Everyone's a Critic

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? ...

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 ...

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. ...

Big can't go small

A new French opera album from Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann is one of my favorite tenors on the current world stage when it comes to the dramatic tenor repertoire. He has just released a new album of French opera arias. Some of it ...

Time to eat crow

A touch of magic tingles in the air when Hadelich plays

Every now and again it is important to eat some crow and I had an appetite for it after the Mainly Mozart concert on Thursday, June 22. Previously I had said I could go the ...

The Tao of Mozart

Conrad Tao brings the ancient nature of the cosmos to the Mainly Mozart Festival

Taoism, with its principles of effortless action, naturalness, humility, simplicity, spontaneity, compassion, and frugality, was a perfect fit for the evening. Which evening? The opening evening of The 2017 Mainly Mozart Festival on Saturday, June ...

Emotional finale for Maestro Ling

Sibelius was great at makeup sex

Saturday, May 27 was the second of three final concerts at the San Diego Symphony. These concerts conclude the Jacobs Masterworks Series and Maestro Jahja Ling’s tenure as music director of the orchestra. The concert ...

San Diego Symphony on Saturday night — the best concert ever

Yes. I’m going to go with that.

Well, I guess the May 20th concert by the San Diego Symphony was the best one I’ve heard them perform. Yes. I’m going to go with that. Charles Dutoit conducted the living fire out of ...

One-sided conversation at San Diego Symphony

Schumann’s themes tend to stick in the ear

Every concert is a conversation between the performers and the audience regarding a particular composer. This conversation isn’t quite fair, because the audience always has the last word. The audience’s response is the final verdict ...

Point Loma Opera Theatre's radio operetta

Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief is cheeky, clever, and sometimes funny

Having gone on an unscheduled rant about opera and higher education let us return to the performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief by Point Loma Opera Theatre. Director, Jordan Miller, ...

Depeche Mode — bleeding black hearts upon their sleeves

English alt-rock band gets in the Spirit of the times

In a world that seems to be crumbling, where the bad guys have won and are beginning to remake the planet to fit their greedy agendas, art has become more valuable than ever. With their ...

Umphrey's McGee hypnotizes Observatory

Reeling in the years with the progressive jam band

As far as concert performances go, Umphrey’s McGee can run hot and cold. Sunday night, they were on fire. Normally reminiscent of a free-form rock group like Phish, Umphrey’s McGee brought their sound down to ...

A deep performance at the La Jolla Symphony

Verdi Requiem has the power to move us

As the text “libera me” hung in the air no one applauded. The tone evaporated and still no one applauded. I was sitting on my hands because I was caught up in the sacred feminine ...

Fanclub lets the flannel fly

Scottish alt-rockers Teenage Fanclub deliver the hits and Here to Belly Up

Touring in support of their 2016 album, Here, the Scottish alt-rock band Teenage Fanclub marched into the Belly Up and delivered a set composed of fan favorites. Fittingly, the band started with “Start Again” off ...

Minus the Bear, minus the freshness

Seattle indie act's Voids is void a new formula

Let’s make this clear: “indie rock” is a sterile phrase. And whether you want to use it to refer to lo-fi Sonic Youth-offshoot noise bands, ’80s revival — “Hey, look we use synths!” — bands, ...

Get $5 off any Reader event

Sign up for our email list to get your promo code

Close