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ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
By assembling an "Americas & Americans" festival at the Hollywood Bowl last week, Gustavo Dudamel gave himself permission to cover a vast territory, there being many Americas and an awful lot of us. But it wasn't enough. For the final program Sunday night, he simply short-circuited the musical MapQuest, barely landing on our side of the Atlantic in a program of popular opera and operetta, light classics and Broadway. On the other hand, this mild night at the Bowl with Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic was made for pleasure and can be viewed as only in L.A. It starred Plácido Domingo.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2012 | By Richard S. Ginell
Eduard Schmieder, conductor and orchestra trainer, likes to program transcriptions of works by name-brand composers -- and in the latest annual iPalpiti showcase at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday night, he presented an entire evening of them.    It's not a fashionable idea in this age of relentless pursuit of “authenticity,” but that doesn't bother Schmieder. Nor should it, for he put together an imaginative, wide-ranging and, yes, witty combination of these things, played with smooth, expert brilliance by his young string players from around the globe.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
The news from the Hollywood Bowl this week might have been that Ludovic Morlot is guest conductor. Last fall, the 38-year-old Frenchman blew into the Pacific Northwest like a blast of fresh symphonic air. As the new music director of the Seattle Symphony, he added a heady mix of work by young local composers and progressive pop to a traditional menu of classics. He also has just begun as music director of La Monnaie, Brussels' importantly venturesome opera company. He thus seems the perfect fusion chef to turn the amphitheater into a proper mixing Bowl, and there was some of that in the program Tuesday night (to be repeated on Thursday)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2012 | By August Brown, Los Angeles Times
When Killer Mike arrived to play his set at Echoplex on Thursday, the rapper had reportedly already sold out of T-shirts that read "I'm Glad Reagan's Dead. " The merchandise was spun off of a brutal lyric about the late president from the Atlanta rapper's new album, "R.A.P. Music. " Are hip-hop fans that furious at a long-deceased icon of conservatism? Were they enticed by the shirt's shock value? Perhaps the fashion statement signals something more fundamental happening in rap music - a genre born in rebellion is rediscovering its anger and outsider status.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2012 | By Greg Burk, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Many have revisited Miles Davis' jazz; few have recaptured his magic. As 1980s Davis collaborator Marcus Miller observed Wednesday night, the ever-evolving trumpeter never looked back, so contemporary interpreters better keep an ear to the present. Three ensembles picked up the gauntlet at the Hollywood Bowl, where Davis staged his last public performance in August 1991, just one month before he died. Toughest work: Performing the entire landmark "Kind of Blue" album - an appropriate task for drummer Jimmy Cobb's "So What" Band, since Cobb is the 1959 sextet's lone survivor.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2012 | By August Brown
The news that Madison Square Garden's parent corporation is buying and renovating the Forum in Inglewood should prompt cheers from L.A. music fans. Those who have been around a while remember it as the marquee concert venue in the area for much of rock and roll's heyday, hosting concerts from the big names of the '70s, '80s and '90s -- Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones, among them. Downtown venues such as Staples Center and the L.A. Live complex have stolen much of the venue's musical thunder in recent years, but this investment is a watershed in the venue's history and a major transition back into the local spotlight.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Simone Dinnerstein performed an all-Bach piano recital at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Monday night. Although she's been just about everywhere else, including on many morning TV shows, and although the CDs of her dreamily ethereal Bach sell like hot cakes, this was her first appearance in our neck of the woods. Maybe that makes sense. She is the daughter of outsider painter Simon Dinnerstein and while she now sports big-bucks management and a Sony Classical contract, her career has been unconventional.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Southwest Chamber Music's L.A. International New Music Festival is more a Los Angeles interstitial new music festival. Skirting touristy Europe, these Southwesterners are not interested in inclusiveness but in filling gaps that very much need filling. Monday's installment, the third of the festival's four concerts at the Colburn School's Zipper Concert Hall, did feature two admired L.A. composers who do not lack local institutional attention. Anne LeBaron, on the faculty at CalArts, happens to be the local composer of the moment with her breathtaking opera "Crescent City" currently in production and a piece on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's opening Hollywood Bowl concert in July.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2012 | By Richard S. Ginell
Never, perhaps, was there a more fitting program for Jacaranda's motto “music at the edge” than the one served up Sunday evening: two rare works by two iconoclastic Pacific Rim composers, performed almost literally on the Rim itself at Santa Monica's First Presbyterian Church during a solar eclipse. Terry Riley's ground-breaking exercise in repetition “In C” is world-famous, but hardly anyone has ever heard its followup, “Olson III” -  which, incredibly, was receiving its large-scale U.S. premiere.
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