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May 24, 1989 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, Times Music Critic
Do we really have to play Name the Next Conductor? It is such a silly game. Yes, yes. We know. It is the favorite pastime these days in newspaper offices, concert-hall foyers, board rooms, dressing rooms and upscale parlors throughout the nation, probably throughout the world. Still, it isn't particularly useful or productive. The subject is simply too subjective, the outcome too speculative. And anyhow, our crystal ball is both scratchy and cloudy. OK. OK. Stop twisting our arm. We don't want to be different.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
BERKELEY - The Vienna Philharmonic is an orchestra that has always been gripped by as well as in the grip of history - the history of Western music, of which it has played a significant part, and the history of Vienna, of which it has also played a significant part. Now "Confronting the Past," has become an official project of the orchestra. In mannerly Viennese fashion, what the orchestra really means is confronting its past. That is what it did in a special residency as part of the UC Berkeley Cal Performances' series that included three concerts in Zellerbach Hall along with a two-day symposium examining the orchestra's history from the outbreak of World War I to the present.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2008
Bowl change: Pianist Andre Watts, who was scheduled to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl next Thursday, has canceled because of tendinitis in his left forearm, the orchestra said. He will be replaced by Peter Jablonski.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By David Ng
Esa-Pekka Salonen, the former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has won the prestigious Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, a biennial award from Northwestern University that honors a contemporary composer's body of work. Salonen is receiving a $100,000 cash award and will have one of his works performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 2015-16 season, the university announced Monday. The Finnish composer-conductor also will partner with Northwestern's Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, where he will participate in four residencies on the Northwestern campus in the next two academic years.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2008 | Chris Pasles
Carrie Dennis, principal viola of the Berlin Philharmonic, has been named principal viola of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, beginning in September. A native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Dennis, 30, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She served as assistant principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2002 to 2006, when she joined the Berlin Philharmonic. -- -- Chris Pasles
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2008 | Chris Pasles
Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard has canceled his appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic next Thursday through Sunday at Walt Disney Concert Hall on doctor's orders because of back strain. Peter Serkin will fill in with a slight change in program. Replacing Janacek's Capriccio for Piano Left Hand and Winds will be Messiaen's "Petites esquisses d'oiseaux" (Small Sketches of Birds) for piano solo. The remainder of the program, to be conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi, will be the same: Messiaen's "Oiseaux exotiques" (Exotic Birds)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 1994 | Mark Swed, Mark Swed is a free-lance writer based in New York. and
The Los Angeles Philharmonic comes to Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall next week, its first visit to New York in four years and its first trip here with its music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Once more, the orchestra joins the great New York musical jostle for recognition. The parade of orchestras visiting New York this season has already included the Boston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra (both of which offer short seasons here), the Pittsburgh Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Houston Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, along with orchestras from St. Petersburg, London, Osaka, Weimar, Wales and Slovakia.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 1989
T here is some choice, but not much, in what violinists are asked to play on their audition tapes and at the ensuing live audition for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In both cases, applicants get to play a portion--either all or part of the first movement--from any of the following concerti: Mendelssohn Beethoven Brahms Prokofiev No. 2 Bartok No. 2 Sibelius Tchaikovsky The rest of the format is set in stone. Each violinist must play the following music : ON TAPE: Brahms' Symphony No. 4, second movement: Play from measure 88 to 102 Schumann's Symphony No. 2, Scherzo: Play from the beginning to measure 50 Strauss' "Don Juan," play from the beginning to the 14th measure after letter C LIVE: The first and second movements of Mozart's Concerto No. 3 in G major, No. 4 in D major, or No. 5 in A major.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 30, 2009 | Chris Pasles
Baroque music without theories: What blessed relief. That's what guest conductor Herbert Blomstedt and the Los Angeles Philharmonic served up Friday at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In the bad old days, music was music, period, no matter when it was written and what the details of its original performance might have been. Then the specialists moved in, illuminating the field, to be sure, but also dividing it into do's and don'ts, which soon became thou-shalt's and thou-shalt-not's. Blomstedt and crew said the heck with that.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2008 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
A story John Cage liked to tell involved his teacher of Zen Buddhism, D.T. Suzuki: "Before studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. While studying Zen, things become confused. After studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. "After telling this, Dr. Suzuki was asked, what is the difference between before and after. He said, 'No difference. Only the feet are a little bit off the ground.' " Thursday night Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Richard Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2014 | By Reed Johnson
In his classic tome "The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century," critic Alex Ross compares Minimalism to driving a car "across empty desert, the layered repetitions in the music mirroring the changes that the eye perceives - road signs flashing by, a mountain range shifting on the horizon, a pedal point of asphalt underneath. " Think of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Minimalist Jukebox festival, then, as a Mojave roadside diner where the menu changes constantly and there's always some unexpected disc spinning hypnotically on the turntable: John Adams' "Naive and Sentimental Music," Steve Reich's "Vermont Counterpoint" or perhaps "Autobahn," the robotic road-trip chamber work by post-human electro-pioneers Kraftwerk.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
John Corigliano wrote his Symphony No. 1 in 1988 on a grand scale for an extravagant-sized orchestra. It is a multi-colored score containing a patchwork quilt of immense emotions. The composer didn't call it a war symphony, but that is what it is, an epic orchestral score for an epic tragedy, the AIDS epidemic. Audiences and orchestras, devastated by what the disease had wrought, understood. The symphony was needed, appreciated and widely played. The urgency of those times is receding into memory, and Corigliano's score is not so much heard any longer.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Brahms and Tchaikovsky made an effort to be civil to each other when the German and Russian composers met, and that was impressive. In an infamous review, Edward Hanslick, the most powerful critic in 19th century Vienna and Brahms' mouthpiece, credited Tchaikovsky as the first composer to write music "that stinks in the ear. " Tchaikovsky called Brahms a "self-inflated mediocrity. " This week there is a Tchaikovsky lockdown in Walt Disney Concert Hall, thanks to daily programs in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's magnificent TchaikovskyFest.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Wherever he goes, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel is hailed as a symbol of El Sistema, Venezuela's model music education program. But Tuesday Dudamel arrived in L.A. as the subject of criticism for not speaking out against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's policies. Just off the plane from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, and sitting in his office at Walt Disney Concert Hall with an espresso and poring over a Wagner opera score, Dudamel gave his first interview about his situation at home.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
We cannot escape Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. On Thursday, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with help from the Símon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, begin an 11-day TchaikovskyFest at Walt Disney Concert Hall that will include the Russian composer's six symphonies along with other orchestral and chamber works. But unlike other festivals - and especially the Mahler Project, Dudamel's concentrated traversal through nine symphonies with the L.A. Phil and his Bolívars two years ago - the TchaikovskyFest has no musical frame.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
This post has been updated. Please see below for details. Stars under the stars is what the Hollywood Bowl is all about. In the 2014 Bowl season announced Tuesday by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a number of them - namely, the cast of “Hair” -- will be briefly nude and spouting some salty language. And Gustavo Dudamel, the star most fundamental to the Phil's fortunes, will conduct a composition of his own for the first time in L.A. The cluster of names assembled for the season also includes Esa-Pekka Salonen, making his first Bowl appearances since stepping down as the Phil's music director and taking up his lifetime baton as its conductor laureate.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2009 | Randy Lewis
Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard usually doesn't go in much for guest appearances. "It's very rare that we've invited people into the inner circle," Gibbard said in a recent interview. "There's nothing wrong with doing that. Some people love to have 15 guests on their album and make the recording session a big party where everybody's singing backup or playing guitar. We've never been that band." The Bellingham, Wash., quartet, however, made a sizable exception July 5 during its sold-out concert at the Hollywood Bowl, bringing what Gibbard introduced to the crowd as "our 50 new best friends" onstage in the form of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
A screen for film or video projection has become a common occurrence at concerts, multimedia being a way of 21st century musical life. A floor lamp on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday night was, maybe, a curious homey touch, but hardly eccentric when a green umbrella is the trademark of the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. The lamp could even have been something stagehands forgot to throw away after the orchestra's last Green Umbrella extravaganza in November, a messily prop-crazed production of Frank Zappa's "200 Motels.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
The Philharmonic Society of Orange County will offer a hat-trick of sorts in the 2014-15 season it announced Monday: Audiences can hear programs led by the music directors of three of California's top orchestras. Gustavo Dudamel will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carl St.Clair will lead the Pacific Symphony's chamber music sections, and the San Francisco Symphony's music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, will also be accounted for - although on this occasion he'll marshal the London Symphony Orchestra as one of its principal guest conductors in a program featuring piano star Yuja Wang.
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