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August 27, 1987 | LEONARD FEATHER
In the worlds of standard popular music and vocal jazz, both of which Jane Harvey inhabits, repertoire can be half the battle. In fact, as she made inescapably clear Tuesday in the first night of her two-night stand at the Vine St. Bar & Grill, it can carry the night. To jaded listeners tired of the same endless litany of standards, Harvey's song cycle was a joy in itself. Even when familiar tunes were used, they were attached in some ingenious manner to one or two others.
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October 25, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
The temptation for an orchestra to celebrate the opening of a concert hall by commissioning a major new work is obvious and irresistible. It's also, more often than not, a bad idea. Preparing a premiere is hard enough under normal circumstances. There is never enough rehearsal time, and composers frequently need to make changes once they hear their music in the flesh. A new acoustic environment will only confuse the instrumental matters. On top of that, the logistics of concert hall openings - the endless last-minute construction details and typical gala arrangement - can be crazy-making all by themselves.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 1992 | JOHN HENKEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Since its inception in 1986, Xtet has provided some of the brighter spots in local contemporary music. Though by nature variable in configuration, it works with greatest relevance and revelation in the rich modern repertory for singer and mixed ensemble.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Van Dyke Parks has a story for everything in his life, from the name of his pet schnauzer to the mug in which he served a visitor coffee on a recent morning at his antique-lined home in Pasadena. "You know where I got that cup?" asked Parks, an important figure on the margins of the Los Angeles pop scene since the mid-1960s, when he wrote allusive lyrics for the Beach Boys' ill-fated "Smile" album. The mug was emblazoned with the logo of the New York Flute Club, founded nearly a century ago by Georges Barrère, whose grandson Paul went on to play in the band Little Feat with one of Parks' best friends, the late Lowell George.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 1999 | ELAINE DUTKA, Elaine Dutka is a Times staff writer
Having entered what he calls a "creative mode," Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen is continuing to spice up his conducting duties with a series of compositions. In 2000, he'll be taking a long-planned sabbatical to write an opera in collaboration with director Peter Sellars. Several years ago, he was commissioned to write a orchestral piece for Tokyo's Suntory Hall, due to premiere in 2002.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 1986 | KENNETH HERMAN
With the plethora of contemporary music-making over the last two weeks, a first-time visitor might easily mistake San Diego for a citadel of the avant garde. In La Jolla, UC San Diego's Pacific Ring Festival just ended its marathon celebration of the latest fashions in multimedia artistic endeavor, with the likes of John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow and Nam June Paik in attendance, complementing the university's own stable of resident composers.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 1991 | DANIEL CARIAGA, TIMES MUSIC WRITER
Written in the year he turned 35, Ernst Krenek's "Reisebuch aus dem Osterreichischen Alpen" is both an homage to the past and a down payment on future achievement. At that time (1935), the young composer had long since discovered serialism, had already written a so-called jazz opera that was regularly being performed all over Europe, and occupied a place on the cutting edge of Viennese musical contemporaneity.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 1990 | DON SNOWDEN
One of the most poignant moments of the Los Angeles Festival may come when John Carter takes the stage at the Japan America Theatre Thursday night. Under any circumstances, the renowned jazz clarinetist would savor the rare opportunity to perform with his octet in his hometown. It would be only the third time--the first in a prestigious, high-visibility setting--that Carter would present a portion of his acclaimed five-album "Roots and Folklore" series of song cycles locally.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
The temptation for an orchestra to celebrate the opening of a concert hall by commissioning a major new work is obvious and irresistible. It's also, more often than not, a bad idea. Preparing a premiere is hard enough under normal circumstances. There is never enough rehearsal time, and composers frequently need to make changes once they hear their music in the flesh. A new acoustic environment will only confuse the instrumental matters. On top of that, the logistics of concert hall openings - the endless last-minute construction details and typical gala arrangement - can be crazy-making all by themselves.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2011 | By Katherine Tulich, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The first thing you see when you walk into British musician David J's apartment in the historic Villa Carlotta in Franklin Village is a gigantic painted portrait of 1960s icon Edie Sedgwick perched on one wall. "I say hello to Edie every day," the musician wryly notes. Andy Warhol's tragic muse is the inspiration for David J's theatrical production "Silver for Gold (The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick)," which plays at the REDCAT downtown through Sunday. As bass player and founding member of seminal '80s goth-rock art band Bauhaus and later Love and Rockets, David J, who has lived in the U.S. for 16 years, turned his dark vision toward the "Factory Girl" in a melancholic song suite he originally created in 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Center
"Sublime Schubert" is what the Los Angeles Philharmonic is calling this week of Schubert and nothing but. The festival began at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Monday night with a performance of the most beloved song cycle, "Die Schöne Müllerin," by possibly history's most beloved composer. And, yes, the scorching performance from baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Christoph Eschenbach was sublime, but not in the sense of a heavenly destination occasionally reached by way of the ridiculous.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2011 | By Marcia Adair, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Creating something genuinely new in the classical crossover genre is, for many reasons, an endeavor fraught with peril. Classical fans are notoriously unkind to pop artists who want to have a go while pop fans often attack their icons for putting on airs. Those who live full time in the genre — Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, Blake — sell millions of records by sticking to a strict formula. Songs must have big tunes and, if at all possible, be sung in Italian; the voice must be at least vaguely operatic with lots of vibrato and the singer must be handsome in a floppy-haired, Euro kind of way. "Night of Hunters," Tori Amos' 12th studio album and first to be released on the classical music label Deutsche Grammophon, is everything that a crossover project has the potential to be but usually never is. She'll play material from the album at L.A.'s Orpheum Theater on Dec. 17 and 18. The album began with a phone call from Deutsche Grammophon executive producer Alexander Buhr.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2011 | By Katherine Tulich, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The first thing you see when you walk into British musician David J's apartment in the historic Villa Carlotta in Franklin Village is a gigantic painted portrait of 1960s icon Edie Sedgwick perched on one wall. "I say hello to Edie every day," the musician wryly notes. Andy Warhol's tragic muse is the inspiration for David J's theatrical production "Silver for Gold (The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick)," which plays at the REDCAT downtown through Sunday. As bass player and founding member of seminal '80s goth-rock art band Bauhaus and later Love and Rockets, David J, who has lived in the U.S. for 16 years, turned his dark vision toward the "Factory Girl" in a melancholic song suite he originally created in 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2011 | By Holly Gleason, Special to the Los Angeles Times
— The private, videotaped performance of six songs from "Paper Airplane," released last Tuesday, has wrapped and the invited audience has left the main room at Oceanway Studios. Alison Krauss & Union Station are in the midst of the still-photo and video-liners phase inherent to launching a new recording. By this point she's used to the routine. It's hard to believe the angelic-voiced fiddler who's not yet 40 is 25 years into a career that has seen her win 26 Grammy Awards — including 2008's all-genre record and album of the year for "Raising Sand," her collaboration with Robert Plant — and bring bluegrass to places it's never been.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2005 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Dawn Upshaw has served as muse to many. An exquisite purity of voice cries out for heavenly song. In opera, she inspires today's composers to create heroines with passionate hearts and complex souls. But leave it to Osvaldo Golijov to, as he recently told National Public Radio, seek out the inner witch in this angelic-toned soprano. And leave it to Upshaw to let him.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2004 | Adam Baer, Special to The Times
In 2000, when composer Jake Heggie enjoyed the big San Francisco premiere of his opera "Dead Man Walking," many critics balked. The drama, they asserted, was admirable, but the flat, derivatively tonal music was not. Heggie wrote decorative, meandering lines that safely borrowed from Strauss, Sondheim, Menotti and Bolcom. At the time, it seemed as if a powerful pod of Broadway composers had usurped our operatic waters. Heggie led the swim.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 1987 | JOHN VOLAND
The inaugural performance of the Pacific Contemporary Music Center, held at Cal State Los Angeles Friday night, very conservatively displayed the nonprofit group's avowed intentions of "encouraging performance and awareness of . . . composers of the Pacific Rim countries." The eclectic program was a good omen for the center's growth, but the performance itself--by tenor Rex Eikum and pianist Jeong Jin--was hardly an ideal curtain-raiser.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 1997 | F. KATHLEEN FOLEY
The opening chords of "No Miracle: A Consolation" send a prickling sensation up the back of the neck. It's the feeling that comes from pure emotion, purely expressed--and it lasts until the final curtain call. Philip Littell and his longtime collaborator, Eliot Douglass, have been workshopping their AIDS song cycle for more than a decade now.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2001 | JOHN HENKEN, John Henken is a frequent contributor to Calendar
For 14 seasons, the lean, intense figure on the podium has been a constant in a time of change for the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. In July, music director Jon Bailey leaves an organization that, under his leadership, has nearly tripled in size--to 180 members--and become a major choral player not only locally, but nationally as well. "We know when it is the right time to do something," Bailey says. "I could stay, and in many ways I would like to stay, but it's the right time for this.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 2000 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music concerts exist, it seems, as a sophisticated escape from classical music routine, and as a pleasure as much for players as audience. The venue at the University of Judaism, though more accessible to the Westside and Valley than is downtown, feels remote. The Gindi Auditorium has an engaging acoustic and a relatively intimate feel. The musicians appear liberated from the lock-step of orchestral discipline.
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