March 20, 2011 |
Alisa Weilerstein is used to leading a double life. As an accelerated high school student, she was already a concertizing cellist who lugged her unwieldy instrument on and off trains and planes. As a Columbia University undergrad she wrote philosophy papers while airborne, traveling from one performance venue to another. But make that a triple life. The 28-year-old New Yorker, growing toward a stellar career, is also diabetic and has been since age 9 ? all of which makes her over-achievement understandably remarkable.
March 18, 2011 |
No one ever forgets the first time they see the breathtaking "Battleship Potemkin," the most bravura 69 minutes in film history ? actor Douglas Fairbanks called it "the most powerful and the most profound emotional experience in my life. " But, paradoxically, since its 1925 release, Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's masterpiece has been impossible to see on a big screen in the form the director intended. Until now. Playing at the Nuart in West Los Angeles for one week only is a new 35mm print of a "Potemkin" restoration that is the result of a 20-year collaboration between film archives in three countries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2011 |
Eugene Fodor, a swashbuckling violin virtuoso who was a media darling of classical music in the 1970s but whose substance abuse fractured a fairytale career, has died. He was 60. Fodor died of liver disease Feb. 26 at his home in Arlington, Va., said his wife, Susan Davis. He had struggled with addictions to alcohol, cocaine and heroin, she said. At 24, Fodor became the first American to win top honors on violin at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974.
February 16, 2011 |
At almost 92 years old, Fred Katz is about as easy to sum up as the contents of the Smithsonian. Growing up a classical cello and piano prodigy before falling in love with jazz in the Manhattan clubs, Katz went on to help define the sound of West Coast jazz with the Chico Hamilton Quintet, where he was the first to introduce a bowed cello into the jazz vernacular. He also worked with Lena Horne and Tony Bennett, composed film scores for Roger Corman, backed Beat poet Ken Nordine on his "Word Jazz" albums and taught courses in anthropology, shamanic magic and religion at Cal State Fullerton for almost 30 years ?
December 17, 2010 |
It's tempting at this time of year, with worn-out Christmas tunes blaring nonstop through every grocery store, hair salon and shopping mall from here to the Atlantic, to believe that, musically speaking, there's nothing new under the holiday sun. But you've never really heard "Jingle Bells" until you've heard it sung by Tuvan throat singers in an arrangement that sounds like bluegrass from one of the outer rings of Saturn. That's one of the sonic surprises that's likely to greet audiences this weekend when forward-gazing banjo player Béla Fleck brings his band, the Flecktones through Southern California on a brief holiday tour highlighting music from their Grammy Award-winning 2008 album, "Jingle All the Way. " For that collection, which snagged the pop instrumental album award two years ago, 11-time Grammy winner Fleck and his genre-blind associates did what they'd been doing for nearly two decades: They threw out the rule book, abandoned all sense of musical convention and let their inspiration run wild.
July 22, 2010
POP MUSIC Musical legend and recent alt-folk scene gadfly Jackson Browne is back in Los Angeles for a starry-skied performance at the Greek Theatre, this time with his full band and his longtime collaborator, the stringed instrument virtuoso David Lindley. With tickets in tow, you're almost guaranteed to be somebody's baby, alright. Greek Theatre 2700 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. 7 p.m. Fri. $40.50-$76. http://www.greektheatrela.com . (323) 665-5857.
July 4, 2010 |
Imagine a world-class soloist who, after performing Brahms' demanding Violin Concerto, joins the orchestra's string section to play Brahms' Symphony No. 1. That is exactly what Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider did two years ago with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. At the time, it was an intriguing display of commitment and stamina. But now his main objective is clear. On Thursday, Znaider again joins the Philharmonic but this time on the podium for his Hollywood Bowl debut as a conductor, in a program of Mozart, Brahms and Schumann.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2010 |
An eclectic group of people sat on floor cushions in a Los Feliz home earlier this month for a concert to mark famed sitar player Ravi Shankar's 90th birthday. In the same room where Shankar played in the 1960s sat atheists and believers, guests who were raised Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and evangelical Christian. They came together at the home of Shankar's longtime friend Jan Steward to hear Paul Livingstone, a Los Angeles-based virtuoso sitar player who, in the last year, has adapted various world music styles to church worship.
April 11, 2010 |
Jeremy Denk is a relatively young, up-and-coming concert pianist acclaimed for his renditions of Bach, Beethoven and Ives. He's also something a bit more 21st century: "a wigged-out blogger," to steal a phrase he once applied to himself while posting in a Starbucks. His blog, Think Denk: The Glamorous Life and Thoughts of a Concert Pianist, takes a playful, sometimes contrarian approach to music and culture. One post defends Chopin's piano music from those who consider it "pure boredom in a jar"; another looks at the use of Schubert in the "Twilight" movies.
November 30, 2009 |
Recessionary times call for desperate measures, but Charlie Hunter's bandmates can rest assured that the title of his upcoming album reflects his mordant sense of humor more than drastic cost cutting. The seven-string guitar wizard's upcoming release, "Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid" (Spire Artist Media), features the kind of stinging, telegraphic fret work that's defined his sound since he emerged on the Bay Area acid jazz scene in the mid-1990s.