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November 28, 2010 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Someday the naysayers will be right, of course. Nothing lasts forever. But classical CDs and DVDs remain plentiful, and it was a great year. Buy, wrap and give the real thing while you still can. Downloads make lousy gifts. "Dinastia Borja" (Alia Vox), a sumptuously illustrated book with three sumptuously recorded CDs of some of the most enthralling Renaissance music you've ever heard, may be the one you want for yourself. The latest lavish set from the Catalan viol player and conductor Jordi Savall ?
April 26, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Updated and edgy, this multi-story house sits behind gates in Hollywood Hills West. Described by the design firm as a "transitional take on a classic Mediterranean," the home retains such characteristic details as interior and exterior wrought-iron railings, arched windows and a tile roof. Location: 1427 Queens Road, Los Angeles 90069 Asking price: $3.698 million Year built: 1937 Remodel: Bravia Design House size: Four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 3,554 square feet Lot size: 5,882 square feet Features: Library, family room, breakfast area, kitchen island, hardwood floors, whole-house audio, terraces, outdoor living room with flat-screen TV, fountain-fed swimming pool About the area: Last year, 195 single-family homes sold in the 90069 ZIP Code at a median price of $2.25 million, according to DataQuick.
August 28, 1989
On Sept. 20, KFAC, after 50 years of providing classical music programming to Los Angeles, will switch to rock & roll. The other classical station, KUSC, after yet another successful fund-raiser, is going to spend less time on classical music and more on talk. What are we classical music lovers going to do about this cultural disaster? I am just one such classical music lover who is horrified at the loss of KFAC. I am sure there are thousands more out there who feel the same, but just don't know what to do about it. I hereby offer myself as a communication center in the hope that we can unite to solve the problem.
April 25, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Depending on your knowledge of the material and expectations going in, the touring version of "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," which opened Wednesday at the Ahmanson Theatre, might be either an ingenious, audience-friendly re-creation or a bastardization of this classic American show. Both perspectives can reside within the same spectator, as they do within me, one alternately gaining the upper hand over the other. Undeniable, however, is the majesty of the score, which begins after the Overture with "Summertime" and keeps soaring with "My Man's Gone Now," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and "I Loves You, Porgy.
August 30, 2003
I recently became interested in classical music and started collecting CDs. I enjoy them very much, but I don't think I would go for advice to those two clerks featured in "Lend Them Your Ear" (by Scott Timberg, Aug. 25). One sounds like a pushy type who would cram his own taste down my throat, and the other just sounds bizarre. Thank you very much for letting me know who (and what stores) to avoid. Toni Roberts Los Angeles WHAT a delightful piece about a little known and rarely heralded group of dedicated aficionados of classical music.
November 1, 2009 | James Taylor
A high-pitched voice, questionable sexuality and ear-grabbing melodies -- the new Decca album "Sacrificium" may sound like a posthumous Michael Jackson collection; instead, it's a collection of 17th century opera arias written for castrati -- the gelded singers who were the superstars of the European music world for almost two centuries. "Sacrificium" is hardly likely to reach "Thriller"-like global ubiquity, but Cecilia Bartoli, an Italian mezzo-soprano with a large following (not to mention obsessions and image control that recall the King of Pop)
June 20, 1993
So who goes to classical concerts? In response to Harvey Frey's Mad as Hell ("Psst! Wanna Buy a Ticket?" June 6), the audience attending Southwest Chamber Music Society concerts in Pasadena and Orange County grew by 26% last season. We attribute this to the personal attention that our audience members receive. The phone is answered directly (probably by myself), ticket prices are reasonable, venues are intimate and our range of repertory makes us attractive to discerning music lovers.
It was a typically frantic Saturday afternoon at the Costco in Culver City. The parking lot was at a standstill, and crowds of harried consumers pushed overloaded shopping carts. The only sign that something was afoot was a TV camera crew huddled near the entrance. Then, cellist Yo-Yo Ma stepped from a sleek black sedan with composer John Williams behind him. They studied their surroundings. The two musicians had taken a break from rehearsing for their Sunday night performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to promote "Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams," a Sony Classical release.
March 16, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Classical music has never been Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto's thing. The ice dancers are, after all, hip and energetic 20-somethings, and they like music that reflects their personalities. Classical music . . . doesn't. "We always felt classical music didn't suit our style, didn't highlight our strengths," Belbin said. "If anything, it would highlight our weaknesses." But the Americans have come around this season. And it just might be the thing that wins them their first title at the World Figure Skating Championships, which begin Tuesday in Goteburg, Sweden.
May 3, 2008
BEFORE the L.A. Philharmonic mothballs its tuxes and black dresses ["Bach? Kick Back," by Donna Perlmutter, May 1], someone should remind them that the whole point of concert formal wear is to present a uniform visual effect. The classical audience should be able to focus on the music, not what the bassoonist is wearing on his feet or why the cellist is wearing a pink polo shirt with orange pants. But that's an aesthetic detail. "Casual Fridays" is really based on one deeply objectionable premise -- that there's nothing particularly special about what we're doing here.
April 21, 2014 | By Michael Miller and Rhea Mahbubani
Fourteen years ago, a group of movie lovers banded together to organize the first Newport Beach Film Festival. For the opening-night attraction at Fashion Island, they chose "Sunset Blvd.," the 1950 Billy Wilder drama which famously features a faded Hollywood actress snapping, "I am big. It's the pictures that got small!" As co-founder Todd Quartararo fretted outside the Edwards Big Newport 6 theater before showtime, though, he was more concerned about the size of the crowd than the size of the pictures.
April 21, 2014 | By Ingrid Schmidt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
During her royal tour of New Zealand this month, Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, stepped out in a sharply tailored, custom Alexander McQueen coat and a perfect ponytail. Smoothly volumized, with a wide lock of hair wrapped around the band, Middleton's pony looked relaxed yet royally polished. Kate's 'do garnered raves on fashion and style blogs, showing she's not alone in appreciating the dependable hairstyle that works day and night, rain or shine. More than a fast solution on bad hair days, it's an instant styling trick - the ponytail's effortless, devil-may-care attitude balances the formality of structured suiting, dazzling jewelry and elegant dresses.
April 19, 2014 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Award-winning producer-writer-director George Schlatter is a kind of P.T. Barnum of the small screen. An innovative showman, the 81-year-old Schlatter turned the comedy genre on its head with the hip, groundbreaking series "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1968-73) and helped usher in the reality show format with "Real People" (1979-84) But that's not all, folks. He also created the "American Comedy Awards," produced countless TV specials, including "A Party for Richard Pryor" and "Sinatra: 80 Years My Way," and earned more than a few honors for his work, including Emmys and Golden Globes.
April 16, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
Jake Boldt continued his clutch hitting on Wednesday night, contributing a single, double and three RBIs to lead Huntington Beach past Florida IMG Academy, 5-2, in a semifinal game of the National Classic at Cal State Fullerton. Daniel Amaral added two hits for the Oilers, ranked No. 2 by The Times. Boldt delivered the game-winning hit to rally Huntington Beach past Santa Margarita on Tuesday. Huntington Beach will play San Jose Valley Christian in Thursday's 7:30 p.m. championship game at Cal State Fullerton.
April 12, 2014 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Even after nine decades as an actor, Norman Lloyd loves to perform - even if it's for an audience of one. During a recent interview, Lloyd was brandishing the cleaver used in "Man From the South," the landmark 1960 episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" starring Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre that Lloyd directed. The ironically macabre tale revolves around a young gambler who makes a gruesome bet with an elderly man to win the man's convertible. If the gambler's lighter lights 10 times straight he will win the car, but if it doesn't the man will cut the gambler's pinkie finger off with a cleaver.
April 11, 2014 | By Susan King
The secrets of Sherwood Forest will be revealed Sunday at the TCM Classic Film Festival's "Academy Conversations: The Adventures of Robin Hood.” Oscar-winning sound designer, editor and mixer Ben Burtt ( “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”) and Oscar-winning visual-effects supervisor Craig Barron (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) will be presenting newly discovered stills, recordings and outtakes to illustrate how Warner Bros.' landmark 1938 Technicolor adventure was brought to life.
January 1, 1993 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER
Ahhh, a new year and so many unknowns: Will Jay, Dave and Johnny be genetically spliced to produce the Ultimate Talk Show Host? Will the Yuppie-in-Chief name Stevie Nicks to run the NEA? Who will Sinead pick as her tag team partner against Madonna and the Pope? Will the activist group AWOE (Actresses With One Eyebrow) demand that one of them be chosen to play Frida Kahlo? Oh well, frivolity aside, one thing is certain: You'll be hearing these names and seeing these faces in the next 365.
December 20, 2009 | By Mark Swed music critic >>>
Ten years ago, cultural commentators found it fashionable to forecast the death of classical music. That bit of silliness ended on Sept. 5, 2000, with an unlikely work by an unlikely composer in an unlikely place. The Stuttgart Bach Academy in Germany commissioned four composers from different cultures to write new passions on each of the four Gospels. The third work, devoted to St. Mark, was by Osvaldo Golijov, an Argentine of Jewish Eastern European descent who had studied in Israel and Pennsylvania and settled in the Boston area.
April 10, 2014 | By Susan King
Quincy Jones knew even at a young age that he wanted to compose film scores. "I used to go to movies for 11 cents," Jones said at his mansion nestled in the Bel-Air hills. "I used to play hooky in Seattle every day. I could tell if a movie was scored at 20th Century Fox with Alfred Newman or at Paramount with Victor Young. I could just feel it. " Jones, who studied with composers Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen in Paris in 1957, would become one of the top film composers in Hollywood by the 1960s.
April 10, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
The documentary "Peter Brook: The Tightrope" illuminates the two-time Tony-winning theater director's method of working with actors - but little else. The acting exercise of the film's title involves thespians toeing diagonally across a Persian rug, as if on a tightrope, swaying their bodies and stretching out their arms as if to gain balance. The difficulty escalates with the introduction of imaginary obstacles such as fires and cascades of water. So instructional is the film, directed by Brook's son, Simon, that it feels like one of those P90X or Insanity home fitness programs: Try this at home.
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