Spring arts preview: Classical music
The Japanese American violinist seems to have an unlimited capacity for doing good. Besides her day job as star performer, she is a noted educator, a U.N. Messenger for Peace and lately a champion of contemporary composers. Her recital as part of the Philharmonic Society's JapanOC series will include not only something current by the Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa but also recent pieces from Australia, Scotland and the U.S. (John Adams' “Road Movies”).
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Hall, 615 Towne Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. March 9. $60-$68. www.philharmonicsociety.org
Tribute to Ernest
As former head of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ernest Fleischmann, who died in June, was a legend for his discovery of young conductors as well as for his deep ties with old masters. And that will certainly show in this L.A. Phil tribute, which will include three generations of remarkable conductors Fleischmann championed: Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the L.A. Phil's young associate conductor Lionel Bringuier.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. March 29. Free. www.laphil.org.
Hesperion XXI “The Route of New Mexico”
The inventive Spanish early music conductor and violist Jordi Savall and soprano Montserrat Figueras are extravagant musical adventurers. Their recent CD set of the varied sonic worlds of the Borgias was deservedly on many 2010 recording-of-the-year lists. This time they look at how music traveled from the Old World to Mexico in the Baroque era. Prepare to be surprised by some of the sources.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. May 10. $45-107. www.laphil.org.
The half-Tartar, half-Russian composer, who turns 80 this year, has a synesthesia streak, which allows her to relate colors to sounds and gives her work a sonic luminosity not matched anywhere. In preparation for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's U.S. premiere of her “Glorious Percussion,” CalArts will put on four concerts of her work, and she will be on hand.
It is easy to get misty-eyed whenever Richard Strauss' bittersweet, nostalgic and sexy rumination on long-lost Vienna comes along (and it doesn't all that often). San Diego Opera will mount a production by Lotfi Mansouri that stars the German soprano Anja Harteros and will be conducted by Christof Perick, a former music director of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Civic Theater, 1100 3rd Ave., San Diego. April 3-12. Various times and dates. $35-$195. www.sdopera.com.
‘Winnie — The Opera'
This year, Royal Opera has brought us “Anna Nicole” in London and, in June 2012, De Nederlandse Opera will premiere a Marilyn Monroe opera in Amsterdam. But no subject is more operatic than that of Winnie Mandela and her controversial role in South Africa's struggle for freedom. The new opera by Bongani Ndodana-Breen, moreover, is entirely homegrown.
South African State Theatre, 320 Pretorius St., Pretoria, South Africa. April 28-May 3. Various times and dates. R120-R350. www.winnietheopera.com.
-- Mark Swed, Los Angeles TImes music critic
Photo: Sofia Gubaidulina. Credit: Mario Cruz/EPA