Interview: 男高音- 湯發凱

You may have noticed our interview series has dropped off the face of the earth. It happened kind of accidentally. But I got excited about the prospect of a new (small) series of interviews that would be unique for a few reasons. They will be the first interviews of/with people whom I know personally, and They will be the first articles of any kind on the blog in Chinese. I live in Asia, and don’t get much readership in my part of the world. Chinese articles will be cool. So, that’s about all you’ll get in English. It’s been a … Continue reading Interview: 男高音- 湯發凱

Concert Review: NSO- Symphonic Milestone: Bruckner’s Magnum Opus

It’s a lot of music. This concert marks the end.  It was the last completed symphony that Bruckner wrote, and it is the last concert of both the NSO’s season and the last concert of the month, thus beginning a long four-month stretch of no concerts at our National Concert Hall while it gets some renovations or something. I’ll be eager to see it in the fall. I can’t imagine it’s getting a huge makeover or anything, but who knows? It was a large crowd last night. Even from the downstairs entrance I went in to have dinner downstairs beforehand, … Continue reading Concert Review: NSO- Symphonic Milestone: Bruckner’s Magnum Opus

Concert Review: Yuja Wang Piano Recital

It’s all Scriabin and Chopin. And then Islamey. And encores. This is another one of those things I’m terrified of missing out on. If I had to travel some long distance to buy a ticket and attend, that’s one thing, but when it’s within walking distance (sort of), I don’t really have any excuse not to go. It’s also bragging rights, if nothing else. It’s just a nice experience to have, to say I was able to see so-and-so live, even if I didn’t get to meet her. I was a little late in getting around to buying tickets, and … Continue reading Concert Review: Yuja Wang Piano Recital

NSO: Symphonic Milestone- Reflections on War

Back to symphony hall less than a week since Eroica for another fantastic performance, again conducted by Maestro Gunther Herbig. The title ‘Reflections on War’ (slightly different in Chinese: 烽火蕭八) was eye-catching. I read somewhere in a program or website for the concert that it was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War II. Before reading up on Liszt’s Les Preludes, I wouldn’t have seen or heard or thought of any association with war, but it was an interesting contrast, in many ways. The program was also heavily weighted toward the second half, obviously. While Shostakovich’s eighth is a massive … Continue reading NSO: Symphonic Milestone- Reflections on War

陳譽陞 作品發表音樂會

I just had one of the most inspiring, motivating afternoons in recent memory. I don’t even know how to talk about it. This time of year is one of graduations and recitals and concerts, academically and otherwise. The National Concert Hall will be getting some renovation done over the summer, so it will be closed for the next three or four months, and it seems that some of the ensembles or performers are getting in under the wire. In any case, May has been a busy month for concertgoing. I’ve attended a number of concerts at the same university, in … Continue reading 陳譽陞 作品發表音樂會

NSO: Symphonic Milestone- Eroica

This was a last-minute and somewhat messy plan. I’d seen the program for this concert ages ago and at the time, wasn’t able to attend. Some recent schedule changes meant I was free, but by that time I’d entirely forgotten about it. I ended up buying my ticket only a few weeks ago, kind of late relative to how early I try to get my hands on most tickets.  I saw NSO and Eroica, and that was enough. I was at the ticket counter to buy a ticket for another show anyway, and there were still seats. On the ticket … Continue reading NSO: Symphonic Milestone- Eroica

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet: Piano Recital

I’m speechless. I don’t know how I’d managed to get through as much classical music listening, reading, YouTube viewing, and concert going and not have heard of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. What initially struck my interest and sold me on the concert was one of the names below: It wasn’t Beethoven (x2), or Debussy or Ravel, but Boulez. In case you don’t know (and unless you know me personally, you probably don’t), I’ve been fascinated, obsessed, overwhelmed by the music of Milton Babbitt lately, and by extension, the concepts and ideas behind the serialist movement in general, and Boulez is a very … Continue reading Jean-Efflam Bavouzet: Piano Recital

Concert Review: 陳柔安鋼琴獨奏會

If you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year. Lots of graduation recitals and concerts and things. It’s a great time of year to be a concertgoer, and I’m sure many students heave huge sighs of relief once their performances are over. It is also often hardly the end, but a beginning of more, better things. I’ve talked before about my thoughts about concerts and recitals and performances in an academic setting. There are two main ones, the first being that the people in the room (at the university where these recitals are [most often] held) are the real professionals … Continue reading Concert Review: 陳柔安鋼琴獨奏會

Concert Review: Taipei Symphony and Karen Gomyo

Bear with me here. This concert (or the general experience of the evening) was far more outstandingly outstanding than I’d prepared for.  There are some concerts you look forward to and know will be once-in-a-lifetime chances, like being able to hear Gurre Lieder live last year (quite a production), or The Philharmonia last month, and some you go to just because it’s a nice chance to hear a piece live again, with no real concern for the performer or real anticipation for the program…? Think of it this way.  There are different kinds of dinner plans: I may make plans far … Continue reading Concert Review: Taipei Symphony and Karen Gomyo

Concert Review: Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Taipei

Once in a while, there’s a thing that you look so forward to that you can’t even concentrate, the day seems to go by slowly, and you cannot wait for this thing you know will be so amazing to arrive. Perhaps it’s a dinner at a fancy restaurant, or a vacation, or some kind of meaningful thing; it’s different for everyone. But then when you get there and it starts happening, it’s more meaningful and powerful and enjoyable and moving than you had thought it could be. Even the highest of expectations were exceeded. Perhaps that sounds corny, but it’s … Continue reading Concert Review: Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Taipei

Concert Review: 葉孟儒 2015 Recital

I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as rare, per se, that one sees works of Alexander Scriabin on a recital program. I’d heard his piano works on at least two other occasions before this one, and was excited then, so when I saw the program for this recital months ago with three of Scriabin’s sonatas on the program, I immediately bought a ticket. Andrei Yeh is the same gentleman that so exquisitely played Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations back in December with the Taipei Philharmonic. I was blown away by that performance. It was one of those few times when something feels at … Continue reading Concert Review: 葉孟儒 2015 Recital

Concert Review: Hilary Hahn Violin Recital in Taipei, January 14, 2015

First, apologies.  I had all intentions of posting this like, the day after the recital just to try to get in on the buzz of the Asian leg of the tour. I’m not sure where Ms. Hahn is now, but I’m still in Taipei, since I live here, and I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Deeply. I was impressed and surprised and pleased and regretfully also very overwhelmed by the line for autographs.  How are these so blurry? The English and Chinese programs A few things that I got to thinking of listening to Ms. Hilary Hahn in performance on Wednesday … Continue reading Concert Review: Hilary Hahn Violin Recital in Taipei, January 14, 2015

Concert Review: Nieuw Ensemble in Taipei

Sonic Portraits (aka This century part 2: The modern experience) In part two, we’ll be discussing the actual concert that kind of got me to thinking about all this to begin with. I was invited sort of last minute (actually about a week ahead of time) by a friend of my piano teacher’s (who is/will be my music theory/composition teacher) to attend this concert on a Saturday evening. I vaguely remember seeing it listed in December’s program, but it was a two-night thing, and I was unavailable the first night, so I didn’t give it a second look. The main reason, … Continue reading Concert Review: Nieuw Ensemble in Taipei

Concert Review: Asian Youth Orchestra

Last month, I had the last minute opportunity to see the Asian Youth Orchestra live here in Taipei from just about the best seats in the concert hall (and for free, no less). I had originally planned on attending that evening’s performance, but of the four events I had decided to go to, it was the least enticing program (up against the likes of Mahler and Sibelius, two of my favorites), so it got the hack. Also, it was a Monday night, which tends to be somewhat more inconvenient. As it turns out, a coworker had two extra tickets (center … Continue reading Concert Review: Asian Youth Orchestra