Recent News
01.13.19
James Conlon
Dull Bruch from Zuk, blazing Bartók from Conlon and New World at Arsht
South Florida Classical Review
01.11.19
Sir Andrew Davis
With conductor Andrew Davis, the BSO considers the big picture
The Boston Globe
01.10.19
Louis Lortie
PIANIST LOUIS LORTIE JOINS THE ROSTER
01.10.19
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOUNDER DURING 60TH ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 12, 2019
Ailey PressRoom
01.07.19
Teddy Abrams, Inon Barnatan, The Knights
WQXR Presents “19 for 19”: Artists to Watch in the Upcoming Year
WQXR
01.02.19
Ward Stare
Auld acquaintance is not forgotten at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert
KDHX
01.01.19
Marin Alsop, Lawrence Foster, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Mariss Jansons, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Emmanuel Villaume, Conrad Tao, Andrew von Oeyen, Inon Barnatan, Daniil Trifonov, Blake Pouliot, Isabelle Faust, Edgar Moreau, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Colin Currie Group , Brooklyn Rider , Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Lisette Oropesa, Michelle DeYoung, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Christian Van Horn, Storm Large
Best of 2018
12.17.18
Richard Kaufman
Cleveland Orchestra, Choruses make it feel like Christmas at Severance Hall
Cleveland Plain Dealer
12.17.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Vienna Boys Choir mix it up with a cosmopolitan “Christmas in Vienna”
New York Classical Review
12.14.18
Storm Large
High-energy holidays with Storm Large at the Sun
KDHX

News archive »

Jennifer Koh highlights Bach’s influence

03.16.15
Jennifer Koh
San Francisco Chronicle

The connections between Bach and his followers were on display Sunday afternoon during a largely gripping solo recital by Jennifer Koh, presented by Cal Performances in Berkeley’s Hertz Hall. By placing two of Bach’s Sonatas as frames for more recent works by Luciano Berio and John Harbison, Koh gave a demonstration of both the innate brilliance of Bach’s own writing and the far-reaching influence he has had.

 

The program was the third and final installment in Koh’s multiyear project “Bach and Beyond,” and the centerpiece this time was “For Violin Alone,” an alluring new score by John Harbison. Harbison is a composer for whom the tradition is always a living presence, and this new score, a co-commission by Cal Performances and two other presenters, shows the legacy of Bach at every turn.

Yet “For Violin Alone,” which runs about 20 minutes, is far from an act of mimicry or historical recapitulation. Harbison’s voice is distinctively contemporary throughout, particularly in the opening movement, “Ground,” which charts a series of variations on an intriguingly flexible harmonic theme. Koh’s performance was a marvel — tender, strong-limbed and full of tonal variety.

 

She made an equally potent case for Berio’s “Sequenza VIII” from 1977, with its slashing bow attacks and ferocious flurries of passagework. The energy that shapes this showpiece comes from the octaves and near-octaves that recur throughout as structural guideposts, with increasingly ornate sprays of notes placed in the intervals, and Koh charted both the work’s formal clarity and its dramatic explosiveness beautifully.

Fortunately, there was more vigor and direction after intermission, with a splendid rendition of the C-Major Sonata. The vast fugue that stands at the center of the work worked its magic, and the final Allegro served as an eloquent capper.