Author Archives: rosemarymcguinness

Preview: Le Salon de Musique, Schubert Piano Trios, Upstairs at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 4pm, Dec 9 2012 (Highly Recommended)

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home of the Le Salon de Musique concert series

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening NightsThe third concert in the Le Salon de Musique series, highly acclaimed for its unique viewing experience, will feature Schubert’s Piano Trios, performed by world class musicians Searmi Park, John Walz and Francois Chouchan. Read the rest of this entry


Preview: Lionheart Vocal Ensemble, Laudario of Sant Agnese, Getty Center, 7pm, Dec 1 2012 (Highly Recommended)


by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

One side effect of excessive wandering about museums gazing at ancient things behind velvet ropes or inside glass cases is an increasing sense of distance with the past. Everything is so separate and silent, belonging entirely to a different world. Not so, however, if the men of the Lionheart Vocal Ensemble have anything to do with it. Read the rest of this entry

Hot Tip: Los Angeles Master Chorale Opens With ‘Organ Extravaganza,’ Disney Hall, Sunday, 7pm, Oct 21, 2012 (Highly Recommended)

The Los Angeles Master Chorale

by Thomas May
Program annotator for the L.A. Master Chorale

There was a time when the mere phrase “modern music” could, Pavlov style, instantly trigger a reaction of fear and foreboding. It seemed that for composers to be suitably au courant, they had to descend deep into the angst-filled abyss. Yet in a program consisting entirely of pieces written in the 20th and 21st centuries — all except for three of them by living composers — the Master Chorale reaffirms music’s unique capacity to travel in “the other direction.” Hardly limited to the dark side of the human condition, music can just as potently voice our aspirations to rise up to something higher, to be borne aloft by feelings of joy and awe. READ MORE…


Preview: Zubin Mehta 50th Anniversary Concert, LA Philharmonic, Mozart, Hindemith and Dvorak, Disney Hall, Dec 13-16 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Zubin Mehta

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

Zubin Mehta, who presided over the L.A. Philharmonic from 1962 – 78,  returns to conduct the very program with which he inaugurated his tenure fifty years ago.

This is a delightfully varied collection of pieces. From the Classicism of Mozart, to the Romanticism of Dvorak and the twentieth-century Expressionism of Hindemith, each work heralds from an entirely different musical time period, and each reminds us what there is to love about their respective, disparate worlds. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Phil, “Where the Wild Things Are”, Disney Hall, Thursday, Oct 11

One of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations from the book that inspired the opera

by Mark Swed
L.A. Times

Oliver Knussen’s crazy, wonderful “Where the Wild Things Are” is as crazy as ever, but it has just gotten more wonderful. Written in collaboration with Maurice Sendak, who created the classic illustrated children’s book, the British composer’s opera has had many Sendak-designed productions over the last three decades, including one by Los Angeles Opera. But cumbersome costumes tend to tame wild things. READ MORE…

Long Range Tip: Camerata Pacifica Plays Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Liszt and Wolfgang, various venues, Feb 7, 8, 10, 12, 2013 (Highly Recommended)

Camerata Pacifica.

by Yu Tang
LA Opening Nights

For Camerata Pacifica’s February concerts, pianist Adam Neiman, violinist Catherine Leonard, and cellist Ani Aznavoorian offer a program of mostly 19th-century favorites in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Pasadena, and at Zipper Hall in Downtown Los Angeles.

On the Program: Gernot Wolfgang: Rolling Hills and Jagged Ridges. Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75. Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No. 1. Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49.Why It’s Highly Recommended: The program promises entertaining, wholly enjoyable music with large doses of drama, lyricism and bravura. Plus, it’s played by members of the ensemble described by the  L.A. Times as “the best chamber music reason to get out of the house.” Read the rest of this entry

Review: L.A. Chamber Orchestra Play Ravel, Beethoven, Norman and Matheson, Alex Theater, Oct 6, 2012

Jeffrey Kahane, musical director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

The underlying connection between the work of Ravel, Beethoven, and rising composers Andrew Norman and James Matheson may not have been immediately apparent to those attending the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Saturday evening concert at the Alex. And afterwards, Concert-goers might be forgiven for thinking they had attended three different concerts, each conjuring an entirely different emotional response.

Jeffrey Kahane offered a spirited, utterly endearing rendition of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major; and Augustin Hadelich gave us a sublimely effortless outpouring of beauty in the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Unfortunately, the perfectly good silence between these works were instead filled by two unimpressive contemporary offerings: Norman’s “The Great Swiftness” and Matheson’s “True South.”

Read the rest of this entry

Preview: Camerata Pacifica, Debussy and Ravel, various venues, Nov 9-15, 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Some members of Camerata Pacifica

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

In November, Camerata Pacifica will bring its monthly concert series to Santa Barbara, Ventura, Pasadena, and Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, with a delightful sampler of French composers.

On the Program: Claude Debussy: Danses Sacree et Profane. Andre Caplet: Conte fantastique. Andre Jolivet: Chant de Linos. Maurice Ravel: Introduction and Allegro.

Everyone who was anyone in the early twentieth century music scene seems to have, at some point or another, met Claude Debussy. Interaction with the man was practically a prerequisite for musical significance or, at the very least, inclusion on this evening’s program. Read the rest of this entry

Preview: ‘Swan Lake’, The Mariinsky Ballet, Segerstrom Hall, Oct 2-7 2012 (Highly Recommended)

from The Segerstrom Center for the Arts Revue

Who now would believe that when Swan Lake premiered in Russia in 1877, it got bad reviews?  Today, of course, it is one of the most beloved of the classic ballets: the white tutus, all those feathers, a handsome prince and an evil villain who has cast a spell on the swans. The Mariinsky may be the world’s (currently) most celebrated company.  READ MORE…


Preview: Lutoslawski and Beethoven, LA Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Disney Hall, Nov 30, Dec 1 & 2 (Worth the Risk)

Witold Lutoslawski

L.A.’s beloved former resident maestro, Esa-Pekka Salonen, will join the LA Philharmonic to commemorate Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski with this performance featuring his Fourth Sympony. The program also includes Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 1 and 2 (note change from previous Bruckner and Lindberg offerings).

Why It’s Worth the Risk: Lutoslawski composed fascinating music that you have probably not heard before. The Beethoven Symphonies are a less dramatic pairing than one would hope, but its a nice opportunity to hear them together. A brief sketch of Lutoslawski’s life and work suggests a man Read the rest of this entry

Review: Gustavo Dudamel Conducts LA Philharmonic Opening Night at Disney Hall, Sept 27

Conductor, Gustavo Dudamel

By Marc Swed
Los Angeles Times Music Critic

The program was titled “The Philharmonic Dances.” The orchestra didn’t, real dancers did. But Gustavo Dudamel was once more the star of the opening night gala of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The luster hasn’t worn off as the now 31-year-old music director enters his fourth season with the orchestra. He still receives a sky-high approval rating from his upbeat audience, which on Thursday night appeared more than happy to be filling the orchestra’s coffers for the annual high-priced, black-tie concert, with a socialite supper and dancing afterward in an ornate tent constructed on Grand Avenue. READ MORE

For upcoming performances by the LA Phil, click here.

Hot Tip: ‘LACO à la Carte,’ October 11, 13, 28, Nov 16, 17, 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Members in a light moment. Photo: Michael Miller

Hot off the press releases: Join the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for a series of exclusive salon performances featuring excellent music and international cuisine, to be held at private residences of several Consuls General, and spectacular estates in Brentwood, Westwood, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks and Pasadena.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) offers music lovers an opportunity to enjoy five intimate, elegant, and entertaining “LACO à la carte” fundraising events, which marry delectable international cuisine with exclusive musical performances against the backdrop of the spectacular private homes of the consuls general of the Czech Republic, Armenia and Austria as well as at Pacific Palisades’ historic Villa Aurora and a magnificent private estate in Pasadena. Read the rest of this entry

Preview: ‘The Planets,’ L.A. Philharmonic, Disney Hall, Jan 10, 11, 12, 2013 (Highly Recommended)

Conductor, Vassily Sinaisky

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, is joined by violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and the Women of the Pacific Chorale directed by John Alexander for an exciting evening of twentieth century music. 

On the Program: Anatoly Liadov’s Eight Russian Folk Songs; Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor and Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

While not strictly chronological, this program is a journey from the traditional to the musically innovative. We are invited in with the colorful strains of Liadov’s safe, nostalgic melodies from Russia’s cultural roots, then travel Read the rest of this entry

Long Range Tip: ‘The Rite of Spring’ 1913 Re-Creation by Joffrey Balley, Music Center, Feb 1-3, 2013 (Not-To-Be-Missed)

Scene from the Joffrey Ballet’s 1987 production of The Rite of Spring

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

First-hand accounts of that infamous night at the Theatre de Champs-Elysees in 1913 are confused and contradictory. The overall, jumbled impression is in keeping with the chaos of the scene; witnesses can’t seem to agree on what happened anymore than they could decipher what unfolded on stage.

It was the debut of The Rite of Spring. Audience members filed in, rustling programs full of the Twentieth Century’s already  illustrious names: music by Igor Stravinsky; chorography by Vaslav Nijinsky; performance by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. So far so good, especially as the program opened with the trance-like, completely innocuous Les Sylphides. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Itzhak Perlman Performs Tchaikovsky at the Hollywood Bowl, Sept 13, 2012

Itzhak Perlman.

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

Back in 1878, Tchaikovsky had some trouble getting anyone to play his Violin Concerto. Debut performances kept being cancelled by the soloist on the grounds that the piece was simply too difficult. First Iosif Kotek and then Leopold Auer, to whom the piece was originally dedicated, accepted and then declined to perform it — apparently back-tracking after making some effort and then deciding that the piece was, in Auer’s words, ‘unplayable.’ Read the rest of this entry