May 8, 2000 |
For their penultimate program of the season, conductor Jorge Mester and the Pasadena Symphony concocted a most fragrant Chopin sandwich: the E-minor Piano Concerto surrounded by two impressive 20th century North American works--William Schuman's "Three Places in New England" and Silvestre Revueltas' film suite from "La Noche de los Mayas." The music was ear-opening and the performances tight and polished on Saturday night in Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
October 8, 1997 |
Timing for this splendid 90-minute documentary on the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition ("Playing With Fire," directed by Catherine Tatge) couldn't be better. Gold medal winner Jon Nakamatsu, 28, plays Saturday at El Camino College. Jan Gottlieb Jiracek, one of the six finalists, recently gave his local recital debut. But set your VCR. Names and faces flash by; the pacing can be bewilderingly fast.
August 31, 1999 |
The New York-based Aaron Copland Fund for Music has awarded Pacific Symphony a $15,000 grant to record Lukas Foss' First and Second Piano Concertos on the Harmonia Mundi label. Pacific music director Carl St.Clair is scheduled to conduct the Santa Ana-based orchestra in the two Foss concertos Oct. 26 and 27, 2000, in Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.
February 26, 1998 |
Considering that the Van Cliburn Foundation had arranged to have its winner join the Brentano String Quartet for this concert long before pianist Jon Nakamatsu had taken the gold, the level of ensemble playing came as a welcome surprise Tuesday night at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.
August 24, 1999 |
Now on a 10th anniversary Pacific Rim tour, the 106-member Asian Youth Orchestra returned to Southern California on Sunday to play indoors at the acoustically welcoming Luckman Theatre at Cal State Los Angeles. Immediately, the young ensemble--representing talented players from 10 Asian nations, ages 15 to 25--improved its already vibrant sound profile: We last heard this group outdoors, at the Hollywood Bowl, four years ago.
August 30, 2004 |
The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre tried something different Friday night: a solo piano recital, reportedly the first one since the L.A. County Arts Commission started its programming there in 1993. The choice was a risk, of course, with the Hollywood Freeway churning away outside the front gates. Yet it worked -- beautifully. Every note, even the quietest, could be heard clearly over the ambient noise, with virtually undetectable reinforcement from four tiny speakers suspended over the stage.
July 30, 1998 |
Russians brilliant, melodic and agonized dominated the music Tuesday at the Hollywood Bowl. Colorado Symphony music director Marin Alsop led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a snippet by Rimsky-Korsakov--just enough to remind us of his impact on the music of this century--as well as a warhorse concerto by Rachmaninoff and a symphony by Shostakovich, which is in another class altogether.
August 31, 1998 |
The Pacific Symphony's plan to feature each of the three medal winners at the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in a separate concert ensured that excitement was high as gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu--saved for last--strode onstage at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on Saturday night. His vehicle was Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, in C minor, Opus 18, famous for its power, its passion, its fistfuls of notes. And if one listened carefully, one might just have heard all that.
February 20, 1998 |
The 1998 Hollywood Bowl season, which begins June 6 and runs through Sept. 16, will again offer a core, 10-week series of classical orchestra concerts, as well as jazz, pop, recitals, movie music and fireworks extravaganzas. The Los Angeles Philharmonic will be in residence at the Bowl July 7 through Aug. 20, with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the orchestra in four concerts highlighting music--including Salonen's own "LA Variations"--that it will take on a European tour later in the summer.
August 10, 1998 |
Fireworks burst on and off stage Saturday night at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. The offstage display at the end of the Pacific Symphony's concert was expected; earlier unexpected pyrotechnics came from Russian pianist Yakov Kasman, who illuminated his performance of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto with electrifying energy and sparkling tonal colors and followed the piece with a brittle, crackling march from "Love for Three Oranges," by Prokofiev.