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Classical Pick of the Week: Mahler is Baller

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Mahler's Symphony No. 9, considered one of his greatest works, is a sweeping musical exposition of the composer's innermost conflicts: a profound, lifelong fear of death and a deep yearning for the joys of life. Mahler didn't live to hear it performed, but left it for us to experience his sadness, torment and finally, his dignified affirmation of life.

There's something about 9th Symphonies that resonate with listeners (Beethoven, Dvorak, Bruckner, Schubert), and if you have yet to experience it for yourself, go to the OC Performing Arts Center this weekend for some Mahler. The program also includes Three songs from Ruckert-Lieder for baritone and piano. There are shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and you can get tickets here.

For Angelenos that don't like to drive, Piano Spheres presents pianist Vicki Ray this Tuesday at the Colburn School. She will premiere five pieces (including one composed by her) that are based on myth, early music theory, a psychic pictogram, or a poem. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for students.