Classical music’s year of the 30-something?

Posted on: December 16, 2013

“You could call 2013 the Year of the 30-Something, as two of classical music’s most prestigious bastions opened their doors to children of the 1980s,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Sunday’s (12/15) New York Times. “The polymathic Nico Muhly, born in 1981, became the youngest composer to have a commissioned work performed at the Metropolitan Opera when his ‘Two Boys’ had its American premiere in October. In April, Caroline Shaw (1982) was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her rapturous ‘Partita for Eight Voices.’ … They were not the only relative youngsters to climb the field’s heights this year. Andris Nelsons was 34 in May, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra … announced that he would be its next music director, joining the under-40 likes of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Gustavo Dudamel and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The ice-clear soprano Angela Meade, 36, and, especially, the powerhouse mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, 32, brought joyful passion to Bellini’s ‘Norma’ when they took over the leads in the middle of the Met’s run in October.… As Pamina in Los Angeles Opera’s … ‘The Magic Flute’ last month, the elegant, creamy-toned soprano Janai Brugger, 30, … was the apotheosis of the 30-something, with both the freshness of youth and the depth of age.”

Posted December 16, 2013