Given the frustrating traffic inundating Los Angeles, my arts and entertainment commentaries on public radio 97.5 KBU and websites everywhere have been on the more accessible cultural venues on the west side.
The sad fact is traffic is the tail that wags the cultural dog in L.A., which for many of us has morphed from our hometown to crazy town.
But sometimes in the pursuit of culture you just have to go Downtown, to the Music Center and the Disney Concert Hall, and just gird yourself for the usual two plus hours in stop-and-go freeway traffic to get there.
Such was an evening recently when we braved the traffic to go the Disney for a stellar program of early cutting edge 20th century music, composed by three brilliant symphonist of the period, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, and Leos Janacek.
Up to the challenge was the increasing adept and praised Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and for the Stravinsky and Janacek compositions, the Los Angeles Master Choral and four solo singers.
Though without question if repeated curtain calls, standing ovations and thunderous applause is any measure, and my own cheering, the super star of the evening was the astonishing young pianist Yuja Wang.
The 30-year-old Wang is known not only for her musicality, but also for her stunning outfits. She did not disappoint.
Her jaunty entrance in a shimmering, tight, rose gold colored metallic gown, split up to the top of her thighs, stirred the audience. And then there was the four-inch high heels that made you wonder if she could work the pedals, as needed.
But this just added to the excitement of her playing the very challenging Bartok Piano Concerto Number One, which she did with verve and dexterity. It was, in a word, breathtaking.
With her energetic attack of the keyboard, she more than matched the percussion-dominated reverberations of the orchestra under the busy baton of an enthusiastic and obviously pleased Dudamel. It took your breath away.
Yes, the Bartok concerto was bookended by a sensitive short Stravinsky requiem, and a spirited, edgy Janacek mass, accented by a striking solo organ movement. Both compositions were engrossing.
But it was Wang that marked the evening as memorable. We flew home to Malibu on the freeway in a state of euphoria.