August 31, 2013 |
If you listened carefully in the hills and canyons around the Hollywood Bowl on Friday evening, you could almost hear a simple ostinato built around two bass notes that evoked the ominous feeling of an imminent attack by a predatory shark. Da-dum. Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum. Run for your lives, here it comes! Something deep, dark and ageless -- at least in pop culture terms -- indeed swept into the Bowl on a very warm summer night. But it wasn't the Oscar-winning theme from "Jaws" by film composer John Williams, who conducted his annual concert "John Williams: Maestro of the Movies" (the show also plays Saturday night)
August 26, 2013 |
The Los Angeles Philharmonic will hold a free, open-house concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in September, featuring conductor Gustavo Dudamel and musicians from the Youth Orchestra of L.A. Members of the two orchestras will perform a matinee concert on Sept. 29, with the performance broadcast live to a big screen in Grand Park in downtown L.A. The event -- which will mark the first time that musicians from the orchestras will have played together -- is part of a series of celebrations called "insideOUT" commemorating the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall.
August 26, 2013 |
It was only natural that "Naturale" would serve as the centerpiece for the What's Next? Ensemble's micro-series program Saturday night at Monk Space, designed to explore "musical concepts of space, time and place. " Luciano Berio's score for viola, percussion and recorded voice investigates the intersections of world cultures in the folk traditions of Sicily, with a late 20th-century viola twist. "Naturale" also happens to be one the greatest solo works of any time or place for the instrument.
August 23, 2013 |
A good place for the Los Angeles Philharmonic to try out new talent, the Hollywood Bowl can be curiously hospitable to odd couples. Concerts are one-night stands, so there is less to lose than at downtown subscription concerts, where programs are repeated three or four times. But the complicated Bowl schedule can mean an almost haphazard mix and match between soloist and conductor on occasion. It requires speed dating, given that the typical program has a single rehearsal the morning of the concert.
August 12, 2013 |
I wonder whether the 9,985 who showed up at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday to hear Gustavo Dudamel conduct a wild and properly woolly concert performance of "Aida" included any of the Hollywood producers responsible for this summer's crop of unsuccessful blockbusters. It would be nice to think so, because Verdi's opera is an object lesson in the art of blockbusterism without the bluster. Bring on the camels and camp it up if you like. But this is also a showstopper opera open to ethereal eloquence.
August 3, 2013 |
Had someone asked me before a performance of Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday night what I thought about Scott Simon's live tweeting his mother's death, I would have answered that I am not among the multitude of moved twitterati. I interpreted an NPR newscaster's employment of sympathy as a form of emotional self-aggrandizement, a warm bath of pathos. You could, however, level the same complaints against Pergolesi. He sugarcoated as sorrowful a text as you'll find in the liturgy.
August 2, 2013 |
If you happen to catch Esa-Pekka Salonen and his family going about their daily routines on Los Angeles' west side in the coming months, you're not experiencing a time warp effect. Salonen, the former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has made London his primary home in the past four years, serving as the principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. In a recent interview, Salonen said that he will be spending more time in L.A. starting in September. He said all three of his children are attending school in the United States and that he is limiting his conducting engagements to five months a year.
HOME & GARDEN
July 12, 2013 |
Life is usually such a struggle for me. I get foreplay confused with afterplay; I get tofu confused with cheese. Yet, when I stumble across one of L.A.'s ultimate bargains, I am quick to share. This is such a one-way relationship, you and I. Just the way you like it. So today we're leaving the suburbs for the best free activity in Los Angeles, a sort of spiritual rehab, Botox for your troubled soul. Here, L.A.'s most-accomplished musicians serenade you, directed by celebrity conductors.
July 7, 2013 |
Particularly for those of us with children, Los Angeles residents are often left wondering why we live here. The basic costs of living are comically high, public transportation is woefully inadequate, and most public schools can't afford rudimentary arts programs. For all its size and sprawl, the city doesn't have nearly enough parks or public spaces but manages to generate choking traffic and diabolical motorists. And then you take your kids to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II" at the Hollywood Bowl featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by George Daugherty, and you realize, oh, yes, this is why we live in Los Angeles.
June 9, 2013 |
The 100-year-old Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County knows how to make an entrance. On Saturday night, following a black-tie dinner to celebrate its centennial, the museum lifted the curtain on its brand-new entrance, the Otis Booth Pavilion. The $13-million structure is a six-story-high, multimedia-infused glass cube that's now home to the museum's famous fin-whale skeleton, which hangs in a diving position from the ceiling. Until now, the building has been under wraps, with mystery mounting as to what shape it was taking under its tightly fitted white tent.