Dude Looks Like He Likes Pianists

For a violinist who wanted to be a trombone player, Gustavo Dudamel sure does love his superstar pianists. Awhile back, I crunched the numbers on the LA Philharmonic's 2013-14 season (in terms of musical eras represented). I didn't catch it at the time, but today while perusing the upcoming season once again, I kept running … Continue reading Dude Looks Like He Likes Pianists

Yo-Yo Ma: “Part of creativity is accepting all the things we don’t know, because that’s when you start to explore.”

The Urban Dictionary definition is as follows: goat rodeo (noun): 1. A chaotic situation, often one that involves several people, each with a different agenda/vision/perception of what's going on. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s definition is a little bit different: “If there were forks in the road and each time there was a fork, the right decision … Continue reading Yo-Yo Ma: “Part of creativity is accepting all the things we don’t know, because that’s when you start to explore.”

About the other night…

This is not a review of Gustavo Dudamel and LA Phil's performance of Verdi's Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl last Thursday night. Just a few thoughts about my experience: When the summer season was released, I was skeptical of hearing Verdi's Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl. When I arrived at the Bowl Thursday evening, I … Continue reading About the other night…

Postcard from London: The Gospel Truth

Last year, at the world premiere of John Adams' passion-oratorio "The Gospel According to the Other Mary," I wrote an extensive review. At the time, I said I was "less interested" in seeing how Peter Sellars would stage the work in the future, than I was simply excited to hear the music again. Turns out, … Continue reading Postcard from London: The Gospel Truth

Postcard from London: Discover Dudamel

Yesterday was a moment several months in the making for the 10 traveling musicians from YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA). It's why they wrote two essays, gave an interview, and played an audition just for the opportunity to come on this trip to London. Yesterday was the rehearsal and performance of the Discover Dudamel orchestra at … Continue reading Postcard from London: Discover Dudamel

LA Phil 2013-14: By the Numbers

Much has already been written about the LA Phil's new 2013-14 season, just announced yesterday at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (In my estimation, the most insightful summations come from Mr. CK Dexter Haven at All is Yar and Timothy Mangan at Classical Life.) As orchestras around the country hemorrhage audiences, money, and relevance, a few--like … Continue reading LA Phil 2013-14: By the Numbers

Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic on Stravinsky’s Rite

This weekend, the LA Philharmonic performs Igor Stravinsky's seminal masterpiece, The Rite of Spring, with music director Gustavo Dudamel. The concerts mark the opening of the 2012-13 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall. I spoke with Dudamel as well as several members of the LA Phil about what it's like to perform The Rite. Here … Continue reading Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic on Stravinsky’s Rite

Gustavo is America and You Can Too

Like the best summer tomatoes, Thursday night's LA Philharmonic concert at the Hollywood Bowl was one to savor. Of the six performances conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at the Bowl this year, this was certainly the musician's concert of the bunch. No superstar soloists, like Yo-Yo Ma or Plácido Domingo, and a 12-tone piano concerto to … Continue reading Gustavo is America and You Can Too

A Conversation With Gustavo Dudamel: “Classical Music Really Is Changing”

Tens of thousands of classical music fans have been streaming to the Hollywood Bowl this week as LA Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel has set up shop there for his annual summer residency. And the crowds are only expected to get larger in the week ahead, as Dudamel conducts a concert performance of Verdi’s opera … Continue reading A Conversation With Gustavo Dudamel: “Classical Music Really Is Changing”

A Gospel of Social Justice: The Premiere of John Adams’ “The Other Mary”

If it walks like a Passion and talks like a Passion, chances are it's a Passion. But composer John Adams chose not call his most recent work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a Passion. "I just avoided using the word 'Passion,'" Adams told me earlier this week in a conversation backstage at Walt … Continue reading A Gospel of Social Justice: The Premiere of John Adams’ “The Other Mary”