Art, books, talk, music & life … @ ALOUD

Architecture & Design · Music

It’s difficult to separate affection for the Library Foundation’s ALOUD series at Los Angeles Central Library from love of the library itself.

The detailing in the original building’s grand rotonda, pictured at left, shows why. It’s gorgeous: where California Mission-style leaves off, art deco kicks in.

ALOUD, the program of lectures, book talks, readings and performances running since 1994, takes place mid-week in the coziest room around town, the Mark Taper Auditorium.

The lovingly designed 237-seater with a gentle thrust stage is so very très intime that’s it’s nearly impossible to not enjoy a wonderful and stimulating evening there.

[Indeed, it was during an ALOUD event that we first learned with certainty what is a meme.]

And, then, there is Central Library. The mural pictured below is one of a set of four tucked high around the rotonda. Dating from 1932, they capture memorable moments in California history, viz., discovery, mission building, “Americanization,” and the founding of Los Angeles (click on image below).founding of los angeles

ALOUD’s chef d’orchestre is wonder woman Louise Steinman, director of cultural programs for the Library Foundation. Louise programs a boggling range of authors and their subjects, all skewed toward the tastes and concerns of her audience.

I’m delighted to enjoy chamber music in this intimate space this weekend. The group culled from the Los Angeles Philharmonic — Bing Wang, Johnny Lee, Dana Hanson and Jason Lippmann — will play Haydn and Beethoven string quartets. As good as it gets.

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