Upcoming Tours

Reykjavik

Iceland - Northern Lights & Wagner's Die Walküre

At 65° N on the southern edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis, or northern lights. Don't miss this unique opportunity to view the dynamic patterns of brilliant lights that appear as curtains, rays, spirals or dynamic flickers covering the entire sky, coupled with Wagner's Die Walküre in the Harpa. Chosen as one of the best concert houses of the new millenium by Gramophone in 2010, the Harpa is one of Reykjavík’s most striking landmarks and a centre of cultural and social life in the very heart of the city.  (February 19-25, 2022)

Performance Reviews

New York, NY

The Townhouse Series: free chamber-music streams, lovingly curated by composer/pianist Daniel Schlosberg

Soprano Angel Blue and clarinetist David Shifrin headline series that weaves together works from every chapter of music history.

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New York, NY

Daniele Rustioni and a stellar cast bring lustre to the Met’s Le nozze di Figaro

With Daniele Rustioni, the Met has another young star conductor capable of great things on its hands.

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New York, NY

Quinn Kelsey triumphs on New Year’s Eve in Bartlett Sher’s new Met Rigoletto

The subtlety and shadings that Quinn Kelsey brought to his characterization of Verdi's malevolent court jester were the work of a true artist.

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Houston, TX

Houston Grand Opera’s The Snowy Day is a visual and musical delight

With the first notes of the brief prelude, Joel Thompson immediately casts a spell of expectation and wonder, what follows is equally captivating. 

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Warsaw, Poland

Conductor Patrick Fournillier shines in Barbara Wysocka’s compelling new La bohème in Warsaw

As Rodolfo, Davide Giusti’s ease on stage was equal to the abandon with which he sang: both seemed to come so naturally for him, and his sound was glorious. 

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Krakow, Poland

Figaro and Don Bartolo go mano a mano in Opera Krakowska’s The Barber of Seville

Director Jerzy Stuhr turned the opera into an edgy battle of wits between Figaro and Doctor Bartolo, which Łukasz Motkowicz and Robert Gierlach made into a combat to relish.

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Prague

A surreal spin on Die Zauberflöte at Prague’s Estates Theatre

Petr Nekoranec was a dashing Tamino with a particularly beautiful, burnished tenor. One sensed that we were hearing someone special at the start of his career.

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Warsaw, Poland

An exhilarating Grieg Piano Concerto from Lukáš Vondráček with the Warsaw National Philharmonic

Andrzej Boreyko conducts Warsaw Philharmonic in Penderecki's Symphony No.2 ‘Christmas Symphony’ and Gija Kanczeli's ‘The Morning Prayers’ from Life without Christmas

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New York

Chalk up another success for the Met with Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice

The Met orchestra takes a well-deserved on-stage bow at the premiere of Eurydice.

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new York, NY

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center enchants with the sounds of Spain

Baritone Will Liverman joins the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in songs of Ravel and Shostakovich. 

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

Recordings Reviews

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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Erato

Rossini - Amici e Rivali

Amici e Rivali finds Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres in excellent form as they face off as friends and rivals in the music of Rossini.

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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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