Paul A. Cantor Articles

Maestro Meteor

The irresistible rise of Andris Nelsons.
Nov 09, 2015

On the international music scene, conductor Andris Nelsons is clearly on a roll. He has come a long way from the days when he played trumpet in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra. In the past season, he completed his contract with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and simultaneously began his tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). His inaugural BSO concert was recently broadcast on television in PBS’s Great Performances series.

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Philosophy in a Clown Suit

An unexpected key to understanding culture
Dec 22, 2014

Is there any subject more esoteric than esoteric writing? Turn to the groundbreaking book on the subject, Leo Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing (1952), and you’ll find such chapter headings as “The Law of Reason in the Kuzari” and “How to Study Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise”—topics seemingly of interest only to the most scholarly of scholars.

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Listen to Wagner

A bicentennial sense of his life and work.
Nov 25, 2013

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner (1813-1883), arguably the greatest of all opera composers. (Mozart and Verdi fans: Please note the “arguably.”) Accordingly, the Wagner industry, active enough in off years, has kicked into high gear. The major recording companies have issued large boxes of commemorative CD collections, with varying degrees of completeness.

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