Philharmonic Society of Orange County announces 2016-17 season

First out of the gate …

Berlin Philharmonic tops O.C. presenter’s 2016-17 slate. The Orange County Register, Jan. 20, 2016.

photo: courtesy of philharmonic society of orange county

The Orlando Consort sings ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’

Review: The Orlando Consort sings to ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc.’ The Orange County Register, Jan. 18, 2016.

Dilijan Chamber Players perform Taneyev

Review: Dilijan Players offer Russian program capped by rarity. The Orange County Register, Jan. 15, 2016.

Neglected symphonies: Playlist

Here’s my playlist of Neglected Symphonies so far, all in one take. Click on the titles below to hear said work (I have downloaded every one of them to this site; you will not be re-routed to YouTube.) I suggest downloading this post onto your cell phone, and listening with earbuds on long walks or while doing housework. To read how I went about curating the playlist, click here.

Waldemar von Baußnern: Symphony No. 7, ‘Die Ungarische’ (1926)
William Henry Fry: Niagara Symphony (1854)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 8 (1956)
Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 3 (1928)
Eduard Tubin: Symphony No. 5 (1946)
Ernest Chausson: Symphony in B-flat (1890)
Nino Rota: Symphony No. 3 (1957)
Rued Langgaard: Symphony No. 6, ‘The Heaven-Storming’ (1920, rev. 1930)
Edmund Rubbra: Symphony No. 6 (1954)
Henk Badings: Symphony No. 12, ‘Symphonische Klangfiguren’ (1964)
Camargo Guarneri: Symphony No. 4, ‘Brasilia’ (1963)
Otto Ketting: Symphony No. 6 (2012)
Luis de Freitas Branco: Symphony No. 1 (1924)
Kalevi Aho: Symphony No. 1 (1969)
Andrzej Panufnik: Symphony No. 9, ‘Sinfonia della Speranza’ (1987)
Lutoslawski: Symphony No. 2: 1. Hesitant (1967)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15 (1972)
Martinu: Symphony No. 6, ‘Fantaisies symphoniques’ (1955)
Honegger: Symphony No. 3, ‘Symphonie Liturgique’ (1946)
Franz Berwald: Symphony No. 3, ‘Singuliere’ (1845)

Going medieval on ‘Joan of Arc’

‘Joan of Arc’ gets a new soundtrack. The Orange County Register, Jan. 11, 2016.

photo: courtesy of the orlando consort

Viva Albeniz


Part of a cluster of streets in my Orange County neighborhood named for Spanish composers. Other streets are named for Granados, Torroba, Rodrigo, Turina and Sarasate.

Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra teams with YMF Debut Orchestra to perform music by Ives, Turnage and Nielsen

Review: O.C. Youth Symphony teams with Debut Orchestra at Disney Hall. The Orange County Register, Jan. 11, 2016.

Cho-Liang Lin leads and solos with Pacific Symphony

Review: Mozart frames Pacific Symphony concert led by Cho-Liang Lin. The Orange County Register, Jan. 8, 2016.

Pierre Boulez, 1925-2016

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, a giant figure in postwar classical music and a major presence in Southern California, has died at the age of 90 at his home in Germany.

The New York Times’ obituary is here.

I had the privilege to hear Boulez conduct many times, and spoke to him at least twice, including in a wonderful interview in 2003. Given his reputation as an iconoclast, I was quite nervous when I phoned him in Paris, but he couldn’t have been more friendly or generous with his time.

To read the interview click here.

Selling opera, or, how to put butts in seats, any old butts

From 2011. I don’t know what I had for breakfast that day.

Classical Life

I happened upon Los Angeles Opera’s re-designed website the other day and immediately noticed a bold, new marketing initiative designed, no doubt, to bring in the novice listener, the kind that is frightened of opera, or otherwise unsure of the art form. “Lose Yourself In Opera” the site encourages, and then offers some helpful hints on how you might go about doing that.

For instance, you might buy a ticket to something called Eugene Onegin. “What that?” you say. “From the composer of Swan Lake!” LA Opera answers. (Gosh, is Natalie Portman in it? She’s hot.)

Or how does Romeo et Juliette strike your fancy? Too French? Unsure? It’s “The World’s Most Famous Love Story,” LA Opera explains and then as it dawns on you that it’s that Romeo and Juliet you click on the icon and buy a ticket. Simple.

Getting into the spirit, I offer the…

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