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Leonard Bernstein

Tony Kushner gives Spielberg's West Side Story a depth you will never tire of.

The opening images of West Side Story (2021) already tell a whole story. It is contained in a few frames. A billboard showing a grandiose new housing project. The camera glides past it almost casually as we glide over rubble of a New York slum, not with the characteristic fire escapes along the facade, as in the first film adaptation (1961) of this 1957 musical theatre piece,... 

Film concert featuring West Side Story, Bernstein's indictment of discrimination

Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The AVROTROS Friday Concert puts his most popular piece, West Side Story, on the programme on Saturday (!) 26 May. The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra will play the electrifying music full of ecstatic melodies and vital dances live at the integral screening of the original 1961 film. The whole thing is conducted by the young American conductor 

Dutch Reisopera 2018-19: We're waiting for the curtain to rise!

We're sitting in the opera house; We're waiting for the curtain to arise With wonders for our eyes; We're feeling pretty gay, [...] A feeling of expectancy, A certain kind of ecstasy, Expectancy and ecstasy... Sh's's's's. "Curtain!" With the above words, Charles Ives sang of the excitement of a child going to the opera for the first time. A similar enthusiasm shows... 

Opera The New Prince: pretentious bombast

It is not easy to visit an opera presented as a stunning piece of contemporary social criticism without fear. Especially when it evokes such totally different reactions. Some call The New Prince 'an opera on the vein of our own time' (Mischa Spel, NRC), while others give it 'a fat fail' (Erik Voermans, Het Parool). Another needs more... 

Conductor Alan Gilbert makes Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra shine

Alan Gilbert conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the fifth time on Wednesday 8 February. He is chief of the New York Philharmonic until the end of this season, exuberantly expressing his love for contemporary music. He proved to be the ideal conductor to premiere Joey Roukens' new work, aptly leading the musicians through the exhilarating... 

Criss-crossing America with Richard Rijnvos

Richard Rijnvos (1964) has been house composer of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra since 2011. This has so far resulted in two new pieces: Antarctique, the final movement of his cycle Grand Atlas (2011) and fuoco e fumo from the series la Serenissima (2013). On Thursday 2 and Friday 3 February, conductor Gustavo Gimeno leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in its third commissioned work, Amérique du Nord. The... 

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2016-17: Amsterdam meets Daniele Gatti

'The most important thing is to bring music to the audience,' says Daniele Gatti on Thursday 25 February during the presentation of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's new season. 'Amsterdam meets Gatti' we read on large posters behind him. That does not appear to be a word too many: the brand-new principal conductor will be involved in all series, travels on the tour RCO meets Europe,... 

NJO Music Summer - sparks splashed during closing concert too

Bathed in sweat and applauded by audience and musicians alike, conductor Antony Hermus leaves the stage on Sunday 17 August after the final concert of the NJO Muziekzomer. He has every reason to be pleased, as the performance of Richard Strauss' Ein Heldenleben at Theatre Orpheus in Apeldoorn sparked that it had a nature. The tricky piece jumps into six... 

Sparkling Candide at Canal Festival

The 300-strong audience stood up as one after Leonard Bernstein's infectious performance of Candide at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam last night. The performance of this 'pocket version' of Bernstein's cheerful musical/opera about the incorrigible optimist Candide, produced by the Nationale Reisopera, took place indoors, in the hotel's ballroom, due to the weather conditions. After all, the Grachtenfestival has to be... 

Five things we learned from opera amuse Sweeney Todd

What: A preview of the 'musical thriller' Sweeney Todd

Location: the biggest rehearsal room of the Dutch Travel Opera

Present: almost the entire cast, one hundred and fifty guests

Menu: bread, pastry, a dessert as pretty as it is tasty

Drinks: water, red/white wine ánd Bloody Mary's, complete with celery as a stirrer, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, pepper (and salt, nowhere to go), lemon (should have been lime), prepare it yourself

(1) How m...

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Ironing or hitting

It will be hard to choose how we will musically fill our next weekend: will we stay in Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Marimba Weekend, or travel to The Hague, where Dag in de Branding is entirely dedicated to the string quartet? In short: are we going to string or strike? For those who can't decide, check out Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Slagwerk Den Haag later this month - they just do both!

The Amsterdam Marimba Weekend runs from 9 to 11 May and is themed 'The Eastern Connection'. The...

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Strauss with muscle by Gustavo Dudamel, the sizzling South American. #hf12

The young conductor of Venezuelan descent brought his Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra to the Concertgebouw for the final concert of the Holland Festival last night for the first time. While Hollanders braved the tropical weather in the corridors, Venezuelan beauties walked to the stage vivaciously on their stilettos. After Máxima and Willem-Alexander had also taken their seats on the balcony, Gustavo Dudamel came dancing down the stairs.

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