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Alan Rich: June 17, 1924 – April 23, 2010

Alan Rich died April 23, 2010 of natural causes in his sleep at his home in West Los Angeles.


So in comes Hercules: not the one of Hollywood’s Reeves boys, not your circus strongman, but a suave Italian baritone, intoning praise for the art of lovemaking, Ars Amatoria well-defined by his own creator, a fellow name of Ovidius Naso, in his masterly Metamorphoses. not many years before. Hercules in Love (“Ercole Amante”)was first seen […]


It might have happened; I mean, I might have rounded off my allotted span without once having heard a concerto for mandolin in a live performance. But I am blessed with friends of sterner stuff who, upon a recent Sunday, did indeed move mountains to ordain my seated presence in the handsome, resonant precincts of […]


“There’s strange and wonderful stuff in this lifetime of Lou’s music,” I wrote in 1987, under the spell of the Cabrillo Festival. “Much of it is so damned beautiful, so open-handed and eager to please.” Just arrived from New York, where open-handed newness was the brand of the musical sissy, I found Lou’s big diatonic […]


This message delayed becaause of communications breakdown; thoughts still valid.. Fears and doubts, couched in terms of cynicism and the old fin-de-siècle blues, may truly be set aside after last week’s Philharmonic event at Disney Hall. Our young maestro has earned his spurs not so much with another whoop-de-doo orchestral Saturnalia but with a much-loved, […]


HAYDN THE HEAVEN-SENT This is a major anniversary year — for Haydn, Mendelssohn, Lincoln, etc. All are  being properly feted, none more lavishly or more deservedly, than Joseph Haydn (born 1809). On my desk sits one of many Haydn celebrations, excellent and lovable: a box containing, 21 Haydn symphonies on 7 CDs. They bear numbers […]


ARRIVALS: My favorite Dudamel moment (so far) occurs during his 2007 performance of Bartók’s  Concerto for Orchestra – the performance in  Disney Hall, about two years into his romance with the L.A. Philharmonic and which you now can download via iTunes and buy for not very many bucks. The second movement of that wonderful work […]


High over Cahuenga Pass, the fireworks spelled out the evening’s message: “Bienvenido Gustavo!” Others in the Philharmonic’s history among our ten previous music directors – Salonen, Previn, Giulini — had acceded more-or-less quietly to their podiums; not so, our new wonder-kid. The Dudamel era exploded into sight and sound last week in an evening of […]

Part Four

Expectations, about what a symphony by this renowned “holy minimalist” – with a resplendent legacy of choral masterworks  to back up his reputation — Arvo Pärt’s Fourth Symphony was one of the new works introduced by the Philharmonic earlier this year, honoring Esa-Pekka Salonen’s departure from the podium he had so long ennobled. The Symphony […]


Dateline Cahuenga Pass, August 30. It was good to be back. A series of small strokes had disarranged the components of my skull for most of the summer. I had missed most of the Hollywood Bowl season and, worse, a most interesting Ojai Festival. Now. Back again on on familiar ground I got to greet […]