Mixing it Up

Contemporary music in the wilds of LA Don’t let this ensemble fool you: they’re a very vocal group. With composer/performers regularly push the envelope of the expected, challenging the way audiences experience the music, the genre, even the venue. Quite a few of them sing, and include classical-oriented vocals in their new chamber works. wildUp … Read more

Holiday Glory Galore

 A quick roundup of Christmas services If you’re not already singing somewhere for Christmas this year, you won’t want to miss some of the best music of the season.  There’s something particularly warm and inspiring about traditional carols, a special concert or a seasonal piece such as Britten’s unique and evocative Ceremony of Carols.  Here are … Read more

Singing Paul and Mary (sans Peter)

Although the dramatic and memorable music of Paul Hindemith is performed less often than one might expect for a composer of his monumental stature, a quick look at his publisher’s website shows that no fewer than 40 major performances were scheduled in seven countries in December 2011 alone, and that’s just the concerts they know … Read more

Christmas Lessons

    We feature events at St. James’ in the City fairly regularly in this space, and with good reason: under the leadership and superb musicianship of director and organist James Buonemani, this church has consistently presented some of the best music in town for more than a decade. Nestled in the crook between Hancock … Read more

If composers were crops…

The arts, like farmers, are more and more focused on local sustainability nowadays, and the results show similarities beyond rhetoric: smaller entities are flourishing and offering innovative products, and the trend toward nurturing nearby artisans brings good things for all involved. This weekend’s new music offering in Long Beach is a prime example of what … Read more

Music in another form

The arts have always interconnected and influenced one another, whether it’s a result of admiration or friendship (or rivalry) between purveyors of various art forms, or a sort of “contact high” that affects artists in the vicinity of one another. Film, however, has always particularly depended on music for help in telling its tale, from … Read more

Beauty beyond belief

There’s a whole lot of sacred music going on — although the World Festival of Sacred Music has ended its recent run, this week’s calendar is full of high-minded options, and rather than the usual, single Gem, we’ll mention several this time around. Historically, religion has been one of the most powerful driving forces behind … Read more

An opera with at least five morals

You remember Æsop. Most of us know him from the simplified life lessons told to children, ending with “the moral of the story…” He was a slave in 5th-century BCE Greece who devised animal-populated fables that entertain while cleverly offering life lessons in disguise. The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Tortoise and the Hare … Read more

The Don you can’t refuse

Don Giovanni isn’t just an opera character, nor is he just a legendary lover. He’s a force to be reckoned with. This powerful opera, long an audience favorite among Mozart’s works, centers on the overwhelming personality, charisma and… (ahem).. skills of an aristocratic cad who must eventually atone for his almost superhuman passions. The piece … Read more

Smaller-scale Brahms

One-on-one music is a peculiar, if not uncommon, dynamic in classical music: we are more likely to make music in packs. So when pianist Robert Thies announced this concert and its intimate premise, it was clear that he’d hit upon something very special. ‘The Intimate Side of Brahms’ is a concert made mostly of works … Read more

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