On today's show:
She has a thing for Bartók
(Starts at 8:16)
Thirty one-year-old piano virtuoso Yuja Wang was born in China and was a stand-out talent from a very young age. She studied in Canada and the United States and today lives, more or less, in New York — though she's in such demand that she’s rarely home at all. Back in 2017, John Horn spoke with her at Disney Hall as she was preparing for an engagement with Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic. Today we revisit that interview, following her Grammy nomination last week in the Classical Instrumental Solo category for her recording of Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker.
'Coco' continues to pay off for songwriters
(Starts at 1:00)
If you saw the film "Coco," you probably shed a few tears. The heartfelt story takes place on the Day of the Dead as 12-year-old Miguel, over his family’s objections, wants to become a great musician like his great-great-grandfather. Through his music, Miguel ends up bringing his family together. Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, the film has received critical acclaim for its stunning animation and its thoughtful depiction of Mexican culture. But the film's heart and soul are its songs, written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. For "Coco," they drew inspiration from popular Mexican songs of the 1930s and '40s. But the key elements in their song "Remember Me" came from their own lives. "Remember Me" won this year's Academy Award for Best Original Song, and now it has a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Today we revisit our interview with them from earlier this year.
'La Bohème' gets a hipster twist in L.A.
(Starts at 19:30)
In neighborhoods across Los Angeles, battle lines continue to be drawn over gentrification. Artists and other creative types are seeking affordable housing. Landlords and developers want commerce, while longtime residents and community activists pine for preservation. It’s not a new squabble by any stretch — in fact, one particular version of this story has proven almost timeless. Americans got their first glimpse of “La Bohème,” Puccini’s famous opera, more than 120 years ago here in California at downtown's Los Angeles Theater. Now, the Pacific Opera Project is bringing the story of struggling artists back, and it's being performed in an L.A. neighborhood at the center of a fight over gentrification. Marcos Nájera has our story.