About Superconductor

Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Concert Review: The Highlander Way

The sounds of Scotland come to Fukuoka.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Maestro Shao-Chia Liu led the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn and Bruch.
Photo from the Taiwan Philharmonic.
The vast distance between Scotland and Fukuoka, located on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan narrowed on Friday, February 17, when the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra offered an evening of works inspired by that faraway country. On the podium, Shao-Chia Lu, a guest conductor visiting from Taiwan where he is the music director of the Taiwan Philharmonic.

Concert Review: Beyond the Zero

The Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra plays for peace.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
(A version of this article was originally published in Japanese translation by the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras, reused with permission)
Charles Richard-Hamelin plays the bombed piano, a Baldwin upright that survived
the nuclear blast. In the background looms the A-Bomb Dome, which was not as lucky.
Photo © 2017 Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras and Hiroshima Peace Museum.
The city of Hiroshima, located on the southern end of the big Japanese island of Honshu, remains best known for one date: Aug. 6, 1945. This was where the American bomber Enola Gay dropped "Little Boy," the first of only two atomic bombs ever used against human beings. Since that fatal day, Hiroshima has returned from its ashes as a symbol of international peace. The Peace Museum, the Cenotaph and the A-Bomb Dome (a building that survived the blast) speak volumes by simply standing and saying nothing.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Concert Review: When Time is Illusion

The Vienna Philharmonic returns to Carnegie Hall.
Franz Weiser-Möst led the Vienna Philharmonic on Friday night.
Photo by Michael Pöhm courtesy IMG Artists.

The arrival of the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall is a cause for general celebration (if you have tickets) and a reason for people to swarm on the sidewalk seeking a single or a pair to hear this venerable orchestra and its unique sound. On Friday night, the Viennese gave the first of three weekend concerts under the baton of Austrian son Franz Welser-Möst.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Concert Review: The Original King of Comedy

Herbert Blomstedt conducts the New York Philharmonic.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Herbert Blomstedt at the helm of the New York Philharmonic.
Photo by Chris Lee © 2016 New York Philharmonic.
The two symphonies that Beethoven wrote while convalescing at a spa in 1812 occupy a cherished place in the orchestral repertory. No. 7 and No. 8 have consecutive opus numbers, (No. 92 and 93, respectively) and represent a composer determined to grasp the idea of joy with both hands even when facing serious health problems and considerable personal hardship.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.