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.