Classical Music

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

San Diego's three top classical music concerts of 2019

La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Symphony, Mainly Mozart

Since we are at the end of a decade, I’m feeling an obligation to name the top concerts I’ve experienced in the past 10 years. That’s a lot of pressure so I’ve decided to ease ...

The long line of Puccinis

Watch father, grandfather, great-grandfather on videos here

I’ve been posting daily music history tidbits on my social media and discovered that Michele Puccini was born on Wednesday, November 27 in 1813. Michele was the father of the much more famous Giacomo Puccini. ...

"We shine a beam of light" on Beethoven quartets

Danish String Quartet in La Jolla this month

The Danish String Quartet is in residency at The La Jolla Music Society from November 16 through November 23. They are presenting five concerts as a part of their Prism project. The players in the ...

San Diego Symphony in midst of transition

Will it jettison the overture?

The San Diego Symphony is benefitting from a six-week installment of music director Rafael Payare to start the 2019-2020 season. While the orchestra has not accomplished a complete transformation, and we should not expect such ...

Sold-out Fidelio a problem in London

Royal Opera House members objects of envy

The Royal Opera House Covent Garden has a huge problem. They’ve sold out six performances of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio next March and people are angry! The problem appears to be that the vast majority of ...

San Diego Opera's Aida – my favorite singers

Michele Bradley headed for the Met

The current production of Aida at the San Diego Opera is the fourth I’ve been in with the company. It is the best principal cast I’ve experienced. It is, to my great pleasure, the singer’s ...

What happened to opera

Super-titles have hastened the demise of the opera singer .

Stand by folks, I’ve identified the opera problem. What opera problem? The one where audiences are declining and the audiences which do attend often can’t say if what they heard from the singers was good ...

Long lines swarm San Diego Symphony

Were they there for Mahler or Rafael Payare?

There were lines, long lines. Lines which stretched the length of the lobby and then extended around the corner. They were beautiful because everyone was in line for the opening concert of the 2019-2020 Jacobs ...

The scandal of cell phones at classical music concerts

Anne-Sophie Mutter.and the Cincinnati Symphony

No one in the history of recorded classical music has benefited more from media than violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. At age 13 was selected by Herbert von Karajan. At age 15 she was recorded for the ...

Hershey Felder does Chopin the right way

Questions from the audience during breaks

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a Hershey Felder fan. My fandom is based on three of his productions, the most recent of which I saw on Saturday night, September 14 ...

Berlin Philharmonic turns away from new music

New director, Kirill Petrenko, getting flak

The new music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Kirill Petrenko, is receiving some flak for his opening concerts with the orchestra. He is too conservative with his programming. In the words of Alex Ross, critic ...

San Diego Opera's Aida – more music, less moving

Sometimes costumes and the set obscure the sound

The San Diego Opera opens their 2019-2020 Season with Verdi’s Aida. I will be in the chorus, for the fourth time. However, this is the first time I will be in a production which is ...

We don't need a dabbler at the Met

None of these conductors has opera in his blood

I recently watched a YouTube video from a channel entitled *This is Opera*. The video demonstrated just how much Yannick Nézet-Séguin understands the human voice. If you watch the masterclasses which Nézet-Séguin held at Juilliard, ...

nkoda – egalitarian sheet music

Reader writer tested Aida for singing in this fall's opera

While I generally embrace digital technology, I don’t consider myself to be an app guy. I don’t follow the top app charts in the App Store or play any games on my phone or iPad. ...

Conrad Prebys – a modern-day Razumovsky

What if the Miró Quartet flopped?

I’m sure you remember the old “interrupting cow” knock-knock joke. Interrupting cow wh—? MOOOO! That joke was on my mind during Miró Quartet’s all Beethoven concert on Saturday, August 11, at the La Jolla Music ...

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