MEDIA ARCHIVE

REVIEW: BBC Concert Orchestra energizes Elgar

UT San Diego
By James Chute
February 15, 2013

You couldn’t help but wonder, especially after uneventful performances of Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes” from “Peter Grimes” and Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor (with soloist Sophie Shao), what was so special about the BBC Concert Orchestra?

It’s a capable ensemble with fine, virtuoso players in the solo positions. But it sounded like any one of a dozen accomplished regional American orchestras during much of its La Jolla Music Society-sponsored concert at Copley Symphony Hall.

Then something happened on the program’s second half.

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REVIEW: BBC Concert Orchestra energizes Elgar 2014-01-27T11:05:18+00:00

Lockhart intent on bringing planet classical down to earth

UT San Diego
By James Chute
February 9, 2013

There are few conductors more American than Keith Lockhart. He’s American-born, American-educated and the music director of what’s often called “America’s Orchestra,” the Boston Pops.

So what’s Lockhart doing conducting a quintessentially British program of Britten’s Sea Interludes, Elgar’s Cello Concerto (with Sophie Shao) and “Enigma” Variations and Butterworth’s “The Banks of Green Willow” with the BBC Concert Orchestra, which the La Jolla Music Society brings to Copley Symphony Hall on Friday?

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Lockhart intent on bringing planet classical down to earth 2014-01-27T11:05:00+00:00

PREVIEW: Joffrey Ballet pirouettes into San Diego

UT San Diego
By Pat Sherman
January 26, 2013

Well into its fifth decade, Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet is staying the course to remain relevant to today’s audiences, offering a provocative mix of modern and classical dance.

The company that produced Russia’s first rock ballet, pirouetted to the music of Prince and has produced shows by renowned choreographers Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp and George Balanchine returns to kick off La Jolla Music Society’s 2013 Dance Series at Copley Symphony Hall this Tuesday.

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PREVIEW: Joffrey Ballet pirouettes into San Diego 2014-01-27T11:04:35+00:00

REVIEW: Yefim Bronfman Scores with Prokofiev in La Jolla

San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
December 15, 2012

An ad campaign some years back cleverly proclaimed “You don’t have to be Jewish to like Levi’s Jewish Rye Bread.” You certainly don’t have to be Russian to play the music of Sergei Prokofiev, but after hearing Yefim Bronfman’s commanding, exuberant performance of Prokofiev’s Eighth Piano Sonata Friday (Dec. 14) at La Jolla’s Sherwood Auditorium, I could be persuaded that being Russian gives an inside track to interpreting this music.

When the 54-year-old Bronfman was born in Tashkent, it was part of the Soviet Union, and the young pianist grew up in the same repressive Soviet culture in which Prokofiev wrote his Eighth Piano Sonata (completed and premiered in 1944). A restless yet impassioned work, this sonata tries to keep its harmonic and structural modernisms hidden in the closet while dangling ample dulcet melodies to dupe Stalin’s musical censors.

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REVIEW: Yefim Bronfman Scores with Prokofiev in La Jolla 2014-01-27T11:04:09+00:00

REVIEW: Esa-Pekka Salonen and Philharmonia powerful and perplexing

UT San Diego
By James Chute
November 16, 2012

Whether it was Emerson, some Zen master or a self-help guru who said it, you’ve undoubtedly heard it before: what’s important is the journey and not the destination.

But in conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 Thursday at Copley Symphony Hall, it was the destination, rather than the journey, that made the most powerful impression.

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REVIEW: Esa-Pekka Salonen and Philharmonia powerful and perplexing 2014-01-27T11:00:44+00:00

As conductor and composer, Esa-Pekka Salonen is keeping classical music vital

UT San Diego
By James Chute
November 12, 2012

All Esa-Pekka Salonen wanted was for someone to fix the leaks in his house caused by an uncharacteristically wet Southern California winter. So he called a roofer. “He came to see the worst problem spots and said,’It’s actually not the roof that leaks, it’s the deck,'” recalled the former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “‘That’s why you get water in the garage. You have to call the deck man.'”

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As conductor and composer, Esa-Pekka Salonen is keeping classical music vital 2014-01-27T11:00:03+00:00

REVIEW: Thibaudet in La Jolla: Debussy Hot and Debussy Cold

San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
November 3, 2012

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s Debussy recital Friday (Nov. 2) at La Jolla’s Sherwood Auditorium was not for the timid or casual aesthete. His program was no sampler of Debussy’s greatest hits, but an elegant master class that probed the gamut of the composer’s idiom for his favored instrument.

With consummate technical prowess and uncanny insight, Thibaudet conducted a riveting class that took us through the sometimes enigmatic Second Book of 12 Preludes, two suites – “Estampes” and “Suite Bergamasque” – and the exuberant tour de force “L’isle Joyeuse.”

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REVIEW: Thibaudet in La Jolla: Debussy Hot and Debussy Cold 2014-01-27T11:00:22+00:00

SNEAK PEEK: Washington Post review of I Musici di Roma’s program

The Washington Post
By Joan Reinthaler
October 22, 2012

With same agility and fire they’ve so often lavished on the music of Vivaldi and his baroque contemporaries, the 12 musicians of I Musici di Roma took on Rossini, Paganini, Rolla and a sampling of 20th-century Italian film scores for their appearance at the National Gallery on Sunday. It was the third concert in the gallery’s celebration of Italian art, film and music, and it was an evening of exuberantly lavish virtuosity.

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SNEAK PEEK: Washington Post review of I Musici di Roma’s program 2014-01-27T10:59:24+00:00

Dr. John & Blind Boys an inspired pairing; first joint concert tour by music legends

UT San Diego
By George Varga
October 9, 2012

Musical pairings don’t come much more inspired than that of Big Easy music icon Dr. John and gospel-music vocal legends The Blind Boys of Alabama, who perform here Saturday at downtown’s Balboa Theater.

Their “Spirituals to Funk” concert, which kicks off the La Jolla Music Society’s 2012/2013 New Orleans Jazz Series, is the fourth show on their first-ever tour. In this case, they’ll be sharing the stage for a good part of the show, rather than each performing separate sets. Both Dr. John and the Blind Boys have each won five Grammy Awards, with the Blind Boys having also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Dr. John & Blind Boys an inspired pairing; first joint concert tour by music legends 2014-01-27T10:59:43+00:00

REVIEW: Kent Nagano Triumphs in SummerFest Finale

San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
August 26, 2012

Ending a summer concert with a blinding display of fireworks is a widespread tradition, but Friday’s (August 24) grand finale of the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2012 kept all of the dramatic fireworks on the Sherwood Auditorium stage. Under the demanding baton of guest conductor Kent Nagano, the festival chamber orchestra tore into what could have been just another neat program of standard repertory and kept us alert with consistently exhilarating playing.

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REVIEW: Kent Nagano Triumphs in SummerFest Finale 2014-01-27T10:59:01+00:00