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Cutting-Edge in Shangri-La: A Preview of the 2014 Ojai Music Festival

Posted By: Gail Eichenthal · 5/27/2014 3:37:00 PM

Libbey Bowl cover image

Ojai, California is one of my favorite places on earth. Not for nothing was it cast as the idyllic Shangri-La in the 1937 movie Lost Horizon.  But the rustic beauty of the Ojai Valley belies the seriousness and stature of its annual cutting-edge music festival, coming up June 12-15.  It is therefore a labor of love each year to record this detailed sonic preview of the Festival with longtime Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Tom Morris, former chief executive of the Cleveland Orchestra and a founding director of Spring for Music at Carnegie Hall.  This year’s festival boasts charismatic pianist and writer Jeremy Denk as music director, and Jeremy has vowed to introduce some marvelous twists this year: humor, irreverence and a brand new opera!  Hope to see you at the Festival!

Click on one of the players above to hear our preview of the 2014 Ojai Music Festival.

LA Arts: An Economic Powerhouse

Posted By: Arts Alive · 5/23/2014 10:26:00 AM

By Gail Eichenthal and Rowen Merrill

“Where the modern world was imagined and continues to be reinvented.” That’s how LA County Museum of Art Director and CEO Michael Govan describes the allure of Los Angeles. But what kind of economic impact does all this imagination and reinvention carry? According to recent surveys, a powerful impact, and a growing one.

On Monday, arts leaders and grantmakers gathered in a banquet room of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to discuss the results of several recent studies measuring the impact of the arts on the local and state economies. The luncheon was sponsored by Southern California Grantmakers, in association with the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Music Center, with Music Center President and CEO Stephen Rountree acting as a panelist.

The most dramatic numbers came from the  Otis Report on the Creative Economy, prepared for Otis College of Art and Design by the LA Economic Development Corporation. ...

This Friday: The Cheerful Insanity of Igudesman and Joo at Ventura Music Festival

Posted By: Arts Alive · 4/30/2014 8:20:00 AM

This Friday, the classical music and comedy duo Igudesman and Joo perform A Little Nightmare Music at the Community Presbyterian Church in Ventura. The concert is part of this year's Ventura Music Festival. KUSC spoke with Igudesman and Joo before a previous Southern California appearance and got the scoop on their potent blend of comedy and classical music.

As a 12-year-old student with a talent for piano, Hyung-ki Joo was picked on by classmates -- "Classical musician tend to be beat up, it's somehow not cool." He thought life would be better at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Eng­land, where all the students were musicians. But violinist and fellow student Alek­sey Igudes­man took an instant dislike to Joo, teasing and taunting him relentlessly. Tired of being a punching bag, Joo tried disarming Igudesman with a plate of fish and chips. The peace offering worked. The two became friends, and that friendship eventually became a globe-trotting career as ...

KUSC's Soul Music Remembers Paul Salamunovich

Posted By: Brian Lauritzen · 4/5/2014 10:50:00 AM

Around 7:20am on Sunday (4/6) on KUSC’s Soul Music, I will be playing a performance from USC of the Duruflé Requiem. This particular performance was led by acclaimed choral conductor and Los Angeles Master Chorale Music Director Emeritus, Paul Salamunovich, who died this past week at the age of 86.

Duruflé’s Requiem was the piece, according to his son Stephen, that Paul was listening to as he passed away Thursday night. (Salamunovich never recorded the Duruflé Requiem commercially.) The recording also features Salamunovich introducing the work from the stage, where he talks about his close connection with Duruflé. Following that, I have a couple other performances from USC with Salamunovich introducing the music, including him talking about working with Stravinsky. The program will close with Salamunovich conducting Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna—a recording that introduced many of us (myself included) to Lauridsen’s music.

Click here for the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s ...

20 Photos of YOLA and the LA Phil in Boston

Posted By: Brian Lauritzen · 3/28/2014 4:57:00 PM

Gustavo Dudamel conducting the YOLA/Longy Side-by-Side orchestra in a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony at MIT's Kresge Auditorium. Gustavo Dudamel conducting the YOLA/Longy Side-by-Side orchestra in a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony at MIT's Kresge Auditorium.

YOLA musicians enjoying a performance of Vivaldi by musicians of the Boston String Academy. YOLA musicians enjoying a performance of Vivaldi by musicians of the Boston String Academy.

YOLA musicians look on as Boston String Academy musicians perform Vivaldi for them. YOLA musicians look on as Boston String Academy musicians perform Vivaldi for them.

Cellist Heaven Aguilar helping mentor young cellists at the Boston String Academy, one of eight El Sistema USA nucleos in Boston. Cellist Heaven Aguilar helping mentor young cellists at the Boston String Academy, one of eight El Sistema USA nucleos in Boston.

Yo-Yo Ma, performing Elgar's Salut d'Amour, from the Symphony Hall stage door peephole.

Yo-Yo Ma, performing Elgar's Salut d'Amour, from the Symphony Hall stage door peephole.

Following his recital at Boston's Symphony Hall, Yo-Yo Ma poses with YOLA musicians backstage.

Following his recital at Boston's Symphony Hall, Yo-Yo Ma poses with YOLA musicians backstage.

YOLA musicians Alexandra Garcia (trumpet) and Josue May (trombone) having a master class from faculty members of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

YOLA musicians Alexandra Garcia (trumpet) and Josue May (trombone) having a master class from faculty members of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

YOLA musicians Arlette Romero (violin), Laura Garcia (violin), Jammaiya Penn (viola), and Heaven Aguilar (cello) receiving a master class at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

YOLA musicians Arlette Romero (violin), Laura Garcia (violin), Jammaiya Penn (viola), and Heaven Aguilar (cello) receiving a master class at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

The "Dudamel Orchestra" at the Conservatory Lab Charter School, one of eight El Sistema USA nucleos in Boston.

The "Dudamel Orchestra" at the Conservatory ...

Yo-Yo Ma and YOLA

Posted By: Brian Lauritzen · 3/24/2014 11:59:00 AM

Greetings from Boston! I've been following the final leg of the LA Philharmonic's North American tour, and for this last stop, some young musicians from Youth Orchestra LA have joined in. They have visited several nucleos of El Sistema USA here in Boston and I'll have more info on that in a future blog post...and on Arts Alive this Saturday.

A highlight for the young musicians (ages 15-16) came a couple of nights ago when they got prime seats for a recital by the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Symphony Hall. After the performance--in fact, after the third(!) encore, the YOLA musicians got a special treat, which you can see in the video below.

High-fives from the top cellist of our generation. Not a bad way to end a day!

Oh...and saying "Cheese!" is so for non-musicians.

 

New Season Just Announced! The LA Phil Gets Younger in 2014/15

Posted By: Brian Lauritzen · 2/11/2014 2:35:00 PM

In the LA Times this morning, LA Philharmonic president and CEO Deborah Borda said, “We've got the youngest audience in America, but it's got to get younger.” The LA Phil’s new 2014-15 season—just announced today—is a concerted and concrete effort to that end.

Recently, the orchestra has conducted research that has shown that cultural consumers who have not purchased LA Phil tickets are interested in an educational component or experience affiliated with the concert. The LA Phil’s research found that 25% of new ticket buyers felt that they didn’t know enough about classical music to fully enjoy it or even which concerts they would like.

Enter "in/SIGHT." A new multimedia series that pairs new work by prominent video artists, like Refik Anadol and Finn Ross, with major works from classical composers, including Berlioz’ Romeo and Juliet, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Steve Reich’sThree Tales.

Inside ...

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