Uwe Petry

When I worked as a Press Officer at the German Consulate General in Los Angeles from 1993 to 1996 I spontaneously contacted Alan Rich because I was so impressed by his column “A Little Night Music” in the LAWeekly magazine. I felt that his texts where by far the most substantial critical contribution on culture – in his case music – in LA, setting high standards of style and knowledge hard to be found in the world of cultural journalism.

Mr. Rich surprised me with his profound insights into “serious” music, be it classical or “modern”, and I especially admired his great humour which provided this very special flavour and crispness to all his writing. In my view, Alan Rich has made an immense and unique contribution to the cultural discourse in and on LA, which can be counted – if not at first glance – among the greatest places for music in the world, functioning as a meeting point of such diverse traditions as European Classical music, Music of the 20th and 21st centuries,¬†European, American and Asian influences.

On several occasions, I had the priviledge to listen to musical performances together with Mr. Rich and to discuss with him, which included also the pleasure to differ … I met him again in Germany in 1997 where he had been on a cultural trip upon invitation by the German Government. He joked about the fact that one had sent a critic from California into bitter cold winter weather, still expecting good reviews from him…

I wish and hope that in one way or the other, perhaps with the involvement of the Goethe Institute, Villa Aurora, the Austrian Cultural Center and others, there will be an hommage to Alan Rich’s writing and thinking about music, a soir√©e of friends, professionals and music enthusiasts commemorating what he has done for music in LA and beyond.