A chat with Jaime Martin:  LACO’s new chief discusses his approach to conducting new music, plus soloists and composers he’ll feature in his first season
Auditions & Appointments / Interviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Jaime Martin: LACO’s new chief discusses his approach to conducting new music, plus soloists and composers he’ll feature in his first season

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra begins its 2019-2020 season this coming weekend with two concerts featuring a world premiere from Andrew Norman and works by Beethoven and Berlioz. The weekend also marks the official beginning of Jaime Martin’s tenure as LACO’s Music Director. The Spaniard takes over the orchestra in a time of transition, with … Continue reading

A chat with Simon Woods:  the LA Phil’s CEO talks about his first 18 months in the job and how he’s helping the orchestra succeed in the next 100 years
Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Simon Woods: the LA Phil’s CEO talks about his first 18 months in the job and how he’s helping the orchestra succeed in the next 100 years

When Simon Woods arrived in Los Angeles, he had a very tough act to follow. Deborah Borda announced in March of 2017 that she would leave her position as CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to return to her previous post as head of the New York Philharmonic, and speculation began immediately about who would … Continue reading

How and why Jaime Martin became LA Chamber Orchestra’s next Music Director:  an in-depth look behind the scenes
Interviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical

How and why Jaime Martin became LA Chamber Orchestra’s next Music Director: an in-depth look behind the scenes

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra begins its 2018-19 season in earnest with performances this weekend (at the Alex Theatre on Saturday and UCLA’s Royce Hall on Sunday) featuring violinist Hillary Hahn.  While guest conductor Gemma New will be on the podium this weekend, these concerts represent the first full season of a new era. LACO … Continue reading

A chat with Ramón Ortega:  the new LA Phil Principal Oboe and Colburn Conservatory instructor talks about his roots, his move to LA, and varying styles of oboe playing
Auditions & Appointments / Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Ramón Ortega: the new LA Phil Principal Oboe and Colburn Conservatory instructor talks about his roots, his move to LA, and varying styles of oboe playing

This evening, Ramón Ortega headlines a chamber music concert at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall featuring oboe-centric works by Mozart, Koechlin, and Gounod.  It marks the first official public appearance by Mr. Ortega as Colburn Conservatory’s new oboe instructor.  Later this week, he officially begins performing at his other gig in town — Principal Oboe of … Continue reading

A chat with Grant Gershon:  his thoughts as the LA Master Chorale tackles “Lagrime di San Pietro” again
Interviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Grant Gershon: his thoughts as the LA Master Chorale tackles “Lagrime di San Pietro” again

The Los Angeles Master Chorale opened their 2016-17 season with staged performances of Orlando di Lassos’s Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St. Peter), a Renaissance-era work unknown to most singers and audience members alike, even the most ardent aficionados of choral music. I spoke to Artistic Director Grant Gershon at the time.  We discussed … Continue reading

A chat with Arturo Sandoval:  the legendary musician talks about the state of jazz, sharing it with younger generations, the importance of Arban, and much more
Interviews / Music News & Info: Rock, Jazz, World Music, etc.

A chat with Arturo Sandoval: the legendary musician talks about the state of jazz, sharing it with younger generations, the importance of Arban, and much more

The multi-talented Arturo Sandoval, best known as a jazz trumpeter, is in the middle of a four-day residency at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.  He plays a concert tonight, but the bulk of the “Sandoval Jazz Weekend” at The Wallis is devoted to showcasing and engaging young jazz talent … Continue reading

A chat with Scott Harrison (part 2 of 2):  on his relationship with LACO musicians and the search for the next Music Director
Interviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Scott Harrison (part 2 of 2): on his relationship with LACO musicians and the search for the next Music Director

Yesterday, I shared part 1 of my conversation with Scott Harrison, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In part 2 below, we discuss how he built a relationship with the LACO musicians, what makes them unique in the orchestra world, and they are all looking for as the search for their next Music … Continue reading

A chat with Scott Harrison (part 1 of 2):  LACO’s top exec describes transition from Detroit to LA, challenges and opportunities once here
Interviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Scott Harrison (part 1 of 2): LACO’s top exec describes transition from Detroit to LA, challenges and opportunities once here

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is celebrating its 50th Anniversary season, and normally, such occasions see Music Directors standing front and center to lead the festivities.  But not this year.  LACO has no Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane having stepped down last year after 20 years in the post. During LACO’s season-opening weekend, it was Scott … Continue reading

Chatting with the LA Phil woodwind principals Whitney Crockett, Denis Bouriakov, and Boris Allakhverdyan
Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

Chatting with the LA Phil woodwind principals Whitney Crockett, Denis Bouriakov, and Boris Allakhverdyan

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has made some rather impressive hires during the Gustavo Dudamel era, but perhaps none more intriguing than the three stellar principal woodwinds.  They’re tough to miss, both because they sit dead-center in the orchestra and, more importantly, because their playing is impeccable.  They also share a notable line-item on their curriculum … Continue reading

The End of the Kahane Era:  Five LACO musicians look back on the Music Director’s 20-year tenure and ahead to what comes next
Interviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical

The End of the Kahane Era: Five LACO musicians look back on the Music Director’s 20-year tenure and ahead to what comes next

Twenty years is a long time to hold any job, especially in the 21st Century, and particularly when that job is Music Director of a professional orchestra. Which makes it all the more remarkable that Jeffrey Kahane is only now stepping down as the artistic leader of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, a full generation … 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

A chat with Raynor Carroll (Part 2 of 2): post-retirement plans and stories of his successor,  soloing, conductors with whom he’s worked, and much more
Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Raynor Carroll (Part 2 of 2): post-retirement plans and stories of his successor,  soloing, conductors with whom he’s worked, and much more

Here’s Part Two of my interview with Raynor Carroll, the Principal Percussionist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic who’ll retire after tonight’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  (Part One can be found HERE). In this part, he talks about: Matthew Howard, the musician taking over his orchestra chair once he steps down The challenges of attracting young African-Americans … Continue reading

A chat with Raynor Carroll (part 1 of 2):  the outgoing Principal Percussionist of the LA Phil talks about the joys and craziness of his job and the instruments he plays
Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Raynor Carroll (part 1 of 2): the outgoing Principal Percussionist of the LA Phil talks about the joys and craziness of his job and the instruments he plays

“Someone will usually ask me:  ‘How did you pick percussion or drums?’  I didn’t, it picked me.  It was always been the sound of a drum that caught my ear,” explains Raynor Carroll, Principal Percussionist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “I like to say I have the ideal job – and soon I’ll say I had the … Continue reading

A chat with Caroline Shaw:  Pulitzer Prize-winning musician talks Ojai Festival, inspiration, and illegally grown pumpkins (?!)
Interviews / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Caroline Shaw: Pulitzer Prize-winning musician talks Ojai Festival, inspiration, and illegally grown pumpkins (?!)

Attend the Ojai Music Festival, Southern California’s loveable cabal of contemporary classical music, and you expect works by living composers, particularly brand new pieces that get their debut at the festival.  This year, the first world premiere shows up on Saturday afternoon:  This might also be a form of dreaming by Caroline Shaw (with text by Claudia … Continue reading

A chat with Kaija Saariaho:  the world-renowned composer talks about the 2016 Ojai Festival and more
Interviews / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Kaija Saariaho: the world-renowned composer talks about the 2016 Ojai Festival and more

There are few places that celebrate living composers and their works more than the Ojai Festival.  And among those favored by this haven for contemporary classical music is Kaija Saariaho. She first gained notice in the early 1980’s as part of the “Ears Open Society,” the Finnish collective of Sibelius Academy alumni which included Esa-Pekka … Continue reading