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The epitome of virtuosity

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Prodigy? Virtuoso? These are terms often loosely bandied about when discussing musicians. But both terms apply equally to Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez. Like most performers at her talent level, she began playing at an early age – 5. Unlike almost everyone else in her orbit, she is the fifth generation of women in her family […]

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The sound of the new Americans

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Dayton Philharmonic celebrates Bernstein Centennial at Schuster Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Jessica Hung By Pat Suarez Leonard Bernstein had to have been thinking, “Wow…” when, in 1947, Broadway choreographer Jerome Robbins approached Bernstein and writer Arthur Laurents about adapting Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” for the stage. Hmmm… The most enduring play of all time in […]

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A jubilant “Elijah”

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The Springfield Symphony Presents Mendelssohn’s Choral Masterpiece Music Director and Conductor Peter Stafford Wilson will lead the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Chorale. By Pat Suarez Felix Mendelssohn’s place among classical music’s pantheon of composers has been secure for going on two centuries. And yet, in the minds of some, he just cannot crack the upper echelons. […]

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An American in Springfield

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Springfield Symphony highlights 20th century American classical “Exultations” a composition by Yellow Springs native Drew Heminger will be featured. Photo: Christopher Duff By Pat Suarez Your humble author once mentioned to a conductor friend that an orchestra could present an entire season, at least a dozen concerts, of only 20th century American classical works and […]

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The horizon and beyond

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Dayton Philharmonic interprets Williams’ Sea Symphony and DeBussy’s La Mer The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Neal Gittleman, will take the audience on a sea-faring musical adventure. By Pat Suarez The ocean: it is the largest collective organism on the planet, with an ecosystem that affects every living creature. It is a swirling mass […]

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That first musical journey

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Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra interprets Brahms at Schuster By Pat Suarez If any journey begins with the first step, a composer’s first symphony can seem like a perilous expedition, fraught with pitfalls. Chamber music, concerti, sonatas, and other works rarely have the spotlight that symphonies draw. When a composer finally publishes his or her first symphony, […]

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Less is more

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The Philharmonic presents young, modest Mozart and Mendelssohn By Pat Suarez Photo: Piano prodigy and Ohio native Gavin George performs Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 May 5 and 6 at the Schuster; photo: Randall Schieber Amadeus Mozart. Felix Mendelssohn. I know, the first thought that pops into your head is “dead before the age of […]

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Musical non-violence, maximum artistry

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Dayton Philharmonic, Kenji Bunch observe grim history of black incarceration By Pat Suarez   Photo: The Philharmonic joins Kenji Bunch in Supermaximum; photo: Erica Lyn Crime and punishment. Any organized society faces three tricky principles when sentencing lawbreakers: let the punishment fit the crime, make the punishment fair across society, and never allow personal points of […]

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Mid-life masterpiece

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Mahler’s Fifth raises goose bumps at the Schuster By Pat Suarez Photo: A charicature of Gustav Mahler’s Musical madness, from Illustrated Vienna. artwork: Theo Zache   1901 and 1902 were busy years for Gustav Mahler. He was the director of the Court Opera in the Imperial capital, a post in which he flourished artistically but […]

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War & Sainthood: 1930s classic ‘Alexander Nevsky’ screens at Shuster over Dayton Philharmonic’s Live soundtrack

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The two Sergeis: Dayton Philharmonic presents Sergei Prokofiev & Sergei Eisenstein’s ‘Alexander Nevsky’ By Pat Suarez Photo: 1938 ‘Nevsky’ film poster Consider today’s military warriors and the implements of battle they don. Underneath all that intimidating technology is a human being whose identity vanishes and appears to the enemy as an anti-human robot, part of […]

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1,001 stories and a jealous king

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Rimsky-Korsakov’s magical journey in Scheherazade By Pat Suarez Photo: Piano prodigy Anastasia Rizikov, 16, performs in Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s opening concert Sept. 30 at the Schuster Who doesn’t like a fascinating story? Who wouldn’t like 1,001 of them, especially if you had to make them up, one each night, just to save your life? Such […]

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The hedgehog

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Two-day Brahms Fest with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra By Pat Suarez Johannes Brahms is such a household name in the world of classical music that he needs no introduction. Or does he? This was a composer who wrote 160 works, and yet most concert-goers know him only as the guy who penned four symphonies, three concerti, […]

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Lead me to Das Lied

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DPO performs Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) By Pat Suarez Photo: DPO concertmaster Jessica Hung A pianist once told me if I really wanted to get to know Beethoven’s music, I should listen to his string quartets. Beethoven’s musical soul is on full display in those sixteen works, he […]

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The Bee Gees are back

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DPO and Stayin’ Alive anchor dazzling Bee Gees tribute By Patrick Suarez Photo: The Dayton Philharmonic and Stayin’ Alive present One Night of the Bee Gees on Oct. 3 at the Schuster Center Some people have a knack for recognizing potential. Brian Epstein, the troubled manager of the Beatles, had that knack. In early 1967, […]

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Sharing the Spotlight

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Dayton’s Performing organizations’ “American Mosaic” weekend By Pat Suarez Photo: The Dayton Ballet will perform dances set to Aaron Copland’s “The Red Pony” and The Tender Land; photo: Scott J. Kimmins A century ago, corporations made donations to the performing arts automatically. Companies and the people who ran them understood and acknowledged the importance of […]

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Hung on the high wire

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Jessica Hung’s “Concertmaster’s Choice” at the DAI By Pat Suarez Photo: Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Jessica Hung will perform her “Concertmaster’s Choice” May 17 at the Dayton Art Institute Who doesn’t love a generous helping of symphonic red meat? Seventy-some musicians filling the Mead Theater with blood-pounding fortissimos, brass blazing, percussion thundering; it’s the backbone […]

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Summer Sun and Salutations

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You’ve seen it throughout your social media feed, you hear about a friend’s awesome class over a cup of coffee, […]

Paddle on, Dayton

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Summer is the perfect time to hit the water, and with more than 265 miles of water trails in the […]

Still living the good life

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The words “living legend” are often misapplied, usually to sports figures who haven’t really experienced enough of life to earn […]

Acid Flashback: Hara Arena 1981

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Love them or hate them, the Grateful Dead were truly a one-of-a-kind band. During their thirty-year career as one of […]

Evolution Calling

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Queensrÿche have spent their career defining a uniquely heavy progressive sound. Whether delivering Mindcrime, Empires or taking fans to the […]