Classical Music

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

Weekend scramble

The classical schedule is a little different for January 29-31

With conductors canceling and the San Diego Symphony doing double duty at Symphony Hall and the Civic Theater, it’s time to shuffle things around this week. I want to talk first about Opera on the ...

San Diego Opera happy

But this year’s saviors will need to come through in the future

The San Diego Opera, which went through death throes last year, then recovered, is starting its 50th season in remarkably good shape. Saturday night’s opening of Puccini’s La Bohème was sold out, and Sunday (Super ...

Musical genius dies at age 25

The esoteric pick of the week is all about the big symphony

There is one piece of esoteric music which I wish, above all others, the San Diego Symphony or La Jolla Symphony would perform. That music is Hans Rott’s First Symphony in E major. Rott wrote ...

No more grouch

The conclusion of the interview with Malcolm MacKenzie, in town for La Boheme

We continue with our interview of Malcolm MacKenzie. As it turns out, he isn’t so much an old grouch as a father of two who has figured out a way to balance an opera career ...

Old fogey or keeping it old school?

Opera singer Malcolm MacKenzie schools us on the art-form.

It’s almost opera season. I sat down to talk with Malcolm MacKenzie, who will be singing the role of Schaunard “the musician” in San Diego Opera’s new production of La Boheme. I asked him about ...

Rienzi: failed politician, failed opera

The esoteric pick of the week is a failure.

The esoteric pick of the week continues in the German tradition with Wagner’s Rienzi. This was Wagner’s first “successful” opera even though it was the third he wrot,e and it has not entered into the ...

Relax, it'll all make sense

Why can Mimi and Rodolpho fall in love immediately?

La Boheme is the first opera of the still-in-existence San Diego Opera. Boheme is generally considered the world’s favorite opera and there is good reason for that. The story is moving and the music is ...

Classical California gold

Notable classical music events in San Diego, January 15-16

Here’s a quick rundown of some upcoming classical music events of note. The San Diego Museum of Art is holding the first a monthly series of concerts on Thursday, January 15 at 7 p.m. The ...

"That was good" — yes, very good

San Diego Symphony and Edo de Waart play nice together

As mentioned, Edo de Waart made his San Diego Symphony debut this past weekend. I attended the Sunday afternoon concert of January 11. The format of the concert was typical: overture, concerto, large symphonic piece. ...

Mignon isn't just a cut of beef

Esoteric pick of the week is a Schumann rarity

Esoteric pick of the week: Requiem für Mignon by Robert Schumann. Schumann is not an esoteric composer, but Mignon is definitely a specialized topic of interest. In Europe she is considered the most successful heroine ...

Butterfly reborn

Learning about Japanese tradition recreates the Butterfly experience.

My leisure reading of late has been all about Japan. I'm not sure why I've been reading the bestsellers of the past such as Memoirs of a Geisha and Shogun but they have both made ...

Performances of note

Some highlights of 2014 in classical music.

I wasn’t able to go to every concert or event in 2014 but of those I did attend, here are some highlights. Since I was in Un ballo in Maschera and Verdi’s Requiem I did ...

Sir Neville out, de Waart in

Neville Marriner was to conduct the San Diego Symphony but is ill

Sir Neville Marriner, known to many as the founder of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, was supposed to be conducting the San Diego Symphony on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week. ...

Preach it!

Classical music could use some evangelical zeal.

I remember a phrase from my evangelical youth which went a little something like this: “You need to give until it hurts.” The phrase was talking about money and was framed by the ancient biblical ...

Swaps at the top

2014 saw the two big guys change their leadership.

A quick review of 2014 is in order. For all the drama, I believe it was a good year for classical music in San Diego. We’ll start with the organizational bits. There were significant changes ...

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