Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


Backstage Spotlight: Events for Your Holiday Weekend and Beyond

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 6/30/2016 9:00:00 AM

Arts Alive is on summer hiatus until September, but we're still committed to letting you know about great arts events happening around Southern California. Here are a few interesting ones coming up, starting off with a free concert:


The Los Angeles Philharmonic Presents: 101 Pianists, a free educational concert with Lang Lang. The event is a co-presentation of the LA Phil, Lang Lang International Music Foundation, The Colburn School and Steinway & Sons and Roland. On Monday, July 11 at 2PM, approximately 100 young piano students from the Colburn School of Performing Arts and the Colburn School Music Academy will be on the stage performing with Lang Lang at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Get your ticket by calling 323.850.2000, or clicking hereProgram to be announced.


The Music Academy of the West has welcomed fellows from ...

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 ...

Alpert Award Winners on Mixing Genres and Secretly Editing Movies

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 5/19/2016 7:22:00 AM

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is an annual prize that recognizes risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts. This year's winners were recently announced and we spoke with two of them: Cauleen Smith won in the film/video category, and Dohee Lee won for music. 

Cauleen Smith

Smith's work often takes as its subject African-American women, because, as Smith told us, they are the keepers of culture. She also told us why she's drawn to Afrofuturism (an aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction with stories from the African diaspora), and how her first feature length film was edited in secret and almost got her kicked out of UCLA.

Dohee Lee

Dohee Lee told us that because her work combines genres like storytelling, music and dance, she doesn't usually think of herself as just a musician, or just a choreographer. But, says Lee, winning the ...

Actor Alan Mandell on Getting to Know Beckett and Directing Endgame

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 5/17/2016 8:26:00 AM

Alan Mandell is known for his roles in plays by Shakespeare and Beckett, as well as for his work on the big screen. He was Estragon in Waiting for Godot at the Mark Taper Forum in 2012. Now he's back in LA, acting in and directing another work by Beckett. Endgame is on now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre through May 22nd. 


I spoke with Mandell about his experience directing a play he's also acting in, and why this might be the last time we see him on an LA stage.

photo courtesy Susie Goodman

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