Critics’ roundtable: the year in classical music

Posted on: December 19, 2014

“A pianist recited Yiddish poetry during a Washington, DC recital, the Seattle Symphony premiered a Pulitzer Prize-winning piece about the environment, and Anna Netrebko made a surprising transformation as Lady Macbeth—these were a few of the high points of 2014, according to three top music critics,” writes Brian Wise at the website of NYC classical station WQXR. “Joining host Naomi Lewin for this discussion of the year’s highs and lows of classical music are Anne Midgette, the classical music critic of the Washington Post; David Patrick Stearns, classical music critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer and for WQXR’s Operavore blog; and Zachary Woolfe, freelance classical music critic for the New York Times. Midgette noted that Evgeny Kissin’s poetry-infused recital was part of a larger trend of artists making more personal, introspective statements in concert halls. But she also lamented the way in which classical music in America seemed disconnected from broader national discussions of race and social change. … Poor labor-management relations were an ongoing national story in 2014. But the year saw many causes for optimism, say the panel, including some inventive programming at Philadelphia and Seattle orchestras …; new leadership at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; and the continued emergence of China on the orchestra landscape.” The article includes a link to the broadcast.

Posted December 19, 2014