Classical Music

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

Sexual assault allegations against SD Symphony guest conductor

A leader does no harm to those he leads

Several orchestras, according to an Associate Press report, have severed ties with conductor Charles Dutoit following accusations of sexual assault. Dutoit has followed that up with severing ties from his side with The New York ...

Don Giovanni and the abuse of power

The horrific text is covered with some of Mozart’s most charming music

We’ve discussed Don Giovanni and the abuse of power in these pages in the past. At the time I thought we’d seen perhaps the worst of it with Donald Trump’s comments about where to “grab" ...

TCMF (traditional classical music fatigue) is real

Nobody understands fatigue like a Soviet

I’ve a confession to make. I’m experiencing some classical music fatigue. It’s an interesting situation because I don’t love the music any less but I’m growing tired of the well worn path. It’s a position ...

San Diego's top four classical concerts of 2017

The crowning accomplishment of Jahja Ling’s tenure at San Diego Symphony

There are a few performances of note from 2017 which we will now revisit in a mood of celebration as we approach the rebirth of the light. I have four concerts in mind which were ...

Christmas just isn't a classical music festival

“O magnum mysterium” and “Alma redemptoris mater” are magically beautiful motets

I’ve a Christmas playlist on Spotify which is full of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Karen Carpenter, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Kay Starr, and others. It’s not a very classical playlist. I’ve often found classical ...

Johannes Debus is not the man to lead San Diego Symphony

Whipped cream on a turd of a concert

The father of my friend rolled a beautiful 25-foot putt right into the heart of the hole — for a triple bogey. For those who don’t speak golf, a triple bogey is bad for a ...

San Diego Symphony, good but not sublime

Blame Chopin. And happiness.

David Danzmayr was yet another guest conductor at the San Diego Symphony for the concerts of the first weekend of December. If a super-energized conducting style is your cup of tea than Danzmayr is your ...

Mainly Mozart masterclass

Young local violinists learn from masters

Three skilled members of The Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra participated in a masterclass at Mesa College on Saturday November 18. This particular masterclass featured the godfather of American concertmasters, William Preucil. It was a concertmaster ...

Mozart's Requiem at the San Diego Symphony

I'm going to get persnickety, because no one else will

On Saturday, November 18th, The San Diego Symphony performed Mozart’s Requiem. They pushed the concert hard on social media and it appears to have paid off. I was only using eyeball metrics but the house ...

Amadeus at Symphony Hall

I happened to see that the San Diego Symphony was offering a screening of the movie Amadeus on a Saturday night (November 4) for $5, so I went. How could I not? The movie was ...

Autumn music

Russian choral music is also a must have for November

With the onset of some autumn-ish weather my ears are turning toward music of the same ilk. To whom can we go to find a fall-flowering? For times such as these the Norse gods of ...

Side dishes at San Diego Symphony

Four fantastic pieces on the program, but no Thanksgiving turkey

This Thanksgiving I’m going to have four of the most delicious, elegant, colorful, and refined side dishes you can ever imagine. However, if one of those side dishes is sweet potatoes there will be marshmallows. ...

The next Mozart? Just what classical music needs?

Big shoes to fill for 12-year-old Alma Deutscher

Suddenly Alma Deutscher is all over my social media. Is anyone else experiencing this? It seems as though network television still exists and 60 Minutes did a piece on the 12-year-old British composer. That’s right, ...

Impressed but unmoved

Marsalis, Rimsky Korsakov, Bizet at San Diego Symphony

Sometimes researchers go into the lab with an experiment and don’t get the results they wanted. This can be said of scientific research, and it can be said of artistic endeavors. Wynton Marsalis and Nicola ...

Enough Tchiakovsky!

Some symphonies we'd like to hear in San Diego

Having gone over some violin concertos, I feel it only fair to rundown some lesser known symphonies which don’t get much play in San Diego. Brahms is not on this list since, including this season, ...

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