October 2, 2014

Miloš Karadaglić is not the first classical music rock star, but he’s the rock star of the moment. Milos — he goes by that name alone — is young, handsome and a guitar hero. Not loud, though; on the contrary, he claims his interpretation of Joaquín Rodrigo‘s Concierto de Aranjuez, which he will play with the Cleveland Orchestra on its Miami season premiere November 14 and 15, emphasizes a softness he learned from Miles Davis‘ dictum that “the softer you play it, the stronger it gets.” Rodrigo’s piece is a recording and concert warhorse, and its second movement has been interpreted over and over … Continue reading

August 7, 2014

Much to be said about each concert, but let me post my 2-cents worth of preview. We expect a concert of chestnuts to open The Cleveland Orchestra’s Miami Residency and this season is no exception. However, if there’s one chestnut I never get tired or hearing it’s Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, no matter that it’s been performed and reinterpreted ad nauseam. No nausea for me, just the vertigo of overwhelming Spanish romanticism, to which conductor Giancarlo Guerrero would seem perfectly suited. The Beethoven/Shostakovitch pairing that follows in the next two concerts is bracing: how politics and ideology intersect with classical composition. It’s … Continue reading

July 15, 2014

An NPR piece Monday on Lebron James was themed “A Tale of Two Cities”, adding to the growing commentary on the Miami Heat superstar going back to his home roots with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Much was made of the grief felt by fans in Cleveland when he left for South Florida and the compensatory grief felt now among Heat fans. The story tried to get some juice from the fact that Julia Tuttle, the “Mother of Miami” hailed from Cleveland. They could have gotten some more interesting juice not far from where Lebron made his mark with the Heat. When I … Continue reading

March 22, 2014
Colin Currie

The Cleveland Orchestra season closed with bravura. One doesn’t think of Mozart as mellow, but, in truth, the Overture from The Abduction from the Seraglio that opened the concert was but an amuse-gueule, given what followed.     Jennifer Higdon‘s Percussion Concerto, written for Colin Currie, who performed it, is nothing but dazzling. After his performance, I asked Currie if he was into Afro-Cuban percussion, and he said there was some of it in the piece, though, of course, it was a very deep subject. It had occurred to me that the Cuban-Americans in the audience might have been stirred by … Continue reading


The ghost of Igor Stravinsky hovered, in a friendly way, over MOCA, the North Miami art museum, Thursday evening as The Cleveland Orchestra and the Frost School of Music presented an evening of chamber ensembles. The works included two works by Frost composition students, and before the second presentation, Apollonian Echo, composer Peter Learn, who was introduced by Frost School professor Lansing McLoskey, told the audience that by coincidence he and the other Frost composer of the evening, Richard Yates, had written works that quoted Stravinsky. Learn said it had to do with 2013 marking the centennial of the (raucous) premiere of … Continue reading