Classical Music

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

The Legend of Zelda at the San Diego Symphony

Symphonic video game music at Symphony Hall

I will admit that I missed the phenomenon that is The Legend of Zelda. The reason I missed it is clear. I’ve never had a Nintendo. In spite of my non-participation in the Nintendo world, ...

Female composer Clara Schumann let her opinions be known

"I despise Liszt to the very depths of my soul."

The next woman in our line of female composers is Clara Schumann. She might be the most famous of the early women pioneers in classical music. Nannerl Mozart was not allowed to play in public ...

The other Butterfly

Mascagni's tale of a Japanese girl destroyed by circumstances

Before Madama Butterfly there was Iris, the tale of a young and exploited Japanese girl. The opera was written by Pietro Mascagni, the king of verismo. Mascagni is the composer of the quintessential verismo masterpiece ...

Final Symphony at San Diego Symphony

Comic-Con's collaboration with the San Diego Symphony continues

I feel like an idiot saying this, but Comic-Con is coming. If you didn’t know that then, in reality, you’re the idiot — or maybe just new to San Diego. Comic-Con has had a running ...

The Proms are for the people

The BBC Proms are the most extensive classical music festival on the planet

If the Bayreuth Festival is for the elite or at least the very dedicated then the BBC Proms in London is the summer festival for the literal masses. The Royal Albert Hall seats 5544 and ...

A brief history of the Bayreuth Festival

Bayreuth opens on July 12

We took a brief look at the Bayreuth Festival when conductor Andris Nelsons bowed out of the opening night. Almost 60,000 people shuffle through Bayreuth every summer paying homage. However, as big a number as ...

Free stream of Meistersinger

Glyndebourne is offering a seven day window to view Wagner's magnum comedia

Starting on Tuesday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m. (Glyndebourne time) Wagner’s Die Meistersinger will be available to stream online at the Glyndebourne Opera site and at the Telegraph site. This is one of three productions ...

CDs are still around and they sound better than YouTube or Spotify

Classical music releases of note coming out July 8

Orchestral ReleasesJohn Corigliano is an American composer who should be more famous than he is. His most notable compositions are the opera The Ghost of Versailles, commissioned for the Metropolitan Opera’s 100-year anniversary, and the ...

New biopic project for Cate Blanchett

Ethel Smyth is the greatest woman you've never heard of

I had promised to feature some women composers here, and this summer lull provides an excellent opportunity. Once August comes around the La Jolla Music Society cranks up the Summerfest and then September is upon ...

Happy Ives of July

Charles Ives gives an alternative yet accurate 4th of July

I want to write about an American composer for the Fourth of July, but I’m tired of the same ol’ group of characters — Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Barber. Let’s go with Charles Ives and the ...

Time to check the Met

As the Metropolitan goes, so goes opera

Each summer it feels as though we need to check in with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. I’m not sure it’s an accurate barometer but there is a general feeling that as the Met ...

Diane Moser returns to San Diego

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego July 5–10

Tuesday 5 Extend the holiday weekend feeling by attending Jazz Live, sponsored by KSDS Jazz 88, with a tenor saxophone extravaganza featuring L.A. hornmen Rickey Woodard, Justo Almario, and Charles Owens at the Saville Theatre ...

Bayreuth being Bayreuth

Wagner's homage to Wagner continues its tradition of drama

There is no lack of drama behind the scenes at the world’s most exclusive and prestigious music festival. Conducting super-star Adris Nelsons has canceled his appearance at this year’s Bayreuth Festival in Germany. Nelsons was ...

San Diego Opera Maestro remembered

Edoardo Müller was willing to send a message in opera

Years and years ago, a famous opera singer was singing a famous aria from a famous opera during an orchestral dress rehearsal. When the aria ended the music continued but that appeared to be an ...

Macbeth and Verdi

The Scottish play in operatic form

Macbeth is opening at The Old Globe this weekend and it has me thinking about musical settings of Shakespeare. Besides Goethe, Shakespeare is the most influential author in classical music. Perhaps Shakespeare supersedes Goethe’s influence. ...

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