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Ursula Oppens

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ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 1985 | MARC SHULGOLD
There may not be a more popular living American composer than Aaron Copland (who turns 85 on Thursday). Audiences never seem to tire of his splashy, tuneful orchestral pieces. Which leads Ursula Oppens to ask of his Piano Concerto, "Why isn't it performed more?" The New York-based pianist, who will play the work at concerts by Erich Leinsdorf and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Music Center beginning on Copland's birthday, can barely contain herself in singing its praises.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2008 | Mark Swed, Times Music Critic
Elliott Carter's "Night Fantasies," completed in 1980, was the first major work for solo piano by the composer since his 1946 Piano Sonata and the first major work by him after he turned 70. At the time, the fiendishly difficult score, which captures the unpredictable flickering of neurons in the sleepless brain at night, suggested the onset of an impulsive late style.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2001 | JOSEF WOODARD, Josef Woodard is a frequent contributor to Calendar
When last the Southland caught sight and sound of Ursula Oppens, she was wired. Last October, as part of the Eclectic Orange Festival in Costa Mesa, Oppens harnessed her beloved piano to the power of digital manipulation and customized computer software written by composer Richard Teitelbaum. Her playing was filtered, via MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), through a computer, affecting the behavior of a phantom duet "partner" on Disklavier (a computerized player piano).
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2001 | JOSEF WOODARD, Josef Woodard is a frequent contributor to Calendar
When last the Southland caught sight and sound of Ursula Oppens, she was wired. Last October, as part of the Eclectic Orange Festival in Costa Mesa, Oppens harnessed her beloved piano to the power of digital manipulation and customized computer software written by composer Richard Teitelbaum. Her playing was filtered, via MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), through a computer, affecting the behavior of a phantom duet "partner" on Disklavier (a computerized player piano).
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1995 | Mark Swed, Mark Swed is a regular contributor to Calendar
Ursula Oppens used to be a very easy pianist to pigeonhole. Give her impossibly complex new scores and she made good musical sense of them, pulling them off with power and panache. Elliott Carter's horrendously difficult Piano Concerto had seemed an incomprehensible thicket until Oppens began bringing the house down with it.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 1989 | HERBERT GLASS
Five chamber music all-stars, performing under the banner of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival--where the participation of the best and brightest is commonplace--paid a visit to Royce Hall, reinforcing their glittering reputations as individuals and as ensemble players. The substantial Sunday afternoon program opened with violinist James Buswell, cellist Timothy Eddy and pianist Ursula Oppens in a wittily elegant traversal of Beethoven's gloriously serene--and for that reason, perhaps, rarely heard--Trio in E Flat, Opus 70, No. 2. Serenity was rudely dispelled by the opening shudders and squawks of Schoenberg's harrowing, horrific String Trio, Opus 46--music that remains, after numerous hearings, mesmerizing in its brutality.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 1987 | JOHN HENKEN
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra is of necessity a protean thing. Personnel changes from season to season are probably close to total, and the orchestra is led and rehearsed each summer by a varied cast of conductors. Sunday at Hollywood Bowl, the playing of the sixth Institute Orchestra steadily improved throughout the evening.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 1995 | DANIEL CARIAGA, TIMES MUSIC WRITER
Intelligence and good technique are not enough. Great recitals grow out of a combination of inspired programming, solid virtuosity and spontaneous musical brilliance--moment and audience drawing out the performer's best. Such a combination did not coalesce Tuesday night at the Irvine Barclay Theatre at the edge of the UC Irvine campus.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 1986 | DONNA PERLMUTTER
Two other major pianists played local recitals Wednesday night, but it scarcely mattered. A program by Ursula Oppens is a realm unto itself. There aren't many artists who would devise the inspired survey of dance suites, tangos and waltzes with which she made the Schoenberg Institute at USC come alive. And there aren't many free spirits, even among the elite specialists of new music, who play--and speak--in a manner so appealingly unfettered.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 1995 | DANIEL CARIAGA, TIMES MUSIC WRITER
Intelligence and good technique are not enough. Great recitals grow out of a combination of inspired programming, solid virtuosity and spontaneous musical brilliance--moment and audience drawing out the performer's best. Such a combination did not coalesce Tuesday night at the Irvine Barclay Theatre at the edge of the UC Irvine campus.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1995 | Mark Swed, Mark Swed is a regular contributor to Calendar
Ursula Oppens used to be a very easy pianist to pigeonhole. Give her impossibly complex new scores and she made good musical sense of them, pulling them off with power and panache. Elliott Carter's horrendously difficult Piano Concerto had seemed an incomprehensible thicket until Oppens began bringing the house down with it.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 1994 | DANIEL CARIAGA
There was a time when Marsee Auditorium--the largest concert hall, with 2,054 seats, at the South Bay Center for the Arts--operated as a distinguished purveyor of the pianistic arts. In this room, we have heard the likes of Rubinstein, Larrocha, Slobodyanik, Achucarro and Freire, as well as many others worthy of note. Those days are gone, but not over. After a long hiatus, a major pianist in a connoisseur's program appeared in the El Camino College venue, Saturday night.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 1989 | HERBERT GLASS
Five chamber music all-stars, performing under the banner of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival--where the participation of the best and brightest is commonplace--paid a visit to Royce Hall, reinforcing their glittering reputations as individuals and as ensemble players. The substantial Sunday afternoon program opened with violinist James Buswell, cellist Timothy Eddy and pianist Ursula Oppens in a wittily elegant traversal of Beethoven's gloriously serene--and for that reason, perhaps, rarely heard--Trio in E Flat, Opus 70, No. 2. Serenity was rudely dispelled by the opening shudders and squawks of Schoenberg's harrowing, horrific String Trio, Opus 46--music that remains, after numerous hearings, mesmerizing in its brutality.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 1987 | JOHN HENKEN
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra is of necessity a protean thing. Personnel changes from season to season are probably close to total, and the orchestra is led and rehearsed each summer by a varied cast of conductors. Sunday at Hollywood Bowl, the playing of the sixth Institute Orchestra steadily improved throughout the evening.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2008 | Mark Swed, Times Music Critic
Elliott Carter's "Night Fantasies," completed in 1980, was the first major work for solo piano by the composer since his 1946 Piano Sonata and the first major work by him after he turned 70. At the time, the fiendishly difficult score, which captures the unpredictable flickering of neurons in the sleepless brain at night, suggested the onset of an impulsive late style.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 1985 | MARC SHULGOLD
There may not be a more popular living American composer than Aaron Copland (who turns 85 on Thursday). Audiences never seem to tire of his splashy, tuneful orchestral pieces. Which leads Ursula Oppens to ask of his Piano Concerto, "Why isn't it performed more?" The New York-based pianist, who will play the work at concerts by Erich Leinsdorf and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Music Center beginning on Copland's birthday, can barely contain herself in singing its praises.
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