Classical Music

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

One Amazing Night at the San Diego Opera

This concert meant something

San Diego Opera closed their 2017/18 season on May 5 with a concert billed as One Amazing Night. They weren’t lying. The concert starred Greer Grimsley and Lise Lindstrom accompanied by the San Diego Symphony ...

Onslow, lost in the onslaught

World War I shattered the promises of the Enlightenment

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 ...

I'll hit you with a stick and you rejoice

Maestro Ling returns carrying a big stick.

Maestro Jahja Ling returned to the podium of the San Diego Symphony on April 20, 21, and 22 with a concert which was about as cinematic as they come. The program was packaged around Ling ...

An amiable concert at San Diego Symphony

The Mozart was pretty much what all Mozart has been

The San Diego Symphony concert on Saturday, April 14, was good. Jeffrey Kahane was both piano soloist and conductor in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27. Kahane went on to conduct Samuel Barber’s Music for a ...

Schumann vs. Schubert

It's springtime — time for Dichterliebe

I was speaking with a friend who is planning a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise. I immediately roasted him by pointing out that it’s springtime. I went on to offer some unsolicited advice and recommended Schumann’s ...

Trump and Wagner are nowhere close to equals

But the similarities of their convictions are eerie

I’m reading a book. Yes, it’s about Wagner. No, I don’t read books about any other composers. Yes, I’m enjoying it. Of the books I’ve read on the topic of Wagner, this one is by ...

All quirks present and accounted for

Mahler’s music is overtly psychological and biographical, perhaps more than any other composer

Mahler’s Symphony No. 1: Titan might be dwarfed by his Symphony No, 2: Resurrection but amongst first symphonic efforts, Mahler’s first looms large. Is there a first symphony by any composer which is performed more ...

Mother Mahler's Home for the Sick and Dying

Cacophanous coughs mar Mahler masterpiece

Over the course of any endeavor there are highs and lows; peaks which reveal unimaginable vistas, and dark crevices full of creatures which are less than benevolent. With the San Diego Symphony, the crevices are ...

Mahler medium dive

The agitations and triumphs are in the music for all to hear

I had said these articles would be a deep dive into an upcoming piece on the San Diego classical music calendar. On second thought these are more of a medium dive. A deep dive would ...

The stupidest thing I've heard all year

Altos want to sing tenor roles. Here we go.

Give the arts enough time and zero resistance and they will confuse madness with innovation. Let’s look at the macro and then zoom into the micro. From a macro point of view, Russian composers dominated ...

San Diego Symphony, like a comet

Symphony Hall became Mother Mahler's home for the sick and dying

Over the course of any endeavor there are highs and lows, peaks which reveal unimaginable vistas and dark crevices full of creatures which are less than benevolent. With the San Diego Symphony the crevices are ...

Schubert Cello Quintet deep dive

The extra cello creates a depth of tone which translates to depth of expression

As a part of the transcendent coverage of classical music here at the San Diego Reader we will be doing a deep dive on an upcoming piece of music every so often. The first piece ...

San Diego Symphony's musical march madness

Please don't do the hummy thing that so often accompanies a famous melody.

Let’s take a look at March and the three concerts within its springish confines which hold some promise. The first set of concerts is from The Mainly Mozart Festival’s Spotlight Chamber Series. The repertoire for ...

Turandot returns to San Diego Opera

This is a legitimate big-voice opera

San Diego Opera’s big one is almost here. Turandot is making a triumphal return to The San Diego Civic Theater. Warning: This is a legitimate big-voice production of Puccini’s final opera. Lise Lindstrom sang the ...

San Diego Symphony names new music director

Oh dear, sweet Jesus, let there be a Bruckner cycle in San Diego.

The San Diego Symphony's search for a new music director has been ongoing for the past two seasons and has now been resolved. There have been a legion of guest conductors on the podium, and ...

Get $5 off any Reader event

Sign up for our email list to get your promo code