Category Archives: classical music

From the Vaults — ‘Vamonos Con Pancho Villa!’

    “Vamonos Con Pancho Villa!” (“Let’s Go With Pancho Villa!”) is the surprisingly dark, roughly hewn story of six friends who call themselves “the lions of San Pablo” and join the Mexican Revolution as much for the adventure as … Continue reading

Posted in 1936, classical music, Film, From the Vaults, Music | 1 Comment

Matt Weinstock, March 22, 1961

       In the highly advanced future, people will still use file cabinets! March 22, 1961: Are truck drivers really articulate? Matt Weinstock thinks one fellow is …  and a woman calling the Philharmonic for tickets doesn’t know much … Continue reading

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, March 1, 1941

           March 1, 1941: Lee Shippey writes about Marian Anderson and Tom Treanor has the story of Schuyler Standish, 13, who just enrolled at UCLA. Katharine Hepburn has promised director Garson Kanin a yes or no … Continue reading

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Conductor’s Remarks on L.A.’s Music Touch off Sound and Fury

        Feb. 24-March 4, 1941: British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham comes to town to conduct two programs by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and my doesn’t he get people furious with his comments about classical music in the … Continue reading

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On the Frontiers of Ethnomusicology

           Feb. 11, 1911: Among the items at the Southwest Museum is a flute, made of a human bone, that was discovered while excavating Native American graves on Santa Catalina Island.  The flute was something of … Continue reading

Posted in 1911, classical music, Music, Obituaries | 1 Comment

‘Fantasia’ Acclaimed as Film Masterpiece

           Jan. 30, 1941: The Times publishes three items on the Los Angeles premiere of “Fantasia”: A review of the film by Edwin Schallert, a music review by Isabel Morse Jones and a color story on … Continue reading

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Voices: Milton Babbitt, 1916 — 2011

        March 7, 1986: As he nears the age of 70, composer Milton Babbitt tells Times arts writer Marc Shulgold, "Even so-called popular composers don't really care what an audience likes. In the end, you write for … Continue reading

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Matt Weinstock, Jan. 26, 1961

       Jan. 26, 1961: The sound of an auto collision at Sunset Boulevard and Roxbury Drive attracted the usual crowd of onlookers and as Eugene Rodney, producer of the Robert Young TV show, dejectedly appraised the damage to … Continue reading

Posted in art and artists, broadcasting, classical music, Columnists, Comics, Matt Weinstock | 1 Comment

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Jan. 14, 1941

           Jan. 14, 1941: Open letter to Al Jolson. My Dear Al: If this letter angers you, forgive me. I realize that the $500 you sent me before Christmas to spread good cheer among the poor … Continue reading

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Matt Weinstock, Dec. 16, 1960

       Dec. 16, 1960: Matt Weinstock has the story of a cat that was taken to West Hollywood because its Bunker Hill home was to be torn down, but made its way back because it was evidently homesick.  … Continue reading

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Dec. 7, 1940

            Dec. 7, 1940: Yes, the bell on traffic semaphores in the old Warner Bros. cartoons wasn’t a joke. Today, we just honk since drivers are usually checking their BlackBerrys when the light turns green. … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, Columnists, Film, Hollywood, Transportation | 1 Comment

Bruno Walter’s Last Concert

        Dec. 2, 1960: Van Cliburn, the Cold War sensation who won the 1958 Tchaikovsky piano competition, performs the Brahms second piano concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Bruno Walter at Shrine Auditorium.   [Yes, I cringe … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, Music, Obituaries | 1 Comment

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Nov. 8, 1940

            Nov. 8, 1940: Hear tell the Basil Rathbones will give up their Brentwood mansion for a more modest home. Big charity donations make it necessary, Jimmie Fidler says. Also on the jump, a review … Continue reading

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Voices – Joan Sutherland, 1926 – 2010

    Nov. 22, 1966: Times music critic Martin Bernheimer interviews Joan Sutherland … in his Volkswagen? Yes, it’s true. She and Ricky (her husband, conductor Richard Bonynge) are getting ready to do “Lucia” at the new Met, which will … Continue reading

Posted in #opera, classical music, Music, Obituaries | 1 Comment

Why History Must Be Saved, Even When Nobody Wants It

  The death of Ernest Fleischmann, former executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, offers a nice point of departure for a few musings about how casually we treat the past. About a year ago, I noticed a trash cart … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, Lakers, Music | 2 Comments

Pavarotti in ‘La Boheme’

    June 6, 1980: With the skill of a surgeon, Martin Bernheimer dissects a performance by operatic sensation Luciano Pavarotti (d. 2007). “He conquered. He came. He sang. In that order,” Bernheimer says. Notice that in return for agreeing … Continue reading

Posted in #opera, classical music, Stage | 1 Comment

The Times’ Court Reporter Files a Story in Dialect

  June 3, 1910: The Times’ court reporter files a story in dialect about two African American women who are charged with fighting. Ouch. And police arrest newsboys shooting dice behind the offices of Los Angeles Record (1886-1931).

Posted in #courts, classical music, Countdown to Watts, LAPD, Music | 2 Comments

Fantasia!

  June 2, 1980: Yes, young persons, “Fantasia” came back in 1980 as a “head film” (note the smoke and mushrooms).  In 1982, in an attempt to improve the audio quality, Disney had a pickup orchestra and conductor/composer Irwin “Chitty … Continue reading

Posted in art and artists, classical music, Film, Hollywood, Obituaries | 1 Comment

Elvis Arrives in L.A.

    April 21, 1960: Elvis Presley’s return to Los Angeles to film “G.I. Blues” is put safely on Page 2. Instead, The Times leads the paper with the resignation of the South Korean cabinet.    ps. Georg Solti is … Continue reading

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Mystic Author Visits Los Angeles

  March 8, 1920: The Times seems quite taken with Francis Grierson, author of “Modern Mysticism,” quoting him at length on world politics and spiritualism. The poor fellow died of starvation, The Times says, while working on an anthology of … Continue reading

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