I thought it would be worth recapping all the classical music activity from the last week. It's been a busy one.
From Sunday, I wrote a piece about composer-vocalist-sound artist Ken Ueno's boundary-pushing music, as well as his intriguing residency with local new music group Alia Musica Pittsburgh. I attended Thursday's performance of his vocal concerto (and artistic director Federico Garcia-De Castro's "Contrepoint" for strings) at First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in Shadyside, which was among the more unusual musical encounters I've had in Pittsburgh. Mr. Ueno gave a lecture prior to his performance — equal parts cerebral and self-deprecating — while the concerto itself was raw, ear-tingling and visceral. Despite thinking that the highest note he could sing was C-Sharp, three octaves above middle C, he in fact hit the D a half-step higher. Quite the memorable evening.
Other live performances this week included Pittsburgh Opera's "Cosi fan tutte," directed by Sir Thomas Allen, and Smetana's "Ma Vlast," which this weekend will receive its first Pittsburgh Symphony performance since 1976.