Upcoming Tours

Giza

The Splendors Of Egypt (March 9-21)

This thirteen-day tour includes Cairo, Alexandria, and a Nile cruise to ancient sites.  Guests are welcomed to Cairo at dinner overlooking the worlds longest river.  Visits to the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza and the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities follow.  Stopping en route to Alexandria, we see the El Alamein War Memorials, the site of a great WWII Allies’ victory.  A city tour includes the avant-garde Bibliotheca Alexandrina.  Our time cruising the Nile will include stops at the Aswan Botanical Garden and the Temple of Horus.  We then continue to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. The tour ends in Hurghada on the Red Sea. Cultural highlights include a performance at the modern Cairo Opera House and a whirling dervishes ceremony.

Kroměříž

Czech Republic - Gardens and Music (June 15-24, 2023)

The grandeur of empire is still evident in Czechia’s magnificent estates. We will visit the royal gardens in Prague, as well as others in Buchlovice, Kroměříž, Litomyšli and Konopiště . A highlight of the trip will be our stay in the elegant spa town of Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad) with its parks, romantic colonnades, charming pavilions, pleasant cafes and luxurious hotels. The musical highlights will include Antonín Dvořák’s opera Armida at Prague's National Theatre, where it premiered in 1904. The tour will be accompanied by Charles Day, the former Horticultural Interpreter at Wave Hill in the Bronx, NY, and a well-known consultant for private and public gardens, museums, and estates.

Westfjords

Iceland - The Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Westfjords (October 2023)

Join me for this exciting tour to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords, named No.1 in Best in Travel for 2022 by Lonely Planet. In these two magical areas removed from mass tourism, picturesque fishing villages nestle in dramatic fjords, ocean waves crash on rugged coasts, towering mountains dominate the horizon, and lava fields form other-worldly landscapes. With luck, we will see the Northern Lights, as October is one of the best times of year to experience this stunning natural phenomenon. The tour begins in Reykjavik with a performance at Harpa, the award-winning concert hall and architectural wonder that is the center of Iceland's cultural life since opening in 2011.

Performance Reviews

New York, NY

Radvanovsky meditates on love and loss in personal Carnegie program

Emotional core of recital is premiere of Jake Heggie's “If I Had Known”.

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New York, NY

Angel Blue takes the prize at the 2022 Richard Tucker Gala

Tucker Gala returns to newly rennovated David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center.

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Newark, NJ

New Jersey Symphony celebrates a century of great music with Yo-Yo Ma

Xian Zhang conducts music of Marsalis, Dvořák and Ginastera in gala concert.

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New York, NY

Longing distilled to perfection by Anne Sofie von Otter and Kristian Bezuidenhout

Fortepiano provides authenticty and subtelty to recital of songs by Schubert and Lindblad.

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New York, NY

Two impressive Met debuts join Kelsey’s star turn in “Rigoletto”

Conductor Speranza Scappucci and tenor Benjamin Bernheim add to luster of Met's Rigoletto

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New York, NY

Parlando explores music inspired by women saints and sinners

Ian Niederhoffer leads intriguing program of music by Hildegard von Bingen, Julius Eastman, and Rodion Shchedrin.

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New York, NY

“Don Carlo” returns to Met with vocal power, exceptional cast

David McVicar's staging returns for italian version of Verdi's grandest opera.

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New York, NY

At the Met, Allan Clayton stakes his claim among the greats in Peter Grimes

Laura Wilde creates an impression as Ellen Orford in Met debut.

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New York, NY

Sierra captivates as Violetta in Met’s “Traviata”

Conductor Daniele Callegari leads fine cast in picture-perfect performance of Verdi's tragic opera.

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Houston, TX

Plunder, Deceit, Murder. Night Can Be Rough On Cornwall’s Rocky Coast

Houston Grand Opera mounts Ehtyl Smyth's The Wreckers

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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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