Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats."
Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, since 2007. All written content © 2014 by Paul Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Die Zauberflöte

The "composer's cut" of Mozart's final opera.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Here comes the sun king: René Pape as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2014 The Metropolitan Opera.
In the years of general manager Peter Gelb's reign over the Metropolitan Opera House, one of his signature initiatives has been an annual "holiday presentation" of a famous opera, drastically cut to one long act and sung in English. The most frequent masterwork on the chopping block has been Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Concert Review: A Storm Cloud of Strings

Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet make Landfall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson (far right) play Landfall.
Photo by Mark Allan © 2014 Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet each occupy a unique place in modern music. A fearless performance artist, she destroyed barriers between pop and avant-garde with tracks like "O Superman" and albums like Big Science. Kronos, for their part is at the vanguard of modern music, playing their amplified strings in deep explorations of composers like George Crumb and Terry Riley.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Concert Review: Ahead of the Curve

The New York Philharmonic opens 2014--for real this time.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Alan Gilbert in action. Photo courtesy nyphil.tumblr.com
Image © 2014 The New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic turned from movie music this week with its first subscription concert at Avery Fisher Hall. This ambitious program paired a new Clarinet Concerto by composer Unsuk Chin with the Symphony No. 1 of former Philharmonic music director Gustav Mahler under the baton of the orchestra's current leader Alan Gilbert.


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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.