A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

In Classical Focus, Theodore Bell selects highlights from Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter. Here are his top picks:

One thing that we should certainly include on our list of “things to be thankful for” this season is the great music scene in which we are immersed here in Los Angeles.  There is a bounty of fantastic free concerts that you can find in Jim Eninger’s Newsletter – delightful seasonal concerts all around town.

Right now, though, the LA Philharmonic’s West Coast Left Coast Festival continues to demand the new music spotlight on center stage here in LA.

There is also a great alternative if you find need for a break from all the modernism.  On Monday you can share a wonderful evening with the Armadillo String Quartet when they perform Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3 as they celebrate 30 years together.


Piano Spheres

Piano Spheres, a quartet of pianists formed in 1994 by the late Leonard Stein, is participating in the Festival with a contemporary program that includes William Kraft’s  “Requiescat (Let the bells mourn for us for we are remiss)” with Gloria Cheng playing Rhodes electric piano. Frederick Lesemann’s “Nataraja” for prepared piano will be performed by Susan Svrcek.  With the other works on the program as well, this will be a great adventure.  I’m looking forward especially to hearing John Cage’s “Music for Amplified Toy Pianos,” as Cheng and Svrcek join Vicki Ray and Mark Robson for a fanciful evocation of our toy piano memories.

Sunday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., LA

Tickets: $25. For a 25% discount, use the code WCLC at:  https://tinyurl.com/yf766sd

Amy X Neuburg and the Cello ChiXtet


Amy X Neuburg and the Cello ChiXtet perform Nov. 30 at Zipper Hall.

The West Coast Left Coast Festival continues in high-gear throughout this week, and John Adams’ vision is as bright as ever.  Amy X Neuburg and the Cello ChiXtet will perform a Left Coast exposition on  “The Secret Language of Subways.”  Singer, composer, and electronic instrumentalist Amy X Neuburg fuses traditional and experimental genres in her Left Coast image of New York City.

Monday, Nov. 30, 8 p.m.
Zipper Hall, Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., LA

Tickets: $20.50.

Green Umbrella Series

The Green Umbrella Series provides another exciting contribution to the West Coast Left Coast Festival as Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Los Angeles Philharmonic Creative Chair John Adams and the LA Phil new music group are joined by the Kronos Quartet (David Harrington and John Sherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Jeffrey Zeigler, cello; and David Barron, voice).  The Program includes selections from Frank Zappa’s “Yellow Shark,” Ingram Marshall’s “Fog Tropes” (brass version); and Harry Partch’s (arr. Johnston) “U.S. Highball.”     Catch the “Upbeat Live” pre-concert presentation at 7 p.m. with John Adams.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., LA

Tickets: $51, $34, $26.


Monday evening you can hear the extraordinary Armadillo String Quartet – definitely not part of the modernist celebration that dominates the schedules this week.  This is the second of five concerts this season as the Quartet musicians continue to celebrate their 30 years together. The program features Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No.3 in E-flat Major, Op.30.  Enjoy Barry Socher and Steve Scharf (violins), Raymond Tischer (viola), and Armen Ksajikian (cello) as they perform in Pasadena.

Monday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Neighborhood Church of Pasadena, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena

Tickets: $20 / $10 seniors (60+) and students.