[Updated] Vocal best of the fests

219628_1237_amphitheatreIt never fails — we work so hard to get through the season that the summer festivals are on top of us before we know it.  In the interest of planning ahead (and tooting our own horn in the process), here’s a quick-and-dirty guide to the series and festivals that make summer music special.  Click the titles to go to the original websites.  We’ve also included links for a selection of classical vocal gems, for your perusing pleasure.  Plan ahead, and get your tickets early!

[Note:  We’ll be adding more details as time permits.  Set a bookmark for this page!]

Ojai Festival — June 6-9

This festival tends to get skipped by local musicians unless they’re not involved, as this “summer” fest is almost always timed with the end-of-season concertizing frenzy still occurring in the metropolis.  But we’re missing out.  Ojai’s not as far away as you think.  If you’re not otherwise occupied, pack a sandwich and head north.

  • June 7, 10:30pm — pianist Ethan Iverson and soprano Yulia Van Doren perform John Cage’s dance drama, Four Walls, originally written for Merce Cunningham.
  • June 9, 11am — works by Cowell, Ives and Ruggles.
  • June 9, 6:30pm — works by Cowell and Harrison wrap up the festival in style.

unSUNg:  Songs Uncommon and New from Lauri’s List

Our own summer concert series, several years in the making, has finally arrived, and puts the spotlight on new and rarely-heard vocal chamber music.  Each concert is made of several “sets” that feature different performers, sharing pieces they love in a casual, supportive atmosphere.  This is a chance to hear something (and someone) new, hang out with friends and colleagues, and enjoy the summer.  Perhaps the best part?  It’s in Glendale, an easy ride off the 134, with free parking and carefully priced tickets for diminished summer budgets, so you can afford to join us for all three second Sundays:  June 9, July 14 and August 11.  See you there — be sure to stay for the reception, and schmooze at will.


Los Angeles Chamber Singers & Cappella — Spring Festival 2013

With two concerts entitled Crazy Love and Kaleidoscope, both offered in multiple performances, this Grammy-winning group will turn your concept of concert music on its’ head. Beautiful voices in beautiful spaces perform a diverse array of selections, all led by the ensemble’s intrepid director, Peter Rutenberg. We’ll be there.

Hollywood Bowl

The gold standard for SoCal music and picnic prep.  The summer endeavor of the LA Phil boasts multiple series, styles and interests, and this summer includes the usual bevy of celebrity appearances.  You know the drill — don’t let you favorites sell out before you get on the ball.

  • July 9Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the LA Phil in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, with the LA Master Chorale and soloists Kiera Duffy (soprano) and Sasha Cooke (mezzo).
  • Aug 1 — Haydn’s “London” Symphony is paired with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, featuring soprano Karina Gauvin and alto Ann Hallenberg.  Conducted by Bernard Labadie.
  • Aug 15  —  Dudamel conducts Verdi’s Requiem

Southwest Chamber Music at the Huntington

The venue doesn’t get better than this.  Make time to go in early and enjoy the gardens and galleries.  Take advantage of SCM’s exquisite food offerings.  Wear something frocklike, and enjoy the season.  (All event details are on the page linked in the title above.)

  • July 13 & 14 — Concert includes soprano Deleram Kamareh singing Oliver Knussen’s Hums & Songs of Winnie the Pooh.  Who’s gonna skip that?
  • July 27 & 28Gabriela Ortiz is one of the hot composers right now, and you can hear our own Lister soprano Ayana Haviv sing her Baalkah for Soprano and String Quartet, sandwiched between chamber works by Mozart and Schoenberg.  Yummy.
  • Aug 24 & 25 — Lister tenor Daniel Chaney sings Britten songs perfectly suited to a casual summer concert in the composer’s centennial year.  The program also includes works for winds by Henze and Janacek.


SongFest 2013 — June 28 – July 25

Backed and supported by some of the finest art song artists in the business, the concerts that result from the annual training program for emerging artists are innovative, well-performed and include premieres and commissioned works that you won’t be able to hear again soon.  With twelve concerts to choose from, fit at least a couple into your schedule.  The whole thing takes place at the cutting-edge spaces at the Colburn School in downtown LA.  Download the schedule here.


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