The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess

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Photos by Linda A. Rapka

Master Quest @ Disney Hall

The highly anticipated global tour of “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest” visited Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 14, regaling fans with a truly unique experience from one of the most beloved franchises in video game history. Continue reading

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Appreciating music with the LA Phil “Inside the Music” classes @ Disney Hall

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Depending on who you’re talking to, the words “classical music” will either elicit sheer joy or utter terror. The genre, so rich in history and complicated with vastly varied styles, can be confusing and downright intimidating for those who have not had the opportunity to enjoy its study. Continue reading

Ravi Shankar @ Walt Disney Concert Hall 9/29/11

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Though he doesn’t look much like a typical rock star, at 91, Ravi Shankar could have fooled anyone during his mesmerizing performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Uniquely worthy of the term “living legend,” he first amassed attention outside of his native India after befriending George Harrison in the 1960s, whose enamor with Shankar and the transfixing sounds he produced on the sitar sparked the rise of raga-rock embraced by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Pretty Things, Jimi Hendrix and many other rock musicians of the time. The venerated sitar master captivated the Los Angeles audience Sept. 29, at long last. One year and two cancellations since the originally scheduled concert, ticketholders grew anxious we’d never see the venerated Indian sitar master — he’s not getting any younger, after all — a fact which also raised questions about what a performance by a nonagenarian would be like. Would his playing be as impressive as in decades past? Could it be? Continue reading

Dudamel “Mahler’s 9th” at Walt Disney Concert Hall 1/15/11

As published by LA RECORD:

I’ll never forget my first encounter with Gustavo Dudamel. His inaugural performance with the LA Phil back in November 2009 was illuminating. It was transcendent. It was…well, kind of fake, really. You see, my first encounter with our city’s heroic Maestro did not happen within the Douglas-fir lined walls of the prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall. I was seated on a slab of cold concrete in the middle of the Music Center Plaza. I attended not the concert itself, but a real-time telecast a few blocks away put on for all the unfortunate souls without a golden ticket. The setting didn’t exactly lend to the experience the focused attention reserved for classical concerts. Instead, my attention was split among myriad gesticulating, wild-haired clones splashed across the numerous oversized screens surrounding the plaza, which itself was filled with talkative classical newbies and a handful of the obligatory crying babies. Thus, the Jan. 15 concert of the LA Phil performing Mahler’s 9th was my first real encounter with The Dude. I’m not going to pretend I am an expert in the classical realm, but the musical experience was exquisite, and I can say in all certainty that the real-life experience is more fulfilling than watching on a screen. The nuances of the music, the tangible energy emanating from the musicians, and the uninhibited vibrancy of the conductor are a package worthy of the in-person experience. And although this season the LA Phil has followed in the footsteps of a growing number of orchestras in the country by transmitting live performances to audiences in movie theaters, if you have the chance, and the cash, opt for the real deal.

—Linda Rapka