Classical KUSC


Pacific Standard Time

Classical KUSC is proud to participate in Pacific Standard Time, a citywide Getty Research Institute initiative that focuses on postwar art in Southern California. These in-depth interviews with iconic arts figures in Los Angeles originally aired on KUSC in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. They’re now part of the Sheila Tepper Archive at the University of Southern California.


Henry Hopkins in conversation with Hilton Kramer

Museum director and educator Henry Hopkins in conversation with art critic and essayist Hilton Kramer.

Interview originally aired April 18, 1987 on KUSC

Posted 4/3/2012 9:30:00 PM


Dorothy Crawford in conversation with Franz van Ossum

Dorothy Crawford speaks with John Cage biographer Franz van Ossum about the composer's life in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Cage was born in Los Angeles in 1912.

Posted 3/19/2012 10:44:00 AM


Melinda Wortz in conversation with Rachel Rosenthal and Elyse Grinstein

Rachel Rosenthal (b. 1926) is an interdisciplinary performer who developed a revolutionary performance technique that integrates text, movement, voice, choreography, improvisation, inventive costuming, dramatic lighting and wildly imaginative sets into an unforgettable “total theater” experience. In the last twenty-five years of her performing career she presented over 40 full-scale pieces nationally & internationally.

Born in Paris of Russian parents, Rosenthal studied art, theatre and dance in Paris and N.Y. after the war with such teachers as Hans Hoffmann, Merce Cunningham, Erwin Piscator and Jean-Louis Barrault. She moved to California in 1955 where she created the experimental Instant Theatre, performing in and guiding it for ten years. She was a leading figure in the L.A. Women's Art Movement in the 1970's, co-founding WomanSpace, among other projects. During that period, her focus split between the performing and visual art world, she created and exhibited her ceramic sculptures.

In 1989, she founded The Rachel Rosenthal Company, a non-profit organization, to work collaboratively with artists from other disciplines and pass on the legacy of her pioneering form of spontaneous collaboration (the DbD “Doing by Doing” technique) through her Company’s theatrical productions and performance workshops.

She has toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. Rosenthal has taught classes and workshops in performance since 1979, in her LA studio as well as around North America and Europe.

In 2000 she was honored by the City of Los Angeles as “a Living Cultural Treasure of Los Angeles” and, in 2001, was the recipient of the Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). Retired from the stage in 2000, Rosenthal resumed a long dormant career in visual art and is currently working in oil and watercolor. In addition to her work in the visual arts, Rosenthal is Artistic Director of a new ensemble of performers who present evenings of Total Improvisation one weekend a month in her studio space, along with guest artists from the world of visual art and music.

Elyse Grinstein is an architect and owner of Gemini GEL, a publisher of limited edition art prints based in Los Angeles.

Posted 2/13/2012 10:20:00 AM


Alan Rich in conversation with Mel Powell

Mel Powell (1923 - 1988) began his musical life as a prodigious jazz artist, working as pianist and arranger with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and later, the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Soon, however, a strong compositional instinct prompted his matriculation at Yale University, where he studied with Paul Hindemith. Under Hindemith, and throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, Powell composed primarily in a neoclassic style producing such works as the Cantilena Concertante for English horn and orchestra, Divertimento for violin and harp, and Trio for piano, violin and cello.
In 1959, Powell's musical personality blossomed and the influence of Webern was manifested in a brevity of forms and transparency of textures. An innovative and consistently adventurous musical style embraced experimentation with extended string techniques and invented notations (as in the Filigree Setting for string quartet), musical blocks of chords, pitch sequences, rhythms, and colors (represented in Modules: An Intermezzo for chamber orchestra), and tape and electronics (such as in the song cycle Strand Settings: Darker). Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and illustrates Powell's meticulous craftsmanship and singular skill at assembling richly expressive yet intricately complex musical structures.

Powell was one of the instrumental founders of the California Institute of the Arts. He served as dean of the music school from 1969 to 1978, and, at the time of his death on 24 April 1998, he held the Roy E. Disney endowed chair in music composition. Powell received awards and commissions from Sigma Alpha Iota, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the NEA. Among his final works were: the Piano Trio '94; the Sonatina (for solo flute) and the Sextet, premiered in 1996 by the California EAR Unit; the song cycle, Levertov Breviary, premiered in 1997 by soprano Judith Bettina and pianist James Goldsworthy for Harvard University's Fromm Foundation; and Seven Miniatures -- Women Poets of China, a work for harp and voice premiered at New York's Merkin Concert Hall in October 1998 by Susan Allen and Anne-Lise Berntsen. (from G. Schirmer)

Posted 2/13/2012 10:16:00 AM


Irene Borger in conversation with Bella Lewitzsky

Bella Lewitzsky (1916 - 2004) was a modern dancer, choreographer and noted teacher.

Lewitzky was born to Russian immigrant parents in Llano del Rio, California. Her family later moved to San Bernardino, where Lewitzsky studied ballet. In 1934, she joined Lester Horton’s company, later becoming its lead dancer, and where she was instrumental in the development of the Horton Technique.
In 1946, Lewitzky founded Dance Theater of Los Angeles with Horton. Dance Theater of Los Angeles was one of the few institutions in the United States to house both a dance school and theater under the same roof. She left the company in 1950 to pursue an independent career.

She choreographed several films, and in 1966, founded the Lewitzky Dance Company (later renamed Bella Lewitzky Dance Theatre). Under her artistic guidance, the company became one of the leading international modern dance companies.

She received many awards including honorary doctorates from the California Institute of Arts (1981), Occidental College (1984), Otis Parsons College (1989), and the Juilliard School (1993).

Ms. Lewitzky served on the dance panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and on the California Arts Council and was the recipient of the Dance Magazine Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Tiffany Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Capezio Award and, in 1989, the first California Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Posted 2/13/2012 10:08:00 AM

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