Classical Music

Reviews and previews of classical music performances and players. For a list of upcoming classical performances, visit our events section.

Mahler at the San Diego Symphony

Mahler's Sixth Symphony is going down this Friday and Saturday

Mahler Symphony No. 6 is a gargantuan piece of music and we have a chance to hear it at Symphony Hall this Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30. There is no Sunday concert. However, ...

2016-2017 at San Diego Symphony

A preview of what's to come

The San Diego Symphony revealed its upcoming season via a concert event on Thursday, April 21. The orchestra played selections from the 2016-17 season and a few things were the same and a few things ...

One of San Diego Opera's best productions: Madama Butterfly

Latonia Moore as Butterfly revealed the emotions that imbue Puccini's music.

Madama Butterfly is one of the best productions San Diego Opera has presented in recent years. I might even say it's one of the top five best in the past 15 years. Madama Butterfly is ...

New documentary puts a lid on Beethoven

Concerto — A Beethoven Journey is a new documentary exploring the piano concertos of Beethoven. The movie plays on Tuesday, April 26, at the Town Square Reading Theater in Clairemont and the Angelika Film Center ...

Emilie Mayer is a great composer

Playlist No. 5 adds a woman

So far we’ve been looking at what we could call the “standard repertoire” for the Playlist No. 5. Let’s add a female composer to the playlist. Emilie Mayer’s symphonies are fantastic mid-19th-century pieces of music. ...

Cultural musing about Madama Butterfly

The samurai caste is the deciding factor

If we don't understand something of Japanese culture as it existed in the era of Madama Butterfly, then we are tempted to see the story as the West (Pinkerton) being the baddie and the East ...

Two hot cellists rock Symphony Hall

...the greatest and worst concert I’ve ever been to

2Cellos, Tuesday night, April 12, was the greatest and worst concert I’ve ever been to. It tended toward the sublime and the ultra-cheese at the same time. 2Cellos is two young men from Croatia who ...

Jason Alexander and the loverly San Diego Symphony

The comedian sings us a few songs

Jason Alexander, known to all as George Costanza from TV’s Seinfeld, is a good old-fashioned song-and-dance man. He showed off his singing chops and dancing hoofs at Symphony Hall on Saturday night, April 9. The ...

Madama Butterfly is set to open at San Diego Opera

Puccini, the great whore

If I were pushed to make a declaration of my favorite opera of all time I would admit, with some sense of shame, that it is Madama Butterfly. The shame comes in because Butterfly is ...

Where is Johanna Senfter?

Our first foray into discovering female composers

Information about Johanna Senfter is tough to find. She was born and died in Oppenheim, Germany. Her dates were November 27, 1879 to August 11, 1961. All I can find about her is a list ...

Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky at San Diego Symphony

Some violence to go with all the romance

Oh hum, just another fantastic concert at the San Diego Symphony. The lineup of Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff make for an accessible concert. These are all crowd-pleasing composers with a flair for the dramatic and ...

Beethoven allegedly takes out Mozart in the U.K.

The philistines at Classic FM have made a list

Beethoven is now greater than Mozart? Yes, the people have spoken and this is the case. The U.K.’s Classic FM 2016 Hall of Fame list is out. Over 170,000 votes were cast and Beethoven has ...

Amy Beach is better than Chopin

Visiting the growing matriarchy in classical music

When discussing Gabriela Lena Frank I mentioned that the time has come for the matriarchal age of classical music. Women have been excluded from classical music since the beginning and it’s getting old. How extreme ...

Star Trek, Grossmont, Art of Elan, and the San Diego Symphony

A full week of classical in San Diego

The Art of Elan has a performance at the San Diego Museum of Art on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. The Formosa Quartet, Art of Elan’s quartet in residence, will be playing the world ...

Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and the barbaric yawp

Debussy, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky all on the same night

I knew going in that the concert program for the Orchestre Symphonique Montreal was aggressive. Aggressive as in Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 and The Rite of Spring on the same night. The Montréalaises are ...

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