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April 7, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
It wasn't B.J. Thomas, exactly, but musical raindrops seemed to be falling in a white-walled rehearsal room next to Walt Disney Concert Hall, courtesy of Milo Talwani, one of the L.A. composers least likely to write melody, let alone ear candy, into a piece of music. At 16, he's one of four area high school students taking the royal road to composing careers, at least at the outset, via the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Talwani, a lanky epitome of precocious Bohemian-intellectual cool who's a junior at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, had placed pizzicato plinking sounds that evoked the first spatterings of a cloudburst into a musical fragment from a work in progress.
December 5, 2012 | By Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times
A film's music is often considered a character itself, and this season the roles composers have to play aren't getting any easier. Talking about love between the emotionally unstable is one thing, but how, for instance, does that sound? Or when a character speaks to God, should God answer back with silence or an orchestra? And what of a period piece that isn't a period piece, or a piece that's six periods at once? Here we offer a look at just a handful of 2012's notable film scores. Mychael Danna It was early September, and Mychael Danna was nearing the end of his eight months of work on "Life of Pi," the composer's third collaboration with director Ang Lee. The 80-piece orchestra assembled at the 20th Century Fox lot was on a break, and Danna, in a rare quiet moment in the studio's harp room, was asked to reflect on his initial conversations with Lee about the film.
January 15, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
New music in Manila is a too-little-looked-at phenomenon. We've been missing something. For a Monday Evening Concerts program, built around the U.S. premieres of works by two Philippine composers, Zipper Concert Hall became, in Jonas Baes' "Patangis-Buwaya," a rain forest. The sounds made by a quartet of low winds and whistles and stones handed out to the audience were so uncannily authentic that all that was said to be missing were the mosquitoes. But the big piece of the night, José Maceda's "Strata," proved an even more peculiar sonic and spiritual wonder.
September 5, 2010 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
When it comes to the arts, summer in the city is a time for timidity, especially when we venture out of doors. Classical music audiences are expected to go to places like the Hollywood Bowl to hear what we already know, always the same composers and their most familiar pieces. If picnickers on the grounds are not necessarily unadventurous in trying a new dish or wine, might not we be served a sampling of new music as well? My remedy this time of year is to surf my stereo. The record business, despite sensationalized reports, is not dead, not the classical record business anyway.
June 26, 2011 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Highway 1 is the most alluring music festival route in the country. A scenic drive puts you in easy reach of Mainly Mozart (San Diego), Summerfest (La Jolla), Hollywood Bowl, Songfest (Malibu), Ojai Music Festival, Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara), Days and Nights Festival (Big Sur and Hidden Valley), Carmel Bach Festival, Cabrillo Festival (Santa Cruz), Music@Menlo, San Francisco Opera and Festival del Sole (Napa Valley). But as far as most of these presenters of chamber music, song, orchestral music, opera and new music are concerned, California is what you see out of your car window on the way to a performance.
February 9, 1989 | MICHAEL PARKS, Times Staff Writer
The Soviet Composers Union announced Wednesday that Mstislav Rostropovich, the expatriate Russian cellist and conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, has been reinstated as a member of the union in what appeared to be a prelude to his full political rehabilitation and an invitation to return .
I t's hard to imagine such classic TV series as "The Rockford Files," "Magnum, P.I.," "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law" without the evocative, memorable musical scores written by Mike Post. For nearly 30 years, Post has been one of TV's most preeminent composers and scores all the series created by Steven Bochco, Stephen J. Cannell and Dick Wolf. For the first half of his composing career, Post collaborated with Pete Carpenter, who died in 1987.
David Garfield makes no bones about it: He's a modern musician who cares about how listeners receive what he plays. "It's important to get people off with what I play," says the 35-year-old keyboardist-composer, who plays tonight and Saturday at El Matador in Huntington Beach. "I always try to establish good audience rapport." Garfield readily admits that he likes be-bop and the mainstream acoustic music that succeeded it.
August 16, 1989 | Chris Pasles
For Israeli composer Shimon Cohen, "Jerusalem is the inner sanctum of the whole world." He has tried to capture that belief in his "Jerusalem Sketches: A Rhapsody for Symphony Orchestra," which will receive its first U.S. performance when Cohen conducts the Garden Grove Symphony on Saturday as part of the orchestra's fifth annual free "Summer Symphony in the Park." "As our heart is composed of four sections, my composition is composed in four sections," Cohen said in a recent phone interview.
July 19, 1989 | RACHEL ALTMAN
"One thing I want to do is not be teaching," said composer John Harbison, 50, from Cambridge, Mass. The professor of music at MIT as well as conductor and performer had just learned he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant of $305,000 to be used over the course of the next five years.
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