October 5, 2012 |
With Obama and Romney on the brain, it becomes next to impossible a day after the presidential debates not to perceive the candidates in all walks of life. The Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes - who participated in an all-Beethoven concert with Los Angeles Philharmonic Thursday night in Walt Disney Concert Hall - are not exactly stand-ins for American politicians. But one of them advocates big Beethoven, the other small Beethoven. Andnses has a new recording of the composer's First Piano Concerto and Dudamel of the "Eroica" symphony, the two works on Thursday's program.
September 30, 2012 |
Gustavo Dudamel, Angeleno. He's getting there. He owns a house with a pool in Los Feliz. He drives a Porsche. His son, Martín, was born here. And he has, in his first three seasons as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, shown admirable locavore tendencies in his programming as well as his reaching out to L.A.'s underprivileged youth. But until Friday night, Dudamel had yet to acknowledge two essential L.A. Phil traditions. For his first subscription concert of his fourth season, he premiered a new score by Steven Stucky, a composer with a near-quarter-century connection to the orchestra.
September 7, 2012 |
After experiencing Bramwell Tovey as a regular guest conductor and quipster in chief at the Hollywood Bowl all these seasons, you knew he would be right at home in a program called "Music and Humor. " That's what he has been doing all along to some extent, only on Thursday night, it had an official label. And run with it he did - right off the bat with a topical jab directed to an empty chair. Tovey then took on a masterwork of musical humor, Richard Strauss' "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," leading the audience by the hand through the piece at the piano from beginning to end. He is a more mischievous teacher than, say, Leonard Bernstein was but just as illuminating, and his deliberately paced performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic brought out as much detail as the sound system would allow.
September 5, 2012 |
At 31, Gustavo Dudamel is no longer the youngest music director of a major orchestra. Krzysztof Urbanski is, at least for now. The 29-year-old Polish conductor, who made his West Coast debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Tuesday night, is supposed to begin his second season with the Indianapolis Symphony next week. But the orchestra is in stalled contract negotiations with its players, and the Sept. 14 opening concert is threatened. This, instead, seems the moment for Indianapolis to do a Dudamel.
August 29, 2012 |
When Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who turns 79 in September, comes to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he brings qualities that one used to associate with departed veteran maestros of the past - a searching depth, revelation of detail without losing the forest for the trees, a sense of how to zero in upon and shape a climax. Yes, even at the Hollywood Bowl - with its extra-musical distractions, variable amplified sound and short rehearsal time - Frühbeck delivers the goods, and the appreciative Philharmonic keeps inviting him back.
August 22, 2012 |
All-Mozart concerts are pretty common these days, but you'll hardly find any all-Haydn affairs anywhere. With so much fresh, tuneful, inventive, often unpredictable material to choose from, you wonder why. And after hearing Hollywood Bowl's perennial Baroque-Classical-period guest conductor Nicholas McGegan take on an all-Haydn program with a chamber-sized portion of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Tuesday night, you will especially wonder...
August 18, 2012 |
The one purely orchestral concert of this week's all-over-the-map "Americas & Americans" festival at the Hollywood Bowl was Thursday night. This was Gustavo Dudamel's opportunity to make a big statement with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He did. The theme was fascinatingly Pan-American and focused around Aaron Copland's heroic Third Symphony, which had its premiere in 1946 and encompassed the mood of a country sobered by war but celebratory of victory. For the program's South American half, which began the evening, Dudamel turned to works by Latin American composers who were influenced by Copland.
August 15, 2012 |
Three years ago at Gustavo Dudamel's famous first concert as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic - a free celebration at the Hollywood Bowl that was piped around the world - the stellar young Venezuelan conductor joyfully disdained separatist geography. He told the impassioned crowd that he envisioned a single American continent where there is no north, no south, no central. We are one, he proclaimed, to roaring cheers. Had Dudamel wanted to be L.A.'s mayor and had there been an election the next day, he could now be pulling out his curls coping with a big city's woes.
July 26, 2012 |
LONDON - On its 69th and penultimate day of touring, the Olympic torch has been carried nearly 8,000 miles by sports heroes, pop stars, actors and thousands of everyday people. On Thursday, it was the turn of Esa-Pekka Salonen, principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic . A white-clad Salonen carried the torch for the 330 yards along Cheapside from Gresham Street to Wood Street...
July 25, 2012 |
It was not a typical Russian night at the Hollywood Bowl. The violin concerto Tuesday was not by Tchaikovsky. The Mussorgsky work was not "Pictures at an Exhibition. " Rachmaninoff did not mean the Los Angeles Philharmonic had to hire a piano soloist. Best of all, Leopold Stokowski, whose name is normally restricted to historical artifacts in the Bowl museum, popped up on the program. The French deserve the credit for this curious lack of Slavic cliché. Stéphane Denève is this week's resident conductor; French Canadian violinist Martin Chalifour, the L.A. Phil's masterful concertmaster, was Tuesday's soloist in Julius Conus' Violin Concerto, a favorite of Jascha Heifetz but a rarity these days.