Classical Underground rocks

Music · Reviews

Clamor filled the central-Los Angeles industrial loft last Thursday evening, when the Russian expatriate painter, Alexey Steele, and his wife Olga opened their funky-junky, atelier-style home to the music lovers of Los Angeles.

Amidst a clutter of books, art supplies, burning candles, and oversized classical paintings, propped onto surfaces or hanging from walls, habitués of Classical Underground, the monthly musical salon, went through their paces. They sipped, noshed, and schmoozed.

The hubbub was a pre-concert affair; once the music started, a connoisseur’s hush-hush  prevailed. Settling into seats — mostly folding chairs, some of the cozy overstuffed variety –- a few hundred classical-music junkies focused on getting their fix. A roster of musical prodigies — primarily imports from the Russian academy still in their mid-thirties, several on the brink of major classical careers — delivered an exquisite line-up of chamber music deploying killer technique and sublime interpretation rarely seen at close range. Now in its fifth season, the still-vital “Classical Underground” served up this bohemian repast -– top notch music plumped out by food, wine, and passionate, if a somewhat kooky, arts discourse.

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