September 26, 2008 |
Ending months of speculation and years of searching, the National Symphony Orchestra has chosen its next music director: the German conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach, best known for his recent stint as head of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His designation, announced last night by Kennedy Center officials, comes with a twist: Eschenbach, 68, also will hold the newly created title of music director of the Kennedy Center. In this role, he will work closely with the center's president, Michael M. Kaiser, and the center's...
February 28, 2008 |
In January, one of the Philadelphia Inquirer's music critics floated the possibility on his blog that Christoph Eschenbach, who steps down as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in August, would become the next music director of the National Symphony Orchestra. Rumors like this tend to fly around any orchestra involved in the wearying, perennial search for a new leader -- as the NSO will be during the two-year interim tenure of its next principal conductor, Iv¿n Fischer.
January 17, 2013 |
Christoph Eschenbach is fiercely loyal to a cadre of musicians he has discovered, mentored and partnered with over the years. It's customary to roll one's eyes a bit when discussing such blind loyalty, particularly when some of the musicians don't hit the mark, at least as conventional wisdom sees it. It's especially customary to roll one's eyes when discussing it in reference to pianist Tzimon Barto . In the classical music world, Barto is...
November 8, 2012 |
Since I saw the pianist Lang Lang's recital on Sunday afternoon , my inbox has been full of messages from people assuring me that yes, he really is a kind of musical antichrist. What Lang Lang does, supposedly, subsumes the score to his ego in a way that is profoundly anti-musical. I've uttered my share of this kind of criticism of Lang Lang in the past, and I fully expected to feel the same way this week, during his residency with the National Symphony Orchestra. But on reflection, I'm curious about how emphatic so...
March 10, 2011 |
One must hope that the torrential downpours were to blame for the hundreds of empty seats at the National Symphony Orchestra's opening-night performance of Olivier Messiaen's sprawling, sybaritic masterpiece of 1948, the "Turangalila-Symphonie. " This massive paean to spiritual and physical love, nature and exoticism is complicated and costly to mount (the NSO had performed it only once before), and the opportunity to hear it live should be seized. Although there were certainly problems...
March 17, 2011 |
For the Kennedy Center's "Maximum India" festival, the National Symphony Orchestra offered three programs of music with Indian themes. The third and final one focused Thursday night on Alexander Zemlinsky's " Lyric Symphony ," settings of seven poems by Rabindranath Tagore. That could be taken as innovative programming. Christoph Eschenbach was praised last week, particularly, for performing Messiaen's " Turangalila " Symphony, a monumental 20th-century work. The fact is, though, when you're...