Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra blog

fishing in the 3rd stream

August 27, 2010

the 2010-11 season highlights musicians with third (and other) stream links

One of the aspects Barbara and I enjoy most about attending LACO concerts, year after year, is the opportunity to be exposed to, and stimulated by, new musical experiences and expansive soloists with whom we are unfamiliar. Oh, it’s not that we don’t enjoy the musical diet we’re fed by LACO on a regular basis of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven; a diet with no protein and carbohydrate staples would be a sorry diet, indeed! But a diet of only meat and potatoes (especially one devoid of salt, pepper, spices, garlic, and jalapeños), although it might keep body and soul together, would be apt to bore us to tears in short order.

first chair society musicale features richard todd and mike scott
March 20, 2010

LACO donors fortunate enough to have attended the First Chair Society Musicale on Thursday evening, March 18, 2010 had a first class opportunity to treat their eyes, ears and palates to a unique feast of disparate flavors that nonetheless complemented each other remarkably well. The event was held in SPF: a Gallery on Washington Blvd. in Culver City in an artistic space that was both live and lively. The walls were enhanced by contemporary art in the form of large, colorful, geometric oil paintings, while the acoustic resonance of the space provided an ideal setting for the musical treats to follow.

an interview with andrew shulman, part 2
October 04, 2009

We conclude our conversation with Andrew Shulman, who is beginning his second year as LACO’s principal ‘cellist:

an interview with andrew shulman, part 1
September 21, 2009

In a chamber orchestra like LACO that is not noted for turnover, new faces are relatively few and far between. The presence of a new principal in the string section might be a cause célèbre, especially when the departing principal was part of LACO for more than 20 years, as was Douglas Davis. As he begins his second year as Davis’ replacement as principal ‘cellist, it is to Andrew Shulman’s credit, and a tribute to his musicianship, that his transition has been so smooth.

jeffrey kahane swims in a new stream
July 06, 2009

Our own maestro, Jeffrey Kahane, has recently played piano on three tracks of a CD by the Hot Club of San Francisco, Bohemian Maestro: Django Reinhardt and the Impressionists. I am embarrassed to say that I am just now getting around to reviewing it, despite the fact that it was released on the Azica label last Thanksgiving, and I have had it since a couple weeks thereafter. To make matters worse, three months later, unbeknownst to me, the CD received a rave review from Dr. Judith Schlesinger on-line at All About Jazz, where I also write; you can read the review here. Although we have never met “in the flesh,” Judith and I have been “cyberfriends” since 1992; she is a great fan and reviewer of jazz music, and, as a clinical psychologist, she has extensively reviewed the issue of “creativity and madness” (she believes there is no credible literature supporting a relationship between the two). My only excuse for this delay, other than our travel to Southeast Asia for five weeks and then to London for three weeks to see our 19-month-old granddaughter and her newborn little sister, and our preparations to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary later this month, is the extent to which my teaching load has mushroomed; I’m not sure I ever worked harder when I was “working!” Oh, well: Evan Esar, in Esar’s Comic Dictionary, defines play as “work that you enjoy doing for nothing…”

gunther schuller highlighted on "npr music"
June 06, 2009

Lacey Huszcza has brought to my attention that Andrea Shea has recently highlighted Gunther Schuller on the Internet site “NPR Music”; you may wish to read and listen to the feature here. There are delightful quotes to be heard, and a taste of Schuller’s original compositions, as well.

an interview with david shostac, part 3
May 27, 2009

This is the conclusion of our conversation with principal LACO flutist David Shostac:

an interview with david shostac, part 2
May 17, 2009

We are continuing our conversation with David Shostac, LACO’s principal flutist and orchestra member for 33+ years:

an interview with david shostac, part 1
May 06, 2009

David Shostac has been principal flute with LACO since 1975, and his understated excellence has become so much a part of the celebrated LACO sound that it is easy to take him for granted. Sometimes it does us good to take a step back and realize just what treasures we have in our Orchestra, and to recognize in just what esteem throughout the country our principals are held. Two aphorisms come to mind, one profound and one humorous:

mark o'connor: a bridge fiddler par excellence
March 30, 2009

Mark O’Connor’s name has appeared in The Stream previously; in my blog about Yo Yo Ma, I mentioned that, on four occasions, Ma has contributed to the classical/“bluegrass” crossover genre with noted fiddler/composer Mark O’Connor and eclectic bassist/composer Edgar Meyer: 1996’s Appalachia Waltz; 2000’s Appalachian Journey, with Stephen Foster, Alison Krauss, and James Taylor (both in the studio and live in concert on DVD); and 2001’s Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology, with Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall, John Jarvis, and others. I turn our spotlight on O’Connor directly at this time because he was the subject of a feature article by Randy Lewis in the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, March 15, 2009 entitled “A genre fiddler: Mark O’Connor dares to mix American pop and folk with classical.”

gabriela montero: as a 21st century improviser, she's one of a kind…
March 16, 2009

If I were to name one element of jazz music, without which it would not be jazz, that characteristic would have to be improvisation. In the past, however, improvisation has also been a hallmark of classical musicianship. As Eric Barnhill reminds us, the examples of this fact are many:

there was a whole lalo schifrin goin' on…
February 26, 2009

I know. I know. I’m sorry; I just couldn’t help myself… That old saw paraphrases a Lalo Schifrin album title from 1968, an LP which has not been released on CD. The album title, incidentally, was originally attributed to Gary Owens of the old Laugh-In television show.

seasons, clouds and blue skies
February 09, 2009

What remarkable skies we have had lately! Coming originally from Iowa, and having vacationed in Colorado in early adolescence, I learned to love beautiful cloud formations: billowing thunderheads of startling whiteness; clouds heavy with rain, dimming skies at midday as dark as dusk, and painting houses an eerie white in that sallow light; glowing pink and orange clouds at sunset, rapidly becoming dull, cold, morose, and gray, as the sun’s rays retreated. Skies of azure blue piled high with billowy clouds are one of the things I have missed most in Southern California, but from time to time, we too are treated with magnificent skies capable of taking my breath away…

yo-yo ma, "renaissance musician"
January 16, 2009

If you read Mark Swed’s review of LACO’s gala concert at Royce Hall last Sunday evening, featuring legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, I hope you found your way to page E6, where the front-page article was continued. If you only read the front page, you probably pondered, as I did, the cause of Swed’s obvious dyspepsia. Was it something fried, spicy, or spoiled that he ate? Was he having personal difficulties? Or had he just had a bad day?

makoto nakura, as personable as virtuosic
December 20, 2008

These comments are a bit belated, and I apologize, but I have an explanation, if not an excuse. This is a busy time of year for us all, I’m sure, and, on top of it all, I’ve had a computer glitch to rectify. But, all’s well that ends well…

interview with makoto nakura, part 3
December 01, 2008

This is the conclusion of our interview with Makoto Nakura, marimba virtuoso; Nakura will be featured as guest soloist with LACO in its regularly scheduled concerts of December 13 (at The Alex Theater) and December 14 (at Royce Hall):


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