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Classical Pick of the Week: Music for Everyone

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You don't have to be this old to enjoy classical music. An article in this mornings LA Times reveals that the audience is not necessarily "dying" or as old as one might think, and talks about the benefits of classical music. Some basic points are that it's never too early to start enjoying it, attendance is solid and growing for most concerts, and people go not just for the music, but the experiences one might gain that benefit them spiritually and/or emotionally. The appreciation often grows over time, often buoyed by experiences in our youth with this music. So get a head start on other Angelenos by picking out a concert this week. There is plenty to choose from.

Many of Los Angeles' venerable musical institutions and programs have returned for the year now, so there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Returning this week is the Southwest Chamber Music, who has been celebrating the life and work of William Kraft, with a world premiere of his work Encounters XV for percussion ensemble. The concert is on Monday to commemorate his 85th birthday, and is going to be at Zipper Hall. Zipper Hall is a great venue, but it is difficult to support a full sized orchestra there. Like last year, the Colburn Orchestra is tackling some big pieces at the Ambassador Auditorium (last year Brahms and Shostakovich, this year Dvorak and Prokofiev). They will be conducted by James Conlon, on Saturday night. If Pasadena is a little far on Saturday night, the LA Phil is also performing. No real fireworks this time (if you went to the gala concert that was a real treat), but they are playing Stravinsky's Fireworks and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, which are definite crowd-pleasers. Yefim Bronfman is the soloist, and if you're more into chamber music then bombastic showpieces, he is performing the Schubert Trout Quintet and a Brahms String Quartet with members of the LA Phil on Tuesday.

Photo by AP/Darron Cummings

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