When Yefim Bronfman performs Brahms' Second Piano Concerto with conductor Lionel Bringuier and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl on July 31, he will be tackling what is known as a real "finger buster," a term used for a work that is awkwardly conceived for a pianist's hands or physically demanding. The Brahms concerto is both.
I’d love to know if, in the long history of human evil, a great musician ever became a mass murderer. I ask this question because I’ve always had this crazy theory that when someone is busy and obsessed with creating and playing music, he or she doesn’t think about killing other people.
It's not very often that a classical music recital has its roots in an airport, but in a manner of speaking, you might say that the concert that violin virtuosi Albert and Alexander Markov are giving at American Jewish University (AJU) on April 13 was born at LAX 15 years ago.
Israel is trying to atone for a decision to bar a tour by the Beatles 43 years ago. Israel's ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, has written a letter to relatives of the late Beatles singer John Lennon and guitarist George Harrison apologizing for a 1965 government ban on the British pop group and inviting its surviving members -- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- to play in the Jewish state.
"We should like to take this opportunity to correct the historic error which to our great regret occurred in 1965, when you were invited to Israel," Yediot Achronot quoted the letter as saying. "We should like to see you sing in Israel."
Even during the tensest days of the intifada, the four Jewish and four Arab musicians of the SheshBesh ensemble performed before mixed -- and appreciative -- audiences.
The ensemble's fusion of western and Asian music and instruments can be heard Sunday, June 26, at Temple Israel of Hollywood, as part of the temple's Nimoy Concert Series.
He's into rap, hip-hop, reggae -- and religion. He's not a Christian rocker; he's a Chasidic reggae/hip-hop musician.
Matisyahu is the artist formerly known as Mathew Miller -- until he found God, Lubavitch-style, almost five years ago.
In the midst of all of the glamour of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, one could easily miss the hurrahs of one local cantor. But it was a proud moment for Chazzan Mike Stein of Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, one of a group of musicians honored Feb. 13 with an award in the Best Children's Music category for ""cELLAbration! A Tribute to Ella Jenkins."
7 Days In The Arts
It's hard to imagine a period when Jews and Arabs got along -- but that's apparently what they did from 800-1400 B.C.E., in the historical Al-Andalus period. In Spain and North Africa, Jews, Christians and Muslims got together and collaborated on arts and sciences to create one of the world's most advanced societies.
Now, Al-Andalus, an eclectic group of musicians from all over the world is recreating the spirit of the historical Al-Andalus in concerts that celebrate the mystical pluralism of the Arab-Jewish music traditions.
During "Naharin's Virus" a provocatative dance/performance piece that the Batsheva Dance company will excerpt this week at UCLA, a dancer holds chalk in her hand, dragging it through her body movements: Arching her back, outstretching her arm, she trails Hebrew words on a blackboard.
When Dr. Richard Braun started hanging out with his temple's organist in the late '60s, he probably didn't think he'd become a player in the
evolution of synagogue music.
Much to the chagrin of cultural nationalists in places such as France, no culture seems immune to the seductive rhythms of American pop and rock. Fed by a steady diet of American TV and movies, young musicians from places as disparate as Zimbabwe, Paraguay, New Zealand, Mynamar and Egypt have learned to combine their indigenous folk music with U.S.-born-and-bred rock -- making for a kind of transglobal, world-beat music with a heavy blues and R&B influence.
In the 1998 hit comedy "The Wedding Singer," the eponymous character was a nice Jewish boy named Robbie. At the Sept. 2 Century City Park Hyatt reception of 30-something newlyweds Daphna Ghozland and David Hollander, the wedding singer is a nice Jewish boy named Robbie. True, the latter -- singer/pianist/bandleader Robbie Helperin -- will occasionally perform the odd '80s pop song with his Simcha Orchestra as Adam Sandler did in the movie, but that's where the parallels end, or at least, that's where Helperin would like them to end.
"It was kind of painful to watch," Helperin said of the movie that immortalized his profession as a "Loserville" populated by "creepy musicians," in his words.
Eric, Matt and Chris are three musicians who refuse to give away their last names. But if you guessed it was out of a lack of ethnic pride, you'd be wrong.
Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb is eating a tuna sandwich and a spinach salad, talking about "Cake And Pie."
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
David Margolick, writer of books and articles on legal issues for The New York Times and Vanity Fair, has hit a raw nerve with his haunting book, "Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights" (Running Press). The book is an account of the scalding impact of one song - a song about a lynching - on scores of Ameri-can activists, writers, musicians, artists and intellectuals.
Building an audience has become something of a lifestyle for the group Guster. Formed at Tufts University, the band Guster consists of three Jewish boys -- Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner on guitars and vocals; Brian Rosenworcel on percussion -- who graduated from the Boston-area college in 1995. And the web-savvy musicians use the Internet to cultivate their loyal following.
On their third and latest CD, "Lost and Gone Forever" (Warner Bros./Sire), Guster deals with themes that are both personal and complex. The CD's title track, for example, refers to a friend's suicide.
It's common knowledge that the Jewish exodus from Russia in the late 1980s brought to Israel a flood of talented artists and musicians.