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

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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

5 Classical Music Stories That Prove 2016 Wasn’t a Total Loss

  I read the news this year, oh boy... And so the Year of Death and Brexit and #MAGA comes to a merciful end. Yes, it was a horrific year for unity and truth and famous people staying alive. The awfulness extended to the classical music world as well. We said goodbye to far too many titans … Continue reading 5 Classical Music Stories That Prove 2016 Wasn’t a Total Loss

Learning to Hate: A Story Whose Relevance Reaches Beyond the West Side

At the climax of West Side Story, Maria brandishes the gun that killed her star-crossed lover, Tony, and declares that, "We all killed him," because of the unbroken cycle of violence and hate between the two rival gangs. "I can kill now," Maria screams, "Because I hate now too!" When they programmed a concert performance … Continue reading Learning to Hate: A Story Whose Relevance Reaches Beyond the West Side

Resurrection of Hope

It's been a hell of a week. As we struggled to process the murder of Alton Sterling, we learned of the murder of Philando Castile. The Washington Post tells us 509 people have been killed by police this year. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune tells us that 148 people have been killed by police in Minnesota since 2000 … Continue reading Resurrection of Hope

Conductors Conducting the Climax of Mahler 2

The Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler is the biggest, most epic symphonic statement since Beethoven's 9th. It's subtitled "Resurrection," and the work climaxes with the words: O Pain, You piercer of all things, From you, I have been wrested! O Death, You conqueror of all things, Now, are you conquered! With wings which I … Continue reading Conductors Conducting the Climax of Mahler 2