Classical Music

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

San Diego Symphony on immigration

Oh hell no.

At this moment, Conrad Tao might be the most athletic pianist on the planet. His performance with the San Diego Symphony on Friday, November 1, felt as if it almost took the orchestra by surprise. ...

Concert fatigue?

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra last week and Tchaikovsky coming up on November 2 and 4.

The Taiwan Philharmonic played a fine, fine, concert on Wednesday, October 31, at Symphony Hall. The only problem is that it was Wednesday, October 31 and the audience attendance did not reflect the excellence of ...

Deep in the shadow with Gergiev

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 made me feel guilty to be well-fed, warm, and safe

Thursday morning, October 25, was grey. It was the most appropriate morning the San Diego climate could muster after what happened the night of Wednesday, October 24, at Symphony Hall. That evening defies the written ...


After bumpy start, symphony sparkled with Mason Bates, Rachmaninoff, and Mozart.

The San Diego Symphony came into form at their concert on Friday, October 12. Joyce Yang was back at the keyboard not just on the 12th but also earlier in the week at The Scripps ...

Maybe the arts do still matter

San Diego Symphony fills balcony

The entire balcony was full on Thursday, October 4, at Symphony Hall. There are few artists which can collect that many souls into one place at one time. Pianist Lang Lang is one such artist. ...

Why Figaro needs tradition

The answer is obvious

As The Marriage of Figaro comes up soon at San Diego Opera, I thought sharing some of the rules of the Figaro game might be warranted. It’s difficult to enjoy anything when one isn’t aware ...

I'll take Germans for the win

A poll of conductors on their all-time faves

We have unanimous confirmation of German superiority via WQXR. WQXR is a New York public radio entity which has been a standard bearer for the arts over the past several decades. In a poll of ...

Classical music as weapon

How 7-11 chases away transients.

From time to time there is story about classical music being used as a means of repelling undesirable elements at a business establishment. The most recent stories are about a 7-11 in Modesto and another ...

October is ripe

San Diego concert harvest rich and full

It’s the middle of September and all is quiet, but October is on the way. The San Diego Opera is moving one of their mainstage productions to October, and the autumn harvest of concerts is ...

SD Opera’s Tito Capobianco dies

He left fuming, with company in the red

Tito Capobianco, the autocrat who brought San Diego Opera — and the late soprano Beverly Sills — to prominence, died September 8 at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, to which he had retired in 2000. He was 87. ...

Why do anything else when I can listen to Bruckner

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 only come close

It’s time to recognize the birthday of my favorite composer. I never expected to play the My Favorite Composer game. But when I saw that September 4 was the birthday of Anton Bruckner, I realized ...

Leningrad in October

We need to remember the devastation of totalitarianism.

Of all the special concerts over all the years, perhaps this one is the most special. Great orchestras such as The Philharmonia or The Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, among others, visit San Diego on a ...

Why vocal recitals are a clear loser

Money? Repertoire? Singers?

One of the least appreciated elements of classical music is the vocal recital. It is a double rite of passage for vocal majors in that they are required to produce both a junior and senior ...

Pleasure Island

Once you go full jackass, it's too late.

Pinocchio just might be the most underrated movie of all time. Watching it as a child is one thing but having it dissected by a psychology professor is something else. I’ve been watching the Maps ...

The hitch in changing the rules

Started in 19th Century music, accelerated after WWII with opera

One of the earliest and most important elements of human development, according to Jean Piaget, is learning how to play fair within the agreed-upon rules of a game. In other words, we learn how to ...

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