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John Mauceri
John Mauceri is an American conductor, educator and producer. For seven years (2007-2013) he served as Chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem) and is the Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The former music director of the Teatro Regio (Turin, Italy), Scottish Opera (Glasgow), Washington (National) Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, the American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), he has conducted most of the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has appeared on the stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia . Among his many awards, Mr. Mauceri is the recipient of a Tony, a Grammy, an Olivier, two Emmys and Yale University’s Alumni Achievement Award. More information at

Entries by John Mauceri

What Football Can Teach Classical Music

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 11:35 AM


Whether or not you are interested in football, you undoubtedly noticed a few weeks ago that the University of Missouri football team's threatened boycott of their game forced the resignation of their president, Timothy M. Wolfe, and the chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin. As the...

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Leonard Bernstein's Batonmaker

(1) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 5:15 PM


Today we learned of the death of Dick Horowitz at the age of 91. You perhaps never heard of him. If you went to the Metropolitan Opera or listened to its broadcasts any time from 1946 until two years ago, you definitely heard...

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Eating the Heart of Darkness: Written on Skin and Hamilton

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 6:48 PM

Eating the Heart of Darkness: Written on Skin and Hamilton

John Mauceri


Written in Skin came to Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival and was quickly crowned the highlight of the festival as well as the greatest new opera in 20 years. I am...

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The Old Guy Has Left the Store

(1) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 9:55 PM

2015-04-27-1430096045-6080589-sBIRTHDAYCAKEWITHLOTSOFCANDLESsmall.jpgYesterday was a particularly beautiful day in New York City. My wife and I decided to go to SoHo to check out a few shops and do some errands. It was at John Varvatos that a sales person was helpful enough to...

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Putin, Wagner, a Pink Person, and Singing Nuns

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 1:10 PM


All the important arts news that's fit to print came in the news section of the March 30, 2015 New York Times. Vladimir Putin canceled a radical production of Wagner's Tannhaüser in Novosibirsk ("Russian Theater Director Fired for Offending Christians"), the good people of...

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A Souvenir of Terror

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 3:21 PM

Twenty-five years ago it was torn down. I was a little boy when it was erected and I remember thinking, "What kind of country needs to build a wall to keep its citizens in? Why would anyone want to do that? If Communism is so great, why don't people just...

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Lauren Bacall, Too ...

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 12:31 PM


Inadvertent angels come in many sizes and shapes. They are not always angels of mercy, and -- as many can attest -- Lauren Bacall was no Mother Teresa. And yet there was at least one lesson to be learned from knowing her a...

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Elaine Stritch, Carlo Bergonzi, Mary Rodgers and Lorin Maazel - Part 2

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 5:14 PM

Carlo Bergonzi was one of the "other" tenors when I was a teenager going to the Metropolitan Opera. Like Nicolai Gedda, Bergonzi was a tenor's tenor. He did not send off fireworks like a Tucker or a Corelli. He did not summon the deep wells of sadness that Vickers could....

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Elaine Stritch, Carlo Bergonzi, Mary Rodgers and Lorin Maazel (Part 1)

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 4:26 PM

Within the past month we have read with sadness of the deaths of four important artists who seemingly have little in common: composer and author Mary Rodgers Guettel, internationally famous American conductor Lorin Maazel, Broadway and cabaret star Elaine Stritch, and the legendary operatic tenor Carlo Bergonzi.

They do...

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The Inconvenient Music -- Invisible and Unhearable

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 4:01 PM

On Friday morning, April 25, 2014, World War II was everywhere to be found in the arts section of our essential paper of record, The New York Times. A revived revival of Cabaret with old chum Alan Cumming gave us two armpits-full of Berlin in the run-up to the war....

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Music and Trauma

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 12:54 PM

On January 23, 2014, we learned of the death of Riz Ortolani, a composer whose name was unknown to me. He composed film scores-and who knows what other music he left behind? Most people in America do know one song: "More," otherwise known as the "Theme from Mondo Cane" --...

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Music and Trauma

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 12:00 PM

What is the appropriate response to trauma?

Today, January 31, 2014, we learned of the death of Riz Ortolani, a composer whose name was unknown to me. He composed film scores -- and who knows what music he left behind? Most people in America do know one song: "More," otherwise...

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Classical Music 101: Epilogue

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Before investigating the apparent disappearing audiences for classical music, we might attempt to assess the 20th century itself when it comes to classical music. Having spent the last 20 years of that century encountering composers and connections, I never knew anything about --even though I had committed my life to...

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Classical Music 101b: There's Nothing to Worry About

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 10:40 AM

The question that remains, and which I shall attempt to answer, is "What happened to classical music?"

That is both easy and hard to explain. The easy part is that the great traditions of Western classical music continued throughout the 20th century and seemingly will as long as music is...

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Classical Music 101a:Why There's Nothing to Worry About

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 10:55 AM

I want to offer a few general thoughts about music - what we call classical music and what it actually is - free of politics and free of esthetic evaluations--and the latter frequently acting as a mask for the former.

So, let me start with a definition of the term...

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Wagner, Texas and Myth

(3) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 4:36 PM

There's a new production of Wagner's mega-operatic cycle, The Ring of the Nibelungs, opening this week at the Wagner Festival in the small town of Bayreuth where Wagner was given the land and the monies to build his dream theater and his home by the incredibly generous and possibly unhinged...

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Century-ism a Century Later

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 2:44 PM

Perhaps you have noticed that 2013 is the centenary of the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Next year there will be much thought given to the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

One hundred is a good number, since it parses time into...

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(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 5:26 PM

Tonight, as I write this, I am thinking of an event that took place 70 year ago right now. People were slowly wandering in to the St. James Theater. As Agnes DeMille remembered, "The audience was a regular Theatre Guild opening night: spotty, dull, jaded. I had eight front row...

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Verdi by the Numbers

(2) Comments | Posted February 16, 2013 | 12:51 PM

A small blip in the history of opera occurred this week in Bilbao, Spain. It occurred a few seconds after the curtain came down on the dress rehearsal of Verdi's 1855 French opera, les Vêpres siciliennes. The invited audience was cheering the singers, the orchestra, and the chorus. As I...

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Merry Christmas, Walt!

(4) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 2:25 PM

Merry Christmas, Walt!

During this Christmas Season, I could not help but notice that The New York Times' default metaphor for anything a critic finds objectionable in the arts is none other than Walt Disney. It is as if Uncle Walt was the anti-Christ of Art. When his name appeared...

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