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Grant Gershon's iPod playlist

September 11, 2010 |  9:30 am


Grant Grant Gershon, the music director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, is celebrating 10 years with the renowned vocal ensemble this season. The conductor is particularly admired for his diverse approach to programming.

“Grant Gershon is a model of a 21st century musician: He is equally at home and persuasive in Mozart, Bach and Mendelssohn as he is in new works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams and Steve Reich,” Ara Guzelimian, dean of the Juilliard School, said.

Concerts devoted to masterworks such as Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil and contemporary pieces such as the world premiere of Mark Grey’s Mugunghwa: Rose of Sharon will serve to illustrate Gershon’s wide-ranging musical sensibilities in the coming months.

But we wondered if this diversity is also reflected in the conductor’s listening habits. So we asked him to share the top 10 items on his current iPod playlist in no particular order:

The Beatles (Complete Remastered)
Bill Evans ("Sunday at the Village Vanguard")
Alan Lomax ("Southern Journey")
Mahler 8
Me'Shell Ndegéocello ("Peace Beyond Passion")
Willie Nelson
Arvo Pärt
Rufus Wainwright ("Poses")
Tom Waits ("Rain Dogs")
Stevie Wonder ("Songs in the Key of Life")

With such eclectic professional and personal musical tastes, it stands to reason that Gershon seeks flexibility as one of three key qualities in his vocalists. “I can be incredibly choosy about the singers I work with,” he said of selecting Master Chorale members at the ensemble’s annual auditions. “Beyond first-rate musicianship and expressive qualities, they have to demonstrate versatility in a lot of different styles from early music to pop.”

To read my profile of Grant Gershon, click here.

And while Gershon didn't mention the Master Chorale's new Decca CD, we will. Here's Mark Swed's review of "A Good Understanding."

-- Chloe Veltman

Photo: Gershon and his ensemble at the Hollywood Bowl.

Credit: Anne Cusack /Los Angeles Times