“Art music” is a coded phrase for music that most people would consider strange, offbeat or eccentric. Mark Abel’s first opera, Home Is a Harbor is all those things, but in a good way, mostly. This California-based composer has a unique sound that blends many influences and musical genres and offers an inventive vision of [...]
Gustavo Dudamel was back in town on Sunday to conduct the LA Phil in a program including the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 with Joshua Bell as soloist and two early tone poems by Richard Strauss, Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.
Dudamel opened the concert with Towards Osiris by the German [...]
The 38-year-old Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado was in town on Sunday to lead the LA Phil in a sonically spectacular program of works by two masters of composition and orchestration: Ravel and Stravinsky.
Heras-Casado began the matinee concert with a light but crisp performance of Ravel’s delightful 8-minute Alborada del gracioso. It was a perfect aperitif [...]
Does it seem too early to think about Halloween, Day of the Dead and other such seasonal spookiness? Not if you’re Wicked Lit, which has just launched their annual salute to the supernatural. As in the past seven seasons, they have commandeered the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena, a majestic yet eerie venue [...]
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Reference Recordings are on a mission: to record some of the world’s greatest symphonic works under the unique direction of its music director Manfred Honeck.
The latest offering is a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, “Pathétique.” And just as with the previous recordings by Honeck [...]
Boston Court presents “An Autumn Evening of Art Song and Poetry” on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. in Pasadena. Grammy Award-winning soprano Hila Plitmann and pianist Tali Tadmor will perform the world premiere of composer Mark Abel’s newest song cycle, “The Palm Trees Are Restless.” Also on the program are three excerpts from the [...]
Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills has been transformed into an outdoor gallery featuring monumental sculptures by Salvador Dalí. Take a stroll past Tiffany & Co. and Versace to admire his iconic melting clocks, a magical unicorn, St. George defeating a writhing dragon, and other works in bronze by the master of surrealism. The sculptures [...]
Some of the best 20 minutes of theater can currently be seen in Pasadena as part of History Lit 2016: A Festival of Timeless Stories, running through July 31 at the Pasadena Museum of History.
For this series of three site-specific and immersive plays, Unbound Productions, the creators of Wicked Lit (which received rave reviews from [...]
MUSE/IQUE celebrates its five-year anniversary as a counter-conventional orchestra with three summer concerts on Caltech’s Beckman Mall Lawn.
Conductor and Artistic Director Rachael Worby and the orchestra, based in Pasadena, have dedicated their Summer of Sound concerts to the music and influence of George (and Ira) Gershwin. Rachael is an arts entrepreneur, and her artistic vision shapes MUSE/IQUE, weaving [...]
Sometimes, you just have to hand it to artists who refuse to be daunted by the sheer audacity of their vision, whatever that vision may be. And thus, I applaud the creators of Parallel Worlds, billed as “A New Rock Music Experience” that combines live music, dramatic acting and film. While I’m not sure that [...]