The LA Phil returns with a Hollywood Bowl season-opening night to savor
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2020/2021

The LA Phil returns with a Hollywood Bowl season-opening night to savor

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic returned to the Hollywood Bowl this past Thursday, their first subscription concert since pandemic restrictions had been instituted and subsequently lifted.  There was a paying audience in the seats, none of whom were required to wear masks or to socially distance.  Ditto for the orchestra members on stage, … 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

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

Avoiding “conductor porn”:  Gaffigan shakes things up with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Avoiding “conductor porn”: Gaffigan shakes things up with the LA Phil

The ten-week parade of guest conductors at the Los Angeles Philharmonic has begun.  First in line:  James Gaffigan, the American-born Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony and previous right hand man to Michael Tilson Thomas in San Francisco and Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland. His program featured one favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Simon … Continue reading

Salonen, Wang, Hooten, and the LA Phil create their own fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Salonen, Wang, Hooten, and the LA Phil create their own fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl

A little bit of Esa-Pekka Salonen is better than none at all.  And so it turned out this past week with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The original plan was that the orchestra’s beloved Conductor Laureate was supposed to be at the Hollywood Bowl for two concerts, beginning Tuesday night when he and pianist Yefim Bronfman (long-time … Continue reading

Sinaisky and Kavakos solid if not flashy with Los Angeles Philharmonic
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Sinaisky and Kavakos solid if not flashy with Los Angeles Philharmonic

Vassily Sinaisky is not exactly a household name, and until last night, I’d never seen him conduct.  The Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre certainly looks the way you’d imagine a maestro to look:  tall(ish), sporting white tie and tails (no pajama jacket here), with wavy grey hair brushed up to maximum height. … Continue reading

Youth is served:  Krzysztof Urbański and Denis Matsuev make their LA Phil debuts
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Reviews 2011/2012

Youth is served: Krzysztof Urbański and Denis Matsuev make their LA Phil debuts

The Hollywood Bowl is often a place for conductors and soloists to make their Los Angeles Philharmonic debuts.  It’s a bit of trial by fire — if you can make a strong impression under the duress of limited rehearsal time and less-than-ideal performing conditions, then you might get invited for a gig downtown for the … Continue reading

Happy Birthday to the great Martha Argerich
Music News & Info: Classical

Happy Birthday to the great Martha Argerich

“Great” is an often overused and mis-applied word, but is unquestionably appropriate in describing Martha Argerich. The great Argentinian pianist was born on June 5, 1941, which makes her 71 years old today. Her appearances are always events, partly because they are relatively rare.  Every few years, her name comes up on a local program, … Continue reading

Charles Dutoit leads a refreshing night with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Charles Dutoit leads a refreshing night with the LA Phil

A  program of Stravinsky, Debussy, and Prokofiev may still be considered adventurous in some concert halls, but for many years, it was the norm at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  The 20th Century French and Russian composers seemed to turn up on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s programs as often (if not more so) than Mozart, Brahms, … Continue reading

Yuja Wang and James Conlon triumph with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Yuja Wang and James Conlon triumph with the LA Phil

Yuja Wang is the real deal. If there was any doubt that might have crept in as to whether or not she was a “serious” pianist and/or musician based on a spate of recent cancellations and a critic’s unfortunate comments about her attire at the Hollywood Bowl, let them be put to rest after this … Continue reading

Prokofiev rolls while Chapela tries to rock:  Dudamel, Moser, and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Prokofiev rolls while Chapela tries to rock: Dudamel, Moser, and the LA Phil

“Let’s rrrrock this place.” Gustavo Dudamel wasn’t talking about the Prokofiev 5th Symphony when he made that comment from the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall, but he could have been.  In fact,  he should have been.  On a Friday night when the performance of  a newly commisioned work for electric cello should have provided … Continue reading