Tom Hooten will record John Williams Trumpet Concerto with composer conducting; idea to become reality thanks to successful Kickstarter
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

Tom Hooten will record John Williams Trumpet Concerto with composer conducting; idea to become reality thanks to successful Kickstarter

Thomas Hooten, Principal Trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, had a great idea:  record the John Williams Concerto for Trumpet and Piano.  He mentioned it to the distinguished composer who thought it was a great idea too and agreed to conduct the new recording. Both of them decided to do it for free, but that … 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

A chat with Steven Schick about the Ojai Festival, percussionists, and much more
Interviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

A chat with Steven Schick about the Ojai Festival, percussionists, and much more

Tonight marks the opening concerts in the 2015 rendition of that annual musical adventure known as the Ojai Festival.  As is their habit, the folks at Ojai change Music Directors every year, and for this year’s festival, they tapped percussionist extraordinaire, Steven Schick.  The Iowa native holds a number of notable posts (Distinguished Professor of … Continue reading

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble splendid in Long Beach appearance
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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

MTT and Gareth Davies (LSO Princ. Flute) discuss previous night’s ménage a trois in LA hotel elevator (true story)
Humor / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

MTT and Gareth Davies (LSO Princ. Flute) discuss previous night’s ménage a trois in LA hotel elevator (true story)

As with many musicians, Gareth Davies (Principal Flute of the London Symphony) publishes a blog.  Over the past few weeks, he’s focused his writing on the sights & scenes, trials & tribulations, and fun & foibles of being an Englishman on tour through the Western USA, primarily California. Earlier today, I was perusing his posts when the following … Continue reading

How are things on the West Coast?  For MTT, the LSO, and Yuja Wang, things were good but could have been so much better
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

How are things on the West Coast? For MTT, the LSO, and Yuja Wang, things were good but could have been so much better

The London Symphony, 111-year old bastion of UK musical institutions famed for its virtuosity and flexibility, is an orchestra in transition. The peripatetic Valery Gergiev remains its official Principal Conductor through the end of this year, but the LSO created a big splash earlier this month when it announced that Simon Rattle will become its Music … Continue reading

Ojai Music Festival announces Music Directors for next three seasons
Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

Ojai Music Festival announces Music Directors for next three seasons

Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Tom Morris and the other good folks on his team are still ramping up for this summer’s fun, featuring pianist (and blogger) Jeremy Denk as Music Director.  But that didn’t stop them from giving us a little advanced notice about who’ll be taking the reigns in the future.  According to the … Continue reading

Four musical gifts you should give yourself if you didn’t get them during the holidays
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2013/2014

Four musical gifts you should give yourself if you didn’t get them during the holidays

Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Festivus — all of their latest editions are now a distant memory.  Perhaps it passed by and you didn’t get the CD you had secretly hoped for.   Or maybe you’ve got an Amazon gift card and you’ve decided that you should really stop accumulating novels about forlorn vampires that … Continue reading

More photos from <i>Invisible Cities</i> at Union Station
Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

More photos from Invisible Cities at Union Station

A  gallery of photos (all taken by yours truly) from the November 5th performance of Invisible Cities (composed by Chris Cerrone, directed by Yuval Sharon, and presented by The Industry.) My review of the performance is HERE. As always, click on any of the thumbnails below to open up a full screen version of the image. … Continue reading

A million miles away, everywhere at once:  <i>Invisible Cities</i> is an opera that embodies the LA experience
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A million miles away, everywhere at once: Invisible Cities is an opera that embodies the LA experience

Yuval Sharon and the intrepid team at “The Industry” have done it again.  Last year, they raised operatic hell with their innovative conceptualization of Anne LeBaron’s Crescent City.  This year, their take on Chris Cerrone’s Invisible Cities has an entirely different vibe, but is innovative in its own way. Invisible Cities is one of those artistic … Continue reading

Random thoughts on Disney Hall’s 10th birthday  (first of a series):  If concert halls were cars
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

Random thoughts on Disney Hall’s 10th birthday (first of a series): If concert halls were cars

Walt Disney Concert Hall is now officially ten years old.  Within that decade, a lot has happened, and off and on during the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering the impact — both profound and innocuous — of the hall’s addition to the cultural landscape of the city and beyond.  I figure I’d share them … Continue reading

Saturday at the Ojai Music Festival:  ain’t no party like a West Coast party cuz a West Coast party don’t stop
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2012/2013

Saturday at the Ojai Music Festival: ain’t no party like a West Coast party cuz a West Coast party don’t stop

Listening to music you’ve never heard before is, by definition, full of unknowns.  One aspect you don’t always think about is how long a piece will take to play.  Printed program notes frequently include estimated timings, but that isn’t always the case, and you’re at the mercy of the composer’s and musicians’ ability to keep … Continue reading

“The Rite of Spring” served up 3 ways:  shaken, straight up, and blended (c/o Ojai, Pacific Symphony, and UCI)
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Music News & Info: Rock, Jazz, World Music, etc. / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Pacific Symphony / Reviews 2012/2013

“The Rite of Spring” served up 3 ways: shaken, straight up, and blended (c/o Ojai, Pacific Symphony, and UCI)

At the opening talk of this year’s Ojai Music Festival last Thursday, Ara Guzelimien (Provost & Dean of The Julliard School and former Artistic Director of the Ojai Festival) astutely observed that The Rite of Spring has become big business.  What used to scare audiences now regularly packs houses.  With all of the buzz surrounding … Continue reading

Photos from the 2013 Ojai Music Festival
Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

Photos from the 2013 Ojai Music Festival

My two-part review of this past weekend’s 67th Ojai Music Festival will be up very soon. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos from the weekend (see the gallery below). Except for a few shots taken by me (as noted in the descriptions), most of the photos — in fact, pretty much all the really … Continue reading

An in-depth conversation with Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival
Interviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

An in-depth conversation with Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival

Good news, Ojai Music Festival fans:  your year-long wait for the next iteration of this wonderfully wacky artistic experience is finally over.  Today marks the beginning of the 67th edition of this venerable Southern California homage to adventurous music.  This year’s Music Director is Mark Morris (yes, the choreographer) — at first blush, a seemingly  unlikely choice, … Continue reading