Review: Pacific Symphony, Carl St.Clair and Jeremy Denk play music by Brahms and Strausses


My first review for a brand new online publication:

Review: Pacific Symphony. Beyond the Curtain, December, 2016.

photo: Vern Evans

Interview: Maxim Shostakovich (1998)

[From the archives: First published December 7, 1998]


CLASSICAL MUSIC: Maxim Shostakovich, who conducts the Pacific Symphony this week, devotes his life to championing his father.


Despite the thick Russian accent and basic English, despite the
impatience that comes from having to deal with the same old
questions, you can still hear tenderness in Maxim Shostakovich’s
voice.  It surfaces whenever he mentions his father.

The 61-year-old conductor is best known as the son of the great
Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), and he seems
perfectly happy with second billing.  In fact his professional life
is almost entirely devoted to the Shostakovichian cause.  He holds
no official post with any orchestra, and he likes it that way.

“I’m a free-lance,” Maxim says, “and I conduct all over the
world with different orchestras.  I travel a lot.  It’s great because
it’s better for me, because I can conduct more of my father’s
music.  I try to include a work of my father’s in every program. ”

Read more…

Video: Bruckner Symphony No. 9, Scherzo

Gunter Wand conducts the NDR-Sinfonieorchester.

Cyber Monday Stocking Stuffer: Beethoven’s Nine


A very underrated set, with the London Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw, conducted by Pierre Monteux, and the price is right.

Audio: Bruckner Symphony No. 4, Scherzo

Herbert von Karajan conducts the Berlin Philharmonic.

Audio: The Woody Herman Orchestra plays Stravinsky’s ‘Ebony Concerto’



  1. Moderato.

Review: Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic perform Webern, Schoenberg, Berg and Brahms at Segerstrom Concert Hall

Happy to make my first appearance in one of Orange County’s oldest publications, The Daily Pilot, established in 1907.

Concert review: Berlin Philharmonic returns with thrilling Brahms and difficult moderns. The Daily Pilot, Nov. 26, 2016.

Interview: Simon Rattle brings the Berlin Philharmonic to Southern California one last time


It was a pleasure to finally have the opportunity to talk with Simon Rattle, even if only for a short time. My latest for the Los Angeles Times

Simon Rattle’s farewell tour with the Berlin Philharmonic swings into L.A. and Costa Mesa. The Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 2016.

Photo: Monika Rittershaus


The great Rafael Mendez plays “Flight of the Bumblebee” and, in a single breath, the “Mexican Hat Dance.”

Review: Calidore String Quartet gives premiere of new work by Caroline Shaw

Review: With remarkable concert at Soka, the young Calidore String Quartet declares: Take note. The Los Angeles Times, Nov. 7, 2016.