Just a Fad? – Film screenings with live orchestra

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  Have film screenings with live orchestra really been around so long?  Jon Burlingame writing in Variety in 2013[1], cites a 1987 live screening of Eisenstein and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the ‘light bulb’ moment when Steven Linder of IMG Artists realized these could be a thing. Thirty years! Is […]

Letter from LA

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Letter from LA Some things I have discovered since the last time I posted: In the same period that I began reading Kevin Starr’s series of Californian histories and continued my usual round of musical and other activities, I also finally visited Yosemite and the gold country and other Californian sights. As Kate and I, […]

A Different Geography – how a classical musician learnt from Thalberg

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When I moved to Sydney in 1987 I got to know the harbour city by memorizing its coves and bays. In Los Angeles since 2013, I’ve memorized where the studios are located. After all, locals often think of Los Angeles and Hollywood synonymously. Paramount is only a $10 cab fare away; Warner Bros is in […]

Orchestras in our time and place

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Orchestras in our time and place: the League of American Orchestras’ conference, Seattle, 2014 League of American Orchestra conferences are inspirational affairs. It’s not just the wealth of sessions or the chance to hear orchestras and ensembles you might not otherwise hear; it’s the chance to run into colleagues, including former employees of Australian orchestras […]

Making use of the arsenal – orchestras in video game music

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Music journalist Rebecca Armstrong observed back in 2011 that video game music has come a long way from the sort of music you heard in the early days, ‘a series of bleeps accompanying pixilated figures on screen’. You can believe it when you hear the sort of full-blown orchestral score that is excerpted in video […]

Experimental City –

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Experimental City – Los Angeles’ operatic dimensions When people think Los Angeles, they often think Hollywood and ‘Hollywood’ tends to be a byword for glitz and superficiality. But Los Angeles is also a home to musical experimentation. The groundbreaking Monday Evening Concerts that started on the roof of Peter and Frances Yates’ home in Silver […]

A Culture in Exile – Classical musicians in Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s

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A Culture in Exile – Classical musicians in Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s A number of times over the past few years, the contemporary German film director Werner Herzog has described Los Angeles as the most culturally substantial city in the United States. It’s why he and his wife decided to move here he […]