Matthew Aucoin is a 27-year-old musical wunderkind who conducts, composes and plays piano. Last year, he was named L.A. Opera's first artist-in-residence and conducted the company's visually flamboyant production of Philip Glass' Egyptian fantasy, Akhnaten. Next year, he'll conduct his own Civil War–era work about Walt Whitman, called Crossing, for L.A. Opera, but this month Aucoin is leading a series of free, traveling recitals, "Mozart: Truth Through Beauty," in which he debunks the composer's public image and returns the focus to his actual music. Singers from L.A. Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program revive operatic selections drawn from Mozart's short career.
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