Watch tonight — or stream online right now:  LA Phil’s 100th Anniversary Concert on PBS “Great Performances”
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2019/2020

Watch tonight — or stream online right now: LA Phil’s 100th Anniversary Concert on PBS “Great Performances”

Hello everyone.  Long time no chat.  Hope you’re all safe, healthy, and in good spirits during these challenging times. I know I’ve been mostly incommunicado, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic went full-bore crazy; alas, my other non-CKDH personae have required my attention lately.  That said, I’ve been working on writing more (again). I’ve started multiple … Continue reading

REVIEW:  Dudamel, Bullock, Thibaudet, and LA Phil revel in unabashed Americana for season opener
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

REVIEW: Dudamel, Bullock, Thibaudet, and LA Phil revel in unabashed Americana for season opener

Gustavo Dudamel has been in charge of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a decade now, and so we should be able to easily answer the question: what can we — should we — expect from one of their concerts together? And there’s the rub. There is no easy answer that doesn’t sound like a generic … Continue reading

REVIEW:  Camerata Pacifica impresses in new Lera Auerbach viola preludes and Schubert Piano Trio in B-flat Major
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2017/2018

REVIEW: Camerata Pacifica impresses in new Lera Auerbach viola preludes and Schubert Piano Trio in B-flat Major

Camerata Pacifica‘s April concert was a juxtaposition of two contrasting works: the world premiere of Lera Auerbach‘s 24 Preludes for Viola and Piano (“Wanderer”), a Camerata Pacifica commission; and the Piano Trio in B-flat Major by Schubert.  Both  were roughly 45-minutes in length, but similarities ended there.   Continue reading

Checking in with the LA Phil (part 2 of 3):  a quick look back at January’s concerts
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2016/2017

Checking in with the LA Phil (part 2 of 3): a quick look back at January’s concerts

The four weekends of concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic this past January were noteworthy for three reasons:  the diversity of programming, the quality of playing, and that the first three conductors — Bramwell Tovey, Zubin Mehta, and Lionel Bringuier — once held titled positions with the orchestra while the fourth, Gustavo Dudamel, is the LA Phil’s current … Continue reading

My $0.02 on the (sad) 2017/18 LA Opera season, plus some straight talk from James Conlon
All Reviews / Interviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2017/2018

My $0.02 on the (sad) 2017/18 LA Opera season, plus some straight talk from James Conlon

Folks, I’m generally an optimistic, positive-thinking kinda guy.  I try to find the bright side of things and give people the benefit of the doubt, even when most others wouldn’t dream of it. So leave it to our good friends at Los Angeles Opera to test my ability to maintain a stiff upper lip and keep … Continue reading

Beethoven speaks for himself:  LA Master Chorale performs “Missa Solemnis”
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2016/2017

Beethoven speaks for himself: LA Master Chorale performs “Missa Solemnis”

When the Los Angeles Master Chorale originally planned Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for January of its 2016/17 season, the two performances, let alone the inauguration of a new President of the United States, were still more than a year away.  There was no political statement, expressed or implied, in its scheduling, no inherent message of defiance or rebellion in its libretto. … Continue reading

Adams and Bronfman take on Beethoven very differently with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2016/2017

Adams and Bronfman take on Beethoven very differently with the LA Phil

With the season-opening gala in the rear view mirror, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel decided to kick-off their regular subscription concerts with a tried-and-true formula: Beethoven, more Beethoven, and a newish work by a living composer inspired by Beethoven. Such concerts usually attract a full house, but they can also be … Continue reading

LA Phil offers jazzy start to 2016-17 Walt Disney Concert Hall season
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2016/2017

LA Phil offers jazzy start to 2016-17 Walt Disney Concert Hall season

[Publisher’s note:  Writer and violinist Fiona Bryan has been a regular contributor to All is Yar, and I’m very happy to welcome her back again for this concert review] The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel kicked off the 2016/17 season on Tuesday evening with an opening night concert and gala titled “Gershwin and The Jazz … Continue reading

LACO season opener puts the “chamber” back in chamber music, with a distinct international flavor
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2016/2017

LACO season opener puts the “chamber” back in chamber music, with a distinct international flavor

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra kicked-off their 2016-17 season with the purest form of chamber music imaginable: three musicians in someone’s living room playing for a handful of engaged and enthralled guests. Yet as accurate as that description is, it merely begins to scratch the surface of what was a much richer experience that evening. … Continue reading

Tossed into the deep end:  Young Artists Symphony Orchestra impressive in inaugural concert featuring Mahler 2nd Symphony
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2015/2016

Tossed into the deep end: Young Artists Symphony Orchestra impressive in inaugural concert featuring Mahler 2nd Symphony

  There’s an old saying that “Fortune Favors the Bold.”  It certainly has proven to be true so far for Alexander Treger and his fledgling Young Artists Symphony Orchestra (YASO), especially given their impressive inaugural concert a few weeks ago. To understand the full story, we have to go back to this past May.  With Mr. Treger’s 17-year tenure … Continue reading

Where’d my 2015 summer go?!?! (“Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl” edition)
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Where’d my 2015 summer go?!?! (“Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl” edition)

I recently was told that it was now officially Autumn. Really??!!  Summer couldn’t have passed by that quickly, could it have?  The temperature yesterday was still the 90’s as it has been for much of the past few weeks, and the humidity is ridiculous by Southern California standards. But it’s true, Fall is here.  There were signs:  Football season … Continue reading

Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra offer solid start to 2015-16 season, highlighted by Spiva world premiere and Schubert 8th
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2015/2016

Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra offer solid start to 2015-16 season, highlighted by Spiva world premiere and Schubert 8th

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and their Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane, recently launched their penultimate season together in familiar fashion:  offering works by living composers on the same program as old masters.  It’s a very welcome habit that once again proved to be quite fruitful. The first half of this inaugural program of their 2015-16 season especially … Continue reading

Yuja Wang dazzles in Hollywood Bowl classical season opener with Bringuier, LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Reviews 2014/2015

Yuja Wang dazzles in Hollywood Bowl classical season opener with Bringuier, LA Phil

Ah, the Hollywood Bowl season.  The music under the stars.  The celebrity soloists.  The reliable if relatively unheralded conductors.  The people watching.  The pre-concert drinking and picnicking.  The mid-concert helicopters.  The late-concert fireworks. The post-concert crush of many thousands all trying (and largely failing) to quickly amble downhill to their bus or car at the same time.  Good times, good times … Continue reading

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