Random thoughts from Ojai 2015 so far (updated 2:30pm Saturday)
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

Random thoughts from Ojai 2015 so far (updated 2:30pm Saturday)

It’s an overcast and relatively muggy Saturday morning in Ojai. Still here for the 69th edition of the town’s iconic Music Festival and we’re about 45 minutes away from today’s first concert of Day Four (or Three if you don’t count Wednesday night). Planning on detailed reviews of the entire festival experience, but wanted to … Continue reading

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble splendid in Long Beach appearance
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble splendid in Long Beach appearance

The musicians of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the nomadic London-based chamber orchestra, are no strangers to Southern California.  They show up annually on the season schedules of Los Angeles and/or Orange County arts organizations.  Two of their most prominent figures — Neville Marriner, founder and Life President, and Iona Brown, former leader and … Continue reading

How are things on the West Coast?  For MTT, the LSO, and Yuja Wang, things were good but could have been so much better
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

How are things on the West Coast? For MTT, the LSO, and Yuja Wang, things were good but could have been so much better

The London Symphony, 111-year old bastion of UK musical institutions famed for its virtuosity and flexibility, is an orchestra in transition. The peripatetic Valery Gergiev remains its official Principal Conductor through the end of this year, but the LSO created a big splash earlier this month when it announced that Simon Rattle will become its Music … Continue reading

Down a different sort of rabbit hole:  the LA Phil finally brings Chin’s <i>Alice in Wonderland</i> to SoCal
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Down a different sort of rabbit hole: the LA Phil finally brings Chin’s Alice in Wonderland to SoCal

(Publisher’s note:  I’m proud to welcome Lauri D. Goldenhersh to the pages of All is Yar.  By training and profession, she is a mezzo-soprano, active throughout Los Angeles and a veteran of many local ensembles, including the Los Angeles Master Chorale.  She is also the publisher of Lauri’s List (laurislist.net), a website devoted to helping … Continue reading

LA Master Chorale joyously celebrates another important anniversary
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

LA Master Chorale joyously celebrates another important anniversary

If you’re trying to pack ’em into a concert hall for a choral concert, the usual course of action involves programming a warhorse, preferably one with a big orchestra.  Carmina Burana.  Beethoven’s 9th.  A requiem by Verdi or Mozart. The Los Angeles Master Chorale has an alternate formula that works just as well:  program something written … Continue reading

Avoiding “conductor porn”:  Gaffigan shakes things up with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Avoiding “conductor porn”: Gaffigan shakes things up with the LA Phil

The ten-week parade of guest conductors at the Los Angeles Philharmonic has begun.  First in line:  James Gaffigan, the American-born Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony and previous right hand man to Michael Tilson Thomas in San Francisco and Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland. His program featured one favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Simon … Continue reading

<i>Pictures</i> in high contrast:  Dudamel, LA Phil play Salonen, Rachmaninoff, and Mussorgsky
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Pictures in high contrast: Dudamel, LA Phil play Salonen, Rachmaninoff, and Mussorgsky

Gustavo Dudamel’s final Walt Disney Concert Hall appearance of 2014 was all about himself, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and what they could do together.  The program featured three orchestral showpieces laden with built-in imagery for him to exploit.   No daintiness was required. No soloists got in the way.   A good time was had by all. Continue reading