January 3, 2010
Here's a selection of upcoming family concerts presented by local orchestras: Jan. 10 Pasadena Symphony Assn. Musical Circus "From Russia With Love" -- instrumental "petting zoo" and performance 2 p.m. Americana at Brand, 889 Americana Way, Glendale Free (626) 793-7172, Ext. 16 www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org Jan. 16 and 23 Los Angeles Philharmonic Toyota Symphonies for Youth "The Four Seasons," Vivaldi's violin concertos, as seen through the eyes of a weather forecaster 11 a.m. (pre-show activities at 10)
January 16, 2010 |
As Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians take the Disney Hall stage to rehearse, guest conductor Lorin Maazel hangs back almost shyly in the doorway. But there is no hanging back when he takes the podium a few minutes later to lead the orchestra through Sibelius' Second Symphony. Within a few minutes of music-making, it is very clear who's in charge. The conductor has bowing suggestions for the strings and timing ideas for the woodwinds. He singles out entire orchestra sections and individual musicians, working with the violins one moment, players on oboe, timpani and trumpets the next.
January 31, 2010 |
Imagine a postmodern Aaron Copland or Charles Ives with a pop cultural twist, and you're primed for the music of Michael Daugherty. A composer of his time and birthright, Daugherty is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native and the musical embodiment of Americana. His canvas reflects a 20th century cultural mosaic dotted by the likes of Elvis and Superman and Jackie Onassis. At age 55, Daugherty is also the exuberant master of his craft, an artist whose sophistication and compelling appeal can seem utterly at odds with the often kitschy titles of his works.
March 7, 2010 |
When I was in college, I hated Richard Nixon. Everyone I knew (except perhaps my father) hated Richard Nixon. My perspective was as a politically engaged undergraduate at UC Berkeley during the war in Vietnam -- holding a low draft number. I gradually stopped hating Nixon. But it wasn't until Oct. 22, 1987, in the company of bejeweled and Stetson-topped Texans, that I began to understand why. Houston Grand Opera had commissioned John Adams' "Nixon in China" to celebrate the opening of a new opera house.
January 24, 2010 |
There's nothing new about classical musicians trying to expand their fan base. Even if deeds don't always match goals, plenty of performers make the effort. Still, one doesn't expect a largely unknown, foreign artist with little connection to this country to undertake such a project in America -- let alone mostly fund the enterprise himself. Yet here is Johannes Moser, a Berlin-based cellist of German and Canadian parentage, doing just that. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon at Pepperdine University's Raitt Recital Hall, presenting "Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music," the fourth of six concerts in a cross-country tour he conceived to reach audiences that might otherwise be unfamiliar with or even resistant to classical music.
March 18, 2010 |
Like Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel, 26-year-old Robin Ticciati possesses an impressive résumé, boyish looks, powerful supporters and even curly dark hair. Still, for the London-based conductor who makes his L.A. Phil debut Thursday night at Walt Disney Concert Hall, any expectation of him as the "British Dudamel" is a little fanciful. "The comparison is really touching," says Ticciati, the principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and, beginning next season, the principal guest conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Bavaria, Germany.