Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


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.

We also talked to artist and philanthropist Herb Alpert about what inspired him to create the artist awards and the inspiration that the artists bring him.

Here are all five of the Alpert Award Winners, with notes from the judging panels:

The Dance panel selected choreographer and artist Maria Hassabi for changing the nature ...

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

An Interview with Steven Stucky Before Tuesday Night's Piano Spheres Premiere

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/21/2015 10:26:00 AM

Steven Stucky won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for his Second Concerto for Orchestra. This season he is having four world premieres, is on the faculty of Juilliard School and is Composer-in-Residence of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Tonight at 8PM, Piano Spheres is giving one of those premieres. We talked to Stucky about his new piece, Sonata, which pianist Gloria Cheng will be performing.



Piano Spheres is continuing Leonard Stein's mission to commission and perform piano repertoire. For 21 seasons they have performed over 688 works by 302 composers of which 59 are women.  They have given 64 world premieres and 20 of these have been Piano Spheres commissions. For more information about tonight's concert, click here.


Photo of Steven Stucky courtesy of Susie Goodman

Heading to the Getty? Bring a Magnifying Glass

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 3/31/2015 12:20:00 PM

Right now at the Getty Museum, the exhibition Zeitgeist: Art in the Germanic World 1800-1900 is showing the work of a fascinating group of artists, including some you could easily mistake for monks. They lived simply, revered nature, had an almost sacred devotion to their artistic practice, and used materials in such a precise way, it can take a magnifying glass to truly appreciate their skill. Dr. Lee Hendrix, Senior Curator of Drawings at the Getty, walked us through the exhibit and helped us understand the meaning and context behind these remarkable pieces of art.

Photo Courtesy Susie Goodman

This Production of Cinderella is About More Than Just a Pretty Face

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 3/20/2015 1:32:00 PM

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella opened this week at the Ahmanson Theatre, and while it has all the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs you know and love, there's also a maturing of some of themes... one of the "evil" step-sisters maybe isn't so evil, and the Prince doesn't fall just for Cinderella's beauty, but for her kind heart. 

Arts Alive got to go behind the scenes to talk to the actors playing Cinderella and the Prince, Paige Faure and Andy Huntington Jones. They told us what LA audiences have to look forward to and how they fell in love with the production.

Cinderella's forest

The "forest" takes the stage.

The Prince: Andy Huntington Jones

The Prince: Andy Huntington Jones

Cinderella: Paige Faure

Cinderella: Paige Faure

The Prince, Andy Huntington Jones in his throne.

The Price on his throne.

A chariot fit for a princess

A chariot fit for a princess. 

ballgowns for Cinderella

A quartet of ballgowns.

wardrobe for Cinderella

More of the costumes that bring the production to life.

Cinderella, Paige Faure with the pumpkin which turns into the golden carriage below.

Cinderella, Paige Faure with the pumpkin which turns into the golden carriage below.

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