The inaugural edition of “All is Yar’s Most Favorite and Noteworthy Classical Music Stuff of the Year”
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Opera / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Pacific Symphony / Philharmonic Society of Orange County / Reviews 2011/2012 / Reviews 2012/2013 / Southwest Chamber Music / Uncategorized

The inaugural edition of “All is Yar’s Most Favorite and Noteworthy Classical Music Stuff of the Year”

As we reach the end of December, it’s traditionally time for a retrospective look at the year that is just completed.  Since 2012 was the first full calendar year of All is Yar‘s existence, it’s an especially important one for me.  I’ve been fortunate — dare I say “blessed” — to have been able to … Continue reading

Youth is served:  Krzysztof Urbański and Denis Matsuev make their LA Phil debuts
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Reviews 2011/2012

Youth is served: Krzysztof Urbański and Denis Matsuev make their LA Phil debuts

The Hollywood Bowl is often a place for conductors and soloists to make their Los Angeles Philharmonic debuts.  It’s a bit of trial by fire — if you can make a strong impression under the duress of limited rehearsal time and less-than-ideal performing conditions, then you might get invited for a gig downtown for the … Continue reading

Shamelessly enjoying “Carmina Burana” at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Shamelessly enjoying “Carmina Burana” at the Hollywood Bowl

Classical music, like life in general, abounds in so-called guilty pleasures.  You know, the kind of stuff that you may not admit to friends that you like, but in the privacy of your own iPod earbuds, you relish with abandon.  Warsaw Concerto is one for me.  Carmina Burana is another one.  Not a whole lot … Continue reading

Four hands and a voice:  Southwest Chamber Music’s final 2012 summer concert
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012 / Southwest Chamber Music

Four hands and a voice: Southwest Chamber Music’s final 2012 summer concert

The final concert of Southwest Chamber Music’s 2012 summer season at The Huntington proved to be a popular ending to what has been a popular series.  Attendance on the Logia was overflowing to the point where an extra row of seating was hastily added right as the concert was about to begin. As with the … Continue reading

Brava, Ms. Balsom!  Trumpeter dazzles at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Brava, Ms. Balsom! Trumpeter dazzles at the Hollywood Bowl

You hear of a night of Haydn conducted by the ever-sunny Nicholas McGegan, and you probably think, “That’s nice.”  You notice that the Haydn Trumpet Concerto will be the centerpiece of the evening and you might say, “Hmmm, haven’t heard that performed in a while.”   You realize that Alison Balsom is the trumpet soloist, … Continue reading

An exotic addition to a French summer at the Huntington:  Southwest Chamber Music plays Debussy & Ravel, and invites back a Vietnamese virtuoso
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012 / Southwest Chamber Music

An exotic addition to a French summer at the Huntington: Southwest Chamber Music plays Debussy & Ravel, and invites back a Vietnamese virtuoso

Inspired by the centennial of Pasadena-native, Julia Child, Southwest Chamber Music has been focusing  on French music for their Summer Festival 2012 at The Huntington.  Healthy portions of Debussy and Ravel are offered up in each concert.  This past weekend’s programs, the third in the series, paired those two quintessential French composers with works from Vietnam. It … Continue reading

Style and substance in equal measure:  Wang joins Dudamel and the LA Phil for some Tchaikovsky
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Style and substance in equal measure: Wang joins Dudamel and the LA Phil for some Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are common occurrences.  Thursday night’s Los Angeles Philharmonic concert was pretty typical, with a program featuring a pair of frequently heard warhorses:  the Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Symphony No. 4. Then again, in some ways, this wasn’t all that typical.  There were no fireworks, no 1812 Overture, … Continue reading

NEWSFLASH:  CKDH actually manages to enjoy some Brahms, care of Fima Bronfman, Lionel Bringuier, and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

NEWSFLASH: CKDH actually manages to enjoy some Brahms, care of Fima Bronfman, Lionel Bringuier, and the LA Phil

I have more than a few things to say about last Tuesday’s Los Angeles Philharmonic concert at the Hollywood Bowl, as usual.  But let’s get one thing out of the way, shall we? Yefim Bronfman is a bad-ass. Ok, perhaps this is old news, but even if that’s the case, it’s worth repeating. So many … Continue reading

Le Hollywood Bowl avec un accent français:  Denève, Thibaudet, and the LA Phil revel in a Franco-American program
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Le Hollywood Bowl avec un accent français: Denève, Thibaudet, and the LA Phil revel in a Franco-American program

When it comes to standard musical fare at the Hollywood Bowl, it’s tough to come up with two composers more iconic than George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.  Besides having their music performed pretty much every summer in the Cahuenga Pass, the two Americans have other close ties to the Bowl: The 1937  memorial concert commemorating … Continue reading

Going out with style:  Tokyo String Quartet bids a fond farewell to Chicago
All Reviews / Chicago / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2011/2012 / Travel

Going out with style: Tokyo String Quartet bids a fond farewell to Chicago

This past Tuesday, the Tokyo String Quartet played what first violin Martin Beaver said would almost certainly be their last concert at the Ravinia Festival.  In all likelihood, it will also be their final appearance anywhere in the Chicago area.  With Kazuhide Isomura (founding viola)  and Kikuei Ikeda (longtime second violin) deciding to retire, the … Continue reading

Of wine and white jackets, composing women and killer whales:  the start of the 2012 Hollywood Bowl season
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Of wine and white jackets, composing women and killer whales: the start of the 2012 Hollywood Bowl season

It was time for musicians to break out their summer whites and for the audiences to try to not roll empty bottles of wine down concrete steps.  That’s right:  I’m talking about summer at the Hollywood Bowl. After a few concerts of playing back-up band to Barry Manilow, the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened the classical … Continue reading

Forgive them for they know not what they do:  Adams & Sellars over-reach with “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Forgive them for they know not what they do: Adams & Sellars over-reach with “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”

For their season finale, the Los Angeles Philharmonic ordered up a world premiere of a major new work from John Adams, their Creative Chair and one of the most prominent American composers currently living.  Once again, the orchestra was thinking big and taking risks. You’ve gotta appreciate their moxy.  Audentes fortuna juvat – “Fortune favors the … Continue reading

Nothing casual about this Mozart:  Kiera Duffy joins Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Nothing casual about this Mozart: Kiera Duffy joins Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil

It wasn’t supposed to be an all-Mozart program.  What was originally announced as a Tchaikovsky/Sibelius program morphed a couple of times over the course of this season before landing on its final form.  One of the subscribers wasn’t happy about all the repeated changes and made her opinion known during the “Casual Friday” post-concert Q&A.  With … Continue reading

Southwest Chamber Music’s promising new festival
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012 / Southwest Chamber Music

Southwest Chamber Music’s promising new festival

A four-concert event called “The Inaugural LA International New Music Festival” certainly sounds like a big deal.  You can forgive Southwest Chamber Music for giving their nascent new music series such an official, highfalutin’ sounding name. With the city’s long-standing reputation as an incubator of new music and home to many prominent composers, you’d think an event … Continue reading

Go big or go home:  an ambitious Don Giovanni staged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Go big or go home: an ambitious Don Giovanni staged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic

It was not your average Sunday afternoon at Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall.  Gustavo Dudamel was still on the podium for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s unofficial Mozart Month, but that was pretty much where “business as usual” ended.  The LA Phil had decided that their first-ever complete performances of Don Giovanni would be full-blown productions, … Continue reading