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Meet the Moderator

Charles T. Downey at the piano, 2003, © Albright Creative Imagery
Charles T. Downey at the piano, 2003
Photo © Joe Albright, Albright Creative Imagery

Charles T. Downey

E-mail: ionarts at gmail dot com

Born near Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in the great state of Michigan. Began studying piano at the age of 15. Received Bachelor of Music in Piano at Michigan State University. Moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue graduate studies in musicology. Received M.A. and Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America, with research specialization in medieval music (M.A. thesis, "Breton Chant Notation in France and Northern Italy: A Comparative Study of Offertories in Chartres, Bibl. mun., 47 and Ivrea, Bibl. cap., LX") and French Baroque ballet and opera (dissertation, "Musical-Dramatic Works Derived from Ariosto and Tasso in the City of Paris, 1600–1800").

Lives in Washington, D.C., teaching music and art history, singing professionally with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Moderator of Ionarts since 2003, Classical Music Contributor for DCist since 2005 (with occasional pieces on art, film, and dance), Freelance Classical Music Critic for the Washington Post since 2008.


'Lucretia': Death and Depravity, Well Sung (Washington Post, July 13, 2009)

Alan Curtis Signs Almost Definitive 'Alcina' (Ionarts, July 3, 2009)

Summer Opera: Wolf Trap's Coozey 'Così' (Ionarts, July 2, 2009)

Out of Frame: 'Tetro' (Ionarts, June 19, 2009)

Hammering the Clavier: Valentina Lisitsa (Washington Post, May 22, 2009)

Poor Boy Marries Rich Girl: Siegfried's American Dream (Ionarts, May 4, 2009)

Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, High Octane (Ionarts, April 9, 2009)

Mahler 9 with Marin Alsop (Ionarts, April 8, 2009)

New Work by Jessica Krash at NGA (Ionarts, March 20, 2009)

Revisiting the Department of the Interior (DCist, March 19, 2009)

Quatuor Ébène, Cool as Ebony (DCist, March 14, 2009)

A Zen Evening at the Freer (DCist, March 12, 2009)

Paying Homage to Lincoln in Song (Washington Post, March 10, 2009)

Mobtown Modern Presents 'Sequenzas' at Baltimore's Contemporary Museum (Washington Post, March 5, 2009)

Kissin Triumphant in Prokofiev and Chopin (Ionarts, March 4, 2009)

Martin Bruns and the Traces of Hafiz (Ionarts, February 27, 2009)

Kurtágs Play Kurtág at the Library of Congress (Ionarts, February 10, 2009)

Mark Morris Makes Mozart Dance (DCist, February 2, 2009)

Yevgeny Sudbin's Spring Torrents (Ionarts, January 26, 2009)

Mariinsky Ballet Tilts at Windmills (DCist, January 14, 2009)

Out of Frame: 'Doubt' (Ionarts, December 29, 2008)

"Angeschliffen," trans. Albrecht Thiemann (Opernwelt, December 12, 2008)

Gabriela Montero Makes It Up (Ionarts, December 8, 2008)

'Norma' in Baltimore (Ionarts, November 21, 2008)

Alexandre Tharaud (Washington Post, October 27, 2008)

Enough Bang to Make You Whimper (Ionarts, October 6, 2008)

Bizet's 'Pearl,' Dusted Off (Washington Post, September 22, 2008)

Ludus Danielis (Ionarts, August 27, 2008)

Out of Frame: 'Elegy' (Ionarts, August 22, 2008)

Ariadne Marooned at Wolf Trap (Ionarts, August 18, 2008)

My Jerry Springer Moment (Ionarts, August 11, 2008)

Ionarts in Santa Fe: 'Adriana Mater' (Ionarts, July 30, 2008)

NSO & Vladimir Ashkenazy, Staying True to Sibelius (Washington Post, May 30, 2008)

Adès Leads the BSO (Ionarts, May 19, 2008)

Opera on DVD: 'Alice in Wonderland' (Ionarts, May 14, 2008)

Itzhak Perlman (Washington Post, May 6, 2008)


Ballet du Roy, ou de la Délivrance de Renault, Danced by the King of France on January 29, 1617. Versailles: Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, forthcoming.

With Greer Garden et al. Essays on the Ballet de Renault. Paris: Malaga Press, forthcoming.

With Keith Fleming†. "Some Multiple-Melody Communions with Texts from the Gospels." Études grégoriennes 33 (2005), 5–74.

"Ad imaginem suam: Regional Chant Variants and the Origins of the Jeu d'Adam." Comparative Drama 36 (2003): 359–90.

"The Breton Notation in Ivrea LX." Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 3 (1998): 187–93.

Report on "Chant and Palaeography" session. In Musicology and Sister Disciplines, Past, Present, Future: Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of the International Musicological Society, London, 1997, edited by David Greer (Part 3, "Reports on Study Sessions"). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

An Utrecht Antiphoner: Utrecht, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit 406 (3.J.7). Printouts from an Index in Machine-Readable Form: A CANTUS Index. Ed. Ruth Steiner. Musicological Studies, no. LV/6. Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1997.

With Barbara Haggh, et al. Two Cambrai Antiphoners: Cambrai, Médiathèque municipale, 38 and Impr. XVI C 4. Printouts from Two Indices in Machine-Readable Form: A CANTUS Index. Musicological Studies, LV/4. Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1995.

With Keith Glaeske. "Text and Music for the Lamentations: A Comparison of Settings in Cambrai XVI and Graz 29." Medieval Perspectives 10 (1995): 86–100.


"The Ballet de la délivrance de Renault as a Document of French Courtly Life." Meeting of American Musicological Society, Capital Chapter, 2 October 2004.

"The Ballet de la délivrance de Renault in history: participants, contemporary accounts." Eleventh Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, Manchester, England, 15 July 2004.

"Dancing or Singing with One Bare Foot: A Magic Ritual on the French Stage." Symposium on Opera, Catholic University of America, Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, 25 February 1999.

"The Two Versions of the Ballet de la Délivrance de Renault." The American Musicological Society, National Meeting (Phoenix, Arizona), 1 November 1997.

"The Breton Notation in Ivrea LX." The International Musicological Society, Annual Meeting, Study Group "Cantus Planus," as part of the session "Chant and Paleography" (London, England), 18 August 1997.

"Let Him Kiss Me with the Kiss of His Mouth: Late Votive Antiphons in Honor of the Virgin Mary." The 31st International Congress on Medieval Studies (Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan), 9 May 1996.

With Keith Glaeske. "Text and Music for the Lamentations: A Comparison of Settings in Cambrai XVI and Graz 29." Meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association (Arlington, Virginia), November, 1994.

"J. S. Bach's Christmas Cantata Cycle of 1725–26: A Model for the Christmas Oratorio?" Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Capital Chapter (Richmond, Virginia), April, 1993.


Review of Esther (Tragédie de Jean Racine), edited by Anne Piéjus. In Music & Letters 87 (2006): 494–496.

Review of Jean-Paul C. Montagnier, Charles-Hubert Gervais: un musicien au service du Régent et de Louis XV (Paris: CNRS, 2001). In Music & Letters 84 (2003): 485–88.

Review of Catherine Massip, L'art de bien chanter: Michel Lambert (1610–1696) (Paris: Société Française de Musicologie, 1999). In Music & Letters 83 (2002): 449–53.

Review of John S. Powell, Music and Theatre in France, 1600–1680, Oxford Monographs on Music (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000). In Music & Letters 82 (2001): 616–19.

Program notes for recording, I Sing of a Maiden: A Mosaic of Motets to the Virgin Mary, Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Gothic Records G 49111 (2000).

Review of Andrew Hughes, Late Medieval Liturgical Offices (Toronto, 1994). In Plainsong and Medieval Music 4 (1995): 203–208.

Contributed computerized indices to offerings of Project CANTUS (some in collaboration with other scholars):
· Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, 114
· Monza, Biblioteca capitolare, 15/79
· Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 1090
· Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek, 611 (with Mette Kjaergaard)
· Utrecht, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit, 406 (3.J.7)
· Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, 149
· Gottschalk Antiphonary (with Lisa Fagin Davis)
· Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 15181 and lat. 15182 (with Susan Kidwell)
· Vorau, Stiftsbibliothek, 287 (29)
· Graz, Universitätsbibliothek, 29 and 30
· Arras, Bibliothèque municipale, 465 (893)
· Florence, Arcivescovado, s.c.
· Florence, Biblioteca Laurenziana, Conv. sopp. 560
· Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, n.a. lat. 1535
· Cambrai, Médiathèque municipale, Impr. XVI C 4 (with Barbara Haggh et al.)
· Vatican City, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, Cappella Sistina 27

Meet JFL


Munich-born, raised just south of it, jfl quickly fell in love with music. At age four his father gave him the Bach Passions on tape, meticulously recorded from the radio. Church seemed a fine place to use the voice; at just over four the accordion was added to these musical activities. It didn't lead to much, but it probably was quite a sight to see a big head, two hands barely clasping the sides of the big, red Hohner... two feet dangling beneath. That he could read notes before he could read letters lent (eventually disappointed) hope to the family that he might follow in the footsteps of his harpsichordist Uncle whose vinyls of Scarlatti he grew up on.

The first concert attended, a matinee at the Munich Staatsoper of Bruckner (9th Symphony) and Mozart (K.595) may have left a subconscious impression... although at the time he was primarily fascinated how half the orchestra could leave at intermission and they'd still make beautiful music.

He took up the recorder at five and the piano at six, the two only instruments in which he should gain at least a decent amount of proficiency. In fourth grade the piano teacher - who lived upstairs - decided that he should try out for the Regensburger Domspatzen. Once accepted (only the 14th or so non-Catholic Domspatz at the time), said teacher took him to his first opera, Feuersnot at the Staatsoper. (Heinz Fricke conducted then, as he told me recently. I was too little to remember or care.) The choir in Regensburg was wonderful as far as the singing was concerned, but apart from quitting the recorder since there were no teachers at the Regensburger Domspatzen pre-school in Pielenhofen, the pianistic skills plummeted due to laziness and lack of supervision. Sadly, the combined forces of the boarding school environment, Latin, and Math all but ended his active musical pursuits once he successfully ran away from the school.

This is his favorite recording.
available at AmazonJ.S.Bach, Concertos italiens,
Alexandre Tharaud
Harmonia Mundi

International affairs and political philosophy were on the agenda in college and graduate school. In 2002 the not-for-profit Center for International Relations was founded, half a year later the International Affairs Forum - CIR's on-line journal - was running. Contributes to ionarts since November 2003 (with the first poor effort published in December) - and since then reviewing concerts and classical CDs, giving ionarts a distinctly more music-focused tone. A short stint at the Washington Post added an air of legitimacy to his criticism - though the harpsichord-uncle still insisted (rightly, for European standards) that he was "not qualified." Before its demise, he was interviewing musicians for WGMS 103.5's "Classical Conversations." From 2007 until 2011 he was the Classical Critic-at-Large for WETA 90.9. jfl occasionally writes or has written for Listen Magazine, Opera, Opera Now, Opera Canada, American Record Guide, Fanfare Magazine, Chamber Music America, Musical America et al. Sometimes he squeezes a bit of culture into the pages of (The Noise Police, Gergiev's Propaganda). For his article on Hans Rott ("Madness, Thievery and a Train Full of Dynamite: The Greatest Symphonist Who Never Was") published by Listen Magazine, he won a 2012 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award.

He is a musical omnivore, listening with varying delight to anything from Guillaume de Machaut to Jörg Widmann. Bruckner ("a love"), Haydn, and Bach are musical gods - and he has a particular penchant for less famous, unknown or obscure composers; especially late, conservative Romantics. (Richard & Eduard Franck, J. G. Rheinberger, Hans Rott, Egon Wellesz, Hans Gàl, Eric(h) Zeisl etc.) His cantankerous, unenlightened quarreling with Verdi can rankle the most peace-loving Nabucco-enthusiast. He is happy to (try to) answer any and all questions about Mahler ("an addiction"), or pontificate about favorite recordings (beyond the above) if so encouraged.

All views are his own. Decidedly not his employers'.

Meet Michael Lodico

Michael Lodico
Michael_Lodicojr at yahoo dot com

Michael Lodico, born in 1981 and a native of Western North Carolina, began studying the piano at the age of six and organ at the age of 13. Lodico received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he studied the organ with John Weaver and Alan Morrison, harpsichord with Lionel Party, improvisation with Matthew Glandorf, and the piano with Meng Cheih-Liu and Susan Starr. He studied abroad as a Netherlands-America Foundation/Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands and obtained a Master’s degree in music, studying the organ under Jacques van Oortmerssen at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

In the summer of 2006, Lodico was appointed Director of Music of Wye Parish, Maryland, and Director of Choral Music at Saint Anselm’s Abbey School in Washington, D.C. He has participated in festivals and workshops in Canada, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States, and completed a concert tour playing recitals at English and Scottish cathedrals. Additionally, Lodico is a music critic with the webzine/blog Ionarts, regularly covering the National Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony. He has also covered opera festivals in Aix-en-Provence, France, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Brugge/Bruges Early Music Festival in Belgium.

In May 2008, Lodico was elected to the Executive Board of the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and in October 2008 began working in the coordinate music department of the St. Alban’s School and National Cathedral School. He also serves as Associate Choirmaster and Organist at St. John's, Lafayette Square. Lodico enjoys swimming and traveling.


Paris Reading Project

What started as a theme in my reading has become an obsession. This is a list of books, mostly fiction, set in the city of Paris, through which I am slowly making my way. If you have any ideas of books not on this list that need to be on it, especially examples of world literature with which I am probably not familiar, e-mail them to me (ionarts at gmail dot com) for inclusion.

Available from Amazon:
Available at Amazon
André Breton, Nadja (1960)

Available at Amazon
Daniel Pennac, The Fairy Gunmother (La fée carabine, 1987)

Available at Amazon
Louis Aragon, Le Paysan de Paris (1926)
(see post on April 24, 2004)

Available at Amazon
Edith Wharton, Custom of the Country (1913)

Available at Amazon
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926)

Available at Amazon
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (1964)

Available at Amazon
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night (1934)

Available at Amazon
Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1932)

Available at Amazon
Gertrude Stein, Paris France (1940)
In French:
In English:
Available at Amazon
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (1934)
Available at Amazon
Henry Miller, Quiet Days in Clichy (1940/56)
(see post on December 27, 2004)
Available at Amazon
The Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931–32)
Available at Amazon
James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room (1956)
Available at Amazon
A. J. Liebling, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris (1962)
Available at Amazon
Edmund White, The Flaneur (2001)
Available at Amazon
Jack Kerouac, Satori in Paris (1966)
Available at Amazon
Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon (2000)

Ionarts on Proust

Available from Amazon:
Vol. 1, Swann's Way
Vol. 2, Within a Budding Grove
Vol. 3, The Guermantes Way
Vol. 4, Sodom and Gomorrah
Vol. 5, The Captive, & Vol. 6, The Fugitive
Vol. 7, Time Regained

Ionarts Film Reviews

Ionarts on Opera

Operas Reviewed:

· Doctor Atomic, San Francisco Opera (October 4, 2005)

· The Tempest, Santa Fe Opera (July 31, 2006)

· Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Baltimore Symphony (November 22, 2005)
· Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Washington National Opera (September 23, 2006)

· La Sonnambula, Baltimore Opera (November 14, 2005)

· Carmen, Santa Fe Opera (August 2, 2006)

· Albert Herring, Catholic University Opera Theater (March 19, 2005)
· Billy Budd, Washington National Opera (September 29, 2004)
· Gloriana, Opera Theater of St. Louis (June 28, 2005)
· Peter Grimes, Santa Fe Opera (July 24, 2005)
· The Turn of the Screw, Châteauville Foundation (May 25, 2006)

Burrs, Leslie Savoy
· Vanqui, concert performance (March 9, 2006)

Carter, Elliott
· What Next?, Tanglewood Festival (June 28, 2006)

· La Didone, Ignoti Dei Opera (June 18, 2006)

· Il Matrimonio Segreto, University of Maryland Opera Studio (April 28, 2006)

· L'Elisir d'Amore, Washington National Opera (April 3, 2006)
· La Fille du Régiment, Opera Bel Cantanti (October 18, 2005)

· Porgy and Bess, Washington National Opera (November 5, 2005)

· Andrea Chénier, Washington National Opera (September 24, 2004)

· Ainadamar, Santa Fe Opera (August 2, 2005)

· Roméo et Juliette, Wolf Trap Opera, concert performance (July 25, 2006)

· Dead Man Walking, Baltimore Opera (March 14, 2006)

· Hin und zurück, Tanglewood Festival (July 28, 2006)

Krása, Hans
· Brundibár, Washington National Opera (August 14, 2005)

· Acis et Galatée, Opera Lafayette, concert performance (February 22, 2005)

· Cavalleria Rusticana, Washington Concert Opera (November 1, 2005)

· Cendrillon, Santa Fe Opera (August 5, 2006)
· Cendrillon, Washington Summer Opera (June 16, 2005)
· Esclarmonde, Washington Concert Opera (April 10, 2005)

Monk, Meredith
· Impermanence, Meredith Monk Ensemble (February 26, 2006)

· The Abduction from the Seraglio, National Symphony Orchestra, concert performance (January 27, 2006)
· La Clemenza di Tito, Washington National Opera (May 9, 2006)
· Così Fan Tutte, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia (March 4, 2006)
· Idomeneo, Opera Lafayette, concert performance (June 4, 2006)
· Lucio Silla, Santa Fe Opera (July 21, 2005)
· The Magic Flute, Santa Fe Opera (August 1, 2006)
· The Magic Flute, Salzburg Marionnettes (November 9, 2005)
· Il Rè Pastore, Orchestre des Folies Françoises, concert performance (March 26, 2006)

· Boris Godunov, Kirov Opera (January 22, 2005)

· Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Baltimore Opera (May 2, 2005)

Picker, Tobias
· An American Tragedy, Met broadcast (December 24, 2005)

· Dialogues des Carmélites, Opera International (August 6, 2004)

· La Bohème, Wolf Trap Opera (August 2, 2004)
· Gianni Schicchi, Washington National Opera (September 23, 2006)
· Madama Butterfly, Washington National Opera (November 13, 2006)
· Il Tabarro, Washington Concert Opera (November 1, 2005)
· Tosca, Washington National Opera (May 15, 2005)
· Turandot, Kirov Opera (February 21, 2006)

· The Barber of Seville, Santa Fe Opera (July 23, 2005)
· La Cenerentola, Wolf Trap Opera (August 21, 2005)
· Le Comte Ory, Wolf Trap Opera Company (July 22, 2006)
· L'Italiana in Algeri, Washington National Opera (May 16, 2006)
· Tancredi, Washington Concert Opera (April 6, 2006)
· Rossini, Il Viaggio a Reims, Mariinsky Theater (May 31, 2006)

Saariaho, Kaija
· Adriana Mater, radio broadcast (July 16, 2006)

Sacchini, Antonio
· Œdipe à Colone, Opera Lafayette, concert performance (May 15, 2005)

· Samson et Dalila, Washington National Opera (May 18, 2005)

Simpson, Andrew
· The Furies, Catholic University (February 13, 2006)

Strauss, J.
· Die Fledermaus, Washington National Opera (April 14, 2004)

Strauss, R.
· Capriccio, Opéra national de Paris (July 11, 2004)
· Daphne, concert performance with Renée Fleming (October 20, 2005)
· Salome, Santa Fe Opera (August 6, 2006)

· Mavra, Tanglewood Festival (July 28, 2006)
· Le Rossignol, film version on NPR (December 22, 2005)

· Iolanta, Opera Bel Cantanti (June 9, 2006)
· The Maid of Orleans, Washington National Opera (April 7, 2005)

· Orpheus, Wolf Trap Opera (June 18, 2006)

· Luisa Miller, Washington Concert Opera (June 9, 2005)
· Il Trovatore, Washington National Opera (October 25, 2004)
· I Vespri Siciliani, Washington National Opera (September 29, 2005)

· Parsifal, Kirov Opera (February 23, 2006)
· Das Rheingold, Washington National Opera (April 1, 2006)
· Das Rheingold, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (July 16, 2005)
· Die Walküre, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (July 19, 2005)
· Die Walküre, Washington National Opera (April 14, 2004)
· Die Walküre, National Symphony Orchestra (Act III, concert performance) (January 13, 2006)

Wheeler, Scott
· Democracy, Washington National Opera (January 29, 2005)

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