LA Phil season opening gala concert shows off John Williams’ musical breadth and depth
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

LA Phil season opening gala concert shows off John Williams’ musical breadth and depth

The works of John Williams are as ubiquitous as orchestral music can be in our 21st Century pop-dominated, globally diffuse society.  It’d be an interesting experiment to see if a random sampling of people on the street would be as successful identifying such classical music standards as Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik or Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as they would the … Continue reading

A colorful 2014-15 season opener for Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

A colorful 2014-15 season opener for Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and their Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane, can  almost always be counted on to present compelling programming, interesting soloists, and thoughtful interpretations.  For their 2014-15 season opener, Mr. Kahane and the orchestra rolled out more of the same, care of a new work by Cameron Patrick, an infrequently-heard bit of piano concerto sass … Continue reading

Gražinytė-Tyla surprises, deMaine stellar, Pogostkina solid:  three make their Hollywood Bowl debut in Mahler & Brahms
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Gražinytė-Tyla surprises, deMaine stellar, Pogostkina solid: three make their Hollywood Bowl debut in Mahler & Brahms

When I got the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s email informing me that one of their former Dudamel Conducting Fellows, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, had been selected as the orchestra’s Assistant Conductor, the first thing I thought was, “Oh, good for her.”  The second thing I thought was, as a diacriticly-challenged English-speaker, “Wait — how exactly do you say that name?” I reached out … Continue reading

Salonen, Wang, Hooten, and the LA Phil create their own fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Salonen, Wang, Hooten, and the LA Phil create their own fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl

A little bit of Esa-Pekka Salonen is better than none at all.  And so it turned out this past week with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The original plan was that the orchestra’s beloved Conductor Laureate was supposed to be at the Hollywood Bowl for two concerts, beginning Tuesday night when he and pianist Yefim Bronfman (long-time … Continue reading

Shaham’s Bartók, Denève’s Rachmaninoff pair nicely at Walt Disney Concert Hall
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Shaham’s Bartók, Denève’s Rachmaninoff pair nicely at Walt Disney Concert Hall

(Publisher’s note:  We’re very happy to welcome back Fiona Bryan, writer and violinist, to All is Yar for this concert review). In the short year and a half that I have lived in Southern California, I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to programming presented by various cultural organizations around Los Angeles. The progressive landscape of … Continue reading

Music Video:  post-April-Fool’s-Day classical music fun and silliness, care of the excellent duoW
Humor / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Music Video: post-April-Fool’s-Day classical music fun and silliness, care of the excellent duoW

I hope you survived April Fool’s Day without a scratch to either your person or psyche.  I witnessed some good-natured April Fool’s Day pranks, and managed to fall victim to none of it. FWIW:  I’m a big fan of silly fun, and feel that there’s not enough of it during the other 364 days of the … Continue reading

Trading (perhaps treading?) on the family name:  Alexis Gershwin releases a new CD
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Rock, Jazz, World Music, etc. / Reviews 2013/2014

Trading (perhaps treading?) on the family name: Alexis Gershwin releases a new CD

George Gershwin is one of my favorite composers, easily in my top three if not my absolute favorite of all time.    His classical music compositions, harmonically and rhythmically complex yet thoroughly lyrical and organic-sounding, were so inimitable and uniquely formed that both Maurice Ravel and Arnold Schoenberg refused to give him composition lessons on … Continue reading