Classical Music

Never go full romantic

Robert and Clara Schumann — classical music power couple

When we speak of classical music power couples there are a few which come to mind. There are Richard and Cosima Wagner, Frederic Chopin and George Sand, Gustav and Alma Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Nadezhda von ...

The Russian problem

Have you met The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga? Neither have I.

I went to a small gathering of opera lovers on Sunday, September 10. The group was brought together to explore Mikhail Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila. I had never even heard of this opera. As ...

Like a miracle — San Diego Symphony’s Opus Gala almost here

It's spelled "bourgie" not "bougie"

‘Tis the season for The Symphony Opus Gala. I’ve been waiting impatiently for months for the season to finally start up again. The Gala falls on Saturday, October 7, between two concerts on Friday, October ...

Life as an argument

Bruckner, Milhaud, and Schweitzer converge

While September 4 was Labor Day, for some of us it was also a birthday celebration. Whose birthday? Anton Bruckner and french composer Darius Milhaud. It also marked the death, in 1965, of Albert Schweitzer. ...

San Diego's tiny role in the big opera world shuffle

Netrebko replaces Radvanovsky in Vienna; Radvanovsky sang in San Diego's Il Trovatore

Because of few operatic opportunities in San Diego County it is easy to forget that there is a great big world of opera out there. In that great big world there are some great big ...

Rodrick and Verhoye surprise concerts at Encinitas and Scripps Ranch

Local libraries unexpected showcases

The San Diego County Public Libraries have a vibrant concert schedule which gets lost unless you go to your local library on a regular basis to use the internet. The libraries have two concerts coming ...

Conductor’s podium now a political platform

Gustavo Dudamel, Dennis Prager, Puccini, Wagner suffer brickbats

I assume I’m not the only one who is experiencing political fatigue. I’m not talking about the shuffling of White House personnel, North Korea, or what have you. I’m referring to all the political posturing ...

The other Haydn

Michael Haydn was brother to Joseph and mentor to Mozart

Michael Haydn died on August 10, 1806. He was younger brother to Joseph Haydn and counted Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart amongst his friends and admirers. The anniversary of his death prompted me to give his Requiem ...

Stop picking the Wagnerian scab

It’s time to take Wagner back from National Socialism

Whatever would we do without PC culture to judge the recent past (last 200 years) for us and then share its verdict of guilty based on the precious shell which has been slowly swallowing culture ...

Schoenberg and his truth

Perhaps I need to find a summer love

One of my early tactics for exploring music was to simply find recordings with orchestra and chorus. I sang in choirs all through high school and college, so I was into works with chorus. I ...

Cultural relativity sucks

It's time for classical music to grow up and own its greatness

What is becoming the summer of the curmudgeon continues now that I’ve read an article in the New York Times regarding Pres. Trump and a remark he made about symphonies. The remark was made in ...

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

For the love of God lose the (R)

To continue the theme of innovation versus truth and beauty, I present to you, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. This new opera by Mason Bates had its world premiere at Santa Fe Opera on Saturday, ...

The derivative curse

Composers who try to avoid it are to doomed to be it

Derivative is the greatest insult in the book when it comes to modern composers. No one wants to be declared as “derivative” of anything. I am, of course, speaking of the artistic derivative not the ...

Beethoven should send a bill

The Milky Way inspires a look at what gives and what takes

On the way to camping in Idaho I stopped on The Extraterrestrial Highway. My children were with me and wondered what was going on when I pulled the car over in the middle of nowhere. ...

John Williams sells tickets

Comic-Con helps symphony sell out concert of movie music

Well, well, well. Comic-Con has sold out the San Diego Symphony’s July 22 concert. The title of the concert is Raiders, Rebels, and Supermen: The Music of John Williams. Now Mr. Williams is popular no ...

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