« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Mark Swed

October 1, 2008 |  6:00 pm

Chief music critic of the Los Angeles Times since 1996, Mark Swed began his career writing for the underdog Los Angeles Herald Examiner . He has since written about music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist and a great many other publications. He was once an editor for The Musical Quarterly and is finishing a book, "Not Entirely by Chance," on the American composer John Cage for the Cage centenary in 2012. Swed has received awards in criticism from the Los Angeles Music Center, ASCAP, the American Music Center and the Los Angeles Press Club. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2007.

Follow Mark on Twitter. Email Mark at [email protected]

Comments () | Archives (4)

Mr. Swed, Jennifer Rivera performed Rosina in Opera Pacific's final production, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, closing November 1, 2008. Not only a sparkling mezzo, she is a wonderful actress and a delight to work with. In fact, the whole cast was a joy to watch rehearse and perform. I concur that everyone should get the opportunity to see Jennifer on the stage.

Jerold Kappel
Former Producing Director
Opera Pacific

I have tried to post a comment to your review of the LA Master Chorale, and the system tells me it cannot accept my data

Mark: Greetings! Good to see you in Berkeley Sunday.
1. The Jeanrenaud appearance was bittersweet, given the MS. But still, heartening see her back in the saddle! (A different review of same is on www.artssf.com).
2. Your intervw with Salonen was reprinted (in part) in the SF Chronicle today, but apparently any details on his "tough year," which could be anything from small fees to Tiger Woodsianisms to carpal tunnel syndrome, were nowhere spelled out---apparently, a journalistic trim that left us all hanging! Good ol Chron!
Paul Hertelendy
Piedmont, CA

Mr. Swed I want to wish you a nice job on your article. I will test it and see how well it works. Last week I did an interesting idea. I subscribe to Rhapsody and I have quite a few issues of Keyboard magazine from about fifteen years ago lying around and I decided for kicks I would type in their album review Artists who I had never heard of. I was suprised I located with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 every artist and was able to hear their works. As a kid I had tight parents so they never gave me much weekly and supported a new music habit. But you might try that.
In LA there is also a music library up at the end of Western in Glendale and if you haven't been up there you might check it out. I think one of the biggest areas of concern and this would be interesting to write about is that between the various sides of the coins in music. The arranging, the sight-reading, the orchestrating, the producing effect chaining and so forth. The academic world descriptions don't match the populist magazine descriptions. For example compare Walter Pistions Harmony Book and Danie Kazez's Rhythms, compare to Keyboard and Electronic musician and try to using their articles to create a system. The vocabulary causes one's head to spin and then add pre-algebra sets which are extensively used through out Composition and none of the language matches up. See if you can build for yourself a training session by combining these resources and write about it. That is what I am trying to do and it should be more discussed as to why it is so challenging. Your article is a step in that direction.

Thank You



Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.