Best of 2019: Noteworthy Recordings

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National Sawdust Log editor and lead writer Steve Smith looks back at the recordings that made a lasting impact in 2019, surveying contemporary and canonical concert music, jazz, pop, and more.

Best of 2019: 10 Memorable Musical Events

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National Sawdust Log editor and lead writer Steve Smith looks back at the 10 most memorable performances he attended in New York City during 2019.

In Review: Brandon Lopez

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Improvising bassist, composer, and bandleader Brandon Lopez opened a Roulette residency with a quartet that demanded to be seen and heard live, Brin Solomon reports.

In Review: Kanye West, Nebuchadnezzar

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With 'Nebuchadnezzar,' the opera Kanye West unveiled at the Hollywood Bowl, the rap impresario invited the faithful on his path to righteousness but had to remind them to stand up and cheer, Catherine Womack reports.

In Review: Martha Graham Dance Company

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Celebrating 'Appalachian Spring' at 75 could have made for a squirmy occasion; instead, Lana Norris asserts, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Peak Performances aroused hope through a smart new pairing.

In Review: Midori

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Performing at (Le) Poisson Rouge, the violinist Midori and the pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute presented that rare treat: a program of 20th- and 21st-century works played with impeccable polish, Brin Solomon relates.

In Review: counter)induction

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Miller Theatre's inviting Pop-Up format bolstered sensations of intimacy when the new-music ensemble counter)induction played works by Jessica Meyer, in a concert reviewed by Vanessa Ague.

In Review: The Turn of the Screw

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Wave Hill provided a fitting location for Britten's gothic-horror chamber opera 'The Turn of the Screw,' but a production by On Site Opera lacked coherent direction, Brin Solomon reports.

In Review: George Lewis's Soundlines

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Memory, imagination, virtuosity, and diplomacy all played roles in a performance of recent works by George Lewis at NYU Skirball Center, reviewed by Brin Solomon.

In Review: Michigan Trees

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Brin Solomon reports on a workshop performance of 'Michigan Trees,' a new fairy-tale opera by Grey Grant, in which a protagonist's desire to transform is endangered by conflicting personas.