Best of classical music 2018: Amid the turbulence, moments to savor


In the classical music world, 2018 was a year of new appointments, overhyped anniversaries and #MeToo revelations. It was the performance that we kept coming back for more. Here's my 10-best list; what's yours?

1. The Verdi Requiem

This passionate, uneven, desert-island raging against death deserves to be listened to in any case. But this year, not one, but two D.C. performances made it onto my lifelong best-ever list. Gianandrea Noseda with the National Symphony Orchestra and the combined forces of the Choral Arts Society and the Chorus was like nothing I had expected from him: gracious and lithe and buoyant and quietly eloquent. In the first edition of his artistic director, Tim Nelson, with his daring dramatization, which juxtaposed an eight-singer Requiem with excerpts from "King Lear." Called "Viva VERDI," the production revealed anew not only how to use it to be thrown away from the masses of large ensembles that usually performs and expose its vulnerability – and humanity.

2. "Hamilton"

Call it a musical, call it opera – I call it great. I was happy to join the bandwagon in the Kennedy Center for the show's much-anticipated summer run, and who was happily hailed its winning at the Kennedy Center Honor in December.

The cast of Miss Mazzoli's Proving Up, a production by the Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center. (SCOTT SUCHMAN)

3. Missy Mazzoli

In a year in which the field is seen as a waking up to the historic neglect of female composers Composer Diversity Database ———————————————– Her latest work, "Proving Up," premiered at the Washington State Opera in January, was composed of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for a two-year-term starting in July.

4. Julia Bullock

This luminous soprano combines book smarts and artistic intelligence in programs that stimulate the ear and the mind, offering perspectives on womanhood, race and beautiful singing. I loved her D.C. appearance in 2014; I would not do it again at the National Gallery recital in May and only wish I could make it to New York for the performance of the artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I had a lot of critical things to say about the presentation of this festival, produced by the Washington Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center for the second year in a row. But the four orchestras featured, including smaller ones such as the Fort Worth Symphony and the Albany Symphony, offered to vitality and range that is fully justified the exercise. SHIFT in 2020. The organizers are going to take off and give more to the SHIFT in 2020.

6. Mitsuko Uchida / Kathleen Battle

We are stars for a reason. Mitsuko Uchida gave a radiant and memorable reading of Schubert, and Kathleen.

7. Bach

Violinist Hilary Hahn and cellist Yo-Yo But both have revisited the composer that has played a significant role in their respective careers in the Washington Performing Arts recitals.

8. In praise of youth

This summer, tenor Ian Koziara 's turn of the title role of "Idomeneo" at the Wolf Trap Opera: epitomized the excellence and true artistry among the many talented artists pouring sweat and heart into the young artist through the country. This is partly because of the tremendous dedication of people such as Kim Pensinger Witman, who has maintained the Wolf Trap at the top of the training program for many years.

9. "The Barber of Seville"

"The Barber of Seville" at the Washington National Opera This year, I was not only the greatest work event of the year, but also possibly the greatest production of "Barber" ever.

10. Wu Man

The pipe player Wu Man has done a tremendous amount to raise the profile of his instrument and expand its repertoire. This year, she left in Washington with two significant concerts. One featured a family troupe of musician-puppeteers from northern China, now in its 11th generation, a tradition unfamiliar to most of the audience. The other, "A Chinese Home," was a multimedia and multigenre exploration of Chinese tradition with the Kronos Quartet.

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