James C. Whitson

James Whitson is a retired architect who writes about opera for "Opera News" and "Encore."

Northern Lights: Seattle Symphony’s Nielsen and Sibelius

Sibelius's violin concerto painted a restive canvas over which soloist Ning showered musical fireworks – a regular crucible of every technical difficulty ever devised.

Pianist Helene Grimaud at Meany: Three B’s and a Magisterial C

The surprise came when Grimaud kept her hands poised over the keyboard at the finish of the Brahms D minor capriccio and launched into the Bach-Busoni Chaconne without a break. I'm still of two minds about this idea.

Anthony Davis’ “X” At Seattle Opera

Davis grew up in the world of classical music and cites Alban Berg as a major influence. “X” takes obvious inspiration, both in its scenic construction and its harmonic language, from that Berg masterpiece.