Violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock on the Baroque Music Festival, Corona del Mar

(This one is a little late for the blog; you no longer have the chance to hear the concerts Ms. Blumenstock is talking about.)

Baroque Music Festival keeps it fresh. Orange County Register, June 19, 2014.

Wrap-up: 68th Ojai Music Festival

68th Ojai Music Festival - Libbey Bowl - June 12, 2014

Review: You’ll find pleasures and laughs at Ojai Music Festival. Orange County Register, June 19, 2014.

photo: Timothy Norris

20 years ago today


I remember the evening distinctly, but not so much the concert that I reviewed (below). I was in Brentwood on that day. Our beloved cat Todd had gone missing from my sister’s house, about 25 miles away from ours, about 10 days before. Todd had been staying with her while we were out of town. As the days passed, we figured Todd was dead, probably eaten by coyotes. But what happened was I got home from the concert and found a message on our answer machine. It was from my sister and she was very excited. “We found Todd! We found Todd!” Her voice was trembling. Todd had been discovered in the backyard of a house in North Hollywood, hungry, his paws worn bare. North Hollywood was on a beeline between my sister’s house and our apartment in Los Feliz. He never told us, but we figured Todd had been walking home. He would have had to cross a freeway or two, and traverse a wild canyon or three to get where he was found.

MUSIC REVIEW : Anglican Choir Essays Sheppard’s Latin Works
Los Angeles Times, June 20, 1994|TIMOTHY MANGAN

With helicopters audibly circling a short distance away at the O. J. Simpson estate, a very different event was taking place atop the hill at Mount St. Mary’s College in Brentwood Friday evening. The counterpoint between the two was sometimes eerie.

In Mary Chapel, the Anglican Choir of St. Luke’s (of Monrovia) under director Dana T. Marsh was devoting an entire concert–reportedly for the first time in the United States–to the music of 16th-Century English Chapel Royal composer John Sheppard. Further limiting the field, Marsh and choir performed only Sheppard’s Latin liturgical music, most of it thought to have been written during the reign of Mary I and the brief re-establishment of papal authority in England.

If this all sounds rather strange and removed from our everyday experience, one could be thankful for that, yet Marsh aggressively and consistently fought that impression. He is an energetic and persuasive conductor, and he accomplished a welcome and never inappropriate athleticism in these performances. And since Sheppard’s music, on this occasion mostly in six parts, is above all richly and vigorously sonorous, Marsh’s approach (along with the resonant chapel acoustics) produced impressive results.


In all, the 21-voice ensemble offered 13 works, ranging from the quiet, solemn “Libera nos, salva nos” to the resplendent, texturally varied, eight-voice “Sacris solemniis,” considered one of the little-known composer’s finest achievements.

In these Latin works, the bare chant of the verses is set in startling contrast to the rolling, harmonious polyphony of the responses, saturated and glowing with thirds. The composer wrote particularly high soprano parts, and the Anglican Choir’s three sopranos trumpeted them with piercing purity. Indeed, the entire ensemble proved assured in all of its efforts, and euphonious, sensitive to musical curve and sturdy.

(June 17, 1994 was a Friday. My review was printed on the Monday after.)

Review: Denk and Stucky’s ‘The Classical Style’ at Ojai

68th Ojai Music Festival - Libbey Bowl - June 13, 2014

Review: There’s ‘Classical Style’ and substance in opera premiere in Ojai. Los Angeles Register, June 16, 2014.

photo: Timothy Norris

An Ojai moment

photo (2)

Mr. Denk, just before the premiere of his new opera “The Classical Style” on Friday.

photo: Tim Mangan

Review: Thursday: Ojai Music Festival

Review: Adventurous night at the Ojai Music Festival. Orange County Register, June 13, 2014.

Thursday night’s concert in Ojai

68th Ojai Music Festival - Libbey Bowl - June 12, 2014

You can watch Thursday night’s concert in Ojai, with Jeremy Denk and Uri Caine, here.

Photo: Timothy Norris

Ojai Music Festival to offer live video streaming

Ojai Music Festival 2011 Day 4 - 5:30 Concert Featuring Australi

The 68th annual Ojai Music Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday, is offering live video streaming of its concerts and talks. Pianist and writer Jeremy Denk is the music director this year and there are a number of events worth catching, including a new opera, “The Classical Style,” with a libretto by Denk and music by Steven Stucky. The world premiere is at 8 p.m. (PDT) on Friday.

See full schedule here.

The video production of the concerts promises five cameras and “concert-quality” sound, though that, of course, will depend on the computer or whatever other device you’re listening on. The concerts and talks will also be archived. (An interview with Jeremy Denk, which took place this afternoon, already appears to be there.) It’s all free, too.

Just go to the festival’s main page to get started streaming. It’s simple. Look for me at the concerts. Leave comments here on your impressions of the concerts and video streaming.

photo: Tim Norris



Philharmonic Society names new artistic director

Philharmonic Society names new artistic director. Orange County Register, June 3, 2014.

Pacific Symphony explores the Holocaust through ‘Carmina Burana’

Review: Pacific Symphony explores the Holocaust. Orange County Register, June 6, 2014.


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