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John Mauceri’s distinguished and extraordinary career has brought him not only to the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also to the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia. Regarded as the world’s leading performer of the music of Hollywood’s émigré composers, he has taken the lead in the preservation and performance of many kinds of music and has supervised/conducted premieres by composers as diverse as Debussy, Stockhausen, Korngold, Bernstein, Hindemith, Elfman, Ives, and Shore. As an accomplished recording artist, John Mauceri has over 70 albums to his name, and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison, Cannes Classique, Billboard, two Diapasons d’Or, three Emmys, and four Deutsche Schallplatten Awards.

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Putting the Baby Back in the Cradle

Posted July 16th, 2017

Putting the Baby Back in the Cradle

It may come as a surprise that Marc Blitzstein was the composer of ten musical dramas, three ballets, incidental music to ten plays, seven film scores, and various concert works and art songs. He is best known in America as the translator of Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera (1954), and to a lesser extent, the composer of the operas Regina (1949), based on Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, and The Cradle will Rock (1937). But even these last two works are only occasionally heard, which is our loss. He also was part of a circle of legendary American artists like Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Houseman, and Orson Welles. And, when Kurt Weill died in 1950, the only American composer to attend the interment was Marc Blitzstein. At the time of Blitzstein’s death in 1964, he was working on a new opera for the Metropolitan Opera House. In short, Marc Blitzstein was in the middle of great things in those heady days of American creativity and political passion. He was regarded by his fellow geniuses as their equal and, in many ways as a leader in the movement to find a comprehensible (and an American) voice in musical theater and link it with political action, something that he felt was required of an artist, much in the line of a Giuseppe Verdi and a Kurt Weill.

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Richard Gerstl – Neue Galerie New York

Posted June 28th, 2017

Richard Gerstl

Opening June 29, 2017, the Neue Galerie New York is pleased to present “Richard Gerstl,” the first museum retrospective in the United States devoted to the work of the Austrian Expressionist (1883-1908). This exhibition is co-organized with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and with music curated by John Mauceri will be on view at the Neue Galerie through September 25, 2017.

From Neue Galerie New York

Gerstl was an extremely original artist whose psychologically intense figure paintings and landscapes constitute a radically unorthodox oeuvre that defied the reigning concepts of style and beauty during his time. The long-standing secrecy surrounding Gerstl’s dramatic and untimely suicide at the age of 25, and the scandalous love affair that preceded his death, only further magnify the legend that has grown around this lesser known, but influential member of Vienna’s artistic avant-garde at the turn of the twentieth century. The show is organized by Expressionist scholar Jill Lloyd, who has assembled several important exhibitions for the Neue Galerie, including “Van Gogh and Expressionism” in 2007, “Ferdinand Hodler: View to Infinity” in 2012, and “Munch and Expressionism” in 2016.

Approximately 55 paintings and works on paper will be on display, including portraits, frontal nude figures, highly gestural group portraits, landscapes, and comparative works by Gerstl’s artistic contemporaries. A special gallery will be devoted to Gerstl’s relationship with the leading Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg; the artist’s friendship with Schönberg abruptly ended in 1908 upon the disclosure of the love affair between Gerstl and Schönberg’s wife Mathilde. Although Gerstl’s extant body of work comprises only approximately 90 works, his groundbreaking style is central to the development of the Expressionist movement of fin-de-siècle Vienna.

A fully illustrated catalogue, published by Hirmer, will accompany the exhibition featuring contributions by leading scholars in the field, including Raymond Coffer, Jane Kallir, Diethard Leopold, Jill Lloyd, Ingrid Pfeiffer, Maria Sitte, and Karol Winiarczyk.

For more information visit the Neue Galerie New York website.

More information on Richard Gerstl and the show can be found on The New Yorker’s website in an article by Alex Ross “The Final, Shocking Self-Portrait of Richard Gerstl“.

Kiri Te Kanawa – Royal Albert Hall Concert 1987

Posted February 26th, 2017

Kiri just posted this from 30 years ago. The sound is occasionally wonky and not in synch, but her “Sogno di Doretta” and, well, just about everything she did that night were magnificent.  Watching Jeremy do My Fair Lady brought back many memories … two broadcasts the same day … Enjoy!

From Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s YouTube channel

The Met @ 50 – Full Text

Posted December 4th, 2016

Read John’s full text from his three part story The Met @ 50. Originally posted in three parts on HuffingtonPost.com collected here in it’s entirety.

Download The Met @ 50 as a PDF (5.5mb)

met-1966-67Celebrations evoking remembrance say a lot about us. We tend to use the decimal system and its major divisions to encourage reassessment in terms of looking back and connecting it to today. The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death seemed like a good excuse to perform his plays, though it is hard to imagine he really needed it. (I remember suggesting a concert honoring a major anniversary of Walt Disney’s death when I was told by an official at the company, “We do not celebrate deaths—only births.”) Read the rest of this entry »