BL-in studio

The answer to the question Brian Lauritzen gets most often is no.*

Brian believes that classical music is deeply serious, riotously humorous, and everything in between. He exhibits a healthy respect for this great art, and the great artists who create it, and balances that regard with a tasteful irreverence in his presentations on Classical KUSC. Ultimately, Brian believes there are few absolutes when it comes to music–only personal taste. If you don’t like something, you’re not wrong. Brian has occasionally been criticized for using words like, “awesome,” “facepalm,” and “dude” on the air…and he’s fine with that. Classical music purists may not fully understand Brian’s love for hip-hop and bluegrass music, but then when he begins to geek out over the intricacies of a Mahler symphony everything begins to make sense again.

Although, he doesn’t count as a passenger for HOV lane restrictions, Brian is happy to ride shotgun with you during your commute home. You can catch him weekdays from 3:00-7:00 p.m. He presides over the celebrated Classical Anti-Road-Rage Melody (CarTune), every day at 5:00, now expanded to a full 20-minute set of soothing selections designed to help you keep calm on the roadways of Southern California.

As the multi-award-winning host of Arts Alive, Brian has had conversations with dozens of top classical musicians and artists. Among them, Gustavo Dudamel, Dawn Upshaw, Frank Gehry, Hilary Hahn, Pierre Boulez, Wynton Marsalis, Sir Simon Rattle, and many others.

More than three million people tune in each season for the internationally-syndicated concert broadcasts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic that Brian produces and hosts. He has traveled to Europe, Asia, and South America with the LA Phil. His choral music program, Soul Music, is consistently one of the most popular programs on Classical KUSC.

While much of his life is spent behind triple-paned glass in a soundproof studio underground in Downtown Los Angeles, Brian does occasionally see the light of day. He is, in fact, one of Southern California’s most sought-after speakers about classical music. His pontifications (rarely boring) bring the music of the past to life, contextualizing it for the present moment, and are just as likely to include deep musical analysis as well as references to a TV show or movie that he saw recently. Brian hosts a series called “Inside the Music” at the LA Phil. He’s also the Resident Host for the Salastina Music Society and makes regular appearances with Los Angeles Opera, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

On social media, you can find Brian sharing interesting tidbits about music, life behind the scenes at KUSC, and way fewer food pictures than he used to. His Twitter feed (@BrianKUSC) has been highlighted by National Public Radio and the LA Times. His advocacy for women in classical music has earned him praise from the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

*Brian Lauritzen is not related to composer Morten Lauridsen.


13 thoughts on “About

  1. Brian, yesterday you mentioned that the “Ride Of The Valkyries” was played on finals mornings at Caltech years ago, and you asked for more information. I was a freshman there in the Fall of 1964, residing in Blacker House. The music went off at very high volume at 6:00 AM on midterms morning, and I practically dropped out of bed onto the floor. I had never heard it before and was completely taken by surprise. It may have upset my concentration on the tests. Several EE majors had rooms down the hallway and had set up speakers close by. They were into audio technology and generally favored Wagner, R. Strauss, and Holst – all new to me. The “Ride” was also played on the music system wired to rooms throughout Blacker House. I don’t know if this tradition was observed at the other undergraduate houses, but I continued to hear it every time we had exams while I was a student there. … Edward Lee

  2. Dear Brian, please do not apologize about playing that beautiful Christmas music today…two days before Thanksgiving. It was uplifting and lovely. I hope that you play more of this music. Thank you, Mary Pat Sweeney

  3. I like your “awesome”, “facepalm”, and “dude”. Especially “dude”. I’m a “dude” user myself. And I LOVE classical music. 😀

  4. I started to leave a message on Facebook but it got cut off. Anyway, upon hearing your intro to “Enigma Variations” where you mentioned that no one knew what the enigma was, I recently heard that it was actually based on pi, and if you listen to the theme, you’ll hear the interval of 3-1-4 (3.14). Enjoy your show!


  6. Brian, after hearing you on my go-to radio station (KUSC), it’s great to get to know a bit about you. I must be honest and say that along with the marvelous music, your dulcet tones and scintillating musings are equally restorative and refreshing. I am always irked when you take a probably well-deserved break from hosting and look forward to the hopefully imminent return of your soothing voice! Thanks for helping to make the music so special!

  7. Hi Brian. I am writing u at the suggestion of my friend who plays for the LA Phil. For my 50th (!!!!) bday I am inviting my friends to join me in some classes in subjects we know nothing about or have never done — rowing, Talmud, making our own pasta… Etc. One class I want to take is in classical music. I don’t get it. Brahms? Chopin? All sounds irrelevant and the same to me, but at least I know that’s because of me and not the music. I asked my friend if she would enlighten me but she doesn’t feel qualified. And so she recommended u!! Would u ever do something like that — teach a handful of middle aged plebeians what is so great and pertinent about the music of some dead, old composers? I know it sounds crazy, but maybe fun too?
    Thanks for your time and consideration

  8. Thank you Brian! That is a wonderful one too! How about the one where he was scoffing at the Scottish harp music in the taverns? Something about raucous renditions of traditional tunes…

  9. Thank you Brian! That is a wonderful one too! How about the one where he was scoffing at the Scottish harp music in the taverns? Something about raucous renditions of traditional tunes…

  10. In your commentary during the Dudamel concert on NPR/WABE Atlanta last night, you read a wonderful Mendelssohn quote about harps in taverns in Scotland, if I have it right. Can you send me the quote? I wasn’t able to find it online. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Nancy, thanks for finding me here! The quote from Mendelssohn was inspired by the ruins of the Holyrood Chapel in Edinburgh. Here it is: “The chapel is now roofless, grass and ivy grow there, and at that broken altar Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. Everything round is broken and mouldering and the bright sky shines in. I believe I today found in that old chapel the beginning of my ‘Scottish’ Symphony.”

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