Featured Articles

Review: LA Opera’s ‘La Traviata’

June 18, 2019 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

LA Opera’s season-ending party was a blast. Director and Designer Marta Domingo’s production (also seen in 2006 and 2014) of Verdi’s “La Traviata” places the action of the 1853 opera in the roaring 1920s, an era of excess that perfectly fits the story of Violetta, “the woman led astray.”
In the beginning, a gorgeous 1920s Rolls [...]



Concerts at Mt. Wilson Observatory

May 31, 2019 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

Mount Wilson Observatory — the scientific marvel above Pasadena, atop Mount Wilson — is hosting a six-month series of Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome on the first Sunday of each month through October. The concerts, thoughtfully curated by Artistic Director Cécilia Tsan, are presented inside the iconic vaulted dome of the 100-inch telescope.
The June 2 concert program [...]



Review: LA Opera’s ‘El Gato Montés’

May 13, 2019 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

LA Opera’s 1994 production of Manuel Penella’s “El Gato Montés” starred Plácido Domingo as the bullfighter. In the 2019 production, he’s the titular Wildcat, taking on the darker character in the love triangle. Who would have guessed 25 years had passed when Domingo walked out on stage this month? In the spotlight against a pitch-black [...]



Review: Salonen conducts Stravinsky

April 15, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Saturday night, Esa-Pekka Salonen returned (did he ever really leave?) to Southern California to conduct his old band in three works by Stravinsky: Funeral Song, Agon and The Rite of Spring.
In fact, Salonen is in town for several weeks conducting the LA Phil. Over two weeks, he will conduct all Stravinsky programs. On Saturday, [...]



Review: Cameron Carpenter plays Bach at Disney Hall

April 8, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Sunday night the American organist Cameron Carpenter wowed and dazzled what one organ series subscriber called the largest crowd she had ever seen for an organ recital in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Carpenter obviously has a following.
Carpenter most recently played in WDCH this past November when he performed the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra [...]



Review: Pianist Dang Thai Son Performs at Cal State Fullerton

March 4, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

One doesn’t often get the chance to hear a performance by a First Prize winner and Gold Medalist of the International Chopin Piano Competition, but that chance occurred Friday night at Meng Concert Hall in the Clayes Performing Arts Center at California State University Fullerton with a performance by Dang Thai Son, who earned the [...]



‘The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin’ from Oxford University Press

February 15, 2019 | By Nestor Castiglione | Category: Books and Lectures, Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

Alexander Scriabin’s music was, arguably, the catalyst that set in motion Sergei Rachmaninoff’s career as a touring pianist. Synthesizing elements from Chopin and Russian music with uniquely personal spiritual beliefs, his art captivated audiences, as well as fellow musicians.
Yet after his untimely death in 1915 at the age of 43, his music would come to [...]



LACO Performs the Music of Juan Pablo Contreras

February 12, 2019 | By Nestor Castiglione | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

The popular notion which finds that Western classical music is so much “dead white men’s music” is a typical, if dutifully ignorant one which is held not only by people otherwise unaware of the genre, but even by some of its professional practitioners. In fact, even in Beethoven’s time non-white peoples living in Europe and [...]



Sarah Gibson Premieres Composition With LACO

January 25, 2019 | By Nestor Castiglione | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

Peter Oundjian, formerly of the Tokyo String Quartet, has put his chamber music days behind him and has now taken up the baton, accruing to the critical plaudits he has earned over a lifetime as a chamber music partner. Southern California audiences will get an opportunity to hear him in this latest guise when he [...]



Interview with Composer Tigran Mansurian

January 25, 2019 | By Nestor Castiglione | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

The milestone represented by the marking of one’s 80th birthday is doubtless a profound one, a token of the human activity—present and long past—which has unspooled before them over the decades, with its memories imprinting themselves upon the soul like static images burned onto a projector screen. But for an artist like Tigran Mansurian, who [...]