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LA county supervisor zev yaroslavsky shares his musical muses

December 17, 2009

Los Angeles native Zev Yaroslavsky is the LA County Supervisor, 3rd district. He recently shared his love for the power of escapism through music.

I have a variety of composers and musical pieces that inspire me. Among my favorites are Sibelius, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Aaron Copland and Elmer Bernstein. All of these composers have written music that I associate with the landscapes of their countries.

When I hear Borodin and Tchaikovsky, I visualize the steppes and countryside of Russia where my ancestors are from. When I listen to Copland and Elmer Bernstein, I feel like I’m in the American West, the big sky country. The last movement of Sibelius’s second symphony is one of the grandest and most passionate pieces of music I know. There’s a bit of Russia and a lot of Finland in that movement.

While I love all kinds of classical music and am partial to many composers, it is these specific composers to whom I turn when I want an escape from the day to day pressures; it is these composers who take me, almost literally, to another place and let my imagination run a little wild.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my love of chamber music—-especially pieces composed by Brahms and Schubert. I love to listen to these pieces, because it’s as though I am listening to conversations among the instruments in the quartets or quintets. The Trout is my favorite for that very reason.

Thanks for sharing your musical inspirations, Zev. What music inspires you? Let us know by commenting below.

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