Upcoming Tours

Puglia — Exploring the heel of Italy’s boot (7-17 September 2024)

Whitewashed towns, centuries-old farmland, and miles of olive groves animate Puglia's landscape while sparkling aquamarine waters wash hundreds of miles of its coastline.  With a culture, history, and cuisine that is second to none in Italy, we’ll attend musical events; visit ancient buildings; enjoy the regional cuisine; and ride the Adriatic's waters on this 10-day journey.  Before turning south, the tour begins in Rome for a day on which to sample the city's ancient and modern glories.  Matera, one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, our next stop, is noted for his cliffside dwellings and mountaintop cathedral.  Baroque splendors are to be found in Lecce, the 'Florence of the South'.  Finally, we stay in Monopoli, once a medieval fortress, and now a charming Adriatic seaside town.  Music from pizzica to opera will be experienced throughout our journey at a time when summertime crowds depart and cooler temperatures invigorate travelers.

Performance Reviews

New York, NY

Vienna Philharmonic explores seeds of Weimar with Bruckner and Berg

Franz Welser-Möst in top form for the first of three weekend concerts at Carnegie Hall.

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Brooklyn, NY

Sensorium Ex, composer Paola Prestini’s remarkable new opera, has its Opera Omaha premiere in 2025

National Sawdust and the Metropolitan Opera collaborate on promoting new works. 

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New York, NY

New York, NY

Davidsen is the Leonora of a lifetime in the Met’s bleak, wartime “La Forza”

Mariusz Treliński’s production is first new Forza for the Met in almost 20 years.

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New York, NY

Parlando powerfully explores last things with Shostakovich

Ian Niederfhoffer conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 14. 

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New York, NY

The 2024 George and Nora London Competition Winners are announced

Six singers receive top prizes at the prestigious 52nd annual competition.

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Brooklyn, NY

A deep dive into the Minnesota Sound with Brooklyn Art Song Society

Premieres of song cycles by Libby Larsen and Reinaldo Moya.

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New York, NY

Three keyboard virtuosos delight at St. Thomas Church in New York

A "Keyboard Extravaganza" showcases three of the church's great instruments.

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All of my reviews for Seen and Heard International can be found here

Recordings Reviews

Ventura, CA

Requiem for the Enslaved

Carlos Simon and Marco Pavé offer a searing, transcendent memorial to past sins and hopes.

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Goshen, NY

Aaron Jay Kernis's Elegy (For Those We Lost)

Elegy (For Those We Lost) is dedicated to the families of those who have died from COVID-19. Aaron Jay Kernis originally composed the piece for solo piano, but arranged it for harp and trumpet was made at the request of the Grammy-nominated harpist Yolanda Kondonassis. 

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Berlin

Vince Mendoza's Freedom Over Everything

To the Edge of Longing for soprano and orchestra is one of the most stunning musical creations inspired by these troubled times. 

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Lawrence, Kansas

dwb (driving while black)

Of the three recorded versions of Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel's dwb (driving while black), this recording is the purest one.

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Chicago

Archetypes

In their new release, Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion joins with celebrated Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Assad and his daughter - vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Clarice Assad - to portray in music twelve of these universal characters that defy time and place.

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Paris

The Freischütz Project

Conductor Laurence Equilbey is the first to present Carl Maria von Weber’s opera using the principles and original instruments of historically informed performance with a stellar cast.

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New York

Brooklyn-based ensemble and songwriting collective Founders releases Songs for the End of Time

Ben Russell and Brandon Ridenour, members of the new music ensemble Founders, radical rework of Olivier Messiean’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps is faithful to both the spirit and the austere beauty of the original.

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Warsaw

The songs of René de Boisdeffre - A nineteenth-century master of melody

Acte Préalable’s recording of reveals that at his best, René de Boisdeffre could fashion a song to rival those of his greatest contemporaries, including Fauré.

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France

Contralto - Nathalie Stutzmann / Orfeo 55

Stutzmann’s last recording with Orfeo 55, the chamber orchestra which she founded and performed with as soloist and conductor simultaneously, celebrates the legacy of the great Baroque contraltos and the music that they inspired. 

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New York

Once and Again

Once and Again, the most recent recording of Edward Smaldone's music, features a sampling of his smaller-scaled works, including two for voice and instruments.

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About

I got the travel bug from my parents. As a boy I had crisscrossed the US with them and my younger brother on the classic American Road Trip to California. At 16, I went to Europe for the first time. The destination was Germany, a country that I have returned to many times. In addition to business and personal travel, I have lived in Switzerland, Singapore and China. So far, it’s been a wonderful life of travelling the world and experiencing its wonders..

A musician for most of my life, first a trumpet player and then a singer, I have a degree in music from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2013, I began reviewing for Seen and Heard International and have posted reviews from the US, Europe and Asia. In addition, I regularly contribute program notes to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and have had music and travel articles published in the Global Times, Shanghai Daily, MusicWeb InternationalBroad Street Review and other publications.

Although I am thrilled to have press privileges in many of the world’s great concert halls and opera houses, it is the offerings in the more out-of-the way places that excite me the most. There one still finds great music, often at its national, indigenous best, in theaters, whether ancient or modern, that are as grand and beautiful as any in the world. More importantly, these venues not only preserve the past, they embrace the new, keeping classical music current and vital. That is the world that I invite you to explore with me on my tours.

Contact

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