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John Harbison

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All you need is love

Outpourings of love have been flooding the Boston musical scene.
Marylou Speaker Churchill memorial, Emmanuel Music’s Haydn/Schoenberg, and more
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 23, 2010
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Bach beat

Composers John Harbison and Peter Lieberson are big presences this spring.
Lions and lambs
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 12, 2010
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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
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John Harbison plus 10

Classical music in Boston is so rich, having to pick 10 special events for this winter preview is more like one-tenth of the performances I'm actually looking forward to.
Picking from a packed concert schedule
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 01, 2010
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2009: The year in Classical

This was a queasy year for classical music.
Beating the quease
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 25, 2009
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Creationists

Simon Rattle and the BPO, Fabio Luisi and the BSO, John Harbison and Emmanuel Music
Simon Rattle and the BPO, Fabio Luisi and the BSO, John Harbison and Emmanuel Music
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 20, 2009


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Almost

The Boston Lyric Opera comes maddeningly close to having a good Carmen . (The production continues at the Shubert Theatre through November 17.) Keith Lockhart leads a superb orchestra and chorus and a cast of plausible singers/actors in a compelling i
BLO's Carmen, the BSO's Beethoven, Emmanuel Music's Haydn and Schoenberg
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 13, 2009
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Blessings: mixed and otherwise

By odd coincidence, in recent weeks we’ve had performances of two important operatic rarities, landmark early works a century apart: 30-year-old Handel’s Amadigi (1715) and 20-year-old Rossini’s Tancredi (1813, his 10th opera!).
Boston Baroque’s Amadigi; Opera Boston’s Tancredi; the BSO’s Beethoven; the Borromeo’s Bartók; Brahms from BCMS and BSOCP
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 30, 2009
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The roar of the crowd

I wasn’t there, but the opening-night dissatisfaction with the Met’s new Tosca was widely reported.
‘Opening Night at Symphony,’ Russell Sherman, the Discovery Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, and the Bostonians
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 02, 2009
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Baroque and beyond

Ten-best lists usually come at the end of the season, but this year the Phoenix has asked its critics to provide a calendar of 10 events that, at least on paper, might wind up on an end-of-season Top 10. Boston, in case you didn't know it, is a great
Betting on the best this fall
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 18, 2009
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A little history

Two of Boston's most admired and honored composers (both Pulitzer winners) have just celebrated landmark birthdays: Yehudi Wyner his 80th and John Harbison his 70th.
Yehudi Wyner and John Harbison, Susanna Mälkki with the BSO, Natalia Gutman with the BPO, and BLO's Don Giovanni
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 01, 2009


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Center of gravity

If all those young people at last Thursday's BSO concert didn't leave Symphony Hall feeling excited about classical music and eager to come back, then classical music is in even more trouble than I thought.
Shi-Yeon Sung and Nelson Freire at the BSO; plus the Schubertiade Music Players and Emmanuel's St. Matthew Passion
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 17, 2009
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Mad love

The destructive power of jealousy makes a good subject for opera.
John Harbison's Winter's Tale, Dvorák's Rusalka, Hans Graf with the BSO, Mark Morris's music
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 24, 2009
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Contertizing

Boston Lyric Opera follows up Dvorák’s moonstruck Rusalka, with Christopher Schaldebrand in the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the BSO and much more.
From Don Giovanni’s hell to Haydn’s Creation
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 17, 2009
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Anniversaries and other occasions

Anniversaries, however fabricated, can still be useful. This year commemorates the 200th birthday of Felix Mendelssohn, the 150th birthday of Victor Herbert (both recently celebrated with intensive "orgies" on WHRB), the 200th anniversary of Haydn's dea
Masur's Mendelssohn, Orfeos from Norrington and Levine, the Discovery Ensemble, and the Inauguration 'performance'
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 27, 2009
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Lift every voice!

Opera is the big word for 2009.
Classical goodies for 2009
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 30, 2008


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Year in Classical: Celebrate!

In Handel's Hercules, the demented Dejanira's loss is still so painful, I was afraid to listen; now I don't want to hear anything else.
Comings and goings
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 22, 2008
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It’s about time . . .

It’s been 17 years since Boston’s last local festival of contemporary music, the New Music Harvest organized by composer Charles Fussell: 19 programs (several free), a celebration of composer Ned Rorem, an opera production performed by BU students, and t
The Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music starts in Boston
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 25, 2008
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Epic undertaking

The act four sequence of quintet, septet, and love duet is non-stop musical orgasm.
Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the BSO; Opera Boston attempts Verdi’s Ernani
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 07, 2008
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Orpheus in the afterworld

Tomsic’s last Boston recital was four years ago. We can’t afford to be without her this long.

Harbison and Mahler at the BSO, and the return of Dubravka Tomsic


By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 22, 2008
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All over again

The Boston Symphony Orchestra program for last week’s four concerts was a familiar one.

Brahms from Levine and Kissin, Emmanuel’s Bach B-minor Mass, the Cantata Singers’ Kurt Weill cabaret


By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 15, 2008


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Great gifts

Knussen’s interludes, barely seven minutes, are a complex but attractive mix of the seductively creepy and the intricately lively.
Julian Kuerti leads the BSO and Leon Fleisher, Stockhausen’s Mantra at Harvard, Emmanuel’s St. John Passion
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 12, 2008
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Singers’ delight

The season may be starting to wind down, but there remain some events music lovers have been waiting for all year.
Spring Arts Preview: Opera and vocal works lead the season
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 10, 2008
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‘A miracle!’

“Deep, tough, devout — and in church! It’s a miracle!”
Emmanuel’s memorial for Craig Smith, plus Russell Sherman’s Bach, the Royal Concertgebouw, and Handel’s Semele
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 05, 2008
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Country for old men

A youthful 80-year-old Sir Colin Davis was back in front of the Boston Symphony Orchestra last weekend with one of the pieces he loves most.
Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, BMOP, Marc-André Hamelin, and Sasha Cooke
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 29, 2008
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Love and loss

Boston’s biggest classical-music story this year was also its saddest.
Classical: 2007 in review
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 18, 2007


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Craig Smith (1947–2007)

For more than 30 years, Emmanuel Music has been central to the cultural life of Boston.
Boston loses a beloved musician
By EDITORIAL  |  November 19, 2007
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What’s in a phrase?

There are lots of references to heaven in Bach’s Passions and cantatas, but one of his most heavenly pieces has no words at all.
The Cantata Singers’ season finale; Leon Fleisher and the Emerson String Quartet
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 22, 2007
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Erwartung . . .

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA music director James Levine will be back in February to continue his survey of Beethoven and Schoenberg with Metropolitan Opera diva Deborah Voigt in Beethoven’s “Ah! perfido” and Schoenberg’s Erwartung (“Awaiting”), along w
Classical goodies for 2007
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 28, 2006
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The best of times, the worst of times

This year Boston classical music lost some of its most beloved figures — some, like mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, at the very height of their extraordinary powers, others, like opera director Sarah Caldwell and her conductor/collaborator, Osbo
A year in classical
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 20, 2006