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Matthew Guerrieri

Matthew Guerrieri is a composer, pianist, and writer whose music has been called ”gorgeous” by the New York Times. He writes regularly on music for the Boston Globe, and his articles have also appeared in Vanity Fair, NewMusicBox, Playbill, and Slate magazines. He is responsible for the popular classical music weblog Soho the Dog (

Matthew Guerrieri Articles
Matthew Guerrieri |

“To read in de Bible”: The A.R.T.’s Porgy and Bess

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess American Repertory Theater September 1, 2011

Categories and historical timing are funny things. If the show the American Repertory Theater has mounted under the title of Porgy and Bess—sorry, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, a Gershwin-estate-mandated change that I hope they un-mandate, because it’s clunky and irritating and snubs more
Matthew Guerrieri |

Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Ravel’s Bespoke Legerdemain

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano Ravel: Complete Solo Piano Music, part 2 Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood July 21, 2011

It has become a bit of a commonplace to note that Jean-Yves Thibaudet wears concert outfits designed by the once and future punk couturier Vivienne Westwood. But it was not inappropriate to keep in mind the pianist’s appreciation of more
Matthew Guerrieri |

Freedom of Expression

One of my summer resolutions was to actually practice, which, given my seemingly hard-wired summer-vacation mental entrainment, is not an insignificant task. So Rhapsody in Blue has been sitting on the piano for a few weeks now—apt summer fare, I think. What I’ve been finding most interesting about the music this more
Matthew Guerrieri |

The Fabular Philadelphians

It’s tangential to the main story, but in trying to get to the bottom of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it’s not totally ungermane to remember a particular sticking point in the Orchestra’s 1996 strike:

A rejected back-to-work proposal brokered by Mayor Rendell’s office in September would have more
Matthew Guerrieri |

Exeunt James Levine

In Li Hao-ku’s 13th-century, Yuan Dynasty drama Chang Boils the Sea, Chang, a wandering scholar, benefits from divine assistance in his wooing of Ch’iung-Lien, the daughter of the Divine Dragon King of the Eastern Sea. As the title promises, Chang eventually triumphs by magically boiling away the sea, eliminating the watery more
Matthew Guerrieri |

FDR Sings!

Well, kind of: Samuel Adler sets Roosevelt’s 1933 Inaugural Address to music. more
Matthew Guerrieri |

Yo-Yo Ma, Presidential Medalist of Freedom

The cellist is part of a class that also includes Jasper Johns. Aaron Copland is still the only classical composer to win a Presidential Medal of Freedom? Yeesh. more
Matthew Guerrieri |

The Fuzzy Logic of Gunther Schuller’s Tuba Concerto

Boston University Symphony Orchestra Gunther Schuller, conductor Music of Haydn, Schuller, Brahms Tsai Performance Center, Boston University February 15, 2011

In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I graduated from Boston University, whose orchestra gave the world premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Tuba Concerto no. 2 last night, with the composer at the podium. more
Matthew Guerrieri |

In the Arena: The Boston Symphony’s Oedipus and Bluebeard

Boston Symphony Orchestra; James Levine, music director Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex; Bártok: Bluebeard’s Castle Symphony Hall, Boston January 8, 2011

In 1927, Igor Stravinsky and Jean Cocteau gave the ubiquitous mediation of 21st-century culture an elegant, pre-emptive stiletto. “Watch the trap,” the narrator of their “opera-oratorio” of Oedipus Rex advises the audience, “watch the trap more
Matthew Guerrieri |

B-Sides: Boulez and Barraqué in Boston

Boston Conservatory New Music Festival ”Celebrating Boulez: Discovering Barraqué” Jennifer Ashe, soprano The Callithumpian Consort; Jeffrey Means, conductor Seully Hall, Boston Conservatory November 11, 2010

Half a century on, a good deal of the fun—and frustration—of hearing Pierre Boulez’s Le marteau sans maître is its inescapable influence: on one level, the piece sounds like a collection of more

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