Classical Music

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

Six-foot orgasm

Rachmaninoff's symphony of requited love.

During intermission I exchanged the awkward tight-lipped smiles symphony goers give each other. I texted a few friends about the David Bruce piece which, by the way, was entitled Fragile Light. Then the lights went ...

Just let it go, old man

David Bruce guides us toward the light in world premiere.

An old man sitting behind me said, "Gil Shaham is good" to the lady accompanying him. God help me to stop being that guy. If we ever go to a concert together and I try ...

Dessert followed by veggies

San Diego Symphony ends the concert with the vegetable dish.

Sometimes we’ve gotta eat our veggies after we have dessert. I’ve never tried it, but it’s basically what happened during the last half of the San Diego Symphony concert on Saturday night. The first half ...

Kate Smith sings again

Stephanie Blythe to sing standards for San Diego Opera.

Stephanie Blythe is bringing her one-woman show about Kate Smith, "We'll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith," to the Balboa Theater on Thursday, December 11 at 7 p.m. Blythe was here last April to ...

Forty La Bohemes for ten bucks?

The popular music streaming site offers a robust selection of classical music.

I resisted Spotify for years. Years, I tell you. I found their classical music to be spotty at best. I would search for Tannhauser and Placido Domingo and get all kinds of crazy unrelated items ...

Go away, Professor Baker

A British academic tries to take on Venezuela's system.

A book just came out on November 28 which thinks it’s going to expose Venezuela’s El Sistema as a tyrannical and corrupt petty kingdom. The author published an article about his findings in The Guardian. ...

The Messiah and pals are upon us again

Three amigos of Baroque provide the Christmas thing with three events December 7.

It’s December, which means the Messiah and pals are upon us again. Who are the pals of the Messiah? Bach and Vivaldi for sure. Sometimes Vaughan Williams gets invited to play, along with Puccini, but ...

100 years of avant garde

A century later and we're still waiting.

It dawned on me that avant garde music, so to speak, is about 100 years old if we count the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as the starting point. It also dawned on ...

Mahler Seventh? No problem.

San Diego Symphony capably delivers Tchaikovsky and even Mahler's "problem child."

“It’s kind of like a road trip, you’ve gotta at least try.” I was trying to be jocular during intermission on Saturday night but the gentleman I was trying to engage with my humor stared ...

Mahler's problem child

Maestro Ling discusses Mahler's Seventh Symphony.

Let’s talk a little more about Mahler. His Seventh Symphony is this weekend at San Diego Symphony and I was able to speak to non other than Maestro Ling about Mahler’s “problem child”. We spoke ...

Can new conductor beat Ling's $429,960 deal?

No replacement yet set for departing big-money symphony leader

The price of fine music could be going up even more for the San Diego Symphony with the departure of conductor Jahja Ling. The Indonesian-born Ling said on Thursday, November 20, that he will be ...

Cinderella education

How many versions of this story are there, exactly?

There are how many versions of the Cinderella story? There’s Disney (of course), Rossini, Prokofiev, the 1984-85 Villanova Wildcats, and Massenet. I’m sure I missed a few, but Massenet is the one I want to ...

Sibelius ice, empty seats

The San Diego Symphony melts the ice with Sibelius.

Someone tell please tell me that they don't like Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. You might say you don't like it, but you'd be lying through your teeth. Everyone loves that song even if ...

The brass of the Noldor

La Jolla Symphony brass brought the pain in Mahler.

Sometimes my tradition of not reading the program until after a concert backfires on me. I don’t read the program because I want to experience the music for itself and oftentimes the program notes get ...

Ebola is a less contagious than Mahler

Mahler's Fifth Symphony in La Jolla this weekend.

We’ve heard the phrase, “Go big or go home.” If we look at the La Jolla Symphony’s upcoming season, those folks are never going home. The season contains Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and ...

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