Philippa Kiraly has been a classical music critic for more than 30 years. She wrote for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio and, after moving to Seattle in 1991, for the Sun Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Nowadays she writes for The Sun Break blog, The Seattle Times and City Arts.

Recent Articles

Music

Low Humor, High Art: Puppets!

If you love colorful portrayals of the truly absurd with plenty of low humor, early puppet opera is for you. Northwest Puppet Center is currently mounting what may be the earliest extant marionette opera: Il Girello or The Wheel of Fortune, music by...
Music

Opera diva rocks Leonard Cohen, Death Cab and more

Benaroya Hall was virtually sold out of its very expensive tickets Friday night to hear the opera diva Renee Fleming make an infrequent appearance with the Seattle Symphony. The audience wasn’t disappointed. Word had percolated, through a New York...
Music

A Simple Measure makes classical music more accessible

In its seventh season, Simple Measures continues its mission of bringing classical chamber music to people who might not choose to go to a formal performance at a concert hall. Informal is the rule at Simple Measures. At a recent performance at Mount...
Music

Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (“Vespers”)

It doesn’t actually take all night to perform, and perform is really the wrong word, as Rachmaninoff’s Vespers or All-Night Vigil is the music for a Saturday night monastic vigil begun in the 4th century and held prior to the early morning...
Music

A Christmas Blast of Canadian Brass

The Canadian Brass was a blast. Friday night at Benaroya Hall, the five players moseyed down the aisle in impeccable dark suits and white shirts, pink ties and white sneakers with red stripes, playing as they went. They proceeded to perform a...
Music

On Brazilian Fabio Zanon and the lasting versatility of the guitar

The guitar is an old instrument—some think that the earliest may have been instruments of similar design found in Egypt dating back to several centuries B.C., but the ones we know for sure are a mere 900 years old, from Spain in the 13th...
Music

Mortal grief and heavenly life

On paper, the Seattle Symphony program came across as a fascinating juxtaposition of musical views on the inevitable end of our mortality, from an outside look at life proceeding to death, to personal grief and finally to a reminder that it awaits us...