Must read


The Library of America is publishing a volume of Virgil Thomson’s musical chronicles on Oct. 16. Tim Page is the editor. Thomson’s is quite simply some of the best writing on classical music ever, and it belongs in every classicalphile’s library. I’m going to get it, even though I already have most of it. I read some several times a month, often before I write, just to get the juices flowing.

John Wayne: 10 films


Off topic…

Reclaiming John Wayne: The Duke’s 10 best films. Orange County Register, Aug. 18, 2014.

Review: Yo-Yo Ma, LA Phil, Slatkin

Take the headline (not mine) with a grain of salt …

Review: Yo-Yo Ma’s rich delivery fills the Bowl. Los Angeles Register, Aug. 15, 2014.

How to enjoy classical music

Another in my occasional series on classical music for beginners …

How to enjoy classical music. Orange County Register, Aug. 7, 2014.

Review: ‘Fantasia’

Review: ‘Fantasia’ is a visual spectacle. Orange County Register, Aug. 10. 2014.

Stravinsky’s film music

Here’s a short promo for the new documentary “Stravinsky in Hollywood.” The filmmakers cue in some of Stravinsky’s music to movies he wrote it for (though it was not used). See what you think.

Review: National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A.


Review: National Youth Orchestra bows at Disney Hall. Los Angeles Register, Aug. 5, 2014.

photo: Chris Lee

Dudamel’s music for ‘Libertador’ debuts

Review: Gustavo Dudamel premieres film score. Los Angeles Register, August 1, 2014.

Operalia jury

Placido Domingo’s singing competition, Operalia, is in L.A. this year. They’ve posted the names of the jurors of the Los Angeles Opera’s website. Here they are:

Operalia 2014 Jury

Marta Domingo (Stage Director)
F. Paul Driscoll (Editor-in-Chief: Opera News)
Thierry Fouquet (General Director: Opéra National de Bordeaux, France)
Anthony Freud (General Director: Lyric Opera of Chicago)
Jonathan Friend (Artistic Administrator: Metropolitan Opera, New York)
Jean-Louis Grinda (General Director: Opéra de Monte Carlo, Monaco)
Ioan Holender (Artistic Advisor: Metropolitan Opera and Tokyo Spring Festival; Artistic Director: George
Enescu Festival, Bucharest, Romania)
Peter Katona (Director of Casting: Royal Opera House, London, UK)
Christopher Koelsch (President and CEO: Los Angeles Opera)
Grégoire Legendre (General Director: Opéra de Québéc, Canada)
Joan Matabosch (Artistic Director: Teatro Real, Madrid, Spain)
Pål Moe (Casting Consultant: Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Germany; Glyndebourne Festival Opera, UK; Opéra de Lille, France; Norwegian Opera House, Oslo)
Andrés Rodriguez (General Director: Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile)
Helga Schmidt (Intendente: Palau de les Arts, Valencia, Spain)

I just have one question: Why no music critics?

First record

Originally posted on Classical Life:

originally written for kusc’s blog in 2009

My memory is a little foggy on some of the details. I was in high school, already a burgeoning trombonist, and already getting in amongst my mother’s collection of classical LPs. At some point, though, I decided to buy one of my own and that ended up being a recording of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. To the best of my recollection, chairman, that was my first classical record. At any rate, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Why Bruckner’s Fourth? I had never even heard of the composer, let alone his music, until about a week before. I was taking private lessons with a trombone teacher at Cal State Long Beach and he had gotten me started on what would come to be my daily bread for the next decade or so: orchestral excerpts…

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