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

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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

The KUSC Classical Top 100 Analyzed

Well, the KUSC Classical Top 100 has been fully revealed and with it, some predictable results...and more than a few surprises as well. To recap, we asked KUSC listeners to vote on their favorite pieces of classical music and then we counted down the top 100 vote-getters on the air. You can view the entire … Continue reading The KUSC Classical Top 100 Analyzed

Mozart at the Bat

With opening week of the new baseball season upon us, I was thinking about the various songs the players choose for their walk-up music as they head up to bat. It's totally their choice and the picks range from something with a good thumping bass to get the adrenaline flowing to music of menace and … Continue reading Mozart at the Bat

Here’s the thing about Gustavo Dudamel…

I've never particularly cared for the third movement of Dvořák's New World Symphony. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but for me it has only ever been the thing that happens in between the serene beauty of the slow movement and the Jaws-like introduction to the finale. The third movement is fine. I've just never loved it. … Continue reading Here’s the thing about Gustavo Dudamel…

Le “Sakura” du Printemps

Were it not for sakura in this world, our hearts and minds would not be so serene and peaceful. -Ariwara no Narihira (825-880 A.D.) It's the most wonderful time of the year in Tokyo right now. That fleeting moment that comes each spring when the cherry trees do their best cotton candy impersonation and the … Continue reading Le “Sakura” du Printemps