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

A chat with Michele Zukovsky (part 2 of 2):  on German clarinets, German conductors, life after the LA Phil, and more
Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

A chat with Michele Zukovsky (part 2 of 2): on German clarinets, German conductors, life after the LA Phil, and more

Michele Zukovsky, Principal Clarinet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, wraps up her amazing 54-year tenure with the orchestra in an all-Rachmaninoff concert today at 2pm; Cristian Măcelaru conducts. Below is the second part of my interview with her (Part 1 is HERE).  In it, we chat about her switch from a French clarinet to a German one, some observations about conductors … 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

Expecting the extraordinary:  a look back at six weeks of Dudamel, Salonen, and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Expecting the extraordinary: a look back at six weeks of Dudamel, Salonen, and the LA Phil

We in Southern California are so spoiled.  We’ve got amazing weather and a diverse geography with which to enjoy it; where else can you spend a couple of hours surfing in the morning and be snow skiing by lunchtime?  We’ve got Vin Scully, two Stanley Cups in three years, and two solid college football teams 13 … Continue reading

A colorful 2014-15 season opener for Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

A colorful 2014-15 season opener for Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and their Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane, can  almost always be counted on to present compelling programming, interesting soloists, and thoughtful interpretations.  For their 2014-15 season opener, Mr. Kahane and the orchestra rolled out more of the same, care of a new work by Cameron Patrick, an infrequently-heard bit of piano concerto sass … Continue reading

VIDEO:  Carlo Maria Giulini rehearsing the LA Phil in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

VIDEO: Carlo Maria Giulini rehearsing the LA Phil in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

Kudos and endless gratitude to Tim Mangan for originally finding and sharing this blast from the past:  Carlo Maria Giulini rehearsing the opening of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. According to the voice over at the beginning of the video, this was filmed during one of ten(!) … Continue reading

LA Chamber Orchestra & Benjamin Beilman dance their way through an impressive season opener
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

LA Chamber Orchestra & Benjamin Beilman dance their way through an impressive season opener

(Publisher’s note.  I’m thrilled to introduce the first-ever guest writer on All is Yar:  Fiona Bryan.  Fiona has a BM & MM in Violin Performance from Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and University of Missouri, respectively, and has performed in various orchestras across the country.  More recently, she’s been working in marketing, PR, and … Continue reading

Season enders (part 1 of 2):  Alisa Weilerstein closes LACO’s final 2012/13 concert with a flourish
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Season enders (part 1 of 2): Alisa Weilerstein closes LACO’s final 2012/13 concert with a flourish

When the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival was in town last year, I managed to catch two of the three concerto performances that different soloists were performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  The one I soloist I missed:  Alisa Weilerstein.  At the time, someone told me I had made a mistake.  Judging by the strength of … Continue reading

The long and short of last Thursday’s LA Phil concert with Ludovic Morlot and Emanuel Ax
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

The long and short of last Thursday’s LA Phil concert with Ludovic Morlot and Emanuel Ax

Just to prove to myself that I could summarize into three bullet points my thoughts on last Thursday’s Los Angeles Philharmonic concert: Emanuel Ax played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25:  Spectacular.  Flawless.  Brilliant.  Dare I say, “Perfect.” Conductor Ludovic Morlot:  Solid in Dutilleux’s The Shadows of Time and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The orchestra:   Very good the whole night. There, I … Continue reading

Five concerts, four conductors at different stages of their relationship w/ the LA Phil (part 3 of 4):  Esa-Pekka Salonen then and now
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Five concerts, four conductors at different stages of their relationship w/ the LA Phil (part 3 of 4): Esa-Pekka Salonen then and now

When Esa-Pekka Salonen comes back to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic, you expect finely polished performances of complex programs.  In two weekends of concerts earlier this month, that’s exactly what you got and then some.  E-P was in town to help the orchestra celebrate Lutosławski’s centenary, with both sets of programs featuring major works by the … Continue reading

A case of musical ADD:  Andsnes and Dudamel headline latest LA Phil concert, but news of deMaine creates the biggest buzz
All Reviews / Appointments / Auditions & Appointments / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

A case of musical ADD: Andsnes and Dudamel headline latest LA Phil concert, but news of deMaine creates the biggest buzz

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s second week of concerts in the 2012/2013 season was clearly meant to be a contrast from the first.  After having regaled us all with a sparkling world premiere of Symphony by Steven Stucky and a romp through the modernist machinations of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), Gustavo Dudamel decided … Continue reading

All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

LA Chamber Orchestra displays its range in outstanding season opening concert

Do you have one of those friends that are good at seemingly everything they do?  You might already know that they’re like that, but when you see them in action you always have to shake your head in surprise and admiration. Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra are like that. They kicked off … 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