classical Archive

Sing Along with the Society

This feature appeared previously in the (pre-pandemic) December 2019 issue of Bold Life. In the early years of the 20th century, New York City socialite Florence Foster Jennings earned a reputation as the world’s worst opera singer. Her lack of talent was matched only by her lack of self awareness. But she was an outlier;

Classical Crossover with ‘HSO Presents’

Note: This story appeared previously in Bold Life Magazine in Fall 2019; the dates mentioned refer to 2019 shows as well as performances scheduled for 202 (but ultimately canceled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic). In an effort to expand the breadth and depth of its cultural reach in Western North Carolina, the Hendersonville

30 Days Out, October 2020 #1: Tom Paxton, Del McCoury Band, Papadosio, Frisson Ensemble

Since this pandemic seems to be hanging on (blame our inept current federal “leadership”), it’s up to performing artists, booking agents and music venues to find ways the at least approximate “normal.” They’re rising to that challenge in some positive ways. For this edition of 30 Days Out, I take a quick look at four

Album Review: Chick Corea – Chick Corea Plays

The pandemic and its resultant shutdowns may have (for a time) put a stop to live music performances, but after a brief pause in March and April, it seems to have done little to slow the release of new material. The manner in which albums can be created outside a traditional studio (and often by

Guitarist Laurence Juber Connects the Dots Between Classical, Folk and the Beatles

Laurence Juber was already an accomplished and in-demand session musician before he got the call to join Paul McCartney’s band, Wings. And although he was a member of the group for a comparatively short period – from 1978 until the band’s dissolution in 1981 – the influence of the former Beatle would loom large in

The Ragazzi Boys Chorus in Pandemic Era: Alone Yet Together

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, top first priorities should be health and safety, and taking care of basic needs. But once those items are addressed, maintaining some semblance of normalcy is important as well. Grammy Award winning Ragazzi Boys Chorus has made great creative strides in that regard: while group rehearsals are out

Presto: Deep Purple’s ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’ at 50

Looking back on rock history, it’s clear that the concept of rock/orchestral hybridization was fashionable for a time. Most rock listeners are familiar (and then some) with Days of Future Passed, the debut album by a reinvented lineup of Birmingham, England beat group The Moody Blues; that 1967 LP brought together rock and symphonic textures

Copland: Communist Composer?

Responsible for some of the most important works in 20th century American classical music, Aaron Copland earned the label often applied to him: the Dean of American Composers. Despite his stature, Copland was red-baited: in 1953 he was called in front of Congress. his activities and sympathies that led to that encounter are highlighted during

Mike Mills’ Rock/orchestral Hybrid

Note: I’ve written a number of pieces ( links: [1] [2] [3] ) based on interviews with former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. Here’s another. — bk Mike Mills is best known as the bassist in R.E.M. From the band’s formation in Athens, Georgia in 1980 to its amicable dissolution in 2011, Mills sang backing/harmony vocals

More Lifting Up Than Crossing Over: Soprano Superstar Sarah Brightman

Sarah Brightman is one of the leading figures in classical vocal music today. Carefully maintaining the sophistication of the genre, Brightman has nonetheless managed to achieve superstar status; to date the soprano singer has sold more than 35 million albums; that figure doesn’t even include sales of 1987’s Phantom of the Opera cast soundtrack, responsible