March 22, 2004 |
Shostakovich's "Leningrad" Symphony -- the powerful single work on the Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts over the weekend -- comes with lots of extraneous weight. Composed largely (the first three movements) during the Nazi siege of that city, the symphony was first hailed in the West as an expression of stirring defiance from a worthy ally. After the Cold War set in, it began to be regarded as a piece of Soviet bombast and claptrap, and the composer as a mouthpiece for a repressive regime.
November 14, 1992 |
Six weeks into its 1992-93 season, the Los Angeles Philharmonic reaches its first hiatus in the new music directorship of Esa-Pekka Salonen. The hiatus commences with a two-week visit by guest conductor Zubin Mehta, who held Salonen's post from 1962 to 1978. Thursday night, in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center, Mehta's first program offered two works by Tchaikovsky, the Violin Concerto and the Sixth Symphony. Both are, of course, longtime specialties of the Bombay-born musician.
October 18, 1993 |
Mightily impressive at two earlier Southland appearances, when he played the Tchaikovsky Concerto with Russian and American orchestras, the Mongolian violinist Maxim Vengerov returned Friday night to give his first local recital. Not surprisingly, given his remarkable successes on tour with the Moscow Philharmonic in April, 1992, and, seven months later, as guest with the L.A.
April 4, 2005 |
Russia's Borodin Quartet, one of the world's foremost chamber ensembles, is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a concert tour that brings it to Los Angeles this week for the first time since 1999. Led by its 80-year-old cellist, original quartet member Valentin Berlinsky, the group will perform a program of works by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Shostakovich on Saturday at the Wilshire Ebell Theater.
August 21, 1986 |
"It's a dream come true," declared Lawrence Leighton Smith, who this month made a small piece of cultural history by becoming the first American to conduct a Soviet orchestra in a recording of Russian classical music. Smith, music director of both the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky, shared conducting duties with Dmitri G. Kitaenko at the unique musical event here.
February 28, 1991 |
The Orange County debut of soprano Jessye Norman, a mini-festival of six Tchaikovsky symphonies and a commissioned work by American composer Jacob Druckman will be among the highlights of the Orange County Philharmonic Society's 1991-92 season. Norman will sing in recital on April 24, 1992, at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. Pavel Kogan will conduct the Moscow State Symphony in Tchaikovsky's six numbered symphonies in three concerts, Oct. 4 to 6, 1991, at the Center.
September 26, 1992 |
Putting together a professional chorus has been the dream of many local choral conductors, but Ron Gillis alone has succeeded. His 30-voice San Diego Choral Artists opens its second season tonight with a concert at the University Christian Church in Hillcrest. During the group's inaugural season--four pairs of concerts in four different locations around the county--Gillis learned a few lessons. "We came to appreciate the value of publicity and marketing," Gillis said.
November 14, 1989 |
For violinist Dmitri Sitkovetsky, being invited back to the Soviet Union to perform last year was his personal equivalent of the opening of the Berlin Wall. "Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that I could go back," observed Sitkovetsky, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1977 at age 23. "The concerts brought forth an incredible rush of emotions. Tickets had sold out within the first few hours." In 12 days, Sitkovetsky played six performances in Moscow.
August 5, 1986 |
In the summer of 1984, record producer/pianist Lincoln Mayorga knew that if a truly high-quality record of a Soviet orchestra was going to be made, a mountain of recording technology--tape machines, microphones, consoles and the like--would have to be utilized.