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September 19, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
After an unexpected outcry from musicians, Amanda Palmer has backed off on her plan to get free musical help for her Kickstarter-sourced upcoming tour. Palmer, a Bay area-based singer and composer whose work has attracted a devoted following, seemed interested in doing something kind of cool for her musicianly fans a few weeks ago when she wrote a post looking to employ ramshackle orchestras in each city. Her pitch: "We're looking for professional-ish horns and strings for EVERY CITY to hop up on stage with us for a couple of tunes," she wrote.
May 30, 2012 | By David Ng
A classical music event in Israel is expected to break the country's taboo on performing the music of Richard Wagner, the 19th century German composer and a well-known anti-Semite. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported this week that the event, scheduled for June 18, will feature orchestral musicians performing selections from Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" and other operas. The event will be an academic symposium at Tel Aviv University devoted to Wagner, conductor Arturo Toscanini and Theodor Herzl, the famed Zionist leader.
October 24, 2012 | By David Ng
Musicians with the California Philharmonic say the orchestra hasn't paid them for concerts that took place this summer, leading them to take action against management. The union representing the musicians has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board saying that the orchestra has failed to compensate its players and contribute to benefits. The Professional Musicians Local 47 said that the players have not been paid for three sets of concerts this year. A spokesman for the NLRB said that the case, which was filed in August, is being investigated.  In a letter sent to The Times, a group of musicians from the orchestra said that they are still waiting to get paid. "As freelance musicians, we get paid as we work.
September 24, 2012 | By David Ng
The start of a new season is usually a celebratory time for an orchestra. But for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the past few days have been a major headache for management and ticket holders. Musicians with the orchestra have been on strike since Saturday after contract negotiations fell through. The orchestra said the disagreement centers mostly around wages and employee contributions toward healthcare costs.  Chicago's orchestra joins a number of other classical groups experiencing labor problems.
December 13, 2013 | By David Ng
Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra who have been locked out in a contract dispute with management since 2012 have scheduled 10 concerts for 2014 with the possibility of more. The musicians said in an announcement Friday on their website that the concerts would be self-produced with no involvement from orchestra management. The concert series , which begins Jan. 10, will feature prominent soloists, including violinists Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman, and a return visit from conductor Osmo Vänskä, who resigned as music director of the orchestra in October because of the ongoing dispute.
March 13, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
The San Francisco Symphony's musicians are on strike, leading to the cancellation of Thursday's scheduled performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony and the first in a series of rehearsals for a three-city East Coast tour scheduled to begin March 20 at New York City's Carnegie Hall. The tour, which features soloist Yuja Wang on piano and also includes performances in Newark, N.J., and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is in jeopardy, as are three additional Mahler performances this weekend at the orchestra's own Davies Symphony Hall.
February 24, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Southern California musicians will gain a new avenue for exposure with the arrival of “Studio A,” a weekly television series spotlighting bands and performers from the region that is set to premiere March 4 at 10 p.m. on independent public TV station KCET and simulcast on KCSN-FM (88.5). Chelsea Wolfe will be profiled in the premiere episode, and Best Coast, Chicano Batman, Aloe Blacc, Run River North, Noah and the Megafauna, the Internet and Deap Valley are due in coming weeks of the series, which aims to showcase the diversity of the Southern California music scene.
June 12, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Most of David Letterman's jokes come and go in moments and feature set-ups, punchlines and guffaws. He's quick-witted and thrives on snappy comebacks. But the late night host understands the nuance that comes with longer-form jokes too, those that take months and years to become apparent, as evidenced by the funny new super-cut of Letterman making conversation with bands after their performances.  PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Specifically, Letterman's been asking one key question of drummers over the years: "Are those your drums?"
January 10, 2012 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
About four times a week, before heading to bed, George Gaffoglio retreats to the upstairs bedroom of his Irvine home, where he settles on his couch, picks up his guitar and fires up his laptop. For the next half-hour or so, the 54-year-old sets aside his daily worries and dives into a website called ArtistWorks, where he plays along with instructional videos by Martin Taylor, attempting to mimic a British jazz guitarist who has collaborated with George Harrison, Dionne Warwick and other musicians.
August 2, 2013 | By Donna Perlmutter
So you think classical music is purely a rarefied pursuit, where what matter are creativity, spirit and soul? The musician's body does not agree. Not midway through a high-powered symphony. Not sitting near the crashing cymbals in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Not during the long haul of Wagner's "Ring" cycle. Take violinist David Harrington. He was in rehearsals with his adventurous Kronos Quartet, preparing to play the epic String Quartet No. 2 by Morton Feldman - it notoriously spans six hours without intermission.
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