March 25, 2013 |
Yuja Wang is a wonder. Having proved a sensation as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, the 26-year-old Chinese pianist finally made her recital debut at Disney on Sunday night. Again a sensation, she displayed degrees of speed, agility and strength that may have been in violation of gravity's laws. Nor did Wang shy from her notable high style. She wore nearly identical tube-tight dresses - black for Scriabin, bright red for Rachmaninoff - as though a Bond girl who was also Houdini and Horowitz rolled into one, in her demonstration of startling dexterity despite physical restraints.
November 24, 2012 |
Vasily Petrenko is a slender, stylish Russian conductor dashing enough for Hollywood - he could have easily have pranced on camera in “Anna Karenina.” As an unknown 30-year-old in 2006, he took over the struggling Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, not a glamorous post. Now he is a local hero who has made Merseyside into Shostakovich central. Unfortunately, Petrenko has become associated with a limited Russian repertory, something not about to stop, what with the deserved popularity of his growing Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich discographies.
October 21, 2012 |
In March 2010, Robin Ticciati, a 26-year-old British wonder, made his debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A Simon Rattle protégé, Ticciati was at the time a newly appointed music director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and was said, perhaps, to be the next Dudamel. Since then his career has continued to rocket, as every year he adds more prestigious orchestras and opera companies to his guest-conducting card. He is principal guest conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, one of the best in Germany.
July 25, 2012 |
It was not a typical Russian night at the Hollywood Bowl. The violin concerto Tuesday was not by Tchaikovsky. The Mussorgsky work was not "Pictures at an Exhibition. " Rachmaninoff did not mean the Los Angeles Philharmonic had to hire a piano soloist. Best of all, Leopold Stokowski, whose name is normally restricted to historical artifacts in the Bowl museum, popped up on the program. The French deserve the credit for this curious lack of Slavic cliché. Stéphane Denève is this week's resident conductor; French Canadian violinist Martin Chalifour, the L.A. Phil's masterful concertmaster, was Tuesday's soloist in Julius Conus' Violin Concerto, a favorite of Jascha Heifetz but a rarity these days.
August 20, 2011 |
Pianist Yuja Wang struck a chord at the Hollywood Bowl this month and not just with her performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto. The 24-year-old Chinese soloist had necks craning, tongues wagging and flashbulbs popping when she walked on wearing an orange, thigh-grazing, body-hugging dress atop sparkly gold strappy stiletto sandals. In particular, Wang's outfit was a hot topic at the concert and continued after L.A. Times music critic Mark Swed's review appeared in print and online.
July 29, 2009 |
Ashley Tisdale "Guilty Pleasure" Warner Bros. 1/2 At age 24, Ashley Tisdale is the elder of the "High School Musical" tribe that includes Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. On her second album, "Guilty Pleasure," the now-brunet wants to forge her adulthood, but what she's crafted is a glob of uninspired pop-rock that aspires to be Pink but is really something paler. The problem might lie with Tisdale's chosen path of independence; the showbiz prodigy now fancies herself a bad girl.