New York Philharmonic

Two of the country's oldest and most venerated music institutions, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, are beginning their seasons with a change in artistic leadership. Both organizations are grappling with 21st century issues of bringing new audiences in and convincing them that centuries-old music forms are central to their lives today.

The New York Philharmonic announced Sunday that it has taken action against two prominent musicians over unspecified "misconduct": the orchestra's principal oboist, Liang Wang, and its associate principal trumpeter, Matthew Muckey.

The orchestra said the decision came after a five-month internal investigation, led by a former federal judge. Both musicians dispute the Philharmonic's findings, and while the musicians' union reviews the orchestra's decision, the two have been placed on unpaid leave.

Marion S. Trikosko / Library of Congress /

It's simply too difficult to create a list of recordings made by conductor Leonard Bernstein that could be called "The Best of Lenny" or "The Definitive Bernstein List."

color photo of Pluto
NASA / Wikimedia Commons

You could say that Pluto is the Rodney Dangerfield of planets.

From New York to Hamburg for Conductor Alan Gilbert

Jun 23, 2017
Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic
Chris Lee / New York Philharmonic

After eight years as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert is leaving to become chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.  

Interestingly, just as the New York Philharmonic's home, David Geffen Hall, is about to undergo a major renovation, Gilbert is moving into a shiny new facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Paul Sherwood / Wikimedia Commons

Here's a doozy: Bill Murray is going classical.

The actor and comedian who never ceases to surprise has, according to the New York Times, teamed up with cellist  Jan Vogler, who has performed as a guest artist with the New York Philharmonic, and a group of chamber musicians for a projected album and touring show. Murray will sing Gershwin and Bernstein and recite Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Ernest Hemingway.

David Adam Beloff

Top 10 lists abound this time of year. Top 10 news stories, films, trends. So I thought, why stop with just ten? Why not 20? Or 50? Or...well, see the title.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Marco Borggreve

Benjamin Franklin famously said that, "Fish and visitors stink after three days." That is certainly true about fish - and it depends upon the guest. What about conductors, however? How long should an orchestra expect, or want, a conductor to stay?

Join me for Fretworks for music of the classical guitar this Saturday at 7 pm on Classical 101. This week, from Latin America, we’ll hear the Guitar Concerto of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Sharon Isbin will be featured in her 2004 Warner Classics CD that got great reviews for her performances with the New York Philharmonic led by Jose Serebrier, not only for the Villa-Lobos but also for the Rodrigo and Ponce concertos on the recording.