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  • Review
Pianist Murray Perahia scales the Everest of Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' in a momentous performance

Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' poses a superhuman challenge for most pianists. Murray Perahia rose to the occasion

  • Review
Hear Now Music Festival reveals the essence of Los Angeles new music -- we do as we please

The Hear Now festival of Los Angeles composers begins with a focus on orchestral works. Ingenuity flows.

  • Review
Los Angeles Philharmonic pays tribute to its late new-music mentor Steven Stucky

Los Angeles Philharmonic pays tribute to new-music mentor Steven Stucky

  • Review
Kanye meets Beethoven: How young musicians are mixing classical with pop

Along with a chamber orchestra taking on new music, the sounds of Beethoven and Kanye West also share a stage in L.A.

  • Review
L.A. Master Chorale's 'Alexander's Feast' is a treat for the ears and eyes

"Alexander's Feast" is an ideal starting place for the Los Angeles Master Chorale's "Hidden Handel" series. Mark Swed review.

  • Review
Suzan Hanson brings immediacy, authenticity to Long Beach Opera's 'La Voix Humaine'

With a setting and a work that challenge, Suzan Hanson excels with Long Beach Opera's 'La Voix Humaine.'

The proof is in: The pipe organ is still the king of instruments

Organ recitals in the Los Angeles area by Richard Valitutto in Pasadena and Thomas Trotter in Los Angeles Philharmonic organ series at Disney Hall show the instrument is still impressive and grand.

  • Review
Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner play in the transforming spirit of Beethoven

A bridge constructed by Jennifer Koh, Shai Wosner and composer Andrew Norman is in the spirit of Beethoven. Review.

Expect the unexpected on recordings of Kent Nagano and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

The imaginative Kent Nagano leads Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal on a serious of outstanding classical music recordings.

  • Review
Musco Center's sound decisions might make it the best opera house in the West

Impressive sonics at opening gala make the Chapman University facility's use of Japanese acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota of Disney Hall fame seem wise.

  • Review
As for Los Angeles Opera's 'Madame Butterfly,' go for the music

Ana Maria Martinez is a commanding Cio-Cio-San in Los Angeles Opera's "Madame Butterfly." Go for the music, a critic suggests.

  • Review
Is 'The Trial of Anne Opie Wehrer' even opera? Why nearly 50 years later it stands apart

There's still nothing quite like Robert Ashley's avant-garde opera "The Trial of Anne Opie Wehrer,' performed at 356 Mission.

  • Review
Gustavo Dudamel brings out the full force and awe of Mahler's Third Symphony

Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic through the awe-inspiring Mahler's Third Symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

  • Review
Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla takes the lead in an inspired women's night with the L.A. Phil

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, pianist twins Christina and Michelle Naughton and women composers put the L.A. Phil through its paces

  • Review
Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov fittingly honors the woman who insulted Stalin to his face

Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov honors Maria Veniaminovna Yudina in a Monday Evening Concert performance at Colburn School.

  • Review
L.A. Opera again casts an enchanting spell with its silent-movie-styled ' Magic Flute'

Even though L.A. Opera performed it just two years ago, its silent-film-styled 'Magic Flute' was enchanting

  • Review
A great first date for the L.A. Chamber Orchestra and Matthias Pintscher. Will there be a second?

Although it may appear a mismatch, L.A. Chamber Orchestra and conductor Matthias Pintscher sound like they're made for each other at Royce Hall

  • Review
Asian inspiration as L.A. Philharmonic tackles 'Pelléas'; Pacific Symphony 'Turandot'

The ambitious, orchestra-centric, semi-staged performances come away with mixed results at Disney Hall and Segerstrom, respectively.

  • Review
'The Reef' concert had a chance to catch a new wave of fans by pairing surf sounds and scenes

For 'The Reef' concert, Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra performed mostly good musical pieces to accompany a cliched surfing film at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

  • Column
The L.A. Phil's mesmerizing Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla leaps to the Birmingham orchestra

The stakes are high for L.A. Phil's Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, the next music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

  • Review
The natural elements prove a breeze for Vicki Ray's Piano Spheres recital at REDCAT

Earth, wind, fire, water and keyboards mix in a naturally magical recital of Vicki Ray's Piano Spheres at REDCAT

How unlikely Steven Stucky proved indispensable to the L.A. Philharmonic's rise

Steven Stucky, a Pulitzer Prize winner who died Sunday, had an indispensable role in the rise of the L.A. Philharmonic.

  • Review
Esa-Pekka Salonen-led L.A. Phil explores revolutionary nostalgia in French program

As part of the 'City of Light' festival, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the L.A. Philharmonic in a magnificent program of Henri Dutilleux and Ravel. Unfortunately, digital projections by Ars Electronica Futurelab were less than illuminating.

  • Appreciation
Pierre Boulez reveled in challenging music's status quo

The French composer-conductor, who died Tuesday at 90, grew to become the most influential European musician of the latter 20th century.

  • Review
A hero's welcome for Esa-Pekka Salonen at Disney Hall

Conductor and players merge into an individual musical organism as Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the L.A. Phil in a singular performance of Mahler's First Symphony.

  • Review
A fresh recording of 'Long Christmas Dinner' serves plenty to be thankful for

Leon Botstein conducts a crisp new recording of the Hindemith and Wilder opera "The Long Christmas Dinner." A review by Mark Swed.

  • Review
Cristian Macelaru gets a big sound from the L.A. Phil as it plays Rachmaninoff

Cristian Macelaru leads the L.A. Philharmonic as it plays Rachmaninoff, and the sound is big. Review.

  • Review
Liminar makes Mexico's Carrillo look like the next great rediscovery

The ensemble Liminar offers ear-opening programs on Julian Carrillo, a Mexican composer who fit no mold. Mark Swed review.

Classical music's soothing powers in troubled times can help open minds and inspire dialogue

Music's power is in helping bring people together, for the right reasons in the right hands.

  • Review
A quirky thread runs through L.A. Phil Green Umbrella quartet program

A full triple-quartet love-in is just part of the evening in an L.A. Phil Green Umbrella program involving the Calder, Lyris and Formalist ensembles at Disney Hall.

  • Review
Monday Evening Concerts is back with a bang, whimper, whistle, click and clang in 'Sideshow'

Monday Evening Concerts returns with Steven Kazuo Takasugi's "Sideshow," an amazing display of weird sound and performance

  • Review
Conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla lights up the San Diego Symphony with sparkling sonics

Rising star conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla shows why she's so sought-after during her San Diego Symphony debut

  • Review
Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Philharmonic focus on Apollo

Stravinsky's ballet 'Apollo' with American Ballet Theatre' is featured with Benjamin Britten's 'Young Apollo' and Shostakovich's apollonian Fifth Symphony.

  • Review
Patricia Kopatchinskaja shows her astonishing artistry on 'Take Two' and 'Chiaroscuro'

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja shows her astonishing artistry on "Take Two" and "Chiaroscuro."

  • Review
'Hopscotch' moves around L.A. and sometimes transports

"Hopscotch: A Mobile Opera for 24 Cars" seems to herald a transformative moment for an art form, but not the one the hype is about.

The brave -- and complex -- new world of digital music

Sonically compressed music is standard today. But to hear it in high-res is a revelation. Could it become the new norm? Maybe, if U.S. technology, labels and websites catch up to rest of the world.

  • Review
It's nice to have L.A. Phil 'family' like Yuja Wang, Salonen

Los Angeles Philharmonic proudly wields its "family" ties: Yuja Wang playing Mozart, Lionel Bringuier conducting Salonen. Review.

  • Review
L.A. Phil and Semyon Bychkov achieve a musical summit with 'Alpine Symphony'

Richard Strauss' 'Alpine Symphony' revealed nature's glory as played by the L.A. Phil with Semyon Bychkov

  • Review
Pianist Andras Schiff mesmerizes with last sonatas of 4 composers

The last sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert were illuminated by Andras Schiff in Santa Barbara performance

  • Review
'Steel Hammer' bangs out a spectacularly inventive social message at UCLA's Royce Hall

'Steel Hammer' uses the folk song 'John Henry' to examine the African American experience and more in a potent production featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars and the SITI Company.

  • Review
An expressive slowness to Jacaranda, Sankai Juku performances

Jacaranda kicks off its new season with two expressive, in-the-moment pieces — David Lang's 'darker' and Julia Wolfe's 'LAD.' In the same vein is Sankai Juku's moving 'Umusuna — Memories Before History.'

  • Review
Bill T. Jones tests the limits of his own comfort zone in 'Story/Time'

Choreographer Bill T. Jones is center stage as members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company illustrate his tales in a response/homage to John Cage and Merce Cunningham.

  • Review
Isango Ensemble's 'uCarmen' exerts overwhelming feminine power and vibrant musicality

'uCarmen' by Isango Ensemble at the Broad Stage is a unique, arresting interpretation of Bizet's opera

  • Review
L.A. Phil digs into early Beethoven, explores what is immortal

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel, launches "Immortal Beethoven," a cycle of all nine symphonies. A review.

  • Critic's Notebook
Is streaming a threat to music? Not if musicians have anything to do with it

Bad sound quality is just one of several knocks against streaming, but it's here to stay and musicians are finding ways to adjust.

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