Looking for New York reviewer

December 3, 2019, 12:20 PM · Greetings everyone! Is there anyone in NYC who would like to write reviews of concerts at Lincoln Center? In exchange, you would get tickets to the concert, as well as a well-promoted blog!

Let me know, and you are welcome to e-mail me directly!

Replies (15)

Edited: December 4, 2019, 10:44 AM · I can do it! And I don't even need to see the shows!

"She drew the sweetest and most delicate pianissimos from her priceless del Gesu while dispatching the virtuoso passages with effortless élan and rhapsodic intensity."

"He drew not a few gasps from the audience as a stationary exercise bicycle was positioned for his unorthodox ! encore presentation of Paganini Caprice No. 16."

December 4, 2019, 11:41 AM · Very good! I was thinking along the same lines but didn't have the chutzpah. Isn't something a bit wrong when every player is indistinguishably wonderful?
December 4, 2019, 1:26 PM · "While the whole show had a tendency to the average, even the viola section could not especially stick out. The trumpet solo in the second movement was performed by the solo trumpet."
Steve, noone will want to hear that. And isn't it that anyone who makes it to the eminent stages in today's metropolitan areas is so darn good that he/she is worth listening anyway? Okay, there will be better and worse evenings, but in general it's mind blowing what we are presented even in minor concert halls in the smaller cities!
Edited: December 4, 2019, 3:03 PM · Add accomodation, tickets VIE-EWR-VIE and shuttle transfer, and I'm in! While on airplane, I'll polish on my English. Promise!
Edited: December 5, 2019, 6:21 AM · It's not the playing I'm chiefly complaining of (although one becomes increasingly aware of the limited number of ways in which a violinist can interpret the old war-horses) but the poverty of imagination amongst reviewers. Nobody would know the difference if you substituted a robot. But a review isn't just about the performers and a concert isn't just a violin concerto with trimmings; I think you need to know the whole program exceptionally well to justify expressing your opinion. I couldn't do it.
December 5, 2019, 9:52 AM · "Nobody would know the difference if you substituted a robot." Nobody would notice if you constructed your "review" from a catalog of plagiarized phrases either. :)
December 5, 2019, 10:42 AM · Steve & Paul - exactly what I keep telling a friend who does reviews as part of her living. That way she's an expert in music, opera, theater, literature, painting AND sculpture! Of all epochs, without any doubt. Not bad, huh?
December 5, 2019, 2:24 PM · Nuuska, your comments were supple and wry. (Oof ... can't help myself.)
December 5, 2019, 4:19 PM · Thanks Paul.
We have to take in credit that it's a small town (200k) in a modest region (900k), so the local newspapers ain't the New York Times. Rural, conservative - the content simply doesn't matter at all, as long as it is polite, and not too liberal.
Folks that come here to play...
Well, once or twice a year (max.) it's big names like Anne Sophie Mutter, Janine Jansen, Gideon Kraemer, the Emerson String Quartet, or eventually one of the fancier pianists. Rest of the year is rather third row, but good third row. So the reviewer isn't obliged to rave about most of the events (for sure there is some pressure from managers, local politics and so on), but write a nice, polite summary combining preformed text blocks. The extatic text blocks can dwell in the text block reservoir until Ms. Mutter will return within a few years.
BTW, the reviews I enjoyed most are those when I sat in the audience but didn't meet my reviewer friend.

Sorry Laurie, I don't want to devalue your offer. For anyone nearby this is a great chance. But I agree with those who say that in an ideal world, reviewers would be real experts in the field, and in classical music it's just not possible anymorr to be an expert with everything. It's just too much. We used to have a real expert specifically for opera in Austria, indeed he was an opera lexicon on legs, but Marcel Prawy passed away in 2003.
There are a few composers (or even only selected works) I know really well enough and heard in various interpretations that I would dare to write a serious but humble review about. Franz Schmidt for sure, but his oevre isn't huge although interesting. To some extent Sibelius, Mendelssohn, Pärth. Korngold violin concert. Beethovens sonatas (piano or violin, you name it). And everyone uses to have an opinion on Bach - mine is heavily biased by Gould and Brendel, as far as its about keyboard... Although deeply into classical music since 30+ years, it's a surprise every other day what can be discovered, even in big name composers - and there are so many more obscure ones to rediscover, so many forgotten treasures to raise...

Anything you feel most comfortable / confident in? Surely this would make an interesting topic for another fruitful discussion.

December 5, 2019, 6:45 PM · Why do reviewers have to be experts? I agree that they shouldn't try to appear to be experts if they aren't, but I don't agree that they have to be.

Most of the audience aren't experts either, so wouldn't it help them more to have a reviewer who simply says "It was a great experience" rather than to blather on about how "the violist didn't really grasp the concept of microtonality as expressed in the midst of a piece basically built around the blues but with a touch of Hildegarde von Bingen mixed in."

Reviewers should simply say whether they enjoyed the experience or not. And reviewers are only necessary in my opinion if a performance is to be repeated several more times so that people can read the review and decide to go or not. I've never understood the need of a review being published of a one-off concert or recital.

December 5, 2019, 8:55 PM · It's helpful to have an expert, if you want any interesting insight in a review. I tend to think of reviews more as a way to bring people there, to point out what was interesting or new or noteworthy. I feel that a review can be enlightening and educational, in the way that a performance can be. I'm not too keen on the old-fashioned "criticism" model.
December 5, 2019, 11:21 PM · Laurie, totally agree!
December 6, 2019, 3:07 AM · @Laurie - if reviews are considered a way of advertising and promoting, maybe even glamorising classical music, why not publish them before rather than after the concert? OK, that would make them previews, but I'm more than half serious. How about a straightforward description of the music, the times and fortunes of the composers, a short biography and interview with the principals who will provide the necessary "expertise" that the reporter may lack? We're now only too well accustomed to the fact that we don't need to be "expert" to express and broadcast our value judgements, which I think is hugely detrimental to the health of our culture.
Edited: December 6, 2019, 10:19 AM · That’s called a “preview” and it is a valuable kind of article. But a review covers and describes the event, gives the reader a sense of what it was like to be there live. And then ideally, it also adds some educated perspective - but not snobby criticism - as well! A good review is not really to “advertise and promote” per se, but I might use the words educate, invite and yes, advocate for the art.
Edited: January 5, 2020, 12:55 PM · Re ~ Looking for New York Reviewer (15)

On New Year's Day, just 15 minutes after Midnight, now January 2, 2020, I happened to stumble on to this early in December, 2019, Request!! Having written & been written about for/by the Strad, & published quite often, plus Scandinavian News newspaper, the AST Journal, on theguardian.com, + nytimes.com, slippeddisc.com and with an 'in house' well known musicians publication in Chicago, I wondered about a 'Looking for Chicago Reviewer' spot?!

In the past 8 plus months, I've occasionally posted major Violinist.com Discussions on Facebook with what one can tern a success & interest ~ Knowing numerous colleagues in NYC, it is a stretch in Winter months + costly, but taking a 151 Bus down Michigan Avenue w/50% discounted
tickets as a former member of Solti's Chicago Symphony Orchestra would
be an easy travel 'Go To' w/access to guest artists & Conductor's + CSO colleagues, etc. ~

It is something to think about & even extend to 'Foreign Correspondent' status from London or Paris, when the Muti/CSO are traveling on their fabled International Tours in 2020, performing in capital music centre's of Europe ~

Maybe better to trial-start beginning in Chicago, but in truth, my reviews ("Impressions") have been published in the Strad which is read across the Classical Concert World by String Players ... It seems important to truly
know what it takes to perform as a soloist on highest Olympic levels for in public concert, recorded performance plus what membership in a renowned major symphony orchestra entails both musically and as a team player ~ In this regard, writing of Live Performances (learned over several decades) requires true experience, lack of personal career involvement and honest impressions /opinions of a performance by same instrument soloist's and an understanding of various categoried symphony & chamber ensemble orchestras. When adjectives one might express verbally are in black and white, it has an entirely different impact upon those being written about who are real human being's & must be respected as such in order to offer the public insightful critique's without personal can be's, being interpreted as easy target's ... Now living in a highly charged environment, we all need to show courtesy to & for hard labour's of all those who perform on concert stages of every 'level' of venue ...

More to say, but this late hour warrants sleep & rest prior to fully scheduled January 2, 2020, daytime commitments!! Needless to say, it would be nice
to hear your thoughts, Laurie, on all expressed above ~

Sending Happy & Healthy New Year greetings in the Third Decade of this Twenty First Century, I remain ~

Yours musically from Chicago,

Elisabeth Matesky*

*Duly noted was a Discussion about V.commers making best teachers ~
Thank You, dear Laurie, on behalf of Chicago & Illinois State Teachers!

*Ref: https://www.violinist.com/directory/bio.cfm?member=Milstein


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