Classical Music

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

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 ...

World premiere at San Diego Symphony

New music, but it's beautiful

The San Diego Symphony premiered Adam Schoenberg’s violin concerto Orchard in Fog on February 9 and 10. The courage it took Mr. Schoenberg to write it needs to be acknowledged. What was courageous about it? ...

No better musical experience of its kind in the world (!)

Opera, symphony, Mainly Mozart, L.J Music Society, Bach Collegium, ProArte Voices

The San Diego classical music scene encompasses every genre of the artform. Chamber, orchestral, opera, and choral music are well represented. We’ve selected two large organizations, two medium-sized, and two boutique groups. They are the ...

San Diego Symphony delivers, despite disappointing program

Zukerman plays Tchaikovsky, technically

The headline at the San Diego Symphony said, “Zukerman plays Tchaikovsky.” While that was true in fact it was untrue in essence at the concert on Saturday, February 3. Pinchas Zukerman did play Tchaikovsky but ...

The greatest music Verdi ever wrote

Eternal rest grant unto Giuseppe, O Lord

Is there a composer who is more adored than Giuseppe Verdi? There are composers who command more respect than Verdi, but no one receives more love. To honor the recent anniversary of Verdi’s passing let’s ...

The Segerstrom Concert Hall siren calls to me

Magnificent acoustics at the Orange County auditorium

I had never been to Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, but now it calls to me: “Come this way, honored Odysseus, great glory of the Achaeans, and stay your ship, so that you can ...

Carmen as revenge fantasy

New staging is not defiant, it's childish

An Italian opera company is said to be producing a version of Carmen in which Carmen is not stabbed to death by Don José. In fact she lives at the end of this production. In ...

Three fifths from San Diego Symphony

A few other fifth symphonies you should know about

In the winter and spring of 2018 the San Diego Symphony performs three fifths. The three fifths at the symphony are Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 , Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5. ...

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