Friday, February 19, 2010

The Future of Music in LA

By Laurence Vittes

When I heard that the brilliant young cellist Boris Andiranov was coming to town last December with news of his next Cello Circus (i.e., Moscow International Cello Festival 2010), I knew he would eventually wind up playing in Torrance at Alexey Steele's. Whether you're in from Moscow or traveling with the Vienna Philharmonic, if you want to find late night, apres concert, classical music pleasures in LA you're bound to show up at Alexey Steele's monthly crave, classical music's version of a rave.

Boris is a 30-something, slouching in jeans, sexy Russian dream who plays the great Romantic concertos, this season with the great Valerie Gergiev in Saint Petersburg. It was a fantastic evening. Women swooned when Boris played Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Everybody dropped what they were holding when Boris played two extended fantasies by the eccentric Italian genius Giovanni Sollima so dizzingly difficult and magnificently dramatic and fast that there was near frenzy after each. He followed with a performance of Paganini's glorious Moses Variations that made the audience laugh and cry.

MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL Featuring Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, David Geringas and Julian Rachlin, 3 world premieres by rock-opera legend Alexey Rybnikov, the first-ever CelloBACH concert and Roger Moore narrating Carnival of the Animals. Bi-annual Festival follows on success of 2008 Festival devoted to Rostropovich.

There's info about the Festival on Alexey's site as well as a link to my article about Classical Underground for Gramophone magazine. Here's a brief excerpt from my article:

"By day, a 7,500-foot studio in a middle-of-nowhere industrial park 22 miles southeast of Walt Disney Concert Hall and the fashionable artists' lofts of downtown Los Angeles is Alexey Steele's place of work, hung with sensuous nudes and enormous landscapes.

"Once a month Steele shoots out, rave-like, a last-minute e-mail invitation to his friends. He tells them who the players and the composers will be. He reminds them to bring chairs and food. He warns them that this time the music will start on time, although it never does.

"The bright, shining crowd of as many as 400 actors, painters, scientists, musicians, writers and models, most of them young and beautiful, were clearly enjoying their classical music evening out on the town. Eager listeners surrounded the musicians every side, hangers-on moved around the periphery for different views, and smokers who went outside to enjoy their sinful pleasures could still hear strains of the glorious music floating through the night air."

In order to get on Alexey's e-mail list, visit You never know who's going to show up!


  1. Пару русских приятелей в Воскресение рассказали о CU и я сразу загорелся. Я довольно известный российский певец, с удовольствием присоединюсь к вечеринке если пригласите.

    A couple of russian friends told me about CU last Sunday and I was intrigued. I am a fairly well known singer in Russia and would love to join the party if invited.

    Кристиан Рэй/ Christian Ray

  2. Christian,
    Wonderful! to get our notifications about the upcoming events, join our email list (which is on the top of our website). Then you get the instructions on how to get to our events and how to buy the tickets. Our events are not parties. They are showcases of representational fine art and classical music concerts together with large intermissions for people to mingle, meet the artists, enjoy their time!....


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.