KLRE Classical Music News

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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra arrives at Carnegie Hall with a program that portrays choppy waters and changing tides, opening with Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture followed by Debussy's La mer.

When the Catalan viola da gamba player and conductor Jordi Savall brings his ensemble Les Concerts des Nations to Carnegie's Zankel Hall for a program of French Baroque composers, he'll be revisiting a corner of the repertoire that gave him his unexpected mainstream breakthrough almost 25 years ago.

András Schiff can come across as one of classical piano's deepest-dyed traditionalists.

Every opera lover knows that Thomas Hampson can find his way around the major repertoire, be it Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Wagner or Berg.

This past April, composer John Luther Adams became the most recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piece Become Ocean — a work commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, the recording of which comes out this Tuesday.

Adams says that he got the call with the good news in the middle of a afternoon power nap, during an exhausting teaching residency at Michigan Tech University.

"I heard the word and asked the person on the other end, 'You know, could I call you back?' " Adams remembers. "Talk about your wake-up call."

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to open its 70th season this week, but musicians have been locked out of their workplace since September 7th, when their contract expired. The same thing happened just two years ago. Back then, negotiators reached a new agreement before opening night. This year, Atlanta classical music fans were not so lucky.

By now the Gustavo-Dudamel-as-wunderkind story is old news. Fans know he started playing violin at age 10, conducting at 12 and became music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra when he was just 18.

Yet Dudamel's stats can still be staggering. He told me recently he was 11 when he played his first Mahler symphony and 16 when he took the podium to conduct Mahler.

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