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September 18, 2011 | By Marcia Adair, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Two recent and seemingly unrelated events, the release of 250,000 unredacted State Department cables written between 1966 and 2011 via WikiLeaks and the pro-Palestinian protests at the Israel Philharmonic concert in London, got us thinking: How closely entwined are politics and classical music in diplomatic circles? A few weeks ago WikiLeaks published cables sent by American diplomats who were reporting back to the government on events and people of interest to the United States.
September 23, 2010 | By Gary Goldstein
The seminal story of how modern classical music turned Louisville, Ken., into a mid-20th century cultural phenomenon feels far less thrilling than it should, at least in the hands of co-directors Owsley Brown III and Jerome Hiler. That's because their documentary, "Music Makes a City," despite its gorgeous soundtrack, historical sweep and wealth of archival material, is weakened by sluggish pacing and an overly detailed, increasingly narrow focus. Singer-songwriter-actor Will Oldham's lecture-like narration tells how the 1937 formation of the Louisville Orchestra helped rejuvenate the city after the Great Depression and, later, a devastating flood.
June 2, 1991
In reply to the letter by Matthew Hetz on classical music and contemporary dress (May 26): Concert musicians wear formal attire to signalize their reverence for an art form. The need is not for them to debase their calling but for the audience to realize that not everything in life exists to feed its prejudices at the expense of truth about the past, or to feed its appetite for mindless sensations. They already have Madonna. Economics is already forcing serious music to compromise itself for the sake of concert attendance.
May 6, 1997 | NICK GREEN
Classical music concerts will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks and at Moorpark College. In Thousand Oaks, the Cal Lutheran Symphony will perform the score to the Douglas Fairbanks Sr. silent film "The Black Pirate" as a digitally reconstructed print of the movie is shown. The 1926 classic is one of the earliest color productions and contains what critics have called one of the most famous of all movie stunts: Fairbanks' ride down the ship's sail on a knife.
July 11, 2010 | By Irene Lacher, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, 42, returns to the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday with a program of Mahler and Bruch. The boyish classical superstar talked about music, friends and adrenalin rushes from his home in New York. You've done a lot of TV, like VH1, and film, and I'm wondering whether you're consciously trying to bring more young people into the classical music fold. Yes. It's hard to say what my main motivation is, but I'm definitely conscious of trying wherever I can to bring young people in, whether it's doing "Sesame Street" or going into schools.
December 3, 1986 | CLARKE TAYLOR
The public-television documentary about "The VIII International Tchaikovsky Competition," held every four years in Moscow, offers American audiences a broad exposure to what has been called "the Olympics of classical music." The 90-minute program, filmed at the competition held last June, is scheduled for broadcast tonight on public television stations around the country, including KCET Channel 28 in Los Angeles, which co-produced the documentary with producer Robert Dalrymple.
November 3, 2007
Re "Accompanying history," Opinion, Oct. 28 Alex Ross leaves out a considerable amount of significant classical composition produced in countries outside Europe and the United States. Japan, where the horror of modern warfare was certainly a factor, had Toru Takemitsu, among many others. Most of Central and South America had their nationalist and post-impressionist lions, some of whose work is just now receiving decent exposure.
October 26, 2011 | By Marcia Adair, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Attention, classical music marketers: Cursive script is boring. Raw meat and green shag carpet are the future. According to classical music label Naxos, that is. A recent digital-only album of Wagner's best bits dispensed with the label's usual livery of white background and blocky typeface and small, out-of-copyright images in favor of the rather more outré image of steak tartar and shag. The title of the downloadable album is "Bleeding Chunks of Wagner," a reference to an oft-quoted passage written in 1935 by English classical music critic Donald Tovey: "Defects of form are not a justifiable ground for criticism from listeners who profess to enjoy the bleeding chunks of butcher's meat chopped from Wagner's operas.
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