Classical articles

Songs of Past and Present: A Portsmouth landmark of Jewish history brings new life to old spaces

Songs of Past and Present: A Portsmouth landmark of Jewish history brings new life to old spaces

By Elizabeth Blachman This past September, I attended High Holy Day services for the last time at the last Jewish synagogue in Portsmouth. Rabbi David Goldstein presided over Yom Kippur services, and then Gomley Chesed Synagogue closed its doors, ending more than a hundred years of Jewish congregations in Portsmouth. With the merging of Portsmouth’s

Morning Classics: Virginia Arts Festival’s Coffee concert series a great way to start the day

By Montague Gammon III A promised surprise, a quartet on the rise, a married pair, top Hampton Roads musicians and a well known group of Early Music specialists highlight the Virginia Art Festival’s five morning Coffee Concerts this spring. Coffee Concert I, May 7, introduces the Attacca String Quartet, whose violist Luke Fleming chatted on

Chihuly Meets Bartok

Music, mystery and excitement in a glass filled castle By Montague Gammon III   When JoAnn Falletta calls any musical event “one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been a part of, in my entire life of making music,” it’s time to take notice. That’s how she characterized the upcoming Virginia Arts Festival/Virginia Symphony

Fleming & Kern: World Class Recital

By Montague Gammon III Pianist Olga Kern loves to share what she loves, and what she loves is music.   The sheer unbridled joy she takes in making music and sharing it with her “friends and her fans,” comes through in the champagne-worthy effervescence with which she talks about playing the piano.   This Van

All Mozart and more for VA Symphony

By Montague Gammon III A jam packed month with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra brings four significant classical concerts, filled with big name composers and highly regarded visitors. Violinist Cho-Liang Lin visits Oct. 17-19 for an All Mozart concert, which he will also guest conduct. “He’s a wonderful violinist,” says VSO Music Director JoAnn Falletta, “known

Opening Night with Emanuel Ax

By Montague Gammon III Theatricality, rarity and, of course, virtuosity will distinguish Opening Night with Emanuel Ax, the Virginia Symphony’s season opening concerts. (Sept. 19-21)   Ax, one of the world’s premiere piano players, solos with the VSO in two pieces, the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 14 and Richard Strauss’ Burleske.   He took time

John Duffy: Heavyweight Service with Songs

By Montague Gammon III   Golden Gloves fighter at fourteen, underwater warrior a little later, Gandhi follower since early adulthood, double Emmy winning composer, conductor and music director; former boxer and World War 2 frogman John Duffy just might be Greater Norfolk’s least well-known, world famous artist. His compositions for theatre, film, opera, and TV