In the initial volley, a canzoni by Giovanni Gabrieli, guest conductor Daniel Meyer led 32 high school musicians from CCSD’s Honor Brass Ensemble integrated with the Phil’s brass section. Split down the orchestra aisles, they filled the hall with a richly layered back-and-forth conversation that evoked the late 16th century emergence of Baroque. The evening officially closed in Seville with the “Fantasia” from Bizet’s Carmen, arranged for guest trumpet virtuosi Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer, who swapped between piccolo trumpet, orchestral trumpet and flugelhorn to “sing” the parts of Carmen and her lovers. While all of the performances were outstanding, I was most transported by Brahm’s Symphony No. 3. Its broad sweep of meticulously interleaved themes, from the solo french horn’s glowing tendril in the poco allegretto movement to the monolithic stacked bastions of sound rising in the allegro, perfectly translated the Rhine River valley’s dance of pastoral and industrial so well I could feel the cut of the wind, see silhouetted castle ruins and hear the snap of the river barge’s pennant. ★★★★★
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Gorillaz are coming to Las Vegas for the first time ever. 2016’s Grammy winner for best new artist, Chance the Rapper, will return. English rockers Muse will bring their dizzying live show to the streets of Downtown. And that’s just the top of an eclectic bill that features more than 70 acts, along with comedy, interactive art installations, a group art exhibit featuring the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson and Shepard Fairey and much more. Last year saw more than 137,000 attendees trod the festival footprint. Who’s ready for more?
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.