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I have been a freelance classical music critic at The New York Times since 2014. Among other things, I currently write the guide to concerts and operas in New York that is published every Friday.

Selections from my longer articles are listed below, including concert reviews, features, interviews, book reviews, and obituaries. I tweet on music at @fafnerthekite.


At the Boston Symphony, Andris Nelsons Still Seeks an Identity,” November 15, 2019

Marta Kurtag Dies at 92, Sundering a Profound Musical Partnership,” October 25, 2019 (Obituary)

Martin Bernheimer, Tartly Eloquent Music Critic, Dies at 83,” October 2, 2019 (Obituary)

‘Die Walküre’ Brings the Thunder to Tanglewood,” July 30, 2019 (Review from Tanglewood)

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is a Brutal Triumph as Opera,” May 10, 2019 (Review of Boston Lyric Opera production)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Sets a New Standard for the Standards,” May 8, 2019 (A&L profile of Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)

Michael Gielen, Uncompromising German Maestro, Is Dead at 91,” March 13, 2019 (Obituary)

Peter Hurford, Organist Noted for His Complete Bach, Dies at 88,” March 8, 2019 (Obituary)

Two Coasts, Two Concertos: Adès and Adams Offer Piano Premieres,” March 8, 2019 (Review of the world premiere of Thomas Adès’ Piano Concerto)


30 Years On, the World’s Greatest Song Partnership Flourishes,” November 23, 2018 (A&L feature on Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber)

In a Wagnerian Whirlwind, One Conductor Breaks Through,” August 7, 2018 (A&L feature on the Bavarian State Opera and the Bayreuth Festival)

Bayreuth’s First American Director Arrives With ‘Lohengrin’,” July 26, 2018 (Review)

Stefan Herheim’s Glittering Collisions Have Changed Opera,” June 29, 2018 (A&L interview with the director Stefan Herheim)

A Critic’s First Orchestra Defines Britain’s Musical Soul,” June 15, 2018 (A&L feature on the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder)

A Lullaby, A Caress: Yo-Yo Ma, Ax and Kavakos on Brahms,” February 21, 2018 (My Favorite Page interview with Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Leonidas Kavakos)


Opera’s Disrupter in Residence, Heading to Bayreuth,” July 20, 2017 (A&L interview with the director Yuval Sharon)

Nelsons Turns Tanglewood Into Bayreuth-in-the-Berkshires,” July 17, 2017 (Review)

Tricky Politics in Andrew Norman’s New Children’s Opera,” July 10, 2017 (Review)

Debussy’s ‘Pelléas,’ But This Time All Boxed In,” May 8, 2017 (Review)

‘It Demands Everything Of You’: Alisa Weilerstein on Bach,” April 17, 2017 (My Favorite Page interview with Alisa Weilerstein)

Conducting an Eerie, Political Gospel,” March 26, 2017 (My Favorite Page interview with David Robertson)

New Music From Silence for the New York Philharmonic,” February 28, 2017 (My Favorite Page interview with Lera Auerbach and Leonidas Kavakos)

Beethoven’s Insane Beauty, According to a Star Pianist,” February 8, 2017 (My Favorite Page interview with the pianist Igor Levit)

Listen to Tchaikovsky, Stripped Down to His Intentions,” February 1, 2017 (My Favorite Page interview with the pianist Kirill Gerstein)

Semyon Bychkov on Tchaikovsky’s Protest Against Death,” January 25, 2017 (My Favorite Page interview with the conductor Semyon Bychkov)

Andrew Norman’s ‘Play,’ A Symphony That Levels Up,” January 16, 2017 (Extended review of ‘Play’)

A Long Party of Concerts to Celebrate Anton Bruckner,” January 13, 2017 (A&L interview with Daniel Barenboim)


Christian Gerhaher: Summiting Mount Mahler,” December 16, 2016 (My Favorite Page interview with the singer Christian Gerhaher)

Brahms at the Boston Symphony, With Hélène Grimaud,” November 20, 2016 (Review of a Brahms cycle)

Jules Eskin, Cellist With Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dies at 85,” November 16, 2016 (Obituary)

Exploring a Cathartic Moment in a Lengthy String Quartet,” November 9, 2016 (My Favorite Page interview with the Calder Quartet on Morton Feldman)

This String Quartet Has a Line of Craft Beer,” October 21, 2016 (A&L feature on the Danish String Quartet)

A Delicious ‘Rosenkavalier’ in Boston,” September 30, 2016 (Review)

Nina Stemme on Love and Loss in ‘Tristan und Isolde’,” September 22, 2016 (My Favorite Page interview with the soprano Nina Stemme)

‘Virgil Thomson: The State of Music & Other Writings’ Paints A Troubling Portrait,” August 23, 2016 (Book review)

Got a Classic Piece? Here Comes the Sequel,” August 19, 2016 (A&L feature)

Making the Harpsichord Modern Again,” August 8, 2016 (Interview with Mahan Esfahani)

After Withdrawing From Bayreuth, This Conductor’s Silence Grows Louder,” August 2, 2016 (Interview with Andris Nelsons)

Schubert’s Final Acceptance, Rueful As Always,” August 1, 2016 (My Favorite Page interview with the pianist Paul Lewis, initiating the feature)

A Vivacious Celebration of Steve Reich, A Maverick Turned Music Hero,” July 22, 2016 (Review)

Jaap van Zweden: Before You See Him, Listen,” July 21, 2016 (A&L feature on van Zweden’s discography)

‘JFK’ Envisions An Operatic Ending For Camelot,” April 13, 2016 (A&L feature on David T. Little’s opera)

Four Days of Luigi Nono in ‘Utopian Listening’,” March 28, 2016 (Review)

Boulez and Harnoncourt, So Different, Yet More Alike Than They Realized,” March 18, 2016 (Essay on the deaths of Pierre Boulez and Nikolaus Harnoncourt)

Frequency Festival in Chicago Offers the Complicated and Compelling,” March 1, 2016 (Review)

The Minnesota Orchestra Rebounds From a ‘Near Death Experience’,” February 25, 2016 (A&L feature including interview with Osmo Vanska)

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project Fought Bloat — And Won,” February 11, 2016 (A&L feature on BMOP)

Chains Clink, Water Splashes: A Composer’s Beautiful Noise,” January 28, 2016 (A&L profile of Ashley Fure)


Douglas W. Shadle’s ‘Orchestrating the Nation’,” December 28, 2015 (Book review)

A Classical Christmas, Across the Centuries,” December 21, 2015 (Record review)

Berlin Philharmonic’s ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’ Boldly Stretches Boundaries,” December 20, 2015 (Concert review)

Igor Levit Discusses ‘Goldberg,’ A Project With Marina Abramovic,” December 17, 2015 (Interview with the pianist Igor Levit)

Joseph Silverstein, Violinist and Boston Symphony Concertmaster, Dies at 83,” November 27, 2015 (Obituary)

A Beethoven Cycle From Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic,” November 22, 2015 (Extended review, referred on A1)

Boston Lyric Opera’s ‘In The Penal Colony,’ a Surreal Exploration of Injustice,” November 17, 2015 (Review)

Daniil Trifonov, New to Rachmaninoff, But a Bold and Youthful Echo,” November 13, 2015 (Interview with the pianist Daniil Trifonov)

Maurizio Pollini and Lang Lang: A Study in Contrasts at Carnegie Hall,” October 27, 2015 (Review)

Matt Haimovitz and Bach, Colonizing Columbia’s Campus,” October 26, 2015 (Review)

Benjamin Grosvenor, Boy Lord of the Piano, Takes Carnegie Hall,” October 16, 2015 (Review, referred on A1)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Leads the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall,” October 14, 2015 (Review)

New York Philharmonic Performs Esa-Pekka Salonen’s ‘L.A. Variations’,” September 27, 2015 (Review)

Christopher Houlihan Adds Shine to a Restored Organ at Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph,” September 21, 2015 (Review)

The Proms, BBC’s Classical Music Festival, Is All the More Important as Austerity Looms,” August 5, 2015 (Extended review)

Two BBC Proms More Modern than Pastoral,” July 31, 2015 (Review)

After Her Last Isolde, Waltraud Meier Looks Back,” July 23, 2015 (A&L interview with the soprano Waltraud Meier)

‘Arabella’ Brings Intrigue to the Munich Opera Festival,” July 12, 2015 (Review)

Multi-Story Orchestra Turns a Parking Garage into a Concert Hall,” July 5, 2015 (Feature)

‘Tristan und Isolde’ Brings Thunder to the Longborough Festival,” June 17, 2015 (Review)

Mahler Chamber Orchestra Careens Across the Centuries at Aldeburgh,” June 17, 2015 (Extended review from the Aldeburgh Festival)

Harrison Birtwistle’s ‘The Cure’ and ‘The Corridor,’ Myths With a Twist,” June 16, 2015 (Review)

Manfred Honeck Coaxes a Burnished Sound From the New York Philharmonic,” May 29, 2015 (Review)

Handel and Haydn Society Celebrates 200 Years,” May 22, 2015 (A&L feature)

At the Boston Symphony, Andris Nelsons Embraces Tradition but Looks Ahead,” April 4, 2015 (A&L feature, including interview with Andris Nelsons)

Paul Lewis and Lisa Batiashvili, Recital Partners at Alice Tully Hall,” March 31, 2015 (Review)

New York Philharmonic Performs Esa-Pekka Salonen’s ‘Nyx’,” March 20, 2015 (Review)

Thomas Adès Leads the Philharmonic, and Björk Listens,” March 13, 2015 (Review)

Elliott Carter Premiere and James Levine Withdrawal With Met Chamber Ensemble,” March 9, 2015 (Review)

Takacs Quartet and the Viennese Masters Play at Alice Tully Hall,” February 27, 2015 (Review)

Boston Symphony Gives Harrison Birtwistle’s ‘Responses’ an American Premiere,” February 13, 2015 (Review)

Lovingly Layered With Slivers of Thrill,” January 22, 2015 (Review)

Stormy Waters Decide a Family’s Fate,” January 9, 2015 (Review)

Brahms From Different Batons,” January 2, 2015 (Recording review)


Two Piano Superstars: One Safe, One Daring,” December 12, 2014 (Review)

With Stylish Moves, a Youthful Maestro Makes a New York Debut,” December 5, 2014 (Review)

Recapturing the Radical on the Podium,” December 5, 2014 (A&L feature on recordings by Pierre Boulez)

Speaking, and Moving, for the Wild,” December 4, 2014 (Review)

Hopeless Romantics, Drink This Mystery Concoction if You Dare,” November 24, 2014 (Review)

Amid Familiar Repertoire, the New York Premiere of an Oceanic Journey,” November 21, 2014 (Review)

Amazement Befitting a Miracle, Translated to Sound,” November 2, 2014 (Review)

Suggestions of Secrets Beyond the Chaos,” October 24, 2014 (Review)

An Evolving Alignment of Medium and Message,” October 21, 2014 (Review)

A Date With Mozart, Deferred No More,” October 13, 2014 (Review)

The Rock Beat of His Youth, Echoing Again in August Precincts,” October 10, 2014 (Review)

Imbuing the Grand European Tradition,” October 5, 2014 (Review)

This Is Your Music on Lots of Caffeine,” September 14, 2014 (Review)

The Arc of a Transgender Life,” September 5, 2014 (Review)

Not Quite 76 Trombones, but More Than Usual,” August 28, 2014 (Review)

A Contemporary Riddle for Champions of the Harp,” August 15, 2014 (Review)

Making Artlessness an Art at the Podium,” August 10, 2014 (Review)

All Brahms, by the (Smaller) Numbers,” August 8, 2014 (Review)


I was formerly a correspondent for Bachtrack and for Seen and Heard International; my reviews for those websites are collected here and here.