Author Archives: Wendy Lesser

Song and Dance Man

The two operas directed by Mark Morris that appeared at BAM last weekend were as different from each other as they could be, and yet each bore the mark (so to speak) of their choreographer-director. What this means, among other things, … Continue reading

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Louis Kahn

I guess I should mention that my book on this great American architect, You Say To Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn, just appeared this past week from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.  I hope you will feel tempted to buy … Continue reading

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Tetzlaff, Wonderful Tetzlaff!

As I sat in Stanford University’s spacious yet intimate Bing Concert Hall last night, listening to Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt play a series of violin sonatas together, I found myself searching for the source of the violinist’s mysterious allure. It … Continue reading

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Available Light

In a 1986 interview, Jerome Robbins attempted to define choreography by saying that it was concerned with not only the way dancers move, “but the way they move in space— because that’s what ballets are about, which is that volume of space which … Continue reading

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Pacifica Shostakovich

When I’m in New York, good music is only a short subway ride away. But now that I’m back home in Berkeley, I have to range somewhat farther afield. Last night, my husband and I drove for well over an … Continue reading

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Swing Time

I’m in the middle of reading Zadie Smith’s new novel, and it’s one of her best, I think. It addresses all her usual topics—race and its various mixes, growing up in North London, power relationships between girls, sexual relationships between men and … Continue reading

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White Light

Every fall for the past few years, at the instigation of Artistic Director Jane Moss, Lincoln Center has put on its “White Light Festival” during October and November. The title comes from a phrase by Arvo Pärt, a famously religious Estonian … Continue reading

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Ratmansky’s Serenade

Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium is the first dance I’ve seen of his that’s set to American music, and it’s a knock-out. Named after the Leonard Bernstein score it faithfully follows, it is not only the best new dance … Continue reading

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A Three-Rattle Week

Even in Berlin, where he has lived for more than a dozen years while conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, you would be hard put to hear Simon Rattle in three different venues in the course of a week. But last week … Continue reading

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A Great Così

Così fan tutte is one of those Mozart operas I’ve never been able to warm to. The music is superb—possibly even better than in any of his other operas—but that only makes the cruelty of the plot more noticeable, and … Continue reading

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