News and Views
by Rich Capparela

Walt Disney Concert Hall Opens
KMZT-FM aired the three inaugural concerts live from Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. I was the co-host for these historic broadcasts and I must say - the expectations for the hall have been overwhelmed by the reality: it is a winner in every way. Congratulations to the team of Gehry, Toyota and Salonen. Also thanks goes to my fabulous co-workers for the broadcasts.
Speaking of Springfield

For shame, Frank Gehry. Just when everyone in L.A. is all abuzz over your "new" Walt Disney Concert Hall, what do I see on a rerun of "The Simpsons" but a brief shot of the Springfield Knowledgeum. The episode, "This Little Wiggy," first ran in 1998 - a full five years before the opening of our now-obvious knock-off. Oh, the indignity of it all! The story was picked up in the "Only in L.A." column in the Los Angeles Times
Otherwise Normal Rocks St. John of God Retirement and Care Center
Otherwise Normal, gave a benefit concert for St. John of God in Los Angeles in September 2003. The event benefited the Arts and Music Program at the facility. The In 'n Out Burger Truck was there as well. Otherwise Normal served up our usual covers of Beatles, Stones, etc. For more about the band, visit the Otherwise Normal page.
Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame IV In June of 2003 I was once again the MC/announcer for the 4th annual Hall of Fame gala season opener at the Hollywood Bowl. The honorees this past summer: Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, the Smothers Brothers, Roger Daltry and Leopold Stokowski. The spokesperson for the Bowl's education program Music Matters (the whole reason for the fete) was singer Josh Groban.

Inductees in 2002 were Kathleen Battle, Bernadette Peters and Randy Newman. There was also a posthumous tribute to George Harrison. The presenters included Joel Grey, Anthony Hopkins, Eric Idle and many more, including Fred Willard (left, with my wife Marcia & yours truly). Esa-Pekka Salonen led the Los Angeles Philharmonic. willard

I'm lucky enough to be able to hang out with the celebs (2000 presenters John Williams and Whoopi Goldberg) and I regularly get little backstage insights such as "Robin Williams is ALWAYS like that." The annual concerts are a benefit for Music Matters, the children's music education programs of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

It isalways a thrill to walk onto that stage, knowing who has walked there before. It's also a bit intimidating and exhilerating to look out into the darkened audience knowning that you're being watched by some thirteen to fifteen thousand faces. That is a large crowd for any public speaker.

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet CD Receives 2003 Grammy Nomination
I was pleased to participate in an exciting new Latin-flavored CD. The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet asked me provide the program notes for the group's Telarc release, the Grammy-nominated album LAGQ Latin, their first project for the label. The crossover CD features music from Cuba, Central and South America, Spain and a whole lot more. Composers on the album include Egberto Gismonti, Eduardo Martin, Aron Copland as well as a suite from Bizet's Carmen. Throughout the wide-ranging album one can even find an arrangement of Sting's song Fragile. The album arrived in the stores in September of 2002. The album was nominated for the Grammy award in the category "Best Crossover Album." While it didn't wind up winning the award during the February 2003 ceremony, it was still quite the honor.
Idyllwild Summer Chamber Music Festival
In 2001 the highly acclaimed Idyllwild Arts Academy added a week-long summer chamber music festival to its schedule. I hosted the event, joined by music critic Timothy Mangan and conductor Larry Livingston. The musicians included violinist Aaron Rosand, pianist Anne Epperson and the legendary Idyllwild Arts Academy summer music faculty.

I was the host again in 2002 and I'm delighted to report that the festival was bigger and better. Events were well attended and the level of playing was superior even to '01. I hosted the event for the third consecutive year last July and it continues to grow in popularity and quality. It is class all the way. Visit the Idyllwild Arts Academy web page to start planning on putting aside the time now for the 2004 summer festival.

Los Angeles Music Week at L.A. City Hall
On December 14th of 2001, as part of Los Angeles Music Week, the Los Angeles City Council presented this year's honorees with certificates of achievement. I was proud to be among those so honored. I am pictured here addressing the City Council from the podium. (Of note: just to my right, seated in a wheelchair, is the day's honoree for Lifetime Achievement - author Ray Bradbury.)

Among those honored as part of Los Angeles Music Week were Ray Charles, conductor Sidney Weiss and Kay Starr. My comments included the following: "The depth of my gratitude for this award can be illustrated by my reaction to an increasingly common listener comment. A comment that once turned my heart to ice and made me feel old and washed up. A comment that now fills me with great pride and satisfaction. It's the comment from the listener who tells me 'I grew up listening to you play classical music on the radio.' For that I am especially grateful."

Cardiff Studios Domain
After a half-decade's worth of web presence via cobbled together personal web pages, it is with great pride that we welcome you to The goal of this site is to offer an evolving and informative place worthy of a bookmark. will offer connections to the worlds of classical music and fine arts, especially in Southern California. I will also freely admit that this is very much my personal site as well as a business site. I believe that the web is increasingly becoming gentrified and, in doing so, is losing much of it personality. I hope that this site can reside comfortably in both worlds. We are planning on increasing the depth and breadth of our current pages and we'll also be adding new features. Down the road we hope to resurrect the extraordinarily popular syndicated program Classical Countdown, making it available every week on-line. We'll also be posting more essays and articles about classical music and the state of classical music on the radio dial. Your suggestions are welcome. Just click on "Contact Us" in the left-hand pane. Meantime, enjoy your stay. We look forward to your next visit.