“Immediately after her encounter with Dutoit, Allan alleged, the BSO’s orchestra manager called out to her to warn her — too late — about Dutoit. “Before you see maestro, I need to tell you something,” she recalled the manager saying. “Look, we advise, we’ve had some complaints, and I wouldn’t go in there alone.”
Allan believes that at the time, the manager thought he was doing her a favor.
“But the thing that always struck me afterwards was: They had a system in place,” she said. “And the system was called: Don’t go in there by yourself. Like, we’ve had complaints, therefore the way we get around that is that we send people in in pairs. Not: We don’t employ that person anymore.””
Read the full story in the Globe. Rebecca Ostriker and Malcolm Gay report.
Dutoit was a frequent guest conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra until the orchestra severed ties with him in late 2017, following the Associated Press’s publication of a story about four women who accused him of assault over a period spanning twenty years.
This comes less than two months after Andris Nelsons, the current music director of the BSO, stated on a Boston Public Radio interview that sexual harassment isn’t a problem in classical music. His comments seemed to not only put forth that sexual harassment isn’t a problem, but brush aside any need for self examination or interrogation of the culture that has permitted these things to happen. That said, English is Nelsons’s fourth language, and he often has trouble expressing himself clearly in interviews. He later released a statement through the orchestra to clarify his comments. It essentially boiled down to acknowledging that sexual harassment can happen in all fields, though he has not observed any in his. He then called for art and music inspiration to guide us to the “better angels” of our human natures.
Dutoit is the second conductor with BSO ties to be accused of sexual assault. The first was former music director James Levine, with whom the BSO has also discontinued its relationship.
When playing the music live, there’s no room to fall out of synch, Daugherty said. “The sound effects were designed to absolutely be synchronous with the music. We have to be exactly to the frame with it. And it’s fast, it’s very fast, and it’s wall to wall. We have an expression; there’s no slow movements in Looney Tunes.”
But it’s also a fun concert, he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I look into the orchestra — and I’m talking about the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” Daugherty said, “I see musicians mouthing the words “Oh Bwunnhilde, you’re so wuvwy. . .”
Read more here.
The jumpsuited trio sat in a triangle of percussion setups facing one another. One piece combined the eerie coo of amplified bowed cymbals with undulating synthesizer chords, shot through with the glimmering tones of Moody running his fingers along glass rods. The next utilized delay effects to extend stick taps on drums into the sound of ball bearings clattering through a whimsical Rube Goldberg machine, before falling into a tight, infectious groove. “I hope you’re ready for some dancing,” Garapic told the crowd in reference to Innov Gnawa, the group that was to play the second half of the concert. I was ready to dance already.
For the Boston Globe, March 24, 2017.
Hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid, bizarre sensory experiences that can arise on the edge of sleep. They can immerse us into into weird worlds, stretching a few moments of real time into what may feel like hours. They may seem surreal, even magical — testaments to the ineffable power of the subconscious.
These phenomena came to mind listening to Matthias Pintscher’s new cello concerto, “un despertar” (“an awakening”), which received its world premiere Thursday night via the Boston Symphony Orchestra, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and guest conductor François-Xavier Roth. Though not a direct adaptation of the Octavio Paz poem from which it takes its title, the concerto encompasses the untethered, hazy feeling of the text. Weilerstein, a profoundly physical player with a dark and intoxicating timbre, was the perfect guide through the piece’s nebulous and unpredictable sonic landscape. Music seems to move through her viscerally.
For the Boston Globe. March 24, 2017.
When Amelia LeClair was studying for her B.A. in composition at University of Massachusetts Boston in the 1970s, she faced a staggering dearth of female role models in her field. “Maybe Ruth Crawford Seeger was mentioned,” she said over a cup of mint tea at Harvard Square’s Cafe Algiers. “Not listened to. Mentioned.” LeClair says she was alienated by her male classmates’ practice of sitting around with a teacher to tell obscene jokes at lunchtime, and discouraged by the boys-club atmosphere of composition. “Some people said to me, ‘Women can’t compose.’ And I believed that! Because I didn’t see any evidence to the contrary.”
For the Boston Globe, March 16, 2017.
“Former Boston Ballet principal dancer Yury Yanowsky, last seen with BLO as the condemned man in Philip Glass’s “In the Penal Colony” last season, slicked down his hair and donned a baggy beige suit and spectacles to represent Stravinsky himself. The character provided some moments of physical comedy, such as when tenor Ben Bliss as Tom stood in a kiddie pool in a thunderstorm and Yanowsky hurried to hold an umbrella over the hero’s head. However, the scene in which Tom loses all his fortune and possessions (“Ruin! Disaster! Shame!”) was transformed into a tour of Stravinsky’s supposed internal torment. The chorus, wearing short white wigs and beaked Venetian plague-doctor masks, held up tabloid newspaper front pages with headlines such as “Sell Out!” and “Stravinsky: Finished?” — needlessly diverting attention from the main arc of the drama. Most telling, the Stravinsky character was nowhere to be found during the most affecting scenes.”
For the Boston Globe. March 14, 2017.
“The evening’s final moments belonged to Martinson alone. The stage lights were tinted blue for the lonely Passacaglia, its descending four-note phrase providing both a foundation for harmonies and a launching pad for virtuosic runs. Time stretched out with each repeat. It seemed an eternity since we had embarked on this journey together, yet I sensed that if it continued, we all would have followed her anywhere.”
For the Boston Globe. March 13, 2017.