July 15, 2013 |
SongFest is the remarkable summer vocal training program, begun in 1996, formerly at Pepperdine University and currently housed at the Colburn School. "Songfest" is Leonard Bernstein's dozen songs for six singers and orchestra, written as a contribution to the U.S. bicentennial festivities in 1976 (but not finished until 1977). On Saturday night, SongFest finally caught up with "Songfest. " This was only the second full Los Angeles performance of Bernstein's complete score. When the composer conducted the West Coast premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in 1983, then-Times music critic Martin Bernheimer, in these pages, called that the wrong place.
July 6, 2013 |
At first glance, it looked like a typical music rehearsal. There at the Colburn School in downtown L.A. were Leann Osterkamp, 22, and Siyi Fang, 25, sitting at pianos playing "Songfest: A Cycle of American Poets" by composer Leonard Bernstein. It was who was watching them and offering instruction that was unusual. Hovering nearby was Michael Barrett, a former assistant to Bernstein and the first ever to play the four-hand piano piece with Bernstein. He offered the women advice on how the maestro, who died in 1990, wanted his piece to be played.
April 5, 2013 |
The Britten year in Los Angeles has begun with a bang. This weekend, you can hear Britten in Walt Disney Concert Hall, at Jacaranda in Santa Monica -- and most of all, in the Colburn School's Zipper Hall where the ever-on-the-move sparkplug James Conlon is presiding over an extraordinary marathon of songs and opera that rarely get a live hearing in this country. For starters Thursday night, in a setting that imaginatively re-invents the format of an art song recital, there was a long “prelude” of often stark songs by Benjamin Britten and others by his teachers Frank Bridge and John Ireland and his foremost predecessor in English opera, Henry Purcell.
November 6, 2012 |
Two years ago Alexei Lubimov, the peculiar Russian polymath pianist, made a rare appearance in Los Angeles to open the season of Monday Evening Concerts at the Colburn School's Zipper Concert Hall. He was back Monday to do the same. He proved no less strange this time around. Lubimov's program on Monday began with Satie and ended with Debussy, not a big stretch, it might seem, the two French composers having been friends and having influenced each other. In between came three short prepared piano pieces by John Cage from the 1940s that were written at a time when Satie was much on Cage's mind.
April 24, 2012 |
Before conducting the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday night, across the street from the newly renamed Colburn Way (one block of 2nd Street), the renowned British conductor Neville Marriner was handed the Richard D. Colburn Award in a small ceremony on stage. Marriner was the first music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which Richard D. Colburn, Los Angeles' legendary music benefactor, helped bankroll. The concert was presented by the Colburn School in honor of the centenary of its founder, who died at 92 in 2004.
January 20, 2012 |
"It's a completely new experience," said Matthew Zuber, a 21-year-old bassoonist studying at the Colburn School. "I've never done an opera before. " He was referring to his participation -- along with 21 other young musicians at the downtown conservatory -- in a new collaboration between Colburn and Los Angeles Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. That union gets its first showcase this weekend, when the combined forces present two one-act operas: Ernst Krenek's "The Secret Kingdom" and Viktor Ullmann's "The Emperor of Atlantis.