Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – Joshua Bell, Director and Soloist

Academy-of-St-Martin-in-the-Fields-Joshua-Bell-2-c.Chris-Christodoulou-470x303I always enjoyed listening to Joshua Bell play the violin. His sense of musical line is pretty extraordinary. As the new director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, he clearly inspires the orchestra to passionate performances. It was an interesting experience to be sitting in the front row at Avery Fischer Hall and watch Bell lead the orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) and play/direct the Brahms Violin Concerto. Another evening of incredible virtuosity on display.




Les Miserable

lesmisREVIVALI was glad to have the chance to see the re-imagined revival of Les Miserable on Broadway. The reviews seemed pretty positive, so I thought I’d get a ticket, knowing full well that Ramin Karimloo does not play the role of Valjean on Wednesday matinees. I do love the score and enjoyed the new turntable-less staging. I also thought there was some odd casting and that the voices were generally underwhelming, including the chorus. Do we really need this revival? I’m not so sure it’s not all about money and cashing in on the recent success of the movie.



By Randy Ziegenfuss Posted in Broadway

Maria Schneider Orchestra

schneider_mariaThis was a  very enjoyable evening. If you like the sound of a big band but want to hear it in the context of original compositions, the Maria Schneider Orchestra is worth checking out.

Be sure to visit her YouTube channel for performances of the Maria Schneider Orchestra and her latest Grammy-winning recording, Winter Morning walks, a collaboration with soprano, Dawn Upshaw, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.




By Randy Ziegenfuss Posted in Jazz