David Hallberg , at 23, was deservedly promoted to principal at American Ballet Theatre, exceeding expectations and showing versatility and incredible nuance in diverse roles. Former exile and Russian icon Mstislav Rostropovich, hand planted firmly on hip, conducted the amazing Maxim Vengerov and the Philharmonic through Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Daniel Barenboim played a pairing of Schoenberg and Beethoven in a concert with the Boston Symphony under James Levine—a tour de force featuring two tough scores by composers who never coddled the public. Steve Reich@70, the big birthday party organized by bam, Carnegie, and Lincoln Center plus the Whitney Museum of American Art. Theo Bleckmann and Fumio Yasuda’s CD of standards reinforced Bleckmann’s fast-rising reputation. Mike Patton (former front man of Faith No More) premiered a John Zorn piece at the Miller Theatre, an extremely unsettling vocal solo of earsplitting guttural screaming, vomit noises, and occasional spitting, getting excellent audience reaction, including covered ears, laughing, and one lady who kept saying, “Oh, my God, oh, my God.” Tiler Peck and Daniel Ulbricht—she’s in the corps, he’s a young soloist—sparkled in Peter Martins’s Friandises at New York City Ballet.
The Year in Classical & Dance