Classical Music

Christmas Festival Death Match of White People

The Mormons and Lutherans square off for Christmas supremacy

I’m afraid that when it comes to Christmas, no one can do it quite like the Mormons and their Tabernacle Choir. On second thought, St. Olaf offers a big-time Christmas experience as well. If there ...

Beethoven's Ninth at the San Diego Symphony

The best performance of the three most recent

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. This piece of music is considered to be the ultimate expression of humanity's struggle for freedom. The main tune, which we all know, the Ode to Joy, was purposefully written as ...

Robert Oppenheimer is Dr. Atomic

A symphonic representation of an opera about a complicated man

The San Diego Symphony gave a performance of John Adams’s Dr. Atomic Symphony over the weekend of December 3 and 4. It was a great performance but it left me realizing just how rich is ...

Martha Argerich honored at Kennedy Center

Argentinian pianist makes a rare public appearance

I have an golden excuse to mention pianist Martha Argerich. On December 5 she was honored with a Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award. The Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS December 27, at 9 ...

San Diego Symphony and the astral plane

A singularity-esque performance of Gustav Holst's The Planets

Sometimes, in a live performance, a conductor will downplay “the big tune” in a symphony performance. Sometimes, in a live performance, a conductor will elevate and revel in “the big theme.” We gratefully received the ...

Musical fountain of eggnog from the San Diego Symphony

Clearly December is here

The weekend of musical eggnog begins with a screening of Home Alone at Symphony Hall. The San Diego Symphony will provide a live soundtrack to this modern holiday classic. What will that rapscallion Kevin do ...

Hold the egg nog and pass The Planets

Before choking on holiday concerts we get to explore the astrological solar system

Tis the season for choir concerts. Lessons and carols are being dusted off as the first Sunday of Advent is here. The ubiquitous Messiah is making its rounds and the symphony is, more than likely, ...

The theater is not a safe place, Mr. Trump

The Hamilton comments show a misunderstanding of theater and politics

Much has been made of Donald Trump’s tweets regarding the “rude” treatment of Mike Pence by the cast of Hamilton. There is a perception that the theater is a tame place. It is not. At ...

A rare opera performance on Black Friday in Escondido

Intimate La Traviata

There is a chance to hear opera on Black Friday weekend. Pacific Lyric Association is presenting Verdi’s La Traviata at the California Center for the Arts Escondido. Singing the lead role of Violetta is L.A.-based ...

San Diego Symphony: The Rachmaninoff Redemption

Conductor Johannes Debus allowed the brass to poor it on pretty thick and heavy

The San Diego Symphony is sounding good this season. I went to what I’m calling "The Rachmaninoff Redemption" last weekend and my sins were washed away. The opening piece of the RR was a “between-the-wars ...

Who is George Onslow?

Piece after piece of Onslow’s chamber music confirmed that here we have a neglected master

Beethoven and Schubert admired him. Mendelssohn and Schumann thought his string quartets were as good as those by Mozart and Beethoven. Schubert fashioned his cello sonatas after this composer’s cello sonatas. He was George Onslow ...

Rach Mozart

San Diego's busy weekend in classical music

In addition to a busy weekend of contrasting operas, the San Diego Symphony is throwing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at us. Mozart’s final symphony, The Jupiter, is coming along for the ride as well. ...

Two very different operas this week in San Diego

A tale of two operas

There are two decidedly different operas being performed November 11–13. One is Hansel und Gretel at Point Loma Opera Theatre and the other is Soldier Songs at San Diego Opera. Hansel und Gretel is most ...

Purveyors of mindless memes comment on the Richard Tucker opera gala

Yaaaas, I've had enough

I watched the live stream of the Richard Tucker Gala on Medici TV’s Facebook stream. At one point I was kind of a fan of letting people live tweet during opera or symphony performances. After ...

Rossini the foodie

Opera and food — It's a good life

I had forgotten that Rossini stopped composing opera so early. It could be that I never put it together since he continued to compose sacred music in the 1840s, '50s, and '60s with the Petite ...

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