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Laurence Vittes
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Laurence Vittes believes it's time to take over the classical music industry. He is currently writing for Gramophone, The Hollywood Reporter, Strings and Audiophile Audition. He hosts classical music supper club concerts on Saturday nights at Live at the Lounge in Hermosa Beach. Laurence is married to the artist and poet Larisa Pilinsky and lives in West L.A. with their dog Sophie.

Entries by Laurence Vittes

A Classical Music Version of Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner Opens in Kaposvar

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 2:32 PM

After enjoying five years of spectacular artistic achievement and more than 100,000 visitors under the leadership of artistic director Katalin Kokas, the International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár called Kapofest has taken a bold step to proceed for the next three years under the new leadership of two...

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Bach, Thomas Quasthoff and the Verbier Festival Defy Mortal Storms: If Verbier itself is total Hollywood - the concert was even more so!

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 12:43 PM

Dateline: Verbier, Switzerland, Salle des Combins, 6 p.m., July 24, 2015
Just as Thomas Quasthoff began conducting the opening measures of the 21-year old Verbier Festival's first ever performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion Friday night, an approaching thunderstorm arrived from over the surrounding high Alps, literally...

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Tracing Beethoven's Steps in Bogotá: Gustavo Dudamel

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 1:09 AM

For the first time ever in his career, Gustavo Dudamel will conduct all nine Beethoven symphonies in numerical order on five successive nights. From July 8-12, Gustavo, his Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar from Caracas, and audiences at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogotá, will trace together the...

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Gustavo Will Conduct All 9 Beethoven Symphonies for First Time Ever

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2015 | 12:51 PM

For the first time ever in his career, Gustavo Dudamel will conduct all nine Beethoven symphonies on successive nights, in numerical order. From July 8-12, Gustavo, his Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar from Caracas, and the lucky audiences at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogotá, will be tracing...

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Susanna Mälkki Conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 'Alice in Wonderland' at Walt Disney Concert Hall

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 4:12 PM

Susanna Mälkki, Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, effective from the 2016/17 season, is coming to Walt Disney Concert Hall February 27 and 28 to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic and take command of the West Coast premiere of a new, multimedia opera by Unsuk Chin and David Henry...

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Haiku Reviews: MUSIC December 2014

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 12:56 PM


Kathrin ten Hagen, Christina Wright-Ivanova, Eastern Impressions: Music for violin and piano by Prokofiev, Janacek, Bartok and Pancho Vladigerov, 2014, Ars CD
In the first 27 seconds of the opening movement of Prokofiev's Violin Sonata Op. 94bis, the young virtuoso Kathrin ten Hagen...

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Albuquerque's Opera Southwest Beams Up Long Lost Hamlet Opera By Verdi's Favorite Conductor

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 1:21 PM

One explanation for the fact that the first production since 1865 of a major historical Italian opera based on Shakespeare'e Hamlet was presented in Albuquerque, New Mexico could be that Albuquerque is less than 200 miles from the city of Roswell where UFOs are routinely sighted. A better explanation is the...

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Gustavo Dudamel Will Conduct His First Ever Complete Beethoven Symphonies Cycle, July 8-12, 2015, in Bogotá

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 11:12 AM

Gustavo Dudamel will conduct his first ever complete Beethoven symphonies cycle, July 8-12, 2015, in Bogotá

I was recently in Bogotá, Colombia, for the press launch of the classical music season at the Teatro Mayor and Biblioteca Julio...

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Filmmaker Marcell Gerő on "Cain's Children" and the Consequence of Underage Murder

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2014 | 10:09 PM

When the prestigious 62nd San Sebastián Film Festival announces the winners in its New Directors category on Sept. 23, Hungarian newcomer Marcell Gerő may be a strong contender for first prize with his feature documentary, Cain's Children.

With the world crumbling under the weight of...

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Great Classical Music Festivals of 2014: Music Academy of the West

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 2:22 PM

One of the great places to hear chamber music during the summer is at the Music Academy of the West, in the sleepy town of Montecito up the coast from Los Angeles.

This was demonstrated in a once in a lifetime concert by the Takacs Quartet who...

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Great Classical Music Festivals of 2014: Itinéraire Baroque in the Dordogne, July 24-27

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 1:17 PM

For a month I've been away in Europe covering festivals for Strings magazine.

I have not been to the great festivals of Salzburg and Lugano, Verbier and Aspen. Instead I habituated small chamber music festivals in Tuscany, the Périgord Vert part of the Dordogne, Prades near the Pyrénées in...

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Jayson Gillham Takes Gold in Montréal's Grand Prix Piano Competition

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 3:37 PM

Jayson Gillham Takes Home the Gold. Photo by Antoine Saito

The streets of Montreal these days are littered with a dazzling range of Ferraris, Bentleys and other exotic super cars that would make Monte Carlo proud. This dynamic island of music...

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Gabriela Montero Improvising in Montreal

(3) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 3:34 PM

The 2014 Piano Edition of the Montreal International Musical Competition, which kicked off on Monday with 16 hopeful young quarter-finalists, was preceded on May 20 by the inaugural Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize. Intended to promote classical piano improvisation, a once traditional discipline now taught at only a few...

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Mikhail Baryshnikov Transforms Chekhov in Santa Monica

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 6:35 PM

2014-04-25-ManinaCase2.jpg Man in a Case. Photograph by T. Charles Erickson

If you're a fan of Mikhail Baryshnikov, or think you know your Chekhov from your Pushkin, Man in a Case might be your theatrical cup of tea. Adapted and directed by Paul Lazar and...

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Classical Sounds: Italian, French and English Early Music + Bach

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Great stuff and lots of fun this month as Spring has sprung and really that's all that early music was meant to be about, or needs to be to earn our undying love and sympathy. And why sympathy? Because there must always be something a tiny bit sad when we...

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Ramin Bahrami Scores With Bach and Scarlatti in Beverly Hills 90210

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 9:36 PM

2014-04-11-Bahrami.jpg Ramin Bahrami. Photo by Melina Mulas

Ramin Bahrami made his U.S.A. debut Wednesday night in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills 90210. He is in late 30s, a bit portly and...

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Classical Sounds: Film Noir Bach From NeoBarock and Robert Schneider

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 6:53 PM


"What do you want to prove with your Canons? The fact that there is no gravity?" - Johann Christoph Altnikol to his father-in-law, Johann Sebastian Bach

As I wrote a few years ago, "if you've had it with serious Bach, Handel and Mozart,...

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New Classical Sounds: Bach and Lully

(1) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 9:45 AM

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Nos.1-6 Freiburger Barockorchester Harmonia Mundi 2 CDs

Brandenburg Concertos may come and go, but when one of exceptional merit shows up, it is time to remember the many glories of the music and the times that were...

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Rice Owls Play Carnegie Hall

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 12:47 PM

Rice University's Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra conducted by Larry Rachleff at Carnegie Hall. Photo: Jennifer Taylor

When you conduct professional orchestras you're always trying to make them sound young. When you're conducting young orchestras you're trying to make them more mature. -- Larry...

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Montréal Bach Festival Opens With First Canadian Performance by Boys Choir From Leipzig Church Where Bach Once Was Cantor

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 7:59 PM

The Leipzig St. Thomas Boys Choir. Photograph by Gert Mothes

On Thursday night November 14 at the Notre Dame Basilica in historic Old Montréal, the Leipzig St. Thomas Boys Choir, 40 strong, will celebrate the

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