By the time he died in 2016, Tony Conrad had accrued a mythic aura. A new documentary, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, shown at a special screening at the Volksbühne Berlin, is a rounded portrait of Conrad’s boundless creativity and experimental spirit. Published on The Cusp.
Launching a new “Reflektor” series of short festivals, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie invited Bryce Dessner to curate two days of concerts. Published on Bachtrack.
After Jonathan Meese's Parsifal staging was rejected by Bayreuth, he channelled his frustrations into an "arch-Parsifal" which shoots the titular hero into space, with a musical re-imagining of Wagner’s score by Austrian composer Bernhard Lang. Published on Bachtrack.
In L’Invisible, which had its première last weekend at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Aribert Reimann has condensed three plays by Maeterlinck into bite-size chunks that vanish before they can be savoured. Published on Bachtrack.
Vladimir Jurowski is fond of grand statements, and sometimes off-the-wall programming – genius when it works, baffling when it doesn’t. Published on Bachtrack.
The history of Berlin Atonal provides a vivid snapshot of the capital’s progressive musical culture. Published on The Cusp.
Barrie Kosky's landmark production at the opening of the 2017 Bayreuth Festival is a surreal fantasy in which Wagner plays a starring role.
“Jewish people and Germans will always be connected to each other.” These words of powerful understatement from the Israeli Ambassador to Germany prefaced the first edition of the New Life Festival, dedicated to Jewish musicians who fled from or suffered under the National Socialist regime during the Second World War. Published on Bachtrack.
If Johann Sebastian Bach is the fountain from which Western music springs, then Leipzig is its source. Three concerts over one day at the opening weekend of the Bachfest Leipzig provided a chance to tip one’s toe into Bach’s enormous legacy. Published on Bachtrack.
The Staatskapelle brought a showcase programme to the Berlin Philharmonie under chief conductor Daniel Barenboim. With it, the orchestra made a case for themselves as one of the best ensembles performing today. Published on Bachtrack.
In Berlin, the ‘FREE! Music’ festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt celebrated musical freedom fighters of all kinds, including Harry Partch, a rebel of a more esoteric kind. Published on The Cusp.
Overshadowed by its Hanseatic cousin Hamburg, Antwerp recently celebrated the opening of its own new concert hall. In his Symphony no. 2, Wim Henderickx tested the hall's capabilities with a multi-media extravaganza. Published on Bachtrack.
Teodor Currentzis, bad boy of early music, appeared at the Konzerthaus Berlin with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and MusicAeterna for a performance that turned it up to 11. Published on Bachtrack.
Vikingur Ólafsson, a daring and unique artist, never repeated himself in a performance of Philip Glass' Etudes for piano as part of the Berlin Konzerthaus' "Festival USA". Published on Bachtrack.
‘We refuse to accept a fascist America.’ A recent celebration of electronic Mexican music was politically pointed. Published on The Cusp.
John Adams and Peter Sellars' biblical oratorio given a fine concert performance by the Berliner Philharmoniker under departing chief conductor, Sir Simon Rattle. Published on Bachtrack.
A firecracker performance by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin giving urgency to music composed at a time that echoes our own. Published on Bachtrack.
Gidon Kremer, long-time champion of Sofia Gubaidulina, joined the Berliner Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann for a performance of In tempus praesens. Published on Bachtrack.
Scores, a recent exhibition in Berlin, exhibited new ‘scores’ by four visual artists as artworks in themselves, alongside a series of concerts featuring their musical realisation. Published on The Cusp.
Joseph Beuys, the German avant-garde artist and environmentalist, died 30 years ago this year. To mark his anniversary, Soloistenensemble Kaleidoskop mounted the premiere of a new surrealist theatrical work. Published on The Cusp.