Here I am chatting with LA Times and Arts Alive film critic Kenneth Turan about this year’s Oscar nominations. Surprises, omissions, and *gasp* perhaps a snub in a minor category?
This weekend, the LA Philharmonic performs Igor Stravinsky’s seminal masterpiece, The Rite of Spring, with music director Gustavo Dudamel. The concerts mark the opening of the 2012-13 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall. I spoke with Dudamel as well as several members of the LA Phil about what it’s like to perform The Rite. Here are a few of my favorite moments from those conversations.
And a bit more from Dudamel:
Tens of thousands of classical music fans have been streaming to the Hollywood Bowl this week as LA Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel has set up shop there for his annual summer residency. And the crowds are only expected to get larger in the week ahead, as Dudamel conducts a concert performance of Verdi’s opera Rigoletto on Sunday evening; he continues his exploration of North and South American music with two concerts during the week; and after that, collaborates for the very first time with tenor Plácido Domingo.
Dudamel kicked off his Bowl appearances this past Tuesday with a performance featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma. I caught up with Dudamel the next day, in his studio at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
BL: On my way out [of the Hollywood Bowl] last night, I snapped this photo. Continue reading
A truly collaborative new symphony is set for its world premiere this Friday night in Downtown Los Angeles. The work, called A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project, is the work of 25 different Hollywood composers and will be performed by an orchestra of movie studio musicians, conducted by Lucas Richman, August 3rd at California Plaza as part of the free concert series Grand Performances. Continue reading
Tomorrow marks the second performance for Joshua Bell and Edgar Meyer with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. On Monday, I caught up with Bell at the Bowl. Today, I met Meyer in West Hollywood for a conversation about his new Double Concerto. The Nashville-based double-bassist is a leading performer in lots of different genres–classical, bluegrass, folk, jazz, and more. And the music he composes often fuses those many musical influences.
BL: Joshua Bell was telling me about how the two of you first met at Indiana University. You were both teenagers when you started playing together.
EM: Yeah, we were in a very musically rich environment. I didn’t grow up in the bosom of classical music per se and so this was really the time that I was concentrating on trying to become a classical string player–I mean, I always technically had been one–but really going a lot deeper in the culture and learning a lot more about the history and how it works and things like that. So, Josh and I met at what were really formative years ultimately for both of us and I can certainly say that he influenced my voice on the instrument and that’s something I would say about very few living players [of stringed instruments]. We have a synchronicity that does date to that time and his ability to comprehend what I’m going after is rare in classical players. Continue reading
Superstar violinist Joshua Bell is in town this week for two marathon performances at the Hollywood Bowl. I say marathon, not because the concerts will be extra long–there’s curfew at the Bowl, after all–but because the program includes not one, but TWO concerti featuring Bell as soloist. From the standard repertoire, the Mendelssohn e-minor Violin Concerto closes the concert. On the first half, it’s the West Coast premiere of Edgar Meyer’s Double Concerto for Violin and Bass. Joining Joshua Bell is the double-bassist/composer Edgar Meyer. The work received its first performance just last week at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, then Bell and Meyer headed to the Aspen Music Festival for the concerto’s second performance. Tomorrow and Thursday they’ll play it here at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, conducted by Ludovic Morlot.
Earlier today, I caught up with Joshua Bell at the Bowl. Here’s part of our conversation. Continue reading
The world premiere of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, by John Adams, takes place tonight. Gustavo Dudamel conducting the LA Philharmonic, LA Master Chorale, and soloists in this evening-length oratorio (135 minutes, in two acts) about the final days of Jesus’ life.
Below is a transcript of our interview. I’m really looking forward to this concert. I’ll be there Friday night.