James Sommerville

Latest Articles


Blythe spirit

Leaving the Cutler Majestic after the opening night of Opera Boston’s latest Offenbach, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein , you could see the smiling faces of an audience that had had a good time.
Opera Boston’s Offenbach, Thomas Quasthoff, the BSO, Boston Baroque, and BU’s Sondheim
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 14, 2010

Let's rock

WGBH radio has ended its 58-year tradition of live Friday-afternoon BSO broadcasts, and it doesn't seem that public outcry is going to change that.
The BSO, the Cantata Singers, Discovery Ensemble, and BCMS
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 22, 2010


Last week's Boston Symphony concert was a snaggle of contradictions. British guest conductor Mark Wigglesworth was substituting for the exciting but erratic Russian maestro Yuri Termirkanov, who'd cancelled all his American appearances.
Mark Wigglesworth conducts the BSO; Renée Fleming returns to Symphony Hall
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 24, 2009

Ring in the new

If 2009 lives up to the grace and power of some of the concerts that began it, we can look forward to a vintage year.
Haydn trios, Kirchner's 90th-birthday concert, Cantata Singers' Britten, Teatro Lirico's Aida
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 20, 2009


Living for a century is still a milestone; for a great and still-productive artist to do so is virtually unheard of.
Elliott Carter turns 100
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 10, 2008

Russian, Spanish, American . . .

What everyone is looking forward to this fall is the return to the podium of Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine.
Music in all accents comes to the concert halls
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 08, 2008


Too much too soon?

Two of the most exciting concerts announced for this winter are on the same date, February 24.
Classical goodies for 2008
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 31, 2008

Carter heaven

James Levine’s devotion to the music of Elliott Carter has been a boon to Boston.
The BSO and BVM celebrate America’s greatest living composer, plus Stockhausen’s Mantra, and music for Beckett
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 20, 2007

World music

There’s more to Boston’s classical music scene than the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 12, 2007

Stormy weather

The BSO has been having terrible luck hanging on to its star soloists.
BSO cancellations, plus the Camerata, Jonathan Biss, Emmanuel Music, and more
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 28, 2007

Schizo scherzo

In the best performances, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, sometimes called his Tragic , can sound like his greatest.
Haitink’s Mahler, Ligeti études, Britten’s Dream , Donizetti’s Lucia
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 09, 2006


Amazing weekend

James Levine’s opening salvo for his year-long Beethoven/Schoenberg series with the Boston Symphony Orchestra couldn’t have been more ambitious: the work that opened Symphony Hall in 1900.
James Levine with the BSO and BSO Chamber Players, Hoose and the Cantata Singers  
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 24, 2006