Just as most summer music festivals are winding down in the United States and abroad, the Stresa Festival at Lake Maggiore, set on the southern banks of the Italian Alps kicks into high gear. The festival runs a fortnight, August 24-September 8, and although this year marks its 51st season, the Settimane Musicali di Stresa may still be one of the best-kept secrets in the music world. But not for long.
Mostly Mozart, the 46-year-old summer festival at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is in full swing and more vibrant than ever. Significantly, this year’s edition marks the tenth anniversary season of French conductor Louis Langrée as music director who, along with Jane Moss, artistic director, has been responsible for revitalizing Mostly Mozart, in particular, its heartbeat, the festival orchestra. He's credited with raising its playing standards and adding inventive programming that features soloists, both established and debut artists, period instrument bands, and contemporary music ensembles.
Year to year, the mix may include dance, sound installations, film, video. This year, Mostly Mozart takes up the theme of birds, “the originators of song and an inspiration for countless composers,” according to Moss, as a point of departure for a range of programming. Indeed, in the age of twitter, birdsong may never sound as pure. T+L spoke with Louis Langrée earlier in the season during a stopover in New York en route to Paris about Mostly Mozart, a conductor’s role, American audiences, and why the festival remains popular with travelers and New Yorkers alike.
Q: What are your thoughts on your 10th anniversary?
As part of its 75th anniversary season, Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra located in Western Massachusetts, is celebrating in grand and generous style by offering an extraordinary gift to listeners: the Tanglewood festival and the BSO is presenting 75 free digital streams of performances from a storied 75-year history and unique audio archive. One stream is offered each day of the season (through September 2) at Tanglewood.org. The daily gratis performance is available starting at 8 a.m. EST for 24 hours; after the stream has ended, listeners can purchase it as a download. What’s more, you can listen at a desktop computer, through a home music system, or mobile device—all you need is internet access.
I have a problem. When I find a song I really enjoy, I listen to it to death. I’m not even slightly exaggerating. Sometimes I’ll play it two or three times on a single 30-minute commute home. For serious. And then, of course, after a bit of time passes, I inevitably get bored with it and need to give it a rest until it feels like new again. As a result—and my friends can attest—I regularly post, both to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, pleading for my friends to send me new music suggestions.
So I was excited to hear about a new free app called MusicBunk (Android; iOS) Basically, it’s a simple way to get music recommendations from your friends, but without having to bother them. (Or have them send you a bunch of songs you already have.) Not to mention, if you're on the road, you might just not have the time to sit around and wait for responses. So it's a perfect way to time manage while traveling, without having to give up on that desire for new tunes.
Bossa nova diva Bebel Gilberto loves Caipirinha cocktails, sexy Narciso Rodriguez gowns, and remote Brazilian beaches. Born in Manhattan and raised in Rio, the singer-songwriter frequently bops between the two. This Saturday, July 21, she headlines a free concert 3-7 p.m.on Central Park's SummerStage to kick off Brasil Summerfest, a week-long festival celebrating the newest generation of Latin American musicians. Gilberto, who contributed a track to Red Hot + Rio, will perform favorites like Bob Marley’s “The Sun is Shining."
Gilberto tells T+L where she cools off during summer tour breaks:
The world’s most famous peripatetic band has finally set down some roots. Today, the complete Grateful Dead archive opens at the legendarily laid-back UC Santa Cruz. The collection—housed in the newly renovated McHenry Library and free to the public—includes coffee-stained contracts, original lyric manuscripts, fan mail, and Stanley Mouse poster art.
In his new concert film Neil Young Journeys, released today, June 29, director Jonathan Demme trails the iconic Canadian songwriter as he drives a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria from his hometown of Omemee to a solo performance at Massey Hall in Toronto. Composer of such ballads as "Long May You Run" and "Coupe de Ville," Young has dual passions for vintage cars and musical instruments, including a 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop nicknamed "Old Black," which is featured in the film's intimate onstage footage. Between sets, Young muses about his childhood in Ontario, In-N-Out burgers, and the true pleasure of a road trip. Fiddling with the radio dial on the dashboard, he remarks: "I can tell if I like (a song) by listening in a car."
Travel + Leisure asked Demme to compose a play list of his favorite Young tunes for our own rockin' journeys:
A boutique music and arts festival, the three-week spectacle offers over 100 varied activities and events. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival produces two concurrent programs— one indoor and one outdoor—at different venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor. The indoor Mainstage series includes ticketed performances of world-class music, dance, theater, spoken word and comedy. This year's line-up: Circa, an Australian circus troupe, This American Life co-creator and host, Ira Glass and Grammy-winning jazz artist Esperanza Spalding. The outdoor program, Top of the Park, is held on the campus green and offers free concerts, movies under the stars, open-air spectacles, and fun family attractions.
The chef-as-rock-star trend may have played itself out, but here’s a new spin: star chefs plus music icons. And no, they aren’t just sizing up each others’ tattoos. At a handful of events from coast to coast, our country’s top toques are catering alongside the most anticipated stage shows of the summer. Below, a few that we’re especially excited about.
The Great GoogaMooga (May 19-20, Brooklyn) New York’s first food-and-music fest makes its debut in a big way, with 73 chefs (including David Chang, April Bloomfield, Marcus Samuelsson, and Daniel Boulud) and 150+ wineries all aboard. As for music, expect The Roots, Hall & Oates, and Preservation Jazz Hall Band. And the best part? It’s free to enter and open to the public—though you may want to splurge on ExtraMooga, with culinary demos and tastings by industry greats like Ruth Riechl and Anthony Bourdain.