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