On Saturday night, the Berlin Philharmonic, under the baton of its music director, Sir Simon Rattle, gave LA concertgoers something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, a transcendent performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in E minor. Also on the program was a brief composition for a small ensemble of 15 instruments by Pierre Boulez [...]
By now, regular Culture Spot readers should know that Pacific Opera Project offers the best value in opera in town. For $65, you get two tickets, a table for two, a platter of snacks and a bottle of wine. While POP does do opera seria, they are best known for their irreverent and inventive comic [...]
Since its inception in 2008, the Los Angeles-based Lyris Quartet — Alyssa Park (violin), Shalini Vijayan (violin), Luke Maurer (viola) and Timothy Loo (cello) — has championed music by contemporary composers. As the founding resident ensemble of the Hear Now Music Festival, which focuses on the music of living Los Angeles composers, the quartet has [...]
A bit of Los Angeles’ music culture came to San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall on Halloween night, Oct. 31, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with conductor Gustavo Dudamel, introduced young Los Angeles composer Andrew Norman’s composition titled “Play.” Norman personally introduced his piece, and then we were swept away into a most enjoyable 45 minutes [...]
“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 [...]