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

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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

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

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

LA Phil 2016-17: By the Numbers

I do this every year: leave the punditry to others and tally up the stats. Here's what 2016-17 looks like at the LA Phil. Unlike in years past, I have only included performances by the LA Phil--no visiting artists. 21 commissions, 14 world premieres, 5 U.S. premieres, and 5 West Coast premieres. This beats last … Continue reading LA Phil 2016-17: By the Numbers

Kicking Brass: An Interview with the LA Phil’s Andrew Bain and Thomas Hooten

This week’s LA Philharmonic radio broadcast on Classical KUSC features two concerto performances by two LA Phil brass principals. Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet, will play Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat. Andrew Bain, principal French horn, will play Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4. Before the performance, which was recorded in February 2015, I sat down with … Continue reading Kicking Brass: An Interview with the LA Phil’s Andrew Bain and Thomas Hooten

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…