Mozart and Mendelssohn's Grand Tour, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Royce Hall, May 2015 — "The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1968", as their program states, "as an artistic outlet for the recording industry's most gifted musicians". Its first concert took place the following year led by the group's original music director, Sir Neville Marriner. For the past 18 seasons the ensemble has been under the baton of the energetic conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane. A performance on May 17th--the final offering in L.A.C.O.'s current season--illustrated that Kahane's players are some of the best, conservatory-trained "studio musicians" available. The concert was held at UCLA's Royce Hall. L.A.C.O.'s "Sound Investment" ... [Read more]

The Art of Song


SCHUBERT & SCHUBERTIADES, Le Salon de Musiques, February 8, 2015  In only 16 years of actual composing, Franz Schubert created more than a thousand works of music. It's an astonishing feat and his output has continued to influence every generation of musicians that followed him. Yet, despite this amazing achievement, Schubert's life in his home town played out as a woeful tune, full of melancholy and misery. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and other composers enjoyed the patronage of aristocrats and royalty in their adopted city of Vienna. Schubert, who was born there in 1797, could only rely on the support of his friends; when money was scarce, they paid for his wine and gave him a few florins to buy tobacco for his pipe. His ... [Read more]

Coates …Of Many Colors


Gloria Coates: Portrait Concert, REDCAT, Nov.13, 2014— (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times) Mid-way through its fall season, REDCAT once again stepped out of the box with the presentation  "Gloria Coates: Portrait Concert". The composer, whose output is considered to follow in the footsteps of New Music pioneers the likes of Stockhausen, Ives and Xenakis, was in attendance and roundly applauded at her brief bow, post-performance. Three of her works were promised: Night Music and Symphony # 10, both written in 1992, and the world premiere of an opera called Stolen Identity, composed in 2010-11. REDCAT described Gloria Coates as "a prodigious composer of orchestral and chamber works since the 1960's" who is "acclaimed for uncanny ... [Read more]

English Impressions


John Ireland, Frank Bridge and Howard Hanson, Le Salon de Musiques, October 12, 2014 — A jewel in the crown of Los Angeles culture has returned for its fifth season, Le Salon de Musiques - Masters Rediscovered, continues its series of chamber music concerts devoted primarily to late 19th and early 20th century compositions at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Fifth Floor. The opening recital, played on October 12th, carries on Le Salon's tradition of presenting obscure but always insightful treasures from the post-Romantic era. All of the pieces--two from British composers John Ireland and Frank Bridge, one by an American, Howard Hanson—deserve a wider audience and greater recognition. Ireland (1879-1962) and Bridge ... [Read more]

Pete and Royce Resurface

Daysof Destruction_1

Suffering of Tomorrow and Days of Destruction, [Musicbazz, 2012, 2013] — The 1970s were painful years for Athenians. Seven years of military dictatorship, beginning in 1967, brought uncertainty into the homes of all who had fought for three decades against the deep political division whose roots grew in the soil of Axis occupation and the Greek Resistance. It was a bitter time of cultural suppression and appeals to patriotism, rural simplicity, and secret torture clearinghouses. These kinds of parochial and inward looking cultural values have been argued as the doctrinaire stance of a prime minister with rural roots, a form of reactionary traditionalism, or an antidote to the Truman Doctrine and its kudzu vine of cultural ... [Read more]

Russian Soul

Le Salon_Russian

Medtner, Rachmaninoff and Arensky, Le Salon de Musiques, February 9th 2014 — Moves Pogossian, Mona Golabek, John Walz, Edith Orloff The latest presentation from Le Salon de Musiques—the fifth in its season of nine chamber music concerts—took place on February 9th. The setting, overlooking downtown Los Angeles, was an intimate corner of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s fifth floor.  The program featured music by Russian composers—Sergei Rachmaninoff, Anton Arensky and Nikolai  Medtner—all born between 1861 and 1880 and each well-acquainted with the other two.  In his introduction, Le Salon’s artistic director Francois Chouchan said, “Tonight, when you listen to this music, I hope you will feel the Russian ... [Read more]

Hallucinations…and Hymns


Hallucination, A Tribute to Mary Bauermeister, Jacaranda, January 25, 2014 — Jacaranda, the concert series in Santa Monica now in its 10th season, gave listeners two solemn, stunning performances on January 25th. With important compositions by Iannis Xenakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen —two originators of “electronic music”—the evening offered the possibility of explosive, sonic fireworks. But candlelight in a hushed room might have better suited the reverential tone of this music, despite its many unusual and fervent sounds. It was fitting that Jacaranda’s Halluncination take place in the modern, airy sanctuary of Santa Monica’s First Presbyterian Church. Patrick Scott, the Artistic Director of Jacaranda, writes copious, ... [Read more]

¡ Revolution Zendebad !


The Persio-American Romance and Its Discontents — The suspicious and sometimes shameful gazes which Iran and America have lately been exchanging across the negotiation table are not always staged. Nor are they needlessly pragmatic. They are links in a very long chain of speech that began early in America’s history and very late in Persia’s [1], and continue today at secret seaside meetings in Muscat, in the trees inhabited by chattering neo-con jungle fowl, and, best of all, in that poetic Morse code we call the formalities of the state. It is difficult to say who more badly needs to hold the grudge, those who profit from sanctions or those who profit from circumventing them. And while it’s too soon tell who will be in worse ... [Read more]

Two by Four


String Quartet #2 in G Minor, by Reinhold Gliere, String Quartet in G minor, opus 27, by Edvard Grieg - Le Salon de Musiques, December 8, 2013 — Francois Chouchan and John Walz, the artistic directors of  Le Salon de Musiques, gave Los Angeles music lovers an early Christmas present on December 8, 2013: the third chamber music concert of the pair’s fourth season on the top floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The late afternoon soiree presented two seldom-heard string quartets performed by four young, accomplished musicians. Standing ovations followed both rousing compositions. Each of the four musicians has an extensive resume as soloist, concertmaster, composer, member of other quartets and symphony orchestras or all of ... [Read more]



John Zorn's Complete String Quartets Lincoln Center, July 20, 2013 — Program and Performers: Necronomicon — JACK Quartet The Dead Man — JACK Quartet Cat O'Nine Tails — JACK Quartet Mememto Mori — Alchemy Quartet The Alchemist — Alchemy Quartet Kol Nidre — JACK Quartet, Alchemy Quartet, and Brooklyn Rider If like me you spent July of 1990 listening to Naked City on crummy headphones [1], alone on the floor of your room, wondering how anyone could create something at once so flailing mad and anally precise, then like me you may not have predicted finding yourself twenty-four years later purchasing tickets, dressing up, and taking a date to Lincoln Center to watch a performance of string quartets ... [Read more]