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Mary Beth Crain 

Calendar, Archive Brass Knuckles

Brass Knuckles

They're four brassy guys who all play trombone -- and who've set the music world to buzzing. The New York City-based Guidonian Hand trombone collective, consisting of ace musicians Mark Broschinsky, William Lang, James Rogers and Sebastian Vera, is not your average brass quartet. "The sum of these four extraordinary...…
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Calendar, Archive Abbacadabra a Capella

Abbacadabra a Capella

When you hear them, it sounds like magic -- the incredible blending of unaccompanied vocal sonorities that have taken three outstanding L.A. area a cappella groups into the championship realm. The Scattertones, UCLA's coed a cappella ensemble; Chapman University's SoundCheck; and USC's premier a cappella group, the SoCal VoCals, are...…
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Calendar, Archive The Phil Does Philip

The Phil Does Philip

When it comes to Philip Glass, the universe is the limit. L'Espace du Temps is a case in point. A trilogy of commissions from the L.A. Philharmonic, the work is a mesmerizing exploration of time, space, movement and sound. This week, Bramwell Tovey conducts the Phil in Music by Glass,...…
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Calendar, Archive The Sound of Sounds

The Sound of Sounds

In the world of American underground experimental sound/noise, Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet rule. Dilloway, who has been releasing and recording music since the age of 16, is a former guitarist and tape manipulator for the experimental band Wolf Eyes. Lescalleet's aural universe, a mesmerizing sonic domain utilizing post-EAI, tape...…
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Calendar, Archive Let 'em Eat Pancakes

Let 'em Eat Pancakes

Just how much can you pack in for breakfast? Let's see. If you're being good, a yogurt, a banana and a piece of multigrain bread should do it. But if you're being bad, consider dropping by Vibiana for the L.A. Weekly Pancake Breakfast, a gastronomical extravaganza that includes a sampling...…
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Calendar, Archive Finger-Twisting Good

Finger-Twisting Good

One of L.A.'s most eagerly awaited summer treats is the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates. IPalpiti means "heartbeat" in Italian, and these amazing, award-winning young soloists from around the world have been described as sharing one heart and soul. The "Musical Peace Corps," as it's known, is not only an...…
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Calendar, Archive Some Enchanted Evening

Some Enchanted Evening

The great Cole Porter, master of both music and lyrics, once snidely remarked about Rodgers and Hammerstein, "Since when does it take two people to write a song?" Stephen Schwartz might agree -- after all, he's written both the music and lyrics to umpteen Broadway and screen hits. This weekend,...…
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Calendar, Archive Trailer Music

Trailer Music

If you're a fan of 21st-century movie music, you're probably well acquainted with Two Steps From Hell, the brainchild of composers Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix, who got together in 2006 to write original music for movie trailers. Their amazing music has enhanced numerous blockbusters (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,...…
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Calendar, Archive Sweet Rosa, Bitter Realities

Sweet Rosa, Bitter Realities

If you haven't yet experienced L.A. Opera and the Broad Stage's co-production of Lee Holdridge and Richard Sparks' new opera, Dulce Rosa, which premiered May 17, there's still time. This ambitious work takes on a difficult theme: a young woman's quest for revenge against the brutal guerrilla who murdered her...…
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Calendar, Archive The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

Among Mozart's most famous chamber works are his six "Haydn" quartets, dedicated to the great Franz Josef Haydn. Mozart referred to these gems as "my six children," and he was a proud and happy father. The quartets were the product of perhaps the sunniest time in his life -- his...…
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Calendar, Archive He Walked the Line

He Walked the Line

For most of his life, Dmitri Shostakovich walked a nerve-jangling tightrope, trying to please his country's repressive communist regime while maintaining his artistic integrity. His Cello Concerto No. 1 (1959) was a success on both counts. Described by cello authority Lev S. Ginsburg as "an affirmation of life, triumph in...…
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Calendar, Archive Sound and Dance

Sound and Dance

The great thing about Laurel Tentindo (how often, one wonders, has she been called Laurel Nintendo?) is, well, about 10 things. Her daring choreography, amazing flexibility, talent as a puppeteer and mesmerizing ability to transcend the limits of the human body are just a few, but perhaps the most intriguing...…
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Calendar, Archive Hilary Hahn in Recital

Hilary Hahn in Recital

Superstar violinist Hilary Hahn isn't just a performer. She's also a champion of new music, as evidenced by her commissioning project, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, for which she asked 27 composers to write short-form works for violin and piano. "There's an idea of the encore being a...…
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Calendar, Archive 400 Years of Cool

400 Years of Cool

"One of the reasons I enjoy contemporary music so much is that it presents languages that are completely unknown in advance of the encounter," Gloria Cheng once observed. "The challenge of sifting through the raw data and eventually assimilating both the language and the meaning really appeals to my intellect...…
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Calendar, Archive If It Ain't Baroque

If It Ain't Baroque

There's a reason that Trio Sonnerie is widely considered the cream of the baroque music crop: The group is good. Really, really good. And there's another reason: Monica Huggett. The famed violinist, who's been held in worldwide esteem since her days as leader of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra back in...…
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Calendar, Archive Back-to-Back Bach

Back-to-Back Bach

Bach's Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin is one of the major rites of passage for any aspiring violinist. A suite of dances composed of five movements, it culminates in the famous "Chaconne," a tour de force that demands not only endurance -- it goes on for...…
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Calendar, Archive Roll Over Rossini

Roll Over Rossini

"Non Piu Mesta" ("No Longer Sad") is a little aria in Rossini's comic opera La Cenerentola -- Cinderella, in inglese -- that's the bane and bounty of all coloraturas. Its difficulty is so legendary that only the brave should attempt it, and only the greatest mezzo sopranos will pull it...…
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Calendar, Archive Not Bad for 20

Not Bad for 20

One could argue that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart set the gold standard for sacred music. His wizardry with instrumental combinations and choral textures was unparalleled in his day, and the utterly transcendent nature of his choral works takes a direct route to the heart. So the Hollywood Master Chorale hit the...…
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Calendar, Archive Awake and Sing

Awake and Sing

When it comes to putting on a show, nobody beats the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. The group's programming runs the gamut of vocal music -- classical, folk, world music, contemporary, opera, spirituals, electronica -- if it can be sung, they'll sing it. Now add the adventurous voices of...…
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Calendar, Archive The Secret of Brahms' Sextet

The Secret of Brahms' Sextet

There's sexting, and then there's sextetting, which might have been the 19th-century equivalent of today's activity -- at least in the case of Johannes Brahms, who, they say, wrote his Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36, as a secret goodbye love letter to the woman of his infatuations,...…
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