AROUND TOWN/MUSIC: Cal Phil, Pasadena Pops perform Saturday in Arcadia

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
This column was published today in the above papers.

Summertime … and the classical music season warms up along with the temperatures. Arcadia is the place to be on Saturday as the California Philharmonic begins its 2014 summer season at Santa Anita Racetrack, while a few hundred yards away at the Los Angeles County Arboretum the Pasadena Pops continues its summer schedule.

• Music by John Williams headlines the Cal Phil’s opening concert, as Victor Vener leads his ensemble in the first of five concerts at the performing space in the infield of the famed racetrack. Among the selections will be a violin/cello arrangement of the theme from Schindler’s List, with father and son duo Dennis Karmazyn on cello and Max Karmazyn on violin as soloists. The program will also include Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Orff’s Carmina Burana, with the Cal Phil Chorale assisting in the latter.

Other 2014 concerts are:
July 12 — “Copland and Cowboys”
July 26 — “Music, Fantasy and Adventure”
Aug. 9 — “Movie Masterpieces
Aug. 23 — “Broadway and Bolero”
As usual, each outdoor program is repeated the following afternoon in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Information: www.calphil.com

• Broadway is on the Pasadena Pops agenda Saturday night, as resident conductor Larry Blank leads the orchestra in a potpourri of selections from famous Broadway shows. Soloists include vocalists Susan Egan, Valerie Perri, Christina Saffran, Lisa Vroman, and David Burnham. Among the shows featured will be Cabaret, Evita, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line, The Music Man, Wicked and West Side Story.

This is the only concert of the five-event Pops season that will go head-to-head with the Cal Phil, but as is usual when that happens, traffic issues can arise. This is also the only Pops concert of the season where Principal Conductor Michael Feinstein will not appear. Information: www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org

Got a bunch of money? If you hurry you can still find an orchestra that will put your name on its music director position. The Chicago Symphony was the latest to join the naming craze when a gift of $17 million from the Zell Family Foundation bought perpetual naming rights to the orchestra’s music director position, currently held by Riccardo Muti.

If the name “Zell” sounds familiar, it’s because Sam Zell bought The Tribune Co. (including the Los Angeles Times) in April 2007 and then took it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy 20 months later.

The CSO joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where Gustavo Dudamel holds the title of “Music Director, Walt and Lily Disney Chair” (which is amusing since Dudamel only sits on a chair during rehearsal), and Los Angeles Opera, where James Conlon is the “Richard Seaver Music Director.” Upon checking their Web sites, it appears that both the Pasadena Symphony and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra are still open.
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(c) Copyright 2014, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

CLEANING OUT THE INBOX

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News

The following items come the hundreds of emails that land in my inbox each week … along with material from other Blogs and stories.

• CALIFORNIA PHILHARMONIC FOUNDATION DECLARES BANKRUPTCY; ORCHESTRA TO BE OWNED AND RUN BY FOR-PROFIT COMPANY
The Cal Phil has struggled financially for several years, so the CalPhil Foundation has declared bankruptcy. The orchestra will now be owned and run by Pasadena Entertainment, a local, for-profit company headed by André Vener, who has been President and CEO of the Foundation for 10 years and is the son of Music Director Victor Vener.

Among the highlights of the announcement:
• Pasadena Entertainment has paid all back wages owed to the musicians and a new collective bargaining agreement has been signed. Presumably all other debts incurred by the orchestra will be handled through the CalPhil Foundation bankruptcy.
• The 2014 season has been set, with outdoor concerts continuing at Santa Anita Racetrack and the indoor season taking place at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
• According to the release “close to 20,000 people” attended the five “Festival on the Green” concerts at Santa Anita this past summer and “10,000 fans” attended the five “sold out” Disney Hall concerts.

(The complete media release is at the bottom of this post.)

• PASADENA SYMPHONY AND POPS TO PRESENT FREE “MUSIC UNDER THE STARS” CONCERT OCT. 5 AT PASADENA CITY HALL PLAZA
Larry Blank will conduct the orchestra in this annual concert with soloists Susan Egan, Vicki Lewis and David Burnham and the JPL Chorus singing. The free program begins at 7:30 p.m. DETAILS

• CARL ST.CLAIR TO HEAD COSTA RICAN ORCHESTRA FOR ONE YEAR
Carl St.Clair, music director of the Pacific Symphony in Costa Mesa for 25 years, will become music director of the National Symphony of Costa Rica for one year beginning in 2014. He will continue with his Pacific Symphony post. Read the Los Angeles Times story HERE.

• THREE NAMED DUDAMEL FELLOWS FOR 2013-2014
The Los Angeles Philharmonic has named the latest class of young conductors who will work with Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and the orchestra during the upcoming season: David Cohen, Ben Gernon and Antonio Méndez. DETAILS

• JAMES LEVINE RETURNS TO CONDUCTING DUTIES AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA
Many of us thought that the day would never come given the serious of Maestro Levine’s health issues, but by the press accounts his return as conductor of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte was triumphant.
New York Times (Anthony Tommasini)
Financial Times (Martin Bernheimer)
Los Angeles Times (James C. Taylor)
Washington Post (Anne Midgette)

• FASTNOTES: A great L.A. Phil tradition continues
I got the first edition of “FastNotes” for the upcoming season in my inbox this week and once again I highly recommend them to any classical music lover. “FastNotes” are an email glimpse at each upcoming concert with an overview of the program, notes about each of the composers, links to ticket purchasing options, and links to the programs notes and excerpts of the pieces to be played (or, as is the case this week, when a piece is a premiere, excerpts from the composer’s other works — there may be a fee for the excepts). You can sign up for this through the Phil’s E-Newsletter section HERE. Even if you’re not going to attend a concert, I find them very informative.

(From the post above, here’s the complete Cal Phil media release)

CALIFORNIA PHILHARMONIC ENDS 2013 SUMMER SEASON ON A HIGH NOTE;
SANTA ANITA RACE TRACK AND WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL SET FOR EXCITING 2014 SUMMER SEASON

Local 47 Musicians Union Issues Statement Of Support As California Philharmonic Moves Forward With New Ownership And Operations Under Pasadena Entertainment

Pasadena – With the dynamic conclusion of California Philharmonic’s 2013 summer season comes exciting news for the world class orchestra. And, as it begins the next phase of its legacy, now owned and operated by Pasadena Entertainment, California Philharmonic is moving full steam ahead with the announcement that both of its summer homes, iconic venues Santa Anita Race Track and Walt Disney Concert Hall, are on board for 2014 and beyond.

“It’s been our pleasure to work with Pasadena Entertainment since 2009,” says Sharon Stewart, Director of Scheduling and Events for the Music Center of Los Angeles County. “We look forward to working with them in future summers, and to another successful summer classical music series.”

Pasadena Entertainment has served as the production and marketing firm for the California Philharmonic and its concert series for the past four years.

“We value the professionalism of Pasadena Entertainment as part of our marketing and production team,” said Pete Siberell, Director of Special Projects for Los Angeles Turf Club. “Teaming up with California Philharmonic has been a great opportunity to develop Santa Anita Race Track as a premier concert venue.”

And the close to 20,000 people who attended California Philharmonic’s 2013 Festival on the Green at Santa Anita Race Track couldn’t agree more. Equally enthusiastic, are the 10,000 fans who filled last season’s sold out concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall and showed their appreciation of the revered orchestra with an unprecedented five standing ovations during the final performance of the season.

The transition of California Philharmonic to Pasadena Entertainment from the non-profit CalPhil Foundation began earlier this year. CalPhil Foundation (not the California Philharmonic), will phase out through bankruptcy.

Under its new organization, all past and present professional obligations with California Philharmonic musicians have been met. A new collective bargaining agreement has been set and California Philharmonic is moving forward with the Musicians Union and its members in good standing.

“AFM, Local 47 is pleased to announce that all back wages owed to California Philharmonic musicians for services rendered have been paid,” comments John Acosta, Vice President of Local 47. “Pasadena Entertainment has stepped up to take on the proud tradition of California Philharmonic, providing summer concerts in Los Angeles County. Local 47 and its new partner Pasadena Entertainment look forward to a long and successful relationship!”

The musicians echo the excitement for the future of California Philharmonic along with the Union, the orchestra’s ever-growing loyal fan base and the venues.

“Maestro Vener and California Philharmonic create the kind of energy that John Mauceri, Arthur Fiedler and Leonard Bernstein brought to the concert stage,” says Dennis Karmazyn, California Philharmonic’s principal cellist. “California Philharmonic takes the audience on a musical journey.”

Subscriptions and tickets are available for the 2014 summer season.

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(c) Copyright 2013, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

(Revised) OVERNIGHT REVIEW: Cal Phil presents Rodgers & Hammerstein and Gershwin at Santa Anita Racetrack

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
The changes are the principal trumpet and the fact that Mr. Pezzone’s “Rhapsody in Blue” cadenzas were an addition to, not a substitute for Gershwin’s cadenzas, as originally stated.
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California Philharmonic; Victor Vener, conductor
“Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin”
Saturday, August 11 • Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia
Next performances: today at 2 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Information: www.calphil.org
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Rodgers and Hammerstein and George Gershwin wrote some of history’s greatest music and combining the two always guarantees boffo box office, so it’s no surprise that a good-sized crowd came to Santa Anita Racetrack’s performance area on a balmy evening last night to hear Victor Vener, the California Philharmonic and three soloists perform some of the best-loved tunes from these three 20th century musical giants.

Unlike most Cal Phil concerts, Vener limited his commentary particularly in the post-intermission portion of the concert, and left the wandering spotlights on singers Kim Huber and James Barbour, each of whom displayed rich, powerful voices as they sang “greatest hits” from The King and I, South Pacific, Carousel, The Sound of Music, and Oklahoma.

The singing was almost all loud and — except for the last line of People Will Say We’re in Love and the encore, the title song from Oklahoma, Barbour and Huber sang independently; it would have been nice to have them sing another duet or two. Barbour’s rendition of the Soliloquy from Carousel and Huber’s My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music were among the evening highlights. Vener and the Cal Phil accompanied everything with gusto.

Prior to intermission, Vener and the orchestra opened with The Carousel Waltz and then offered a straightforward performance of Gershwin’s An American in Paris, both of which were marred by smudgy openings and a couple of rough transitions.

They were then joined by pianist Bryan Pezzone for a somewhat overwrought performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which was notable for two cadenzas that Pezzone added to Gershwin’s own work. This seems to have become prevalent in recent performances that I’ve heard of this well-worn piece. I’m not sure it’s a positive trend, but Pezzone’s cadenzas were mildly interesting and not overly long (the second used strains of Summertime). His playing of Gershwin’s actual music had several rough passages but overall caught the piece’s jazzy nature. Principal Clarinet Michael Arnold got the performance off to a great start with his bluesy opening measures.

Vener did a good job introducing both pieces. His analysis of An American in Paris as a “symphony” with four connected movements, with demonstrations from the orchestra (in particular, Principal Trumpet Bob Feller), was an excellent way to get people to listen to the work with new ears.
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Hemidemisemiquavers:
• Blessedly there were no announcements at the concert’s opening and Vener opened with God Bless America instead of The Star Spangled Banner. Except for the somewhat lethargic tempo of God Bless America, this seemed to be a popular decision.
• Pezzone improved on themes by Led Zepplin and Gershwin (I Got Rhythm) as an encore to Rhapsody in Blue. Judging by the tepid applause, it was unnecessary.
• The sound system was quite good; from my table it was loud but that’s necessary to carry to the back sections of the 4,000 or so who attended.
• On the other hand, the camera work was atrocious and the flittering geometric images on the inside of the shell (some of which may have represented birds) and the other light effects were distracting and often silly in their implementation. The changing shell lights also played havoc with the camera skin tones.
• In between People Will Say We’re in Love and the title song from Oklahoma, Vener inserted a march tune as an encore. Ask not why on an evening devoted to R&H&G.
• My wife loved the racetrack’s permanent bathrooms (as opposed to porta-potties).]

Not so hemi-demi-semi:
Having concerts at both Santa Anita Racetrack and the Los Angeles County Arboretum (the Pasadena Pops) makes for traffic jams exiting both events. Moreover, the City of Arcadia won’t be nominated for the “Best Welcoming City” award for their lack of traffic control around the area. The Arcadia PD did have someone directing traffic for those exiting the Cal Phil concert but certainly could have used some help at the point where the Cal Phil folks get onto Baldwin Ave. prior to heading to the freeway. The signage ranges from poor to non-existent and, considering that you get onto Baldwin Ave. in a different location than you got off, anyone unfamiliar with the setup can easily get disoriented. The PD did have have a car with an officer who flagged down a motorist who got confused figuring out the lanes for east and west leading to the 210. That, I suppose, makes money for the PD but surely left a bad taste in the mouth of one concertgoer. I left thinking, “I wish that officer had been directing traffic instead.”
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(c) Copyright 2013, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

PREVIEW: Cal Phil, Pasadena Pops perform tomorrow night

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
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California Philharmonic: Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin
Saturday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia
Sunday, August 11 at 2 p.m. in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
Information: www.calphil.org

Pasadena Pops: Classical Mystery Tour
Saturday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia
Information: www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org
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There’s an interesting synergy between the two local orchestra concerts taking place tomorrow night in Arcadia: the Cal Phil at Santa Anita Racetrack and the Pasadena Pops at the L.A. County Arboretum.

The Cal Phil concert features music by George Gershwin and Rodgers and Hammerstein. The Pops concert (entitled “Classical Mystery Tour”) features music of The Beatles, with four mop-top singers who simulate the famous English quartet. I have no idea what “Classical Mystery Tour” means but it’s obviously a popular show with one or two bookings each month during this year and next throughout the country.

The synergy is the timing. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s last musical, The Sound of Music, debuted on Broadway in 1959 and the movie version was released in 1965. The Beatles came together in 1960 in Liverpool and made their U.S. debut in 1964 when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Subsequent tours brought them to Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965.

Although the musical styles of R&H and The Beatles were dramatically different, they were hugely influential in their own eras and, as evidenced by these concerts and others this summer, remain so today.

Just so, the music and musical influence of George Gershwin remains significant today. Thus, Music Director Victor Vener’s decision to pair Gershwin with R&H makes a lot of sense both from a musicology and box office point of view.

The Cal Phil concert will open with Gershwin’s An American in Paris and will continue with Rhapsody in Blue, with well-known Southern California pianist Bryan Pezzone as soloist. Broadway soloists Kim Huber and James Barbour will join Vener and the Cal Phil for music from Oklahoma, South Pacific, Carousel and The Sound of Music.
BTW: if both concerts intrigue you, you can catch the Pasadena Pops at the Arboretum on Saturday and Cal Phil Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Walt Disney Concert Hall, with a preconcert lecture by Vener at 1 p.m.
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(c) Copyright 2013, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

AROUND/MUSIC: SW Chamber opens Huntington season on another “clash Saturday”

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
This article was first published today in the above papers.

As if you couldn’t tell from last week’s heat wave, summer is really upon us and our burgeoning music season reflects the seasonal change.

Southwest Chamber Music begins its 20th season in the Loggia of the Huntington Library in San Marino next Saturday and Sunday. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Preconcert, three-course dinners are available by prior reservation from the Huntington’s Tea Room or you can bring your own picnic and enjoy it on the lawn. As a bonus, sections of the library are open to ticketholders prior to the concert and at intermission.

This weekend’s programs include Hums and Songs of Winnie the Pooh by English composer Oliver Knussen, Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds and Mozart’s Serenade, K. 361. Other programs are July 27 and 28, August 10 and 11 and August 24 and 25. Information: 800/7236-7147; www.swmusic.org

Saturday is one of this summer’s “clash nights.” In addition to Southwest Chamber Music, both the Pasadena Pops and California Philharmonic are performing in their Arcadia locations (thus creating some traffic issues).

Michael Feinstein, the Pasadena Pops’ new principal conductor, returns to the Los Angeles County Arboretum to lead a program celebrating the musical legacy of MGM movies, including Singing in the Rain, Harvey Girls, Gigi, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz and others. Vocalists Christine Ebersole and Ron Raines will join the festivities. Information: 626/793-7172; www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org.

Meanwhile, the Cal Phil returns to Santa Anita Racetrack on Saturday for one of Music Director Victor Vener’s perennial programming favorites: “Andrew Lloyd Webber Meets Puccini.” Singers Lori Stinson, Christine Campbell and Cedric Berry and the Cal Phil Chorale will join the orchestra for music by two of the world’s best-known composers. The program repeats July 14 at 2 p.m. indoors at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Information: 626/300-8200; www.calphil.org

Although Hollywood Bowl has presented several pops concerts during the last month, the Los Angeles Philharmonic opens its 10-week classical season at the iconic Cahuenga Pass amphitheater Tuesday night. Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony, returns home to lead the Phil, Los Angeles Master Chorale and soloists Kiera Duffy and Sasha Cooke in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection).

On Thursday, Thomas leads the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dubinushka, along with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, with Gil Shaham as soloist.

Next week, Bramwell Tovey returns to the Bowl stage on July 16 to lead the Phil in a Britten-Elgar-Sibelius program. On July 18, Tovey conducts a program that concludes with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.

Information: 323/850-2000; www.hollywoodbowl.com.

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(c) Copyright 2013, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

AROUND TOWN/MUSIC: Crunch Time

By Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
This article was first published today in the above papers.

Every classical music indoor season brings two or three dates when crunches pop up as seemingly every organization decides to schedule an event on that particular day. Summertime has largely escaped these conflicts but this year — specifically Sat., June 29 — will force folks in the San Gabriel Valley to make a choice among three different orchestras.

The California Philharmonic will open its second season at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia on Jan. 29 as Music Director Victor Vener leads his band in a program entitled “Beatles, Beethoven and the Beach Boys.”

On the same date — indeed, at the same time (7:30 p.m.) — a quarter-mile away at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, the Pasadena Pops will be playing its second concert of the season with Broadway star Bernadette Peters as the centerpiece. Larry Blank returns to conduct the orchestra.

Finally, on the same day and time at Caltech’s Beckman Mall in Pasadena, Rachael Worby and her ensemble, Muse-ique, will begin its three-concert summer season with a program that features vocalist Patti Austin.

Pasadena Pops management, which announced its season several weeks ago, said that June 29 was the date chosen by Peters. A spokesperson for Muse-ique said, “Clearly each organization draws different audiences,” which sounds somewhat dubious to me but, hey, what does a lowly music critic know? The Cal Phil noted that each of its five concerts during the summer repeat Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. indoors at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Last year the Pops and Cal Phil scheduled their concerts on non-competing weekends but that has changed this year. The two organizations will have programs on July 13. The Pops plays the second of three programs being led by its new principal conductor, Michael Feinstein, this summer, while Cal Phil counters with one of Vener’s favorite programming concepts, “Andrew Lloyd Webber meets Puccini.” On Aug. 10, the Cal Phil’s “Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin” evening will go up against the Pops’ own Beatles-oriented program.

Meanwhile, on July 27, Muse-ique comes up with a program of movie music featuring cellist Matt Haimovitz as soloist, which the Cal Phil offers “Dance Fever.”

One of the potential problems when the Pops and Cal Phil perform on the same night is traffic. Although those attending Cal Phil concerts enter on the northeast side of the park, which is quite a ways from the Arboretum, traffic for both concerts coming from the west exits the 210 Freeway at Baldwin Ave.

Hollywood Bowl has concerts on each of the above weekends but the crossover issue seems less likely based on the Bowl’s programming as none of the Bowl’s programs involves orchestras.

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(c) Copyright 2013, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.

AROUND TOWN/MUSIC: Cleaning out the inbox

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
News

A shorter version of this
article was first published today in the above papers.

 

THE PASADENA POPS
AND THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARBORETUM
have finalized a contract for the
orchestra to appear at the Arcadia facility beginning next summer. The
three-year agreement with an "evergreen" clause will also see the Pops become
the Arboretum's presenting partner. Dates for the Pops' concerts in 2012 are
June 26, July 21, August 18 and September 8. Happily for fans of both the Pops
and the California Philharmonic -- which shifts from the Arboretum to next-door Santa
Anita Racetrack next summer -- that means the two organizations will not
conflict on dates, a good thing from a parking and traffic point of view. The
Pops also envisions "family concerts, outdoor theatre, silent films, as well as
Asian-influenced performances, to name a few," according to Paul Jan
Zdunek, CEO of the Pasadena Symphony Association; programming details will follow
in the coming weeks. MORE

 

MUSE-IQUE, the
new ensemble headed by former Pops music director Rachael Worby, will appear in
a free concert of American music on the steps of Pasadena's City Hall at 6 p.m.
on Sept. 11 commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

 

THE LOS ANGELES
PHILHARMONIC
has promoted outgoing associate conductor Lionel Bringuier to
the new post of resident conductor through the 2012/2013 season. MORE

 

GUSTAVO DUDAMEL,
music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will be featured on a new DGG box
set of CDs next month conducting the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra of Sweden
(one of three orchestras he currently helms) in Bruckner's Symphony No. 9,
Sibelius's Symphony No. 2 and Nielsen's Symphonies No. 5 and. 4 (The Inextinguishable).

 

Gramophone Magazine
(which is published in England) devotes its cover story for the August 2011
issue to Dudamel and this new recording. It's an interesting article but not
easy to find. The print edition costs $10 (U.S.) and the only way to find it
online at this point is to subscribe ($63.14 per year or $16.21 for three
months). Like other digital magazines, you get the full pages and have to
scroll through them (i.e., they're not converted to easily readable text).
However, the publication does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not
satisfied.

 

Los Angeles Times
Music Critic Mark Swed dwells on Dudamel's upcoming DGG release, which Dudamel
recorded at the beginning of his tenure with the Swedish orchestra (he became
that ensemble's music director in 2007; next season will be his sixth and last
in that capacity, although he will continue to work with the ensemble as its "honorary
conductor").

 

Two things make this upcoming recording intriguing, as Swed
points out in the article. First, the works are pieces that Dudamel has yet to
conduct in Los Angeles. Second, the performances show him at a very young age
(he was 26 when he came to Sweden) and he talks with Swed about how his
concepts have changed -- and are changing -- even in just a few years. The
article shows us a different side of Dudamel than we've seen so far in L.A.
BTW: there's a great photo of young Gustavo -- wearing glasses and with short
hair. You might not recognize him without the caption!

 

THE L.A. PHIL has
announced the 2011-2012 participants in the Dudamel Fellowship Program: Joshua Dos Santos of Venezuela, Mihaela Cesa-Goje of Romania (the first
woman ever selected for the fellowship), Courtney
Lewis
of Northern Ireland and Boston, and Santtu Rouvali of Finland.

 

Each of the four conductors spends 4-6 weeks working with
Dudamel, Phil musicians and with students in LAPO education programs. During
their time (Santos, Lewis and Rouvali will have two time blocks), the fellows
will both observe and gain hands-on experience. The Dudamel Fellowship was
instituted in 2009. One of the inaugural class, Perry So, is leading Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings on Tuesday's Hollywood Bowl program and a
member of last year's class, Joshua
Weilerstein,
was recently named as one of two assistant conductors at the
New York Philharmonic (MORE). Details on the new class are HERE.

 

JOANN FALLETTA,
who once headed up the Long Beach Symphony, has renewed her contracts with the
Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony and been named principal conductor
of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

The Buffalo Philharmonic contract takes her through the
2015-2016 season; she was the first woman to head a major orchestra when she
took over that position in 1999 at the age of 45. The Virginia Symphony
contract is for another three years with an option for an additional two years.
She becomes the first American and first woman to serve with the Ulster
Orchestra.

 

Violinist JOSHUA
BELL,
who is appearing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic next week at
Hollywood Bowl (DETAILS), has been named music director of the

Academy of
St.-Martin-in-the-Fields in London. According to Gramophone, Bell will conduct performances from the violin chair as
opposed to standing on a podium (at the Bowl he will lead the Phil in Vivaldi's
The Four Seasons while playing the
solo parts). Kenneth Sillito remains as the ASMF artistic director and will
also conduct. Pianist Murray Perahia has been the group's principal guest conductor
for several years.

 

THE L.A. PHIL has
announced the 2011-2012 participants in the Dudamel Fellowship Program: Joshua Dos Santos of Venezuela, Mihaela Cesa-Goje of Romania, Courtney Lewis of Northern Ireland and
Boston, and Santtu Rouvali of
Finland.

 

Each of the four conductors spends 4-6 weeks working with
Dudamel, Phil musicians and with students in LAPO education programs. During
their time (Santos, Lewis and Rouvali will have two time blocks), the fellows
will both observe and gain hands-on experience. The Dudamel Fellowship was
instituted in 2009. One of the inaugural class, Perry So, is leading
Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings on
Tuesday's Hollywood Bowl program and a member of last year's class, Joshua
Weilerstein, was recently named as one of two assistant conductors at the New
York Philharmonic (MORE). Details on the new class are HERE.

 

UPCOMING NOTABLE
CONCERTS:
The Cal Phil plays
today at 2 p.m. in Walt Disney Concert Hall and concludes its 2011 summer
season on Aug. 21 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and 22 at Disney Hall
(DETAILS)

 

Southwest Chamber
Music
concludes its summer festival at The Huntington Library tonight at
7:30 p.m. and August 20-21, also at 7:30 p.m. (DETAILS)

 

John Mauceri returns to conduct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which he founded 20 years ago, on Aug.
19, 20 and 21, playing the score to Walt Disney's 1940 movie classic "Fantasia"
while the movie is shown on the Bowl's large screens. (DETAILS). This is one of
my "don't miss" concerts of the Bowl season.

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(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.

NEWS AND LINKS: 9/11 Concerts beginning to appear on schedule

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
News

 

The question about how classical music will commemorate the
10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks isn’t really “how” but “how many?” Because
9/11 falls on a Sunday this year, most churches will likely pay tribute in
their worship services. However, details of special musical events are also
beginning to emerge.

 

The Pasadena Master
Chorale
will honor the day with a performance of Faur’s Requiem at 4 p.m.
at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church. Artistic Director Jeffrey Bernstein will
lead the concert, which will open with four a cappella American works: a
traditional setting of Psalm 137, By The
Waters of Babylon;
Virgil Thompson’s My
Shepherd Will Supply My Need
; Words
To Be Spoken
, by Ross Lee Finney; and Bernstein’s own arrangement of America the Beautiful.

 

The Faur Requiem is a logical choice for this type of
concert. As Bernstein notes, “Perhaps the lightest of the well-known Requiem
settings, Faure’s Requiem is tuneful and direct, ending with music of ethereal
beauty and promise.” Soprano Krystle Casey and Baritone Cedric Berry will be
the soloists in the Requiem, which will be accompanied by Edward Murray on the
church’s pipe organ. DETAILS

 

Incidentally, the PMC will present a summer concert entitled
“My Spirit Sang All Day” on Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. at La Crescenta Pres. Bernstein
will conduct music ranging from Purcell, Elgar, William Billings and Ralph
Vaughan Williams to Ernst Krenek and Matthew Harris. DETAILS

 

The first group out of the block on 9/11 commemorations
was the Los Angeles Philharmonic,
which will use its Hollywood Bowl concert on Tuesday, Sept. 13, as a tribute to
those who died in the attack. The program will include the other “most obvious”
musical choice — Mozart’s Requiem — and pair it with Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Bramwell Tovey, who
for the past two seasons was the Phil’s principal guest conductor at the Bowl,
will lead the orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale and soloists Heidi Stober, soprano;
Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; and Matthew
Rose, bass-baritone. Chichester
Psalms
calls for a boy treble but he hasn’t been named yet (at least the
name isn’t on the Web site). DETAILS

 

BTW: the Bowl’s concert on 9/11 will be a rock concert
featuring The National;

Neko Case,
with special guest T Bone Burnett
; and Sharon Van
Etten
in what the HB Web site describes as “an evening of
triumphant, powerful and poetic American rock music [celebrating] our spirit
and resolve under the stars of the summer sky.” DETAILS

 

Muse-ique, Rachael
Worby’s new ensemble, has announced it will participate in a free concert of
American music at 6 p.m. on the steps of Pasadena’s City Hall, but no details
have been forthcoming.

 

More will surely arrive in the in-box during the weeks
ahead.

_______________________

 

(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.