Joana Carneiro; Ghent; John Adams in cartoon

Posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yesterday I went over to Paris to meet up with my friend the wonderful soprano Jessica Rivera who was singing - with her usual effortless grace and expressivity - in John Adams's gobsmackingly beautiful opera A Flowering Tree, conducted by the incredible force of nature that is Joana Carneiro. I'd heard lots of great things about this young conductor who was Esa Pekka Salonen's assistant at LA Phil and recently took over the reins at the Berkeley Symphony, but nothing prepared me for what she's really like. I don't think I've ever experienced such power and energy combined with nuance and control from a conductor. She's an amazing life force and is without any question in my mind destined for the absolute peak of the profession. An amazing concert all round.

And tomorrow I'm back on L'Eurostar. This Tuesday sees the Belgian premiere of Gumboots performed by Eddy Vanoosthuyse and members of the Brussels Philharmonic in the historic city of Gent (or Ghent depending on your preference).

Speaking of John Adams, I was the book shop the other day and saw a kids introduction to classical music. Alongside Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, to my delight the book included this page:

"John Adams is the odd one out in this book. Why? Because he's still alive!"

The book by the way is Naxos's My First Classical Music Book.



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