The lights come up on the stage. The red curtain parts. The conductor begins leading a large chorus, its resonant voices chanting, in Latin, the words of a poem: "Light, warm and heavy as pure gold and angels sing softly to the newborn babe."
Sting is front and center at the Hollywood Bowl, belting out the familiar melody of "Roxanne," The Police's 1978 ode to a prostitute. All of a sudden, a cello solo fills the air. Within a few elegant notes, the image of a common street hooker is upgraded to that of a high-priced call girl.
Seiji Ozawa is Asia's most successful conductor, a maestro in a quintessentially Western art form, and a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. But the affable 74-year-old is used to crossing cultural boundaries.
The Polish city of Krakow played host to a unique collection of some of the world's leading classical musicians on Tuesday for a special performance to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
Not every classically trained musician has the gumption to interpret Michael Jackson on the violin. But German-born virtuoso David Garrett re-imagines "Smooth Criminal" with such fervor that you'd think Jackson had intended the song to be played by the instrument all along.
"No one can explain the power of music; there is no writer, no philosopher, no musician, and certainly no politician who can describe where the music stops, it is not possible" (Valery Gergiev, CNN 2008)
Very few people who attended the performance of the World Orchestra for Peace in Jerusalem this October would have noticed she was there. But there she was, a petite woman with long brown hair, sitting in the middle of the audience on "nervous autopilot."
The call doesn't come very often, but when it does the answer is invariably yes. This week, 91 of the world's finest musicians will clear their diaries and fly to Jerusalem for a rare performance of the World Orchestra for Peace.
At almost 8,500 feet in the Rockies, it can take a few breaths to walk up Central City's steep granite hills lined with Victorian homes, souvenir shops -- and an opera house that has served 19th-century gold miners as well as modern-day visitors.
"The Here and Now" might well be subtitled "Redeeming Rumi." As if to save us from the new-age squish of much contemporary rediscovery of the 13th-century Persian poet's work, Christopher Theofanidis' 33-minute sonic salon is an exhilarating setting bound for a Carnegie Hall debut April 5.
Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night in Modena's main piazza to pay final respects to Luciano Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C's and ebullient showmanship made him the most beloved and celebrated tenor since Caruso.
Famed opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who appeared on stage with singers as varied as opera star Dame Joan Sutherland, U2's Bono and Liza Minnelli, died Thursday in Italy after suffering from pancreatic cancer, manager Terri Robson said in a statement. He was 71.
Famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who died on Thursday at the age of 71, was one of opera's most adaptable and ebullient performers, appearing on stage with singers as varied as Dame Joan Sutherland, U2's Bono and Liza Minnelli.
Like the unnerving and richly voiced instrument in the movie "The Red Violin," Tuesday's release of the premiere recording of John Corigliano's "Red Violin Concerto" has a winding tale behind it. And it convenes its own formidable cast of characters.
On a Saturday night in January, 400 concertgoers have assembled in a high school auditorium in Newburgh, N.Y. to hear two soloists perform with the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra: teenage violinist Madalyn Parnas and her younger sister Cicely, a cellist.
Sometimes listening to the old masters is what you do while waiting for the recording labels to catch up with the new work you'd rather hear -- Morton Feldman, Steve Reich, John Corigliano, the racing majesty of a Jennifer Higdon "City Scape," the nerve-wracking beauty of a Roger Reynolds "Shattered Landscape."