Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


The Story of LA's Central Library is as Dramatic as Any of the Books Within It

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 7/25/2016 12:46:00 PM

Architectural historian Stephen Gee's previous book was about how a working class Brit, John Parkinson, ended up building some of the most impressive landmarks in the city.

Now, Gee has turned his pen to the city's Central Library. His new book is called Los Angeles Central Library: A History of its Art and Architecture. Gee worked with graphic designer and Academy Award-winner Arnold Schwartzman on the book, which tells the surprisingly fraught tale of how Los Angeles got, and kept, its Central Library. In the book's forward by LA City Librarian John F. Szabo, there is a quote by Toni Morrison that echoes what the library's founders and protectors saw within its walls. 

Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission. No committee decides who may ...

Backstage Spotlight: Arts Events To Look Forward To

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 7/22/2016 12:24:00 PM

Backstage Spotlight is Arts Alive's occasional series highlighting interesting events around Southern California.

Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in MAESTRO -- a one man play with music at The Wallis in Beverly Hills from August 10th to 28th. Hershey Felder brings Bernstein, a composer, pianist, author, educator, librettist, television star and more, to life with stories and great music. He tells how Bernstein changed the face of musicals, and plays the music of Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner, Copeland and more.

LONDON CALLING: Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, Andrews, Auerbach and Kitaj is on view from July 26th through November 13th at the Getty CenterThe exhibition is a collaboration between the Tate in London and the J. Paul Getty and features a group of painters working in London between the 1940's and 1980's who created startling new styles of painting the human figure and everyday landscapes. This is the ...

A Mythical Opera Performed Only Once Lives On As The Industry Record's 2nd Album Release

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 6/30/2016 1:16:00 PM

You may know The Industry as the risk-taking opera company that staged the mobile opera Invisible Cities in Union Station, and, more recently, a car-based opera called Hopscotch. But the company has also created a record label, and The Industry Records has just released its second album. The Edge Of Forever is a chamber opera that was only performed once: at the moment the Mayan calendar flipped over to zero on December 21, 2012.

Lewis Pesacov composed the music and the libretto is by Elizabeth Cline. I spoke to them both about how they used ancient and contemporary sounds and words to enter an infinite timestream at the moment one myth was ending, and another beginning.


wild Up playing the chamber opera The Edge of Forever

On the album, The Edge of Forever is performed by the chamber orchestra wild Up conducted by Christopher Rountree.

Yuval Sharon, founder of The Industry

At a listening party for the album, I talked to Yuval Sharon, The Industry's founder and artistic ...

An Arts Alive Sneak Peek: The New & Improved Ford Theatres

Posted By: KUSC · 6/28/2016 12:26:00 PM

Construction crews have been hard at work giving the Ford Theatres, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, a big face-lift. The venue re-opens to the public on July 8th, with a summer season full of music and dance from around the world. So what should we expect from the new and improved Ford? Arts Alive contributing reporter Luis Torres checked it out. Hear his preview below.

Reporting from the Ojai Music Festival

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 6/20/2016 1:12:00 PM

sunset over the Ojai Music Festival

The 70th annual Ojai Music Festival drew fans and musicians from all over to celebrate contemporary classical music in several beautiful settings.

A banner advertising the 2016 Ojai Music Festival

Before the festival began, I sat down with this year's Music Director Peter Sellars and New Yorker Music Critic Alex Ross. Peter told me how he mined Ojai for inspiration and Alex told me how Ojai compares to festivals around the world.


Here are more snapshots from

the 2016 Ojai Music Festival:

Ojai Music Festival Music Director Peter Sellars and Singer Julia Bullock

Peter Sellars and soprano Julia Bullock, star of the chamber opera La Passion de Simone.

Nancy and Barry Sanders

Nancy & Barry Sanders are festival regulars and Barry is on the festival's Board of Directors. I asked them both what they're looking forward to and Nancy said, "hearing music I've never heard before and understanding a little better where it's from and what it's about. Barry added, "I think it's a great opportunity to hear not just music that ...

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