Classical Music News for May/June 2010:

In 1944, radio personality Alfred Leonard envisioned a new series of concerts featuring chamber music performed by the world’s outstanding artists. The premiere concert at the Ebell was in the autumn of 1945.

Dorothy Huttenback, an impresario and artist manager, took over the reins of The Music Guild in 1952. Until 1985 when she was 88 years old, Mrs. Huttenback single handedly ran the series, proud of its complete independence from government grants. In 1986, Since then, Eugene Golden took up the reins and continues today as Executive and Artistic Director.

Every year he has brought consistently fine music chosen from the most accomplished of chamber groups from around the world. This year the Henschel String Quartet, Borromeo, St. Petersburg, Vanbrugh, La Catrina Quartets and the Gould Piano Trio each performed at the Schoenberg Hall in Westwood, at Cal State Long Beach, and Cal Stage Northridge. In addition these groups gave master classes and childrens' concerts. With these concerts, which began in 1992, the Guild is fulfilling its ongoing mission: "To present classical music in an intimate setting to children at an early age." The objective of the children's concerts is not only to introduce great music to them, but to inspire them to want to study and perform classical music.

The Guild has initiated a program, "Instruments for Kids," and over the years have donated several hundred musical intruments to schools in Southern California. Just recently they gave enough instruments for an entire orchestra to be formed. They are particularly pleased that they were able to give a saxophone to a very talented saxophonist/composer from the inner city who is headed to Cal Arts for what they are sure is a brilliant career in music.

Beginning June 13th, The Music Guild will continue with its summer program of four Sunday afternoon concerts entitled "Coffee, Cookies & Concerts" held at the University Synagogue in Los Angeles at 3 p.m. For the price of a ticket concertgoers will enjoy a first-rate concert and receive an afternoon tea of cakes, cookies, cheese, strawberries and whipped cream served from 2.30 - 3 pm and at intermission.

Each of these groups has something special to bring to its concerts. The La Catrina Quartet, for instance, has received important awards including Western Michigan University's All University Research and Creative Scholar Award. This quartet believes that musicians must take up the fight alongside composers to make new music more accessible and appealing, particularly to young audiences. They perform an eclectic program of contemporary Mexican composers as well as a Beethoven and a Mozart Quartet.

The final concert of the season was the Gould Piano Trio who performed a beautifully balanced program of Smetana's Piano Trio in G Minor, Op 15, Martinu's Piano Trip No.1 and the Schubert in E Flat Major Op.100.

University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Boulevard at Saltair, Los Angeles, 90049. Free parking adjacent to building. 323 954-0404 or Depending on age and/or student status, prices are $7 - $45 per single concert and $25 - $140 for the season of four.

June 13 - UCLA Virtuosi Quartet

June 27 - Lyris String Quartet

July 11 - Rossetti String Quartet

August1 - Daedalus String Quartet

The first program of the 2010 winter program is on October 18th and it's not too early to order tickets now. E-mail: telephone 323 954-0404


EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND -- John Adams' new oratorio, EL NINO, will be the opening concert at the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival. James Conlon directs the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on Friday Aug. 13 at 8 pm in Usher Hall, backed up by the National Youth Choir of Scotland, headed by Christopher Bell. The lead singers are Jessica Rivera, soprano; Kelley O'Connor, mezzo; and Willard White, baritone.

The miracle of the nativity is given new life in EL NINO. Women's voices and experiences are central to the retelling of the story, this time seen from a mother's perspective. Like many composers before him, Adams tempers the holy rejoicing with deeply felt expressions of pain.

"This is Adams's most powerful and affecting and sublimely assured music," said the Los Angeles Times.

Other major orchestras slated to appear at the Festival include the Russian National Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

For tickets and information visit

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