Composers: The Future is Female

Luna Composition Lab’s Missy Mazzoli | Photo by Marylene Mey Nearly half of the major orchestras in the United States will perform no music composed by women in the 2017-18 concert season. 25 of the top 30 orchestras will perform music by two or fewer women this season. That’s an incriminating, if unsurprising, statistic. But … Continue reading Composers: The Future is Female

Meet the Future Faces of Classical Music

Conductor Thomas Wilkins leads 101 young musicians from across the country during the “Take a Stand” symposium and festival | Photo by Brian Lauritzen If you have questions about the future of classical music, you’re not going to find answers in an orchestra’s administrative offices or the board room of a big opera company. I … Continue reading Meet the Future Faces of Classical Music

Scully at the Bowl

Vin Scully on stage with Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl On Thursday night, Hall of Fame former Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully’s voice once again wafted over the summer evening breezes of Southern California. There was no crack of the bat, no mention of deuces being wild, and no radio dial in sight (at least … Continue reading Scully at the Bowl

Game of Thrones: My 14 Favorite Covers

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO You can’t tell it from the temperatures in Southern California, but winter is indeed here. The new season (or half-season, depending on your viewpoint) of Game of Thrones starts Sunday night and, I don’t know about you, but I am excited. To get in the mood for Sunday’s new episode, I’ve been listening … Continue reading Game of Thrones: My 14 Favorite Covers

Deep Cuts for a Classical Summer

The summer solstice officially arrived in the Pacific Time Zone at 9:24 Tuesday night, so for most of the country, technically Tuesday was the official First Day of Summer. There are plenty of pieces of classical music which celebrate summer and many of them are standbys in the repertoire. The Summer concerto from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, for example. … Continue reading Deep Cuts for a Classical Summer

Summer of Love: When Classical Music Meets Pop

With KUSC’s classical music celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love this weekend, it got me thinking about the influence of classical music in popular music. Musical borrowing is something that has occurred ever since there has been music. Bach made keyboard transcriptions of concertos by Vivaldi and others; Handel reused his own music; Tchaikovsky liked the Flower … Continue reading Summer of Love: When Classical Music Meets Pop

Behind the Scenes of the Ojai Music Festival with Vijay Iyer

Photo by Barbara Rigon | Homepage photo by Lena Adasheva Vijay Iyer is an American jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, producer, electronic musician, and writer. He’s a winner of the MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “Genius Award.” And he’s this year’s music director for the Ojai Music Festival, which runs from June 8th to 11th in majestic Ojai. KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen sat … Continue reading Behind the Scenes of the Ojai Music Festival with Vijay Iyer

Four Female Conductors Take the Stage at the LA Phil

The LA Phil unveiled its 2017-18 season last week and among the many highlights is the fact that the orchestra has engaged four different women to conduct six different concerts. That may not seem like a lot over the course of an 8-month concert season, but it is considerably more than any other major orchestra in the … Continue reading Four Female Conductors Take the Stage at the LA Phil

A Classical Christmas

Let's face it, most Christmas music is lame. And it's that same lame Christmas music that gets blared over loudspeakers in shopping malls all across this great country of ours. Ask most people about classical Christmas music and they'll probably say something about that horrifying version of Pachelbel's Canon in D by an electronic group that … Continue reading A Classical Christmas

5 Questions for Michael Giacchino

This weekend, the American Youth Symphony will present a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness with the film score played live to picture. David Newman will conduct Michael Giacchino's exhilarating score and Giacchino will be on hand for a pre-concert/screening Q&A with film music journalist (and frequent KUSC contributor) Jon Burlingame. Details here. In advance … Continue reading 5 Questions for Michael Giacchino