted, directionless sound for the singers of Porgy and Bess .

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 05, 2012
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Autumn's classical events

The Boston Symphony Orchestra still has no music director, and has suffered for that absence.
Adès time
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 21, 2012
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BMOP and Mark Morris

As the Globe 's Jeremy Eichler pointed out in his review of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project's season-ending concert — called "Apollo's Fire" — referring to the program note by the BSO's Assistant Director of Program Publications Robert Kirzinger, th
Classical classics
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  June 01, 2012


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Haitink ends the BSO season

Sometimes you know it the minute you hear it, sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it never happens at all.
Plugged in
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 11, 2012
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Vive la France

French music is tricky. It has an unmistakable accent, inflection, scent.
French music at the BSO; French opera at Boston Conservatory; plus, Peter Wispelwey, Judith Gordon, Russell Sherman and Frank Kelley, and Collage New Music
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 10, 2012
Hello Helios opera

Helios Early Opera's Charpentier; plus, the BSO's Mendelssohn Lobgesang

There's a new group in town doing Baroque opera — not an easy ambition.
Hello, Helios!
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 03, 2012
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Some good musical news in troubled musical times

What a turbulent time we've been having in Boston's musical life.
Pain and pleasure
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 27, 2012


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Shuffling conductors at the BSO, and 10 concerts you should see

There's lots of music to look forward to as we approach the end of winter.
Musical chairs
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 30, 2011
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Ludovic Morlot's second week with the BSO; plus, Boston Early Music Festival's Charpentier

In his second week with the BSO, Ludovic Morlot led another stunning program originally designed for James Levine.  
Hi-Def
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 02, 2011
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Ludovic Morlot at the BSO; Philippe Jaroussky with Apollo's Fire

Former BSO assistant conductor Ludovic Morlot has returned for two programs planned by and for former music director James Levine.
Morlot's fire  
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 25, 2011
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Review: George Li, plus Gidon Kremer and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos with the BSO

Sixteen-year-old Boston pianist George Li is prodigious in more than one way. He's not merely a technical wizard, but a thoughtful and serious musician.
Lightness of being
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 04, 2011
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Anne-Sophie Mutter, Susan Davenny Wyner, and Courtney Lewis

The season-opening concerts I've been going to have made me think about two kinds of musicians: those whose performances become transparent, who allow the listener into the heart of the music; and those for whom their own abilities — technical marvels —
Popularity contest
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 07, 2011


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The BSO opens its summer home without Levine, but with Mark Morris & Yo-Yo Ma

It was especially sad that Levine, who cancelled his entire Tanglewood season and then resigned as BSO music director as of September (he just underwent another major surgery on his spine), couldn't lead this particular program.
Tanglewood report
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  July 15, 2011
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Adès, Tetzlaff, and Kissin at the BSO; Matthew Polenzani's Schubert

After too many weeks of watching the Boston Symphony Orchestra scramble to replace maestro James Levine, both in Boston and on tour, we finally got a concert that went as planned.  
Tempestuous
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 08, 2011
James Levine resigns from the BSO

Following Levine's departure, the BSO picks up the pieces

This past week, James Levine ended his BSO tenure after seven seasons, citing challenges regarding his health and the "ensuing absences they have forced." Since leaving Symphony Hall almost five years ago, I've been watching the Levine saga unfold, gritt
After Jimmy
By SEAN KERRIGAN  |  March 05, 2011
James Levine resigns from the BSO

Following Levine's departure, the BSO picks up the pieces

This past week, James Levine ended his BSO tenure after seven seasons, citing challenges regarding his health and the "ensuing absences they have forced." Since leaving Symphony Hall almost five years ago, I've been watching the Levine saga unfold, gritt
After Jimmy
By SEAN KERRIGAN  |  March 05, 2011
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Levine resigns

I’m heartbroken. I’ve just heard that James Levine, after another serious setback to his health, has resigned as the BSO’s music director, a year before his contract was scheduled to expire.
 Poor health forces the BSO’s first American director to give up his position
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 04, 2011


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Opera Boston’s Cardillac, plus another Levine cancellation, H&H’s Handel, the Takács Quartet, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky

One of the major musical events of the season, Opera Boston’s New England premiere of Paul Hindemith’s Cardillac, was upstaged by the depressing announcement by BSO managing director Mark Volpe, just before the first of the BSO’s four performances of Mah
Heavy metal
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 04, 2011

UPDATED: James Levine steps down as music director of Boston Symphony Orchestra


The Phoenix has learned that James Levine will step down as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra tonight.UPDATED: 3:32 PM: The BSO has issued...
By Sean Kerrigan  |  March 02, 2011
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Opera from BLO, the Met, and Teatro Lirico, plus top-level conducting at the BSO

Opera in Boston is now back in full swing. Boston Lyric Opera, with a company of singers and designers largely new to Boston led by Boston Classical Orchestra music director Steven Lipsitt, gave a memorable production of the opera that composer Viktor Ul
Good works
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 18, 2011
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Review: Lorin Maazel with the BSO

Lorin Maazel made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in 1960, but this busy conductor has returned rarely, once in 1973 and again in 2009 as a substitute for the ailing James Levine in Beethoven's last four symphonies.
Plus, music and images at BCMS, Jeremy Denk, and BSCP's Stravinsky
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 28, 2011