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Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra blog

LACO newbie

May 02, 2014

an excellent bunch of showoffs

an excellent bunch of showoffs

Many people think classical music is antiquated, and only for older people. I mean, sure, technically a lot of the stuff played at LACO is really old music. And sure, looking around at the Alex theater you see a lot of…distinguished hair. But, for those who attended the April 26th LACO performance, what they got was in some ways a celebration of youth; a concert that showed all the classical haters out there that you don’t have to be old to rock a concerto.

older, not necessarily wiser
February 08, 2014

Warning: this Newbie blog could seem more refined, more elegant, and/or wiser than those in the past*. This is because I came into LACO’s Jan 25th performance of Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn at Alex Theater in Glendale with a different and potentially advanced appreciation of classical music. You see, I turned 30 four days earlier and presumed that I would hear these classical pieces with an air of sophistication I lacked in my 20s. I was ready for LACO to “wow” me with music that I was sure would go straight over the heads of the 29 and under crowd.

December 30, 2013

LACO’s November performance of Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony was a pretty cool one for me because I got to bring a very special guest: my mom. A resident of British Columbia, she doesn’t make it down to LA very often; so I when I saw there was a LACO performance scheduled for the week she was visiting, I knew I had to bring her. She reads all of my blogs (obligatory mom thing) and was interested to see some of the people I’ve written about in action. I wanted her to experience the magic of Jeffrey Kahane, or Margaret Batjer, or any of the other amazing composers, concertmasters, and soloists I’ve seen. I just really wanted her to enjoy LACO as much as I have.

November 05, 2013

Haydn: Cello Concerto ranked among my favorite performances from LACO over the past two years I’ve been blogging.

September 27, 2013

It’s a new season of LACO and your favorite “Newbie” blogger is back with some insightful, and maybe somewhat misguided, perspective on all things to do with classical music! Not that this season I can call myself an expert or anything, but I can safely say that LACO is slowly chipping away at my willful cultural ignorance, and I continue to write about that process here.

mostly misshapen pearl
April 04, 2013

As a classical music rookie I think it’s fair to say the term Baroque is an intimidating term if you have no idea what it means. Frankly it sounds complicated and severe. So when I saw “Mostly Baroque” in my calendar I frowned a little. Not knowing what Baroque meant, I imagined it might be the Latin phrase for the drawn out and very technical mourning process for the death of a royal. Turns out it’s just a period of music and actually means “misshapen pearl” in Portuguese. I like weird jewels as much as the next guy and after the concert I decided I also liked Baroque. Mostly.

ripped to shreds by thracian maenads: an awesome beethoven discovery
March 12, 2013

I have to admit that on Saturday February 23rd I was nervous. I was nervous because I was about to attend LACO’s Discover Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Why be nervous about a concerto you ask? I thought Discover sounded suspiciously like a cool way to disguise a lecture. I was having flashbacks to Finite Mathematics and my incredibly finite attention span for the lectures in that course. Since I understand the composition of music even less than basic college math I felt resigned to being a bored dummy once again.

rilling me softly
February 05, 2013

First of all, if you’re reading this, happy 2013 to you. LACO started out 2013 with an all Mozart extravaganza featuring Mozart’s unfinished final composition Requiem in D minor K. 626. Tangent: If you’re like me you’re probably wondering what the heck a “K. 626” is. No, it’s not the planet where “Aliens” takes place (LV-426). Apparently it’s a designation of the Köchel catalog, which is a chronology of all Mozart’s work created in 1862 by a guy named Ludwig von Köchel. I’m almost positive that Ludwig would have LOVED Wikipedia. End of tangent.

rhapsody in blood
December 13, 2012

Ok so there really wasn’t any blood, I just thought it was a cool sounding title. Anyways, on Saturday I attended the Rhapsody in Blue concert at the Alex Theater and thought it was one of the strongest nights I’ve seen so far from LACO. But it was not without it’s drama (that I probably projected).

beethoven's second
November 16, 2012

So I’d like to start off my second blog as a newbie by addressing a newbie mistake I made in the first blog. My first cousin once removed (genealogical translation: my mother’s cousin) an orchestra member of the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra wrote me this comment after reading my last blog:

my first LACO concert
October 09, 2012

Hello, I’m Jorge Del Pinal the new “newbie blogger”.

I’m certainly a “newbie” to classical music as most of my familiarity with classical music comes from movie soundtracks and the video game Grand Theft Auto III which has a classical station which lets you listen to Mozart as you flee from the police in stolen vehicles. Anyways, I’m excited to hear classical music at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra this season as it was meant to be experienced (crime/violence free).

my first silent film
May 23, 2011

On Sunday night, I attended my first Silent Film. No, I don’t mean to say that I’ve never seen a film without sound before, because I have (although not many). What I mean is that before last night, I’ve never been to LACO’s annual Silent Film event. Can you believe it? I’ve been going to LACO concerts for, I don’t know, about 4 or 5 years now, and I’ve been their LACO Newbie blogger for 3 seasons, but in regards to their annual Silent Film benefit, I’m a newbie in every sense of the word. I’ve wanted to go, but have had the bad luck in recent years of being out of town on the big night. This year, I was in town, and I’m so glad I went. Let me share the reasons why.

now i know what an aquaphone is!
May 15, 2011

Last night, I saw and heard a musical instrument I’ve never seen or heard before – an aquaphone (they’re also sometimes called waterphones). Do you know what an aguaphone is? I have a hunch that most of the people in attendance at LACO’s season-ending concert at the Alex Theatre on Saturday night were, like me, aquaphone virgins. But not anymore. Derek Bermel’s Mar de Setembro, which LACO premiered during their Mozart’s Prague concert, made good use of the aquaphone, and they introduced it to the audience in a wonderfully theatrical way. I’m a big-time theater lover, so I loved it, and it even had me wishing for more. Let me tell you all about it.

the emperor's new groove
April 18, 2011

Last night, the crowd at Royce Hall erupted with an enthusiastic outpouring of applause unlike anything I’ve witnessed in a long time. As a part of that crowd, I too eagerly clapped, and rose to my feet, because what I had just seen and heard was absolutely phenomenal. It was Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto, commonly known as the “Emperor” Concerto, with guest pianist Jon Kimura Parker, and I want everyone that wasn’t there to know that you really missed out. Seriously. Why aren’t you coming to LACO concerts?

contest winner mary reed on earning a spot on the LACO stage: "a rush of adrenaline came over me!"
March 25, 2011

Double bassist Mary Reed grew up in South Carolina, the daughter of musicians. She began studying classical guitar at age six, and at age nine, picked up the double bass, which has been her primary focus ever since. She earned her Bachelor of Music from Johns Hopkins University last year, and made the move to Los Angeles to continue her studies. Last September, Reed was just settling into her first semester as a graduate student at USC Thornton School of Music when an amazing opportunity arose: she was invited to participate in a mock orchestral audition for strings, and ended up winning a very real prize – the chance to join LACO for a week of concerts! Reed will play during the Beethoven’s Emperor concert in April, and recently shared with me, among other things, what the audition contest experience was like, what she’s thinking when she’s performing onstage, and what it’s like to travel with her double bass.

happy birthday, bach!
March 20, 2011

Last night, LACO honored one of the most beloved and iconic composers in all of music. Yep, Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday is this weekend, and I was there, in the audience, as LACO paid tribute to a man who would be 326 years old this year. If I may be perfectly frank, I wasn’t looking forward to this concert as much as I’ve looked forward to other LACO performances. Baroque music is just not my thing, and, actually, my least favorite LACO concert of the past few years was Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos in November 2008 – you can read my blog about it here. So, the thought of another evening of all Bach pieces didn’t exactly rev my engine, but you know what? I’m glad I game. And I can sum up why in exactly two words: Sasha Cooke.


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