Gramophone interview with John Williams

My Gramophone interview with composer John Williams from 2005 is now online.

John Williams interview: ‘It’s not hard work that makes success; it’s sustained hard work that makes success.’ Gramophone, 2005.


Great moments in film music: ‘The Big Store’

Chico and Harpo Marx, piano four hands.

Pacific Overtures

My new newsletter for Pacific Symphony.

Pacific Overtures. October, 2017.

‘Harry Potter’ comes to O.C. courtesy of home-grown conductor

‘Harry Potter’ comes to O.C. courtesy of home-grown conductor. Pacific Symphony Blog, Oct. 2, 2017.

Really stupid moments in commercial music: Geico

A triangle solo in Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto” No. 3. Typical mainstream classical music humor.

Happy Birthday, Martin Bernheimer

Worth another read.

classical life

The great Martin Bernheimer is 75 today. The hour has arrived, and though I intended to conduct a fresh interview, my schedule intervened. I have been in touch with him via email this morning, however, and he is his usual, lovable self. ( “I think one (interview) every 70 years is plenty,” he said, when I told him of my frustrated plans. “But thanks.”)

Below, I reprint my interview with him conducted upon the occasion of his 70th birthday. It remains mostly current. The ending is lost for all time (apologies) in the maw of my old blog:

UPDATE: The ending has now been been restored thanks to the Archives de Martin Bernheimer.

Martin Bernheimer is 70. Sept. 28 is the day. Everyone remembers the name. For 31 years at the Los Angeles Times, Bernheimer was the classical music critic you couldn’t ignore, a writer whose keen perceptions…

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Listen to this

A couple of educational pieces I did of the Pacific Symphony blog, trying to keep it simple:

Listen to this: Minuet. Pacific Symphony Blog, Aug. 30, 2017.

Listen to this: Rondo. Pacific Symphony Blog, Sept. 20, 2017.

After eight lessons: The recording

For those of you who are interested, here’s the recording I made after eight piano lessons.

Eight Lessons Later: The recording. OC Music and Dance blog, Sept. 18, 2017.

Mozart: Symphony No. 41, ‘Jupiter,’ Pierre Monteux conductor

A live performance broadcast on The Standard Hour in 1947. Pierre Monteux conducts the San Francisco Symphony. It’s the fastest performance of the first movement of the “Jupiter” that I’ve ever heard, but then Mozart did mark it Allegro vivace. In all, this seems to me a performance you could play for people who think Mozart is boring.

The state of music criticism

George Bernard Shaw

Three recent articles on the state of arts journalism in general and music criticism in particular. These are perceptive pieces, one and all, and not quick reads. The first article takes off from my appointment as writer in residence at Pacific Symphony to consider a broader perspective.