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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001139.txt from 2002/06

Subj: [kl] Re: Critical language
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 18:14:56 -0400

In a message dated 6/30/2002 1:09:55 PM Pacific Daylight Time, (William Wright) writes:

<<I live in Santa Barbara, not too many miles north of you. We're not a
metropolis, as Los Angeles is, and therefore our audiences are of a different
sort than where you live. I would imagine that our newspaper feels the need
to be a bit more 'diplomatic' about reviews than a metropolitan paper does.>>


With the Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Santa
Barbara Chamber Orchestra for starters, Santa Barbara ain't too shabby a
venue for superb music.

I did a bit of searching and found the May 14 concert by the SBCO
at which the Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto was played. The conductor,
Heiichiro Ohyama, has a solid reputation in Los Angeles with the
Japan-American Symphony and the Crossroads School Orchestra (in Santa
Monica). Principal clarinetist Michael Grego is a product of USC in the mid
70s from Mitchell Lurie's studio and a fine player. Just this spring, I took
a lesson with their other clarinetist, Larry Hughes, while my teacher was
having her baby. Another monster player and teacher. So in theory, this is
a credible, professional caliber orchestra with a conductor to match. Who
knows what actually happened.

However, I do know first hand that sometimes feature editors do NOT like to
read ANYTHING negative about the "local" orchestra. I spent one miserable
year writing reviews of the Glendale Symphony (Sidney Weiss, conductor) for
the Glendale News Press (actually now a part of the LA Times). Sydney is a
lovely man, and former concertmaster with the LA Phil, but does nothing but
program the warhorses; absolutely devoid of any imagination. The orchestra
is one of the best assemblages of studio musicians around. But...they're NOT
an orchestra with a soul or a character. After my first review, I was told
in no uncertain terms that I was to write as if I were reviewing a wedding!
I tried. But honesty in media is an oxymoron.

Don Gross
La Canada, California

p.s. I give the Glendale Symphony about one more year before total collapse.
Sydney and his pianist wife are basically doing fund-raising concerts with
Sidney's violin case open in the front of the stage for donations. Truly


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