The Art of Pleasure

The idea for this program came to me a few years ago over breakfast one morning. The gentle, rational voices of NPR’s morning announcers couldn’t disguise the sheer cruelty and greed detailed in the day’s news. My antipathy to the word “tweet” was ballooning and my...

Hear Them Talkin’ To Ya

Program notes for Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do: Songs of Gay HarlemThursday, December 12 at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center “The World’s Most Glamorous Atmosphere. Why, it is just like the Arabian Nights!”—Duke Ellington, on first seeing Harlem in...

Lyrics by Shakespeare

The New York Festival of Song opened its doors for business 32 years ago. Bolstered by a great passion for song, the generous good will of our friends, and a thousand-dollar gift from our first benefactor Joe Machlis, Michael Barrett and I mounted our first season in...
García Lorca: Muse & Magician

García Lorca: Muse & Magician

Everyone involved with classical song eventually falls under the spell of Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), simply because so many composers have set his poetry to music. His writing is a fascinating combination of opposites: elusive and open, austere and emotional,...

Love at the Crossroads

This program takes its inspiration from an opera — Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte — and a movie, Max Ophuls’ La ronde, which was based on the hugely controversial play by Arthur Schnitzler, Reigen. Both works are about the disruptive interplay of love and lust, fidelity and...