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Clap Between Movements: Scoring With Your Date & The Greatest Vivaldi Of All

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As the headline indicates, the only thing you really have to know about classical music is that a classical music date is a great place to score.

So, even though Gustavo the Dude and LA Phil are off doing their European tour thing, there's no reason not to partake.

LA Chamber Orchestra: Saturday, Jan 22, Alex Theatre; Sunday, Jan. 23, Royce Hall

This is an absolute can't miss. This is more important than any football or basketball game. In fact, if you sacrifice a football or basketball game on TV for this, you will be rewarded handsomely, guaranteed.

A few things to know before plunging headlong on a LACO adventure.

• LA Chamber Orchestra used to be the pride of LA; that's why they're painted on those buildings next to the 110. They still play with style, personality and commitment. They definitely deserve to play in Mouse Hall--especially when LA Phil is gone for three weeks!

• LACO and a Russian conductor and pianist named Ignat Solzhenitsyn will play Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's D Minor Piano Concerto K.466, some sad but beautiful night music by Witold Lutoswawski, and Joseph Haydn's great Drum Roll Symphony which demonstrates everything that makes Haydn the equal of Mozart and Beethoven: His scores are musical blueprints by a master builder and architect who had an eye for the ladies, a ferocious sense of humor, and an extraordinary grasp of the infinite.

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Conductors on Parade in New Orleans Feb. 17

In New Orleans on February 17, six conductors of the future (and not necessarily from Venezuela) will be showcased in the League of Orchestra's 2011 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. Each will have approximately forty minutes of podium time, enabling orchestra officials and managers to witness their rehearsal techniques and abilities.

The list of participants from previous competitions who have gone to become music director of American orchestras is staggering in its quality, number and diversity: Carlos Miguel Prieto, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; Mei-Ann Chen, Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Hege, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; and Laura Jackson, Reno Philharmonic.This is one of the year's most exciting events, like the NFL combine and the NBA's summer league.

This is one of the year's most exciting classical music events, like the NFL combine and the NBA's summer league. I'll be there from the start, filing reports from the front.

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The most beautiful Vivaldi track ever recorded.

It's the slow movement of "Winter" from the Four Seasons. The violinist is Ian Swensen. The recording was made at last year's Music@Menlo chamber music festival. You can download 30 seconds by clicking here:
Download file. I'll be reviewing the entire set later.

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Hip Hip Hooray for Alexey Steele

Of course, the ultimate classical music date place remains Alexey Steele's Classical Underground. The next one's happening on Monday Feb. 7. Sign up to be notified when tickets go on sale. Extra added attraction: I'll be hosting there.

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p.s. - Gustavo and Phil: we miss you.

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