MOST RECENT ARTICLES BY:

Justin Davidson

  1. music
    The Black Clown Plays to the Crowd in the Best Possible WaysA controlled explosion of joy and rage that meets desires audiences didn’t even know they had.
  2. classical music
    The Met Opera’s Yannick Nézet-Séguin Has Found His FootingAfter a few years adrift, the company has found its sheriff — or maybe shepherd is a better word.
  3. classical music
    The Pianist Cécile Chaminade, Rediscovered (and the Club That Never Forgot Her)A star composer a century ago, now barely known.
  4. classical music
    It’s Time We All Heard the Music of Lili BoulangerA Carnegie Hall concert brings one of France’s great composers — ignored because she was a woman who died young — into view.
  5. encounter
    Michael Tilson Thomas, a Disruptor Who’s Become the Comfortable CenterA New York visit from the busy conductor, as he steps down from his San Francisco Symphony job.
  6. opera
    Why You Should Battle Your Way in to See This GötterdämmerungThe slats are silly, but the soloists are not.
  7. new music
    Thomas Adès Finds a Way Forward for the Piano ConcertoFull of historic references, but all new.
  8. the metropolitan opera
    Christine Goerke Is a Spectacular Wagnerian First DaughterBrünnhilde’s personal branding has never been better.
  9. now that's what i call music
    Gabriel Kahane Turns Funny Tweets and Mitt Romney Quotes Into Micro-Songs“My favorite meat is hot dog.” Sing it with us now.
  10. opera review
    Opera Review: A Tale of Two Tones in the Met’s La TraviataMichael Mayer’s production makes the sparkly life so unsexy and over-sugared, the last act’s bleakness comes off as refreshingly spare.
  11. best of 2018
    The 10 Best Classical-Music Performances of 2018Messiaen, Mahler, and a mile of singers.
  12. opera review
    Opera Review: The Unseen Great War, in William Kentridge’s The Head and the LoadThe North Africa campaign that the West often forgets about.
  13. close reads
    The Hidden Meaning Behind My Brilliant Friend’s Neapolitan DialectIf Neapolitan is the language of Lenù and Lila’s imprisoning neighborhood, then Italian is the language of social mobility.
  14. music
    Music Review: Two Pianos, 20 Fingers, Infinite PleasureMessiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, at Zankel Hall.
  15. opera review
    Opera Review: On the Lightness of Nico Muhly’s Marnie“This deluxe production of a lavish opera rests on such a wispy score.”
  16. opera review
    High Notes on the High Line: The Mile-Long OperaVernacular voices strung like Christmas lights along an elevated park.
  17. opera review
    Opera Review: Anna Netrebko, an Old-Style Diva, in AidaBut really, the Met Opera needs to eliminate the brownface.
  18. q&a
    ‘Phenomenal Levels of Denial and Arrogance’: Heidi Waleson on City Opera’s End“It was loony.”
  19. classical-music review
    Opera Review: The Met Brings Back Samson et Dalila, With Just Enough Fromage“To describe it as gaudy and silly is a compliment, not a complaint.”
  20. classical-music review
    What’s Opera, Jaap? Van Zweden’s Opening Night as the Philharmonic’s New LeaderNew music by Ashley Fure, old music by Stravinsky, and a Wagner chaser.
  21. music review
    Music Review: Leonard Bernstein Is Paid Half-Hearted Tribute at TanglewoodAndris Nelsons conducted as if he would rather be at home watching TV. Some music can endure an uncommitted performance; Bernstein’s can’t.
  22. new music
    What’s That Sound? In Ashley Fure’s Compositions, It Could Be Almost Anything.Twanging aircraft cables? Crinkly paper moved by speaker vibrations? Sure.
  23. architecture
    The MoMA’s Tribute to Yugoslavia’s ‘Concrete Utopia’ Is a RevelationThis hugely ambitious show portrays an idiosyncratic, multiethnic, and open postwar society that propelled itself into the industrial age with brio.
  24. music review
    Music Review: Leonard Bernstein’s Mass Has Finally Found Its EraIt’s been called bloated, dated, naïve — but it also contains a lot of beauty.
  25. first person
    On 10 Years of the New New-Music Scene, and 30 Years of My OwnAs the city has become more global, I have watched the music world get healthier, more complex, and less hermetic.
  26. Beethoven’s Fidelio and Mahler’s Tenth, With the Conventions Tossed AwayBeethoven’s only opera, reinterpreted in the era of mass incarceration.
  27. classical music review
    Shostakovich, With Bright L.A. Glare, at Lincoln CenterDudamel brings out the symphony’s loudest, brightest aspects.
  28. Opera Review: Così Fan Tutte, Kelli O’Hara, and the Long Shadow of James LevineA new production with one of Broadway’s biggest voices, and also a ghost.
  29. The Case for the (Non-Harassing, Worth the Trouble) Creative GeniusWe don’t want more James Levines. But how about more Zaha Hadids?
  30. the met
    10 Questions the Met Must Answer About James LevineThe Met Opera has fired its musical director amid allegations of sexual abuse. But they still have lots of explaining to do.
  31. Opera Review: Semiramide, a Gorgeous Relic of the 1890s and 1990sAngela Meade glides through one musical triple lutz after another.
  32. classical music
    The Future Is (a Little More) Female at the New York PhilharmonicDeborah Borda takes over as CEO, with big plans.
  33. opera review
    Opera Review: A Parsifal Even the Wagner-Phobic Can EnjoyIncluding a long-overdue Met debut.
  34. opera review
    Opera Review: The Met’s Tosca Is Afraid of Its Own PastThe replacement for a hated 2009 production looks deeper into the past.
  35. theater review
    Two Critics Review One Show: Farinelli and the KingA musical play about opera, reviewed by our theater and classical-music critics.
  36. sexual assault
    The Met May Not Survive the James Levine DisgraceHe was the charismatic center holding together a company that was already in financial trouble.
  37. classical music
    Barbara Hannigan Is a Soprano Who Doesn’t Stand StillA soprano who conducts orchestras with her entire physical being.
  38. opera review
    Opera Review: Surrealism Explored in The Exterminating AngelLuis Buñuel’s 1962 satire is adapted for the stage.
  39. opera review
    Opera Review: A Triple Dose of Expert MonteverdiFor the composer’s 450th birthday, John Eliot Gardiner conducts.
  40. music review
    Music Review: A Double Dose of Pierre Boulez’s RéponsThe composer’s electronic manifesto returns.
  41. The Over-the-Top Plans for Redoing Geffen Hall Are History. Good.The $500 million–plus plan to squeeze a new building into the shell would have been a disaster.
  42. opera review
    Three Unconventional Operas, Three Degrees of SuccessCrossing, My Lai, and Blank Out all work the dynamic edge of what an opera can be.
  43. the metropolitan opera
    A Gloomy, Ragey Norma at the Metropolitan Opera’s Opening NightLots of murk and bark.
  44. classical music review
    The New York Philharmonic’s New Music Director: Thrilling to ExhaustionJaap van Zweden brings the excitement, over and over and over.
  45. It’s Alive! A Don Giovanni Where Even the Sets PerformAt Mostly Mozart, an opera that doesn’t skimp on theatrical power.
  46. Why Dystopian Movies Look So Much Like Our WorldThe fantasies of visionary filmmakers can be astonishingly earthbound.
  47. that's a viola not a violin
    Onstage or On a Podcast, Nadia Sirota Makes You ListenA violist with a mission.
  48. Do Sponsors Like Delta Have the Right to Demand Squeaky-clean Art?The controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s production of Julius Caesar shows that expecting funding without constraints is naïve.
  49. On Alan Gilbert’s New York Philharmonic, and Why It MatteredAs the conductor leaves his post after eight years.
  50. I Went to a Concert With a Basement Full of Dead People and Loved ItIn the crypt, architectural and musical pleasure converge.
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