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Summer Splash | MUSIC

Critic's Picks

May 19, 1996|Chris Pasles

Music, summer and the great outdoors are an unbeatable combination. Enjoy them on a small scale at the 1,500-seat Libbey Bowl in Ojai with the 50th Ojai Festival, May 31 to June 2, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and French composer-conductor Pierre Boulez. Or go to the 18,000-seat Hollywood Bowl, celebrating its 75th anniversary season.

As part of the festivities at the Bowl, Lukas Foss leads a marathon six-hour concert, ending with Beethoven's Ninth ("Choral") Symphony on July 6. Mahler's Eighth Symphony ("Symphony of a Thousand") is the real choral blowout, however. Robert Shaw will lead this work July 9 to open the official Bowl summer subscription series.

Speaking of voices: Everyone is waiting for the next great young ones. Candidates are soprano Angela Gheorghiu and her recent groom, French tenor Roberto Alagna, whom the Wall Street Journal recently dubbed "the fourth tenor." The two make their Hollywood Bowl debuts July 28 with conductor John Mauceri and the Bowl Orchestra.

The Russians have already made their reputations. Electrifying conductor Valery Gergiev brings the Kirov Orchestra and the Kirov Opera Chorus to the Bowl for a series of programs, July 30 to Aug. 4, including three days of a "Tchaikovsky Spectacular" with pianist Nikolai Lugansky as well as the USC Marching Band for the "1812" Overture.

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