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August 10, 1990 | KENNETH HERMAN
Long before glasnost , Americans had a hearty appetite for Russian music. When Carnegie Hall opened a century ago, for example, Tchaikovsky inaugurated the house, and, during World War II, the symphonies of Shostakovich flooded American radio waves. There must be some irony in the fact that American orchestras still play more Russian music than home-grown compositions. Wednesday night's San Diego Symphony Pops concert under guest conductor Norman Leyden wallowed in ripe Russian repertory.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
The two freed members of Russian music and performance-art collective Pussy Riot who appeared Wednesday in New York with Madonna at an Amnesty International concert supporting human rights issues worldwide are “no longer members of the group,” according a statement issued by other anonymous members of the collective. “We are very pleased with Masha and Nadia's release,” the statement posted on Pussy Riot's website said of Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were sent to a Siberian gulag last year for their “punk prayer” protest in 2012 against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2011 | By Irene Lacher, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Silver-haired Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a celebrated operatic baritone from Siberia, returns to Los Angeles Opera on Thursday for a recital of classical music from his native Russia and Western Europe. This is your third recital in L.A., and half the program is devoted to Russian songs. Last year you sang Russian war songs. Are you trying to raise the profile of Russian music in the West? As a Russian musician ? Russian born and raised ? that's what I do the best on the concert stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2011 | By David Mermelstein, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Perhaps more than any other composer, Dmitri Shostakovich is rooted in his time and place. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1906, and his life and career paralleled the history of the Soviet Union, which variously celebrated and pressured him until his death in 1975. His music reflects the turmoil of his personal story and the difficult times in which he lived, especially World War II — or as Russians call it, the Great Patriotic War. Even now, decades after his death, Shostakovich's scores remain primarily associated with either grim historicity (exemplified by his "Leningrad," "The Year 1905" and "Babi-Yar" symphonies)
NEWS
November 19, 1993 | MICHAEL ARKUSH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Alex Tumanov lives in the United States now and is proud of it. He calls Boris Yeltsin "another Stalin" and cherishes the day he escaped the growing turmoil of his Ukrainian homeland. But Tumanov has never abandoned his emotional ties to the culture he left behind. Four years after his arrival in Los Angeles, he still prefers a regular diet of Russian favorites: chicken Kiev, herring and, of course, vodka--and Russian music.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2011 | By David Mermelstein, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Perhaps more than any other composer, Dmitri Shostakovich is rooted in his time and place. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1906, and his life and career paralleled the history of the Soviet Union, which variously celebrated and pressured him until his death in 1975. His music reflects the turmoil of his personal story and the difficult times in which he lived, especially World War II — or as Russians call it, the Great Patriotic War. Even now, decades after his death, Shostakovich's scores remain primarily associated with either grim historicity (exemplified by his "Leningrad," "The Year 1905" and "Babi-Yar" symphonies)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 28, 1990 | KENNETH HERMAN
American symphony audiences have always shown a strong predilection for Russian music. When New Yorkers inaugurated Carnegie Hall in 1891, they brought over Tchaikovsky for a week of concerts. Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his Third Piano Concerto in 1909 for an American tour, giving the eager Russophiles of New York City the first hearing of his new concerto.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 1990 | MICHAEL PARKS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The last symphony that Mstislav Rostropovich conducted in Moscow before leaving on what turned into 16 years of exile was Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, the "Pathetique." On Tuesday, the "Pathetique" was the first symphony he conducted at the start of the National Symphony Orchestra's appearances in Moscow and Leningrad. The symmetry was Rostropovich's way of saying that he had kept faith, cultural as well as political, during those long years abroad and that he was anxious to pick up, as best he could, where he had left off. "These past 16 years that we were in the West . . . we have been true soldiers of our Russian art, Russian music," he said on his return this week.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 1996 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Valery Leontev, Laima Vaikule, Philipp Kirkorov and Irina Allegrova. The names may sound like alphabet soup to most Americans, but they are among the most famous artists in the Russian pop music world. No longer under the strict creative guidelines of the Soviet era, Russian pop has seen explosive growth in less than a decade. Leontev has been described as the "Russian Michael Jackson"; Vaikule is an equally bright light in Russia's growing firmament of music stars.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 1992 | SUSAN BLISS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
You can, the adage says, take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy. That appears to hold true even if the country in question is the recently dismantled U.S.S.R. and the boy happens to be emigre pianist Yefim Bronfman.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2011 | By Irene Lacher, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Silver-haired Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a celebrated operatic baritone from Siberia, returns to Los Angeles Opera on Thursday for a recital of classical music from his native Russia and Western Europe. This is your third recital in L.A., and half the program is devoted to Russian songs. Last year you sang Russian war songs. Are you trying to raise the profile of Russian music in the West? As a Russian musician ? Russian born and raised ? that's what I do the best on the concert stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2010 | By MARK SWED, Music Critic
For all its fascination with youth, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, while Gustavo Dudamel is away, has hardly become no country for old men. Last month, Lorin Maazel (79) spent two weeks at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Last weekend, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (76) was on the podium; he was preceded the previous week by Herbert Blomstedt (82) and will be followed by Charles Dutoit (73). Esa-Pekka Salonen, when he turned 50 in 2008, printed T-shirts with the slogan "50 is the next 70." But the fact is, conductors age exceptionally well.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 26, 2007 | Ann Powers, Times Staff Writer
The music of the people is a mutt wandering the world's alleys in search of food and finding beauty. Such a florid statement feels appropriate when discussing "Russian Chanson," presented Thursday at Walt Disney Concert Hall by the L.A. Philharmonic as part of its "Shadow of Stalin" series. After all, the songs on this program had lyrics such as "Fire up the bath for me, mistress ... let it burn me hot, white hot." Such sentiments don't make for genteel touristic listening.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2002 | MARK SWED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
SAN FRANCISCO--Michael Tilson Thomas is ending his seventh season as music director of the San Francisco Symphony with a three-week, well-mixed festival of Russian music.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2002 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
"Things," Esa-Pekka Salonen told the Los Angeles Philharmonic audience Friday night, "are exactly what they seem." He was speaking about a highly unusual situation in Shostakovich's music--which is more often noted for its onion-like layers of irony--as he introduced the Russian composer's Second and Third symphonies. Shostakovich was in his early 20s when he wrote these symphonies in 1927 and 1929.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2001 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Anyone interested in international politics knows not to ignore Russia, and the same goes for its arts. These might not be the cheeriest of times for the country, but its great culture nevertheless imposes itself mightily upon us. Note Stravinsky's ascendance to the top of the 20th century composer pantheon, Shostakovich's ever rising reputation, and the importance of such composers from the Soviet Union as Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Part and Sophia Gubaidulina.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 1990 | TIMOTHY MANGAN
Clearly, there was more going on than met the ear. Clearly, we were meant to feel something noble, our souls stirring to music, the universal language, perhaps. At Hollywood Bowl Sunday night, Americans played Russian music. Russians played American music with Americans. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. resounded in the night air. And then the two orchestras combined in that colossal monument to love, Berlioz's "Symphonie fantastique." Sound a little heavy-handed? It was.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2000 | ROSEMARY CLANDOS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
So you're not planning a visit to Russia this summer? Then consider a trip this weekend to the Falcon Theatre in Burbank to see Limpopo, a band of wild and crazy former Moscow University students. Limpopo spices up traditional Russian music with what it calls "folk 'n' roll." The band throws in some foot-stomping Cossack dancing and acrobatics, and blends old customs with comedy. They are the kinds of musicians who pull families onstage to dance the Russian macarena.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 1998 | Stephen Wigler, Stephen Wigler is the classical music critic of the Baltimore Sun
It is a subzero day in February, but Denis Matsuev is making the other pianists in the room feel uncomfortably warm. Listening to the 22-year-old play Liszt's "Mephisto Waltz" is like listening to God create the universe: a fury of deafening thunderbolts mixed with unearthly beauty and tenderness.
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