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October 31, 2013

dun, dun, duuuuuun -- your halloween playlist

In honor of Halloween today, I have made a playlist featuring the most terrifying, ghoulish and spooky classical music known to mankind. Whether supernatural, mystic, devilish or frightening, this music should set the right mood for your Halloween festivities. Enjoy! And have some spooky treats — we sure did!

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today marks the start of an epic giving streak: #LACO205
September 16, 2013

This year, LACO is embarking upon what we hope is going to be an epic giving streak – 205 days, which includes every Monday-Friday beginning today and going through the end of June! We are calling upon all of LACO’s friends, family and fans to help us build up funds for all things artistic, education and community-oriented. I have to say, it would be so awesome to have a giving streak of a donation every day for this whole season.

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meet kaitlyn -- the newest LACO team member
April 30, 2013

This spring, we are delighted to welcome Kaitlyn Sunabe to the LACO family as our marketing intern. Over the next two months, Kaitlyn will assist the marketing team with preparations for the 2013-14 season, as well as the final concerts of the 2012-13 season. Read on below to learn more about Kaitlyn and how she came to LACO:

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joy and pain through mozart
March 14, 2013

I remember distinctly when I first saw Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus. The theatre was in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, it was a Saturday night in the fall, and I went alone. Which is probably just as well because I was blown away – so enraptured by the performance that I had no need or desire for company. I wish I could remember the name of the actor who played Salieri – Michael ?? – so I could give him credit now, but I didn’t see him – I saw only his character. To me, he was Salieri.

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obsession (not by calvin klein)
March 05, 2013

In an interview about her participation in the Westside Connections concert on March 7, author Jane Hamilton made the following comment, “I’ll talk first, before the Golijov piece, and then again before the Brahms Sextet . . . possible topics: music, story, obsession, the creative process . . . I got caught up in the story of Brahms’ fiancee, Agathe von Siebold, and what it is to be the obsession which fuels the art. (This is different, I think, from being a Muse.) So, I’m planning to speak as Agathe. Or rather, the reincarnation of Agathe . . .”

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discovering compassionate love through the duet – a prelude to baroque conversations 2
February 11, 2013

With a program compiled of purely Baroque duos – two harpsichords, two violins and a pianoforte/harpsichord duo, LACO’s upcoming Valentine’s Day concert inspires reflection on the nature of romance and musical performance in a duo.

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road tested
December 28, 2012

I’m wrapping up this holiday break with a road trip that will take me out of the city, through winter-greened valleys, across dormant fields and finally along the breezy, blue Pacific. Besides pondering what to pack (boots or bathing suit, rain coat or sun hat – that’s the beauty of a car trip, no need to choose), I’m thinking about how to keep myself occupied (and awake) for all those miles. Local radio stations will only get me through the first hour, and while there’s a fairly consistent NPR signal following most of the 101, there are only so many sequential hours of thoughtful, golden-voiced, scrupulously-balanced programming I can take. So here’s a set list of sorts for my upcoming getaway:

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it must be! mira weller reflects on joining the LACO staff
December 03, 2012

This week and next week we are introducing you to the newest members of LACO’s staff. As we progress into the season, you will see their faces at LACO concerts and events. Today, I am delighted to have you meet Mira Weller, our new development & promotions associate, who is busily at work on LACO’s upcoming Gala on February 2 at The California Club. In her first blog, Mira talks about the road that brought her to LACO.

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giving thanks
November 19, 2012

“The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.”
—Leonard Nimoy

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why I remember bartók at halloween
October 29, 2012

Your first thought might be that I remember Béla Bartók at Halloween because of his opera Bluebeard’s Castle. That’s not it, although I did see a Long Beach Opera some years ago, eerily staged outdoors at the John Anson Ford Theatre. It’s certainly appropriate fare for Halloween and Long Beach Opera’s ever-inventive artistic and general director Andreas Mitisek might do well with an October run, complete with Haunted House and a trick-or-treat fundraising campaign. But I digress. . .

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these iconic southland arches have nothing to do with hamburgers
October 01, 2012

As regular readers of LACO’s blogs" know, our season opener this weekend includes a recent work by the Orchestra’s new composer-in-residence, Andrew Norman, whose The Great Swiftness was inspired by the epic Alexander Calder sculpture La Grande Vitesse. Forged in Tours, France from 42 tons of steel, the work was commissioned by the city of Grand Rapids, and its 27 separate pieces were welded together on the civic center plaza in 1969. It was the first American work of public art to be directly funded in part by federal money, under the fledgling National Endowment for the Art’s Art in Public Places program. Norman was born in Grand Rapids, and when he was invited 30 years later to compose a new work thematically related to the city’s annual ArtPrize competition, he set as his task translating Calder’s vibrant red, three-dimensional abstraction into sound. In this video, you can view images of La Grande Vitesse and hear Norman discuss its musical namesake.

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flashback & anticipation
September 29, 2012

September 2011: Jeffrey Kahane takes his place at the piano for the encore – I recognize it immediately.

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why they write
September 13, 2012

“You write in order to change the world … if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” — James Baldwin

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an epiphany courtesy of a dog
September 05, 2012

“If a man in a boat is crossing a river and an empty boat drifts along and bumps into his, he won’t get angry. But if there is someone in the other boat, then the man will shout out directions to move. If his directions go unheeded, he will shout again, and then a third time, followed by a stream of curse words.”

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back to school
August 27, 2012

We had a tradition at my house, a tradition I am sure is not unique to my family. Every August when the first day of school rolled around, my brother and I had our pictures taken before heading down the driveway to the bus stop. Always in our new school clothes, with our back packs stuffed with brand new school supplies, these pictures remind me of a new beginning we, as children, got every year that we, as adults, do not (Excepting New Year’s, but everybody gets that). Looking beyond our annoyed expressions (“Mom! Hurry uppppp!”), I now see a complex mixture of emotions ranging from hopeful to anxious behind my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox.

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the rilling effect
August 22, 2012

As the summer winds down and the 2012-13 concert season approaches, we welcome our LACO musicians and colleagues back from a busy summer of concerts and music festivals.

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