David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Often heard though seldom seen, Wolfgang Rihm is considered Germany's greatest contemporary composer. But he lives such a circumscribed existence he's in danger of becoming an enigma.
Maybe the red dress made the difference. In her U.S. recital debut Tuesday at the Perelman Theater, soprano Ailyn Perez was in somewhat uncertain form, seeming to fall into the trap of thinking more about the sound of her voice than about what she was saying with it. Even the best singers do that, but you hear it more with Perez because she typically establishes such a personal relationship with her audience.