Classical Music

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

The most important music in the world

An exploration of the most influential music in our culture

There is a type of music that is crucial to almost every element of our culture. The old, the young, the rich, the poor, the enlightened, the depressed, the sick, and the healthy all respond ...

Leonard Bernstein — composer, conductor, performer, educator

A new documentary on Bernstein comes out this week

I mentioned that Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalm is being performed this weekend at San Diego Symphony. That just so happens to coincide with a new documentary about Lenny. Leonard Bernstein: Larger than Life is being ...

Season Finale at San Diego Symphony

All Americans close this year's season

The Jacobs Masterworks Series comes to its conclusion this weekend at Symphony Hall. Music by the all-star American lineup is on the program. Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein will all be ...

Dog days of the season at San Diego Symphony

The sublime was replaced by a rare pedestrian-ism...

A famous conductor once said, “A great orchestra is like an English lawn. It must be clipped and watered twice a day — and for a hundred years.” The San Diego Symphony has been clipped ...

Verdi for the ages

Singora Fausta Truffa sings Verdi

This little video of a woman singing Verdi is going viral. Viral for an opera video that is. Fausta Truffa, the soprano in this gem, does not yield many search results. I thought that perhaps ...

Great Scott delivers at San Diego Opera

Even when it was parodying different styles of opera, the music in Great Scott was heartfelt and true

People, myself included, are scared of modern opera. Modern opera tends to be an unhappy experience. It is bereft of humor and beauty. There's even a Facebook Group against modern opera. Jake Heggie’s Great Scott, ...

Bolero is free at last

Ravel's music exploited no longer

Ravel’s Bolero is now free. The copyright has expired and organizations no longer need to pay royalties to a network of corrupt people who aren’t related to Ravel or his family. This is where copyright ...

I gioielli della Madonna, a new old opera

A new recording of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's old-fashioned jewel

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari is a name we might not recognize. An upcoming release of his opera I gioielli della Madonna has him pinging on my esoteric radar. I gioielli della Madonna, The Jewels of the Madonna, ...

New York Philharmonic: Great and not great

Rhythmic intensity and lyrical insensitivity

The New York Philharmonic gave a concert at Symphony Hall on Wednesday night, May 4. It was loud. The concert was presented by the La Jolla Music Society as a part of their Celebrity Orchestra ...

Great Scott at San Diego Opera

The West Coast premiere of Heggie's new opera

The West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s opera Great Scott opens at San Diego Opera on Saturday, May 7, at 7 p.m. This is the second production of the show, which premiered at Dallas Opera. ...

New York Philharmonic visits San Diego

One concert only at Symphony Hall

The august New York Philharmonic will be at Symphony Hall on Wednesday, May 4, at 8 p.m. This is the final concert of the year’s La Jolla Music Society Celebrity Orchestra Series. The New Yorkers ...

San Diego Symphony: Mahler in smash mode

Mahler and the San Diego Symphony rage against the dying of the light

"Unrelenting" and "unforgiving" are the words that come to mind at the conclusion of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. He never allows us to feel relief and the symphony ends not in “tragedy,” as it has ...

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 ...

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