Some reflections on The Kid

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in American culture, Dramatizing the world's music, Loving Oz and the US, Music and film, My blog, Uncategorized

We’ve been down to Olvera Street in Downtown many times. Historically, it’s important as the site of the original Los Angeles pueblo. The oldest house in the city is there – the Avila Adobe (1818). But recently we noticed a make-shift sign next to a doorway. It pointed out that thousands of people pass this […]

To the future which might sustain the (orchestral) past

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in American culture, Music and film, Music articles, My blog, Program notes

Writer Bob Gale was visiting his family home in Missouri. In the basement he found an old High School Yearbook photo of his father. The discovery set Gale wondering: would he and his father have been friends if they’d gone to school together? With that, Gale came up with the idea of a teenager travelling […]

Raiders of the Lost Ark – The Return of the Great Adventure

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In 1981, when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out, I remember the American personnel of the military base near Alice Springs where I then lived, raving about this new film – ‘just when things can’t get any stickier for the hero, they [the film-makers] make things worse. It’s like those serials we used to […]

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 […]

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

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in American culture, Music articles, My blog, Podium articles, The European artists in Golden Years Hollywood - a mini-series?

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 […]

A Puccini-eye view

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in American culture, Dramatizing the world's music, My blog, Philippa - an opera in progress

Continuing my blogs on the development of the opera Philippa, about the Harlem-born concert pianist, Philippa Duke Schuyler who died in Vietnam rescuing schoolchildren in 1967. Giacomo Puccini could judge the operatic suitability of a play even if he saw it in another language. The Italian speaker saw Sardou’s La Tosca in French, and Belasco’s Madam […]