May 3, 2013 |
The famous first bars of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto summon four fortissimo horns to urgently blare a four-note descending figure and then leap. The full Los Angeles Philharmonic punctuated that leap Thursday night about as adamantly as I can recall having ever heard it. An industrial strength timpani thump added emphasis. Like a musical high five, the concerto's opening proclaimed Gustavo Dudamel's return to Walt Disney Concert Hall for a month, his first time back since his proud European and New York tour with the orchestra in March.
May 2, 2013
For fans of the piano trio, this bill could be considered something of a meeting of two heavyweights. An ambitious, expressive artist, Brad Mehldau's threesome was in typically remarkable form on two 2012 albums, and the Bad Plus has been pushing boundaries for years with an irreverent mix of head-turning covers and originals. A wild card will most likely be introduced in saxophonist Joshua Redman, who has collaborated with both ensembles in the past. Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles.
May 2, 2013 |
When pianist, pedagogue and Arnold Schoenberg's former secretary Leonard Stein formed Piano Spheres in Los Angeles in 1994, he was providing exposure to four of the best and most imaginative students he had mentored. Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson and Susan Svrcek are now among the best, busiest and least dispensable pianists in Los Angeles, to say nothing of the most dedicated. Nine years after Stein's death, Piano Spheres still thrives and on Saturday celebrates the series' upcoming 20th anniversary by providing a rare opportunity to hear all four pianists on the same stage.
April 28, 2013 |
BERLIN - In a hotel in the embassy-heavy streets in the city's center, Lang Lang sits on a bright red couch, a modestly daring complement to the room's elaborate Bauhaus paneling. He has just come from a conference in Cannes where he gave a speech to the who's who of the music biz about classical music, social media and building music schools in China. The window is open and outside, a woman shouts enthusiastically into a megaphone. Her acolytes answer her calls with equal vim. Inside the normally happy-go-lucky, 30-year-old pianist is doing some protesting of his own. When he plays with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall in May, it will be Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, a piece second perhaps only to Grieg in the most-played concerto table.
April 12, 2013 |
Will the Academy's big bubble pop before it has a chance to be built? Italian architect Renzo Piano, Los Angeles architect Zoltan Pali and officials from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled preliminary designs Thursday for a $300-million film museum at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The architectural centerpiece of the 290,000-square-foot complex, just west of the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, would be a giant glass-enclosed dome, which Piano refers to as the "sphere" and the "soap bubble.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2013 |
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. - The piano was delivered to its bluff-top perch under cover of fog nearly two weeks ago. It is scheduled to leave this coastal enclave in a burst of flames on Sunday. In between the fog and the fire, musician and sculptor Mauro Ffortissimo has been treating his neighbors to an illicit outdoor concert series grandly dubbed Sunset Piano. Chopin, Debussy, a tango or two. The performances are timed to end the moment the sun sinks below the horizon. He plays to cyclists and dog walkers, babies in strollers, his landlady in a folding chair, the charmed, the perplexed.
January 26, 2013 |
Few musicians have forged a closer professional and personal collaboration than that of conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen and pianist Yefim Bronfman. Their regular appearances together performing concertos from the standard repertory have captivated audiences for some 20 years, first during Salonen's 17-season tenure as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and more recently while he's been principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. But that relationship broadened six years ago, when Bronfman gave the premiere of Salonen's Piano Concerto, written for the soloist and commissioned by the New York Philharmonic.
December 24, 2012 |
This story has been updated. See below. Few things are more carefully choreographed than a movie musical, but director Tom Hooper wanted to steep his big-screen adaptation of "Les Misérables" in some gritty reality. So he took a page from Ridley Scott's war film "Black Hawk Down. " At Pinewood Studios outside London, he set up a scene in which 30 student revolutionaries and scores of background players construct a blockade to stave off the French army in 19th century Paris.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2012 |
Hours before showtime at UCLA's Royce Hall, Teri Meredyth leaned into a new Steinway & Sons concert grand piano. Behind her, stagehands hammered together a stage extension. In front, workers shoved into place wooden panels for a backdrop. Stage left, an electrician shouted to a colleague aiming spotlights. Meredyth, the hall's longtime piano technician, pounded the keys of the 9-foot-long grand, listening for off-kilter harmonics. She tweaked tuning pins and pricked felt hammers with a needle to soften them and thus warm the tone that would be produced when they hit the strings.
November 27, 2012 |
The piano on which Sam (Dooley Wilson) played the haunting love song "As Time Goes By" in the 1942 Oscar-winning movie classic "Casablanca" is going on the auction block. Sothebys in New York will put the iconic instrument up for sale on Dec. 14. The auction house believes the piano could fetch up to $1.2 million. The Japanese collector who is offering the instrument bought it at a 1988 Sotheby's auction for $154,000. "Casablanca," which starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as lovers Rick and Isla, celebrated the 70th anniversary of its New York premiere Monday.