John Luther Adams
- OPUS 3 WELCOMES JOHN LUTHER ADAMS
John Luther Adams , Julian Wachner, Ludovic Morlot, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Renaud Capucon, Daniel Hope, Jennifer Koh, Gil Shaham, Alisa Weilerstein, Béla Fleck, Brooklyn Rider , Maya Beiser, Rosanne Cash, Voces8 , New York Polyphony
- End of Year 2014 'Best Of' Roundup
- Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week
- Violin in good hands with soloist, orchestra
The Columbus Dispatch
- Concert review: Denk shuffles Schubert, Janácek with creative panache
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
- New Ailey dance pays tribute to civil rights icon
- ProMusica's commissioned violin concerto brings together two friends
The Columbus Dispatch
- Violinist Benjamin Beilman joins the roster
New York Polyphony
- Preview: New York Polyphony adds a modern flair to old music
- From Bach to Barber with Barnatan
The Boston Musical Intelligencer
String quartet produces knock-out
Wu Man, Brooklyn Rider
Brooklyn Rider's name suggests an indie-rock or jazz group, and that's the point.
The string quartet has made its name by bucking convention - traversing musical boundaries, crossing cultural divides and embracing the new.
It thrives on the unexpected, and that sense of adventure was continuously on exhibit during its knock-out concert Tuesday evening at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder.
Even when playing a work by a classical mainstay, such as Claude Debussy, as it did to open the concert, it breaks from the usual.
Instead of a common chamber work by the French composer, it performed a string-trio version of four sections from "Children's Corner," a solo piano piece dedicated to his daughter.
Quickly demonstrating their classical chops, the three musicians offered an involved, suitably dynamic performance, making the most of violist Nicholas Cords' superb arrangement.
Besides the uncommon passion and energy that Brooklyn Rider brings to its playing, the young, all-male ensemble won over the audience with its informal demeanor, contemporary vibe and easy spontaneity.
It performed at least one work publicly for the first time Tuesday, and it significantly altered the program because one of its violinists, whose girlfriend is about to have a baby, could not make the trip.
Without seeming the least bit bothered by such a last-minute change in plans, it invited two regular collaborators to join the group - bassist Jeffrey Beecher and pipa player Wu Man.
Wu Man has done as much as anyone to transform the pipa, an ancient kind of Chinese lute, into a viable concert instrument. She became the star of the evening, with her extraordinary virtuosity and affable stage presence.
She joined violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen in arguably the concert's highlight: "Ning," by Chen Yi, one of the now-famous Chinese composers to emerge after the Cultural Revolution. This riveting, at times intense, work manages to be alternately explosive, bleak and penetratingly poignant.
Much of the rest of the program was devoted to other internationally flavored works, offering a fresh, appealing take on what classical music can be in the 21st century.