Ozu and Schumann

This pairing of a sequence from a silent film directed by Yasujiro Ozu with the music of Robert Schumann is magical.

Review: New chamber group debuts at the Barclay


New Chamber Group Debuts at the Barclay. Voice of OC, June 28, 2021.

Schumann on ‘Frasier’

The following once transpired on network television.

Things are going real bad for Dr. Frasier Crane. His high-school reunion is coming up and he’s unemployed, unmarried and without a date. To alleviate the first circumstance, he goes to a job interview but blows it big time.

Enter Frasier’s dad and brother Niles into Frasier’s apartment.

He is nowhere to be seen. Daphne, the English house servant, approaches.

Daphne: Am I glad you’re home.

Dad: What’s wrong?

Daphne: It’s Dr. Crane. Ever since he came back from his job interview he’s seemed awfully depressed. In fact, he’s as bad as I’ve ever seen him.

Niles (concerned): Oh, I guess it didn’t go well?

Daphne: Oh, I gather not. He mumbled something about it being worse than the Dresden premiere of Schumann’s Second Symphony.

Niles (now frantic): And you left him alone?!

Review: Pacific Symphony launches series of pandemic concerts online

Review: Pacific Symphony Launches Series of Pandemic Concerts Online. Voice of OC, Feb. 27, 2021

Some local music events in 2021

The arts and culture writers at Voice of OC look ahead to the coming year. I contributed the music events.
What’s Coming in Local Arts and Culture in 2021. Voice of OC, Jan. 1, 2021.

Jeremy Denk gives live streamed recital at Irvine Barclay Theatre

Review: Jeremy Denk Hits the Right Notes in Streamed Performance. Voice of OC, Nov. 23, 2020.

Philharmonic Society cobbles together a COVID season

Philharmonic Society Cobbles Together a COVID Season, Looks Forward to Live Events in January. Voice of OC, Nov. 11, 2020.

Review: Pacific Chorale releases video of Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Psalm 23’

Review: Pacific Chorale Dips Its Toe Back into Performing with a Soothing Psalm for COVID Times. Voice of OC, Sept. 29, 2020.

The Teletubbies meet Stravinsky


Memories of Martin Bernheimer, 1936-2019

When I was young and ambitious, I decided, after a little more than a year working as a freelance music critic at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, that I’d take a shot at working for the Los Angeles Times, the biggest game in town. I got the blessing of my Herald boss, Alan Rich — he knew that he couldn’t give me enough work, or at least not the amount I wanted — and I duly wrote a letter and sent some clips to Martin Bernheimer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic at the Times, asking for an interview. This was quickly granted.

On the appointed day I was escorted to Martin’s office on the newsroom floor. It had a glass wall facing the newsroom and in the middle of it he had plastered a large poster of Ronald Reagan’s head with a ballistic missile going in one ear and coming out the other, with no resistance. Inside the office was even more striking. On one side of his desk and behind it the walls were covered from top to bottom with photographs, most of them from opera productions, many of them flamboyant and many of them nudes. The display was obviously meant to shock, and did so rather easily.

Martin made an immediate impression as well. He was an imposing figure, big and burly of torso, a large, balding, and heavily bearded head on top of it that was nothing less than eminent, like that of a 2nd century Roman emperor. Behind his large glasses, his eyes sparkled impishly, and I realize just now, looking at a photo of him, they were always like that, for as long as I knew him. He quickly took charge of the interview (I don’t remember talking that much) and laid out the law of the land.

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