February 14, 2010 |
When Southwest Chamber Music became the first American ensemble since the Vietnam War to set up a musical residency in Vietnam in 2006, artistic director Jeff von der Schmidt had high hopes that the two countries -- forever tied through history and war -- would forge lasting bonds in music. Now the Pasadena-based group is cementing its position to help guide Vietnam's musical future. With a highly competitive grant from the U.S. State Department, Southwest will soon embark on a six-week exchange with Vietnam's two premier music institutions.
August 23, 2009 |
There are no tuxedos, no ushers, no raised stage here -- just a few thrift-store couches, some beach chairs, a table covered with half-eaten pies and bottles of wine and a dozen nudes and seascapes leaning against the walls. A few hundred people, gathered between the table and a piano, sip drinks and try not to bump into the sculpture of a goose: Russian models in strapless dresses mingle with elderly couples, and a baby, 4 months old, sits on her mother's lap at a wooden bar. The intense and mustachioed Alexey Steele looks out over this motley crowd gathered in his Carson loft -- a high-ceilinged, concrete floor box squeezed between a cargo mover and a church -- and can't contain his excitement.
April 27, 2009 |
Gene Golden stood on the steeply raked stage of the Geffen Playhouse, welcoming a Music Guild audience to a performance by the Borromeo String Quartet. "Don't worry. The players will not slide off this very tilted stage," Golden told an audience last season. Not literally, at least. But in midseason, Golden was told that he would have to pay an exorbitant rent hike at the Geffen or see his Music Guild dates pulled immediately -- two weeks before the next concert.
March 11, 2009 |
At a time when the moneyed life in New York feels as if it is being sucked into the sewers, the reopening of Alice Tully Hall, the chamber music venue at Lincoln Center, feels like an eddy in the stream. After the hall had been caged for almost two years by scaffolding and heavy equipment, the cranes and construction workers finally vanished last month, and a landmark was reborn.
October 12, 2008
NICE article on the perennial subject of the graying of classical music audiences ["The Ageless Audience" by Diane Haithman, Oct. 5]. It was clear, concise and brought authoritative sources to bear, told with admirable fluency. Dare I say, hip? Things I hear from colleagues and audience member friends across the country bear out the continued interest in this type of performance. And I note there always is a generous slice of younger listeners for opera, symphony, chamber music, etc., doubtless drawn from the rather constant number of classical-loving nerds that comes up every generation.
May 25, 2008 |
IN THE mood for some live chamber music in the coming week? Well, in the Southland alone, there are more than 70 events to choose from. Who knew? Probably no one better than Jim Eninger, a retired TRW aerospace engineer who culls all sorts of sources to keep people up to date about small local chamber music events that he thinks are insufficiently publicized.