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Author Archive | David Rohde

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Preview and Appreciation: The Russian Chamber Art Society on Founder Vera Danchenko-Stern’s Festive Birthday Concert

There’s an addictive quality to the events of the Russian Chamber Art Society, sort of like discovering a pastime or sport that you just have to follow once you learn about it. Maybe that’s because the RCAS, which offers Washington the inexhaustible array of Russian vocal music across four events a year, makes its evenings […]

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Violinist Tessa Lark. Photo by Kate L Photography.

Interview: Violinist Tessa Lark Discusses Her Career and Her Upcoming Performance at the Phillips Collection

Don’t just call Tessa Lark a crossover artist. The fast-rising classical violinist may also be known for playing at jazz clubs in New York and elsewhere, and for her country fiddling at bluegrass festivals. But Tessa’s Kentucky roots and her deep curiosity about world cultures feed right back into her “serious” repertoire in a way […]

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Interview: David Rohde Interviews Mezzo-Soprano Isabel Leonard

When Washington National Opera presents one of opera’s top examples of musical comedy next spring, it’s only fitting that the production will star a singer whose background sounds as ready-made for Broadway as for the opera house. Isabel Leonard, who will sing the lead role of Rosina in Gioachino Rossini’s laugh-filled romp The Barber of […]

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Interview: David Rohde Interviews Cellist Amit Peled

Amit Peled is a story-teller. He happens to do it with a cello. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a genius audience member to find the entire story for yourself in the music. The charismatic musician and popular instructor at Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory feels out an audience to determine how much to say, […]

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Photo: Marco Borggreve

Review: ‘Quatuor Danel’ at the Phillips Collection

Complex 20th century “classical music,” or more properly serious art music as opposed to various forms of popular music, seems to be a gamble. It’s never just as interesting to an audience as Beethoven, Brahms and the rest. It’s either less interesting than what they really came for, or sometimes if you get lucky, much […]

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Review: Soprano Ailyn Pérez at The Barns at Wolf Trap

There’s no business like show business, but does that include opera? If in a few years people finally agree that opera is genuinely another form of musical theater, it may be because of the current career rocketship of American soprano Ailyn Pérez. Never mind her recent run as the star of the Metropolitan Opera’s uber-popular […]

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Review: Pianist Lise de la Salle at the Phillips Collection

Picking through bombastic music to extract the musical message and leave a lingering impression of something other than bombast is a skill to be cherished among pianists on the international stage. That was the main achievement of French pianist Lise de la Salle at the Phillips Collection on Sunday afternoon. Her nearly complete triumph with […]

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Review: Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center

Something of a high-stakes atmosphere pervades this week’s concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra. It’s performing an all-Russian program, always a touchstone harking back to the reign of Soviet émigré Mstislav Rostropovich over the NSO from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. And this week’s conductor is the NSO’s incoming music director, Gianandrea Noseda, in […]

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Review: The Montreal Symphony Orchestra with Washington Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center

Who needs to skip around musical history in a concert? A hundred years ago the musical world was in ferment, with shocking new developments right before and after World War I. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra placed its entire concert Monday evening in an eight-year compositional period between 1913 and 1921, with terrific results. Universally known […]

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