Classical Music

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

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 ...

Sister Angela

Opera production supports opera company.

Suor Angelica is not among Puccini’s most popular operas. On Sunday night, about 400 or so of us were wondering why, because it was fantastic. The performance was at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in ...

Communicate the fire

The conclusion of our interview with Lola Astanova.

This is the continuation of our interview with Lola Astanova. San Diego Reader: If you had to spend the next year on a desert island with a piano, what music would you take with you? ...

Timpani and GTOs

San Diego Symphony revs it engine.

There is a quality about Leonard Bernstein’s music which has kept it fresh and cool for decades. Saturday’s Opus 2014 Gala Concert opened with Three Dance Episodes from On the Town. I wonder if someday ...

Rachmaninoff is a rose, is a rose, is a rose

Lola Astanova plays Rachmaninoff and Chopin at San Diego Symphony.

Authenticity happens when your actions reinforce your beliefs and ideas — you know, those beliefs and ideas that you won't shut up about. The ones your family roles their eyes at while you protest, "Hey, ...

Piano haute couture with Lola Astanova

Garret sits down to chat with a stylized pianist who plays upon the world stage.

As I descended the dimly lit stairwell, I could hear that someone was playing the piano. I walked out onto the stage of The Jacobs Music Center and there was Lola Astanova — practicing. Ms. ...

What does it all mean?

Perhaps the search for meaning should be abandoned altogether.

What does the music mean? We need to know. We've got to know. Maybe we can read the composer’s private correspondence and figure out what the music means. What does it mean? What did the ...

Hide and seek with a battle axe

Beethoven and Prokofiev at San Diego Symphony.

Who knew that Beethoven was a fan of hide and seek? While that might not be historically accurate, there is certainly a sense of tiptoeing around in the opening measures of his Fourth Symphony. During ...

FloFo Jenkins has her big moment

An opera legend may come to the silver screen.

Speaking of a few singers who should turn singing into a hobby, there is now a rumor that a movie is being made about the ultimate pay-to-sing performer. Pay-to-sing programs are legion. They are typically ...

Winners and participants

The 2014 Metropolitan Opera Auditions are an experience.

There is a certain type of person who haunts The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Remember, this is called an audition but it’s a competition. I haven't been in a couple of years but I'm ...

An all-Scottish affair

The San Diego Symphony opens the season with a trio of Scottish-inspired pieces.

Friday night was the first Masterwork concert of the new season. As I sat in the foyer waiting for my dude-date, I didn't observe an abundance of anticipation. It kind of felt like a mid-season ...

Heard for the first time in 500 years

An interesting relic from days of music past has surfaced in England.

The Telegraph has reported that a gift of choral music to Henry VIII has just been uncovered in the vaults of the British Library. It has just received its first performance in 500 years. The ...

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