Benjamin Pesetsky composer and writer

AuthorBenjamin Pesetsky

Why St. Louis Symphony’s California Tour Isn’t Your Typical Concert on the Road

This month, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra embarks on a tour of California, following up on visits in 2010, 2013, and 2016. Four stops will bring them up the coast, from Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, to sunny Santa Barbara, to the University of California, Davis, and finally to Stanford University. In addition to more than 90 musicians and tons of instruments and equipment, the orchestra...

After a Conductor Fell Ill, David Robertson Stepped In—and Stayed

On a Friday night in February 2002, David Robertson stepped in to conduct the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on tour at Carnegie Hall, replacing Hans Vonk who had suddenly fallen ill. Robertson was already music director of France’s Orchestre National de Lyon and had conducted many of America’s leading orchestras, but had led the SLSO only once before as a guest in 1999. He had a single three-hour...

Dutchman Takes Flight

Opera is a hybrid art form: music, poetry, and theater. But in many cases the mu- sic and story are strong enough to carry an evening on their own, so orchestras perform some of the most popular operas in concert with a full cast of singers, but only the barest suggestion of costumes and staging. Listeners can enjoy the words and music in the abstract, or may close their eyes and imagine a...

Ligeti: Life and Legacy

Upon his death in 2006, György Ligeti was eulogized in the international press as a pioneering, innovative composer of indisputable importance. And deservedly so: he was one of few late 20th-century composers who pushed the boundaries of classical music while still writing compositions of genuine interest to the general public.

Now Playing: The Birth of Opera

Opera didn't exist in 1567, the year of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth. It was the age of the madrigal, and while vocal composition had grown more florid and Renaissance composers had experimented with theatrical contexts for music, no one had combined text, music, and theater into a consummate whole.

Benjamin Pesetsky composer and writer