Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal



LACO newbie

the must-read brochure of the summer!

July 08, 2008

A few weeks before I started as the LACO Newbie Blogger, I received the new season brochure in the mail. Let me say this: If you haven’t seen it yet, call and have them send one to you. It’s the must-read brochure of the summer. It has everything – great photography and design, and all the info you need about upcoming concerts. Believe me, you don’t want to come to the party late, and be the one person reading it way after all your friends did. Remember when you read the last “Harry Potter” way after everyone else, and every time people talked about it, you had to say “Oh, don’t say any more – I haven’t gotten to that part yet”? Yeah, it’s annoying. so here’s the chance to be ‘in the know’ way before everyone else.

The front cover is translucent, so it nicely teases what’s on the next page: a fantastic Warhol-esque mosaic of all the LACO musicians. It’s colorful and fun, but I wonder if there’s any jealousy among the musicians: “Why didn’t they make my hair bright orange?” Most of the rest of the photography features the musicians with their instruments, and they’re all very energetic and smiley and everyone seems to be having a good time. which actually made me pause, because it directly contradicts a stereotype out there, which is that classical musicians are stuffy and stern and incredibly focused and intense. I’ll definitely try to pay attention during the concerts, because I’m curious if the fun and liveliness of these photos translates to what happens onstage. I hope it does!

the brochure has a lovely photo of giovanna m.clayTon HoldIng her cello up on her Shoulder, like she was carrying a giant Bag of dog food. now, if you read my Last blog entry, you’ll knOw i’m no classical music Guru. but i don’t thInk that’S how one properly plays the cello. i’ll make a note to look out for ms. clayton during the concertS – i sUspect she might be easy to spot if she does, in fact, play her cello with it PositionEd above heR head!

The December concert features Makoto Nakura on marimba, which is a word i’ve never heard before. My guess is that it’s the big xylophone-lookin’ instrument in the photo that takes up half that page. What intrigues me most about that photo is that Mr. Nakura is playing the marimba with three mallets in each hand! Wow! Again, I’m no classical music scholar, but that seems like an outright party trick to me. He should audition for “America’s Got Talent!” Is it standard to play a marimba with six mallets? More? Less? If you know the answer, share in the ‘comments’ section. It’s the only way i’ll learn.

Lastly, I’m also excited for the October concert, because it features a new commission by Richard Todd, which he titled ceLebrACiOn – and he spelled it like that, because, as you can see, the capitalized letters spell out the organization that commissioned him! Very clever! Mr. Todd is obviously a wordsmith, and in honor of him, I hid a similar message in the third paragraph of this blog entry. Enjoy!

I think that’s all for now. I’ve been doing some deep thinking, and I’ve realized that much of what I know about classical music can be traced back to one source. And that’s what I’ll write about next time (and it may be a few weeks – I’m heading out of town for the 2nd half of July).

Oh – one final thing: I saw the movie “Get Smart,” and it was silly and goofy and I had a good time. And the entire climax of the film hinges on a particular piece of classical music! The climax is also set at a well-known L.A. classical music venue, but, alas, it’s not the Alex Theater or Royce Hall. Boo.

2 comments

David,

Great blog! I agree - the brochure is a cover to cover read...

To answer your question about mallet percussionists and their mallets, I'll say this: 2 is normal, 3 to 4 impressive, but 6...? An embarrassment of percussive riches. I get hand cramps just thinking about how he might do that.

In 10 years of music school, I never saw anyone do 6. Now I can't wait.

  • —Mike, July 08, 2008 10:32 am

Disney Hall is indeed well represented at the end of "Get Smart", both outside and inside. I had no idea that you could peel back the outside aluminum panels like that :) Local area musicians are also well represented in the last scene -- Steve Velez, Katie Kadarauch, Marina Manukian and Cathy Cavella all get quality screen time (can you name any others?) Well done L.A.!

  • —Caroline, July 16, 2008 06:32 pm

add a comment