A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

The week ahead promises some wonderful music from LA’s finest organizations and musicians.

Start the week Tuesday with a perfect musical Valentine treat from pianists Yana Reznik and Esther Keel as they offer Random Acts of Music at Noor Restaurant, an intimate event sponsored by the Pasadena Symphony.

The John Cage Centenary Festival starts a two-day homage Wednesday at REDCAT.  In addition to Cage’s compositions, new works will be performed based on Cage’s Fontana Mix.

For early-music enthusiasts, the LACO Baroque Conversations Series continues this Thursday downtown at Zipper Hall in The Colburn School, and next weekend, one of LA’s most distinguished period-instrument ensembles, Musica Angelica, will perform the Bach Wedding Cantatas in Los Angeles on Saturday and Santa Monica on Sunday.

The Chamber Players of Los Angeles will present a great program that includes Poulenc songs in original settings by LA composer John Kennedy and three pieces in the authentic “jazz manouche” style by Django Reinhardt, among other unique pieces Friday evening at the historic Miles Playhouse in Santa Monica.

Also on Friday evening, the Warsaw-based Szymanowski Quartet plays at the Doheny Mansion as a guest of the Da Camera Society with a program of Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Bach.

On Saturday, Jacaranda continues its distinctive “music at the edge,” with a tribute to Russian Alfred Schnittke and the influences that preceded him — Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

Read more about these exciting events and their artists and programs below.



Are you looking for a great event for Valentine’s Day? Then how about a cocktail-chic piano performance and conversation at the inaugural event of Random Acts of Music sponsored by the Pasadena Symphony at the Noor Restaurant in Pasadena?

This event will be hosted by pianist YANA REZNIK, well known among Southland aficionados as soloist with the LA Phil in their Toyota Symphony Concerts. Joining her will be ESTHER KEEL, who made her debut with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil at the age of 13, and has since performed at major venues throughout the United States, including Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Program – Special Valentine’s Day Event

Two- and four-hand piano selections by Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Ravel, Barber, Saint-Saëns, Gershwin and others, plus a sensual tango by Piazzolla

Stop in after dinner and impress your valentine with this creative event, or come and meet other culturally savvy singles for great music and good times. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; a glass of wine and appetizers are included with admission.

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.

Noor Restaurant, 260 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Full Price: $60.   Special discount: Save 50% by using the coupon code NOOR14 during checkout. For information, click: here



Celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth, REDCAT hosts two nights of rarely played music — some performed for the first time in Los Angeles. The CalArts New Century Players join with the CalArts Orchestra to open the Festival with a program of large-scale pieces by American visionary composer John Cage.

Program for Feb. 15:

• John Cage:

Fourteen (1990)

Ryoanji for ensemble and for flute solo (1984)

Dance/4 Orchestras (1982)

Etcetera (1973)

Renga (1976)

The CalArts New Century Players anchor the Festival’s second evening with Cage’s Fontana Mix and its fascination with chance and silence. In addition to the original Fontana Mix tape music composition itself, the program consists of instrumental group works composed using the Fontana Mix score by James Tenney, David Behrman, Cornelius Cardew and others.

Program for Feb. 16:

Playing continuously in the lobby: Karlheinz Essl: FontanaMixer (2004–7)

• John Cage: Fontana Mix (1958)

• John Cage: Aria (1958), with WBAI (1960)

• Cornelius Cardew: Piece for Guitar (for Stella) (1964); Stuart Fox, solo guitar

• John Cage: Water Walk (1959); Kristen Erickson, performer

• Ulrich Krieger: Unterwelten II & III, woodwind sextet


• Max Neuhaus: Fontana Mix-Feed (1965)

• John Cage: Theater Piece (1960) with WBAI (1960)

• James Tenney: (Fontana) Mix for Six (Strings) (2001), string sextet

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 16, 8:30 p.m.

Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, REDCAT at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 631 W. Second St., LA

Tickets: $20 / $16 students / $10 CalArts students, faculty, staff

For full program information, call (213) 237-2800.


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Baroque Conversations

Baroque Conversations features PATRICIA MABEE host & harpsichord, JOHN SCHNEIDERMAN Baroque guitar, JILL CHADROFF and LINDA TOMKO dancers, TEREZA STANISLAV and SARAH THORNBLADE violins, ROLAND KATO viola & viola d’amore, VICTORIA MISKOLCZY viola, and ARMEN KSAJIKIAN cello.


• Vivaldi: Trio Sonata in D Minor, RV63, “La folia” (“Madness”)

• Gaspar Sanz: Pavanas and Canarios  from Instrucción de Musica Sobre la Guitarra Española

• Ganspeck: Overture in A major for viola d’amore and violin

• André Campra: Rondeau and Loure from L’Europe galante (Galant Europe)

• Antonio Soler: Fandango in D Minor, S146

• André Campra: Bourée from Les fêtes vénitiennes (The Venetian Festivals)

• Jean-Baptiste Lully: Gavotte and Sarabande from Atys

• Rameau: Music from Dardanus

The artists will share their insights into the music with introductions from the stage, and afterwards your questions are invited.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m.

Pre-concert reception at 6 p.m.

Zipper Hall at The Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., LA

Tickets: $50.  Click here for concert and artist information, program notes, restaurant recommendations, and to order tickets.


The Da Camera Society Chamber Music in Historic Sites

The Warsaw-based SZYMANOWSKI QUARTET, founded in 1995, with ANDREJ BIELOW violin, GRZEGORZ KOTÓW violin, VLADIMIR MYKYTKA viola, and MARCIN SIENIAWSKI cello, is coming to the Doheny Mansion as a guest of the Da Camera Society with a program of Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Bach.


• Mendelssohn: Cappriccio in E Minor, Op.81 No.3

• Beethoven: String Quartet No.8 in E Minor, Op.59 No.2, “Rasumovsky”

• J.S. Bach: Vor dienem Thron tret’ich

• Mendelssohn: String Quartet No.6 in F Minor, Op.80

Friday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m.; pre-concert talk at 7:40 p.m.

Pompeian Room, The Doheny Mansion, 8 Chester Place, LA

Single tickets: $86, $66.  For information, call (213) 477-2929.



Come enjoy the beautiful Spanish Revival woodwork, Mission-style beams, original iron chandeliers, sconces, and large arched hearth while listening to great music in the Miles Memorial Playhouse (1929), one of the oldest active theaters in Los Angeles.

John Kennedy and The Chamber Players of Los Angeles have put together a must-hear program for the “Fireside at the Miles” series.  There are special arrangements of Poulenc songs by Kennedy, and in particular I am looking forward to hearing three pieces by Django Reinhardt played in the authentic “jazz manouche” style by Scott Detweiller.


• Eric Satie: Trois Melodies for soprano and guitar

• Francis Poulenc: C, for voice and ensemble (arr. Kennedy)

• Francis Poulenc: Cocardes, for voice and ensemble (arr. Kennedy)

• Jacques Ibert: Entr’acte for flute and guitar

• Albert Roussel: Trio opus 49 for flute, viola and cello

• Django Reinhardt:  Three pieces, Daphne, Minor Blues, and Nuages, in the “jazz manouche” style featuring guest artist, blues guitarist Scott Detweiller

Friday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m.

Miles Memorial Playhouse, Christine Reed Park, 1130 Lincoln Blvd. (1/2 block N. of Wilshire), Santa Monica

Tickets: $10 / $5 for youth and seniors. For reservations and information, call (310) 458-8634 or e-mail milesplayhouse@smgov.net.


JACARANDA – music at the edge

With their mission of offering the cornerstones of music from centuries past next to new and modern music, JACARANDA is always an adventure.

PATRICK SCOTT, artistic director and series producer, and MARK ALAN HILT, music director, bring pianists DANNY HOLT, YANA REZNIK, and VICKI RAY, and the LYRIS QUARTET with ALYSSA PARK and SHALINI VIJAYAN violins, LUKE MAURER viola, and TIMOTHY LOO cello in a tribute to the Russian forbears of Alfred Schnittke — Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev.


• Dmitri Shostakovich: Preludes & Fugues 11 & 12 Op.87 (1951)

• Sergei Prokofiev: Three Pieces from Cinderella Op.95 (1942)

• Igor Stravinsky: Sonata (1924)

• Alfred Schnittke: Homage to Stravinsky, Prokofiev & Shostakovich (piano six hands, 1979)

• Dmitri Shostakovich: Quartet No.3, Op.73 (1946)

• Igor Stravinsky: Concertino (original string quartet version, 1920)

Saturday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 Second St., Santa Monica

Tickets:  $40 / $20 students – at the door; $35 / $15 students – advance sale.  Full concert information available here.



Musica Angelica is known internationally as one of America’s outstanding period-instrument early-music ensembles.  Conductor MARTIN HASELBÖCK leads Musica Angelica with MARY WILSON soprano soloist, GONZALO RUIZ oboe soloist, and CYNTHIA ROBERTS violin soloist in the Bach Wedding Cantatas Saturday and Sunday.

Program – J.S. Bach Wedding Cantatas

Cantata No.202, “Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten”

Cantata No.210, “O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit”

Concerto for oboe in D Minor, after BWV35/156

Concerto for violin in A Minor, BWV1041

Saturday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m.

AT&T Center Theatre, 1150 S. Olive St, LA

Sunday, Feb. 19, 3 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 Second St., Santa Monica

Tickets: $49, $39, $29/ $44, $35, $26 seniors/ $15 students.  Members of KUSC and SCEMS receive $10 off the single-ticket price.  For information and to purchase tickets, call (310) 458-4504.


~Theodore Bell/Culture Spot LA

Culture Spot LA recommends Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, an extensive calendar of upcoming music events, large and small, happening all around Los Angeles.