Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


Ojai in the Rear View: How Was This Year's Festival?

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 6/17/2015 10:17:00 AM

The 69th annual Ojai Music Festival closed last weekend. It's a singular experience for concert-goers and performers. At the Festival, KUSC talked to Julia Wolfe who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Her new arrangement of Four Marys received its premiere in Ojai. We also caught up with cellist Maya Beiser, who performed many pieces including one written for her by Mohammed Fairouz, Kol Nidrei. 

Choreographer Lucinda Childs on "Available Light" coming to Next on Grand Festival

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 6/4/2015 3:18:00 PM

A collaboration between choreographer Lucinda Childs, composer John Adams, and architect Frank Gehry resulted in the dance work Available Light that helped inaugurate MOCA's Temporary Contemporary (now called the Geffen Contemporary) 31 years ago. This Friday and Saturday, the performance comes back to LA as part of the Next on Grand festival happening at Disney Concert Hall. We spoke with Childs about how the first collaboration came about and what's different this time around.

Photo courtesy Susie Goodman

Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West at the Autry

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 5/11/2015 11:47:00 AM

Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West is the first major museum exhibition to explore the causes and legacies of the American Civil War on westward expansion. This show is on view at the Autry Center through the end of the year, and is co-curated by Carolyn Brucken, (the Autry's Curator of Western Women's History) and Virginia Scharff (the Autry's Chair of Western Women's History). We spoke with Scharff and Brucken about some of the exhibition's goals and highlights.

John Fremont 1856 portrait

Portrait of John Fremont, 1856.


Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont, Wife of General John Fremont 1856.

Portrait of Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont, Wife of General John Fremont 1856.  The Fremonts commissioned these paired portraits for their 1856 campaign.  By 1856 the issue of slavery had split national political parties and gave rise to new ones.  Fremont was recruited as the first presidential candidate for the new Republican Party whose platform included opposition to the extension of slavery in the ...

Pulitzer Prize Winner Julia Wolfe Picks Up an Alpert Award: Our Interview with Her

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 5/1/2015 11:13:00 AM

Today, the Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) awarded the 21st Annual Herb Alpert Award in the Arts to five exceptional mid–career artists. You can see a complete list of the winners below, but the name of music award winner, Julia Wolfe, should sound especially familiar, because she was recently announced as the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her oratorio about coal miners, Anthracite Fields. We spoke about how she was drawn into the world of composing, her approach to projects and what she has coming up next.

Julia Wolfe's music will be performed as part of the LA Phil's Next on Grand Festival, a snapshot of contemporary American music from such established voices as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams, to emergent ones, including Christopher Cerrone, Andrew Norman, Steven Mackey, and Caroline Shaw. Next on Grand takes place at Walt Disney ...

Making Strange at the Fowler Museum: Turning Everyday Objects into Haute Couture

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/24/2015 11:02:00 AM

Making Strange: Gagawaka is a major exhibition at the Fowler Museum of recent work by Delhi-based contemporary artist Vivan Sundaram.  All of the stunning dresses and inventive looks are made from unexpected, re-purposed materials. While we stood in front of Diva R-E-D, 2011 and several other garments, I asked him about his inspiration and process.





Flow-wrap, 2011.  Plastic corrugated sheet, foam, cotton fabric lining. 


Ziparound, 2011.  Zippers, cotton fabric. 


Silverfoil Suit, 2011.  Foil medicine wrappers, cotton fabric, polyester fiberfill. 


Fruit Bowl, 2011. Plastic kitchen scrubbers


Shoeskin Hoop, 2011.  Shoe-top linings, shoelaces, polyester net, metal hoop..


Photos courtesy Susie Goodman

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