The Two Sides of Valery Gergiev

"In 1966, Hollywood put out a very funny picture entitled, “The Russians Are Coming.” Well in the Bay Area this week, the Russians aren’t coming; they are already here—and making their presence felt in a big way.

Nostalgia for a Lost Don Giovanni

"The San Francisco audience is lucky that the opera’s most important cast member, Ildibrando D’Arcangelo as Don Giovanni, was more than up to the role’s demands. In fact, Mr. D’Arcangelo is one of the best Don Giovannis to come along in a long while.

Fabulous Fabio

"Applause from orchestra members exploded during the customary bows at the end of the evening’s entertainment, and backstage I was accosted by several musicians who were openly and unashamedly declaring their admiration for Mr. [Fabio] Luisi’s work. 'We love him, we love him' one of the musicians gushed to me."

Tasty Danish

"When played right, this Concerto never fails to bring tears to my eyes and last evening it was played wonderfully right by Ms. Steinbacher, a lovely woman who brings an unmistakable femininity to the music."

Mahler's Story

"At this week’s regular subscription concerts, San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) gave us the beginning of Gustav Mahler’s symphonic works and the very end, an unusual program he will take on the road to Carnegie Hall next week."

A Magnificent Russian Export

"What remains absolutely first class about the Russians is their musical culture, a fact underlined by the March coast-to-coast US tour of the magnificent Saint Petersburg Philharmonic (SPP), ostensibly to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the orchestra’s relationship with its great music director Yuri Temirkanov."

Bravo Jonas!

"Could there be a clearer example of how giving directors exaggerated power in the opera house with their excessive demands for rehearsal time is creating a star-starved Met that threatens the venerable New York City opera house with serious financial damage."

Unsung Heroes of the Symphony

"Last evening, we had an absolutely splendid Brahms Fourth Symphony led by Marek Janowski, a 77-year old guest conductor active mostly in Germany. There is not a music director in this country today—including the top five—that can do Brahms better than Mr. Janowski based on his San Francisco performances."

Tetzlaff Makes a Mid-Course Correction

"The violin virtuoso now plays with a new freedom and profundity that puts him at the very top of his profession. As I watched him play the other evening at Stanford University, I had the feeling I actually was watching a ‘three-armed’ violinist; there is the left arm, the right arm and the third arm-- also known as the violin—extending out from his neck over the left arm.

A Gal Named Sol

"How fortunate that Ms Gabetta happens upon the scene just at a time when there is a shortage of top rank cellists... What a joy it is to hear a young immensely talented player on the way up!"