Posts Tagged “concert”

Mezzo-Soprano Laurie Rubin

Mezzo-Soprano Laurie Rubin

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, led by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane, presents the highly anticipated U.S. premiere of the orchestral version of Bruce Adolphe’s Do You Dream in Color?, a powerful work set to a poem about living without sight written by rising mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin. Born blind, Rubin, a 1997 Music Center Spotlight Awards winner, joins LACO for the premiere, marking her LACO debut, on Saturday, October 19, 8 pm, at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium, and Sunday, October 20, 7 pm, at UCLA’s Royce Hall. French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, who wowed audiences and critics alike at USC’s 2012 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, makes his LACO debut in Haydn’s exceptionally demanding Cello Concerto in C major, believed lost until discovered in Prague in 1961. Kahane also conducts Mozart’s light-hearted Serenata Notturna, K. 239, and opens the program with Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, the work that catapulted Britten into the international limelight. The concert is part of the noted citywide “Britten 100/LA: A Celebration” curated by LA Opera.

Adolphe, a great admirer of Rubin’s voice who approached her about a possible collaboration, explains the genesis of Do You Dream in Color?: “I asked Laurie to express in words what it feels like to live without sight so I could set it in music.” Rubin wove her singular experiences into the poem, ranging from how she applies make-up and makes jewelry to her joy at a young fan’s request that she sign a program. Rubin recorded Adolphe’s song with solo piano for Bridge Records.

Concert Preludes, pre-concert talks held one hour before curtain and free for ticket holders, provide insights into the music and artists. In conjunction with the Britten centenary celebrations, Kahane discusses Benjamin Britten and his musical legacy. Additionally, composer Bruce Adolphe speaks about his composition for Rubin and a representative from Braille Institute, one of LACO’s community partners, talks about Braille music notation. Braille Institute is also providing a special display of collograms, a type of textural printmaking, inspired by Rubin’s poem and Adolphe’s work. The Royce Hall concert is sponsored, in part, by the Sidley Austin Foundation.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is considered one of the world’s premier chamber orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions. Its 2013-14 season, the Orchestra’s 45th, features a compelling mix of beloved masterpieces and genre-defying premieres from firmly established as well as notable up-and-coming composers programmed by Jeffrey Kahane, one of the world’s foremost conductors and pianists, who marks his 17th season as LACO’s music director.

Tickets, starting at $25, are on sale now and may be purchased online at, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and groups of 12 or more. College students may purchase student rush tickets ($10), based on availability, at the box office the day of the concert. Also available for college students is the $25 “Campus to Concert Hall All Access Pass” – good for all seven of LACO’s Orchestral series concerts, Discover Beethoven’s Eroica and three Westside Connections concerts.

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MUSE/IQUE, known for its inspired, unexpected live music events, deconstructs Beatles music through classical, alt-country, gospel, rock and soul filters when it launches its 2013-14 “Uncorked” series with “Self/Titled: The Beatles, The White Album, The Rose Palace,” featuring GLEE star Kevin Michael McHale on Monday, October 14, 2013, 7:30 pm, at Phoenix Decorating Company’s Rose Palace Warehouse in Pasadena, which houses up to a dozen mammoth Rose Parade floats in various states of construction. Artistic director/conductor Rachael Worby curates an evening of Beatles music under MUSE/IQUE’s entertaining “microscope” with such classics as “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da!,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Rocky Raccoon,” “Blackbird,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Joining McHale, who plays wheelchair-bound Artie Abrams in FOX’s award winning TV show, on the roster of special guests is the Charlie Greene Band, noted for its soulful swamp pop and alt-country; a string quartet led by MUSE/IQUE Violinist Julie Rogers; electric guitarist Michael Brook; and a sextet from Pasadena’s Selah Gospel Choir, acclaimed for its “emotive and bewitching” performances. A complimentary pre-concert cocktail hour for ticket holders begins at 6:30 pm followed by the 7 pm concert.

“The Rose Palace’s industrial space, with its looming floats-in-progress, and our eclectic group of guest artists casting contemporary light on Beatles’ music perfectly frame MUSE/IQUE’s ‘take’ on the Beatles as we examine the brilliant construction of their songs and the counter-conventional influences that inspired their music towards the later stages of the band’s career,” says Worby.

The Beatle’s White Album, hailed by critics as one of the greatest albums of all time, has sold more than 20 million copies since the double recording was released in 1968 when the British pop group was at the pinnacle of its global influence.

MUSE/IQUE’s “Uncorked” series is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

The Rose Palace is located at 835 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena California 91103. Parking is available at the Fillmore Station parking structure at 750 South Raymond Avenue (about 1/2 block away with an entrance on the east side of Raymond Avenue just sound of Fillmore Street). Tickets are $50 per person. Tickets are also free with MUSE/IQUE membership, which ranges from $125 to $1,000 and includes a variety of special benefits. For tickets and membership information, please call 626-539-7085 or visit

"Glee" star Kevin Michael McHale

“Glee” star Kevin Michael McHale

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MUSE/IQUE, known for its inspired, unexpected live music events curated by noted artistic director/conductor Rachael Worby, launches its 2013-14 season with “Free For All,” a free family-friendly concert in which jazz, hip hop and orchestral music collide to create a rocking dance party held in conjunction with “ArtNight Pasadena,” on Friday, October 11, 2013, 6 to 9 pm, on the plaza of the Pasadena Civic Center. The annual evening features members of the MUSE/IQUE Orchestra and Double G NineNet, comprised of members of the daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, a genre-bending, culture-blending “United Nations of music” led by Geoff Gallegos (Double G). Adding to the lively musical mix of jazz, hip hop, Beatles tunes and more, are a crew of dancers, as well as face painting and other special activities for children. Parsons Corporation is sponsoring all of MUSE/IQUE’s education and community programs, including this concert.

“Double G NineNet will have people dancing in the street, literally, perfectly embodying MUSE/IQUE’s own unique sensibilities with its tremendous energy, genre-defying sound and infectious music that appeals to people of all ages,” says Worby.

The LA-based daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, founded in 1999, presents hip-hop in symphonic form by musicians from wildly diverse musical backgrounds, cultural experiences, artistic tastes and lifestyles who share outstanding musical dexterity and a spirit of curiosity and collaboration. They include formally trained musicians as well as those who are self-taught and others from jazz and contemporary traditions. The orchestra’s first studio album is Unfinished Symphony.

Reservations for “Free for All” are not necessary. The Pasadena Civic Center Plaza is located at 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA, 91101. For more information about MUSE/IQUE, please call 626-539-7085 or visit

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A concert of works by renowned American composer Michael Hersch will be presented at the DiMenna Center for the Arts in New York City on the evening of October 19.

Photograph by Richard Anderson.

Photograph by Richard Anderson.

Also regarded as one of today’s more formidable pianists, Hersch is the subject of a new documentary film, The Sudden Pianist, which focuses on his life and his work for the piano. At the Oct 19 concert, Hersch will perform some of the music featured in the film: selections from his 2 and a half-hour solo piano work, The Vanishing Pavilions. (A screening of the film, which was released earlier in 2013 and has already garnered significant festival interest, will take place at the Producers’ Club on the morning of the concert; more information about the film can be found at This concert marks Hersch’s only second public appearance as a pianist in New York in the last ten years.

Also on the October 19 all-Hersch program will be “in the snowy margins” for unaccompanied violin; the New York premiere of “of ages manifest” for unaccompanied alto saxophone; Five Fragments for unaccompanied violin; and the New York premiere of How Far the Cradle for soprano and piano. Artists joining the composer on the program are violinist Miranda Cuckson, saxophonist Gary Louie, soprano Ah Young Hong, and pianist Michael Sheppard.

Saturday, October 19 at 8pm
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music
Mary Flagler Cary Hall
450 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

Free admission. No reservations required.
For more information, visit here.

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Galilean Suite by Tel Aviv-based composer Moshe Zorman consists of five symphonic pictures of Israeli life. The piece was commissioned by the Kfar Bloom chamber festival in the Galilee, and was originally written for a large ensemble or symphony orchestra in 1993. The performance by the Greenwich Village Orchestra, conducted by Barbara Yahr, will feature the composer’s son, Itamar Zorman, on violin.

Hear an excerpt on YouTube:

November 17, 2013 3pm
Washington Irving Auditorium, 40 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
Barbara Yahr, conductor
Itamar Zorman, violin
Moshe Zorman — Galilean Suite
Tchaikovsky — Romeo and Juliet, fantasy overture
Brahms — Violin Concerto

Tickets: $15 suggested donation, $10 students/seniors
Details: www.gvo.orgmosh1

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MUSE/IQUE, known for its counter-conventional performances that feel more like parties than formal concerts, continues “Summer of Sound” 2013 with “Moving Pictures” featuring groundbreaking cellist Matt Haimovitz and Emmy Award-winning actress Wendie Malick (“Hot in Cleveland”) in a fresh take on motion picture scores by Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Vangelis, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Erich Korngold as well as the world premiere of Sleepwalking, a concerto for cello and chamber orchestra with images by Peter Golub, prolific composer and director of Sundance’s Film Music Program, on Saturday, July 27, 2013, 7:30 pm, outdoors at Caltech’s Beckman Mall in Pasadena. They join MUSE/IQUE Artistic Director Rachael Worby, who conducts the MUSE/IQUE Orchestra, for a pure out-of the-box adventure in sound and cinema. Highlights include Malick narrating a humorous new presentation of Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, reimagined by writer Matt Nix, creator of the critically acclaimed television show “Burn Notice,” as well as guest appearances by “American Idol” eighth season finalist Allison Iraheta and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow John Dabiri, director of Caltech’s Biological Propulsion Laboratory. Gates open at 5:30 pm for dinner (ordered in advance) or bring-your-own picnics, with table and bleacher seating and plentiful free parking.

“This is ‘movie music night’ the MUSE/IQUE way,” says Worby, who founded MUSE/IQUE in 2011. “We wanted to turn the ‘orchestra goes to the movies’ genre of outdoor summer fare on its head to foster new thinking about what our eyes and ears tell us. From suspense thrillers and Korngold’s Concerto in C to Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, it’s one of MUSE/IQUE’s most ambitious curatorial adventures to date.”

The 90-minute concert is built on the visceral sounds of the cello as awakened by virtuoso Matt Haimovitz and the classic 1946 film noir Deception, starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains, about a war-torn love affair between a cellist and pianist from which Haimovitz performs Erich Korngold’s brilliant work for cello, Concerto in C, the film’s musical cornerstone. Sleepwalking, Golub’s new work MUSE/IQUE is premiering, was inspired, he says, by “the idea of sleepwalking as both an image and as a state of mind.” Malick narrates Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, loved anew thanks to its prominence in Moonrise Kingdom, delivering writer/producer/director Nix’s new libretto, and Worby turns Claude-Michel Schönberg’s show-stopping Bring Him Home for tenor from Les Miserables into a showcase for the soaring talents of Allison Iraheta, whose voice Idol judge Kara DioGuardi exhorted “comes from God…you can’t teach that!” Also performed are selections from other film scores, ranging from the iconic to the lesser known, including Chariots of Fire by Vangelis; Elmer Bernstein’s Summer and Smoke; Jerry Goldsmith’s Russia House; Love Theme from “Heidi” by John Williams; Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morricone, the theme for the 1986 film The Mission; and Chris Young’s Killing Season; and whimsically thought-provoking remarks by Caltech’s Dabiri, a signature MUSE/IQUE performance element, top off the evening.

MUSE/IQUE’s “Summer of Sound” concludes August 17 with “Lose Your Senses with Ellis Hall,” which brings together celebrated vocalist/pianist virtuoso Ellis Hall, former Tower of Power lead singer, with the MUSE/IQUE orchestra, the Selah Gospel Choir, and scientist Seal Carroll, to unchain the soul sounds of Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Bach.

MUSE/IQUE, known for its inspired, unexpected live music events, connects master artists with new voices across a limitless range of styles. Its counter-conventional performances, which feel more like parties than formal concerts, link musicians with great thinkers and compelling visual, cinematic and dance artists. In the two years since MUSE/IQUE was founded by Artistic Director Rachael Worby, it has grown from one performance with a handful of devoted followers to a major cultural presence that reaches vast audiences. Its considerable membership currently numbers more than 500 people. In the fall and spring, MUSE/IQUE presents “Uncorked” evenings at unconventional locations, and in the summer MUSE/IQUE features three outdoor “music parties” at Caltech’s Beckman Mall, all curated by the innovative and visionary Worby. Among MUSE/IQUE’s guest artists are Jessye Norman, Charlie Haden, Patti Austin, Mary Wilson, Flea, Rickie Lee Jones, Ellis Hall, Matt Haimovitz, Angela Bassett, Arturo Sandoval and more. Uncorked’s “pop-up” venues have included Pasadena’s Phoenix Decorating Center (where Rose Parade floats are constructed), Art Center College of Design Sculpture Garden, Castle Press (one of the nation’s largest printing presses), backstage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and others. KIDS/IQUE!, a primary element of the organization, serves boys and girls, ages 12 to 18, in the San Gabriel Valley’s network of foster care services by presenting ongoing interactive experiences with professional musicians and other artists designed to compliment the service goals of the foster care facilities even as they allow MUSE/IQUE to reach otherwise underserved youth. Other outreach programs include free and low-cost tickets for students and community groups, and “Free For All,” a free annual concert featuring a fusion of music with family friendly surprises.

Caltech’s Beckman Mall is located at 332 S. Michigan Ave. Pasadena CA 91106. Plentiful parking is free. To reserve a catered dinner that can be picked up on site, please contact Perfect Equation Catering at (626) 529-5585. Concert tickets begin at $10 per person with top tier seating, $96 per person, available to MUSE/IQUE members at the $1,000+ contribution level; students with ID are $10. MUSE/IQUE membership, which ranges from $250 to $2,500, includes a variety of special benefits including priority seating and services. For tickets and membership information, please call 626-539-7085 or visit

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Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) enlightening “Baroque Conversations” series showcasing exceptional Baroque gems concludes with a program of works by Bach and two of his sons on Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7 pm, at Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles. LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer leads the Orchestra from the first chair in all four works on the program and doubles as the violin soloist for the concluding work, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042. A second JS Bach concerto, Oboe d’amore Concerto in A major (orig. Harpsichord Concerto No. 4), BWV 1055, features LACO Principal Oboe Allan Vogel. Also highlighted are the Sinfonia in D major, Op. 3, No. 1, by Bach’s 11th and youngest son, Johann Christian Bach, and the Sinfonia in D minor, “Adagio and Fugue,” FK 65, by his second son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

Critics have called Batjer an “impressive,” “world class” violinist who plays with “panache…spirit and mastery.” Vogel has been hailed as “an aristocrat of his instrument” and “undoubtedly one of a few world masters.”

In addition to the performance, the event includes an engaging discussion by the artists of the program and audience questions. A complimentary wine reception for ticket holders begins at 6 pm.
LACO’s “Baroque Conversations” explores the genesis of orchestral repertoire from early Baroque schools through the pre-classical period, this season spotlighting the musical legacy of JS Bach and his sons.

Tickets ($55) are available online at, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain. Student rush tickets ($10), based on availability, may be purchased at the box office the day of the concert.

MARGARET BATJER has served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. Throughout her successful career as soloist, chamber musician, teacher and concertmaster, she has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide. Batjer made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). She has since returned to the CSO and soloed with a succession of major orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas symphony orchestras. Batjer has performed with such European ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Prague Chamber Orchestra and Berlin Symphony Orchestra. As an esteemed chamber musician, she appears regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Salzburg Festival, and Italy’s Naples and Cremona festivals. In 2008, she developed LACO’s acclaimed chamber music series, Westside Connections. Among her many noteworthy recordings, Batjer has twice recorded Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins: for the Philips label with Salvatore Accardo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and in 2003, paired as soloist with Hilary Hahn for Deutsche Grammophon with Jeffrey Kahane conducting the LA Chamber Orchestra. Batjer is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. She joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2005.

Margaret Batjer Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster

Margaret Batjer Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster

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The Department of Music at Cornell University will be holding a symposium and concert series from April 22-26, 2013 (Monday-Fri.) at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). The event is centered around our guest composer-in-residence Walter Zimmermann and his early interactions with American music. As part of this symposium, the pianist Heather O’Donnell, JACK quartet, and local musicians will be offering concerts featuring his works, as well as works by other composers in dialogue with those of Zimmermann. In addition, a series of talks will occur on Wednesday of that week regarding several aspects of Zimmermann’s music and the times in which he lived.

Zimmermann is a notable figure for a variety of reasons, one of which is his early interest in the American “avant-garde” (Cage, Feldman in particular) at a time when post-Darmstadt “high” modernism was still very much the dominant trend in Europe. After studying at Darmstadt and with Mauricio Kagel, he took a trip across the Atlantic and published a series of 23 interviews with American composers such as Feldman, Cage, and Oliveros in 1975 in a collection entitled Desert Plants, and engaged in a number of ethnological research trips to his native Franconia, as well as American Indian reservations. Apart from this, his music is nearly always informed deeply and thoroughly by philosophical texts.

For more information, check out !

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The Pit Stop Players, a thirteen-member instrumental ensemble composed of veteran Broadway pit musicians, will conclude their fourth season with special guest Cynthia Nixon narrating a new work, plus a newly commissioned chamber arrangement of Igor Stravinsky’s towering masterpiece, “The Rite of Spring.” The concert will take place on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York City. Tickets range from $20-$35 and can be purchased online at Symphony Space Events or (212) 864-5400.

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Celebrated author Mona Simpson, whose 2011 novel My Hollywood features a classical composer as protagonist, joins members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) on Monday, April 15, 2013, 7:30 pm, at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, for the final program in the Orchestra’s innovative “Westside Connections” chamber music series, which this season pairs LACO’s virtuosic musicians with top authors for a fascinating exploration of the relationship between “Music & Story.” Simpson offers her insights into the Beethoven Violin Sonata that inspired Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, which in turn inspired Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, both of which are performed by LACO artists as part of the evening. Janáček confided in a letter to his young muse Kamila Stösslová, “I was imagining a poor woman, tormented and run down, just like the one the Russian writer Tolstoy describes in his Kreutzer Sonata.”

LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, currently celebrating her 15th anniversary with the Orchestra, curates and hosts the series, which showcases the virtuoso talent of LACO musicians and illustrates the myriad ways music touches other artistic disciplines, society and our lives. Joining Batjer on piano for Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata is LACO Music Director Jeffrey Kahane. Principal Second Violin Josefina Vergara, Violin Carrie Kennedy, Associate Principal Viola Victoria Miskolczy, Associate and Principal Cello Armen Ksajikian are featured in Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1.

Simpson, whose other novels include Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road, is a professor of English at UCLA and of Languages and Literature at Bard College. She has received numerous accolades, including a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writers award, a Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and, most recently, an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is considered one of the nation’s premier orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions. Its 2012-13 season, the Orchestra’s 44th, features a compelling mix of beloved masterpieces and genre-defying premieres from firmly established and notable up-and-coming composers programmed by Jeffrey Kahane, one of the world’s foremost conductors and pianists, who marks his 16th season as LACO’s music director.

“Westside Connections” tickets ($50) are on sale now and may be purchased online at, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x 1, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for groups of 12 or more. The Broad Stage is located at 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90401.

Mona Simpson

Mona Simpson

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