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Classical Pick of the Week: Last Week at the Bowl and Asphalt Orchestra

Photo by Stephanie Berger, used with permission
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Nice to be back into the swing of things! It's September, meaning there are more than one or two classical-related events, so everyone wins.

The Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can's avant-marching band is in town. For their West Coast debut, they are performing not one but two free performances, one indoor and outdoor to showcase their different styles. This Thursday at 8 PM, they are performing Unpack the Elephant at CSUN's Great Hall, in the Valley Performance Center. Friday's performance takes place outdoors in Downtown LA, and you can follow along as they start at the Bank of America Plaza at 12 PM, move to Figueroa and Wilshire at 12:25 PM, and end at FIGat7th 12:45 PM.

Here's a bit from their release to give you an idea of what to expect:

Unpack the Elephant on September 13 brings Asphalt Orchestra’s iconoclastic spirit to the stage with an electric show featuring music by Frank Zappa, David Byrne and Annie Clark, Björk, and new music by members of the band, directed by Mark DeChiazza and Andrew Robinson. The show is a wild musical ride driven by the tunes with Asphalt physically bringing the music to life. Configurations are created and torn apart, alliances are drawn and redrawn, and along the way, Asphalt Orchestra reveals a new form altogether - a mobile-musical-dramatic ensemble, bringing their unstoppable sound to the stage. Asphalt Orchestra’s outdoor show on September 14 springs jazz, prog-rock, and world music on the transient masses of downtown Los Angeles and features music written for the band by luminaries including David Byrne and Annie Clark, Goran Bregovic, Tatsuya Yoshida and more. These signature radical outdoor extravaganzas, choreographed by Susan Marshall and Mark DeChiazza, capture the “sheer visceral power” of the “Sousa on Crack” marching band (New York Times), grabbing the focus of expecting audiences and unexpecting bystanders alike.

Lots of big names to end the Hollywood Bowl season - we've got Sarah Chang (plus
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Zev Yaroslavsky!) this Tuesday and Perlman on Thursday. Chang will be performing the West Side Story Suite with Zev as speaker for the Copland ("A Lincoln Portrait"), and Perlman will tackle the Tchaikovsky.