Back to LA after whirlwind classical music tour of NYC 2

Music
Your humble correspondent is chained once again to her desk in Los Feliz, California, following a 10-day tour of paradise — otherwise known as New York City in scintillating October weather, with the art season in full blast. As a lucky recipient of a fellowship to the NEA’s Classical Music & Opera Institute, I joined a gung-ho group ...

Bob Hope roasts C.B DeMille in 1953

Film
While performing research in the DeMille archive at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, I came across this transcript of gags that Bob Hope zinged at Cecil B. DeMille. The occasion was the “Great American” dinner. The date, November 30, 1953. Cecil’s been in this business a long time I don’t know exactly when he ...

Bessie Awards honors west coast choreographers 1

Dance
In a joyous ceremony that ended only one hour ago at Symphony Space on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, two West Coast choreographers were among those honored with Bessie dance awards. The awards returned with a vengeance following a one-year hiatus. Faye Driscoll of Los Angeles was recognized for her dance-theater piece “837 Venice Boulevard.”  Accepting ...

Ornette Coleman, at 80, can still change the way you listen . . . or even scare you 2

Music
Jazz enthusiast Adam Hyman contributes this appreciation of Ornette Coleman to arts·meme: Ornette Coleman, who returns to UCLA Live on November 3, is one of jazz’s few remaining legends to walk among us. He’s usually credited with creating “free jazz.” In fact, a variety of free-jazz experimentations preceded him. What Coleman created, as part of his truly ...

Fear & loathing at the Met: Rene Pape as Boris Gudonov 1

Music · Reviews
Read this story on The Huffington Post. Opera goers didn’t so much descend the Metropolitan Opera House’s red staircase late Friday night as fled the house after a challenging four-hour encounter with “Boris Gudonov,” Modest Mussorgsky’s sprawling recitative-driven opera from 1869. Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky Theater conductor whose advocacy for “Boris” may have spurred the ...

Meeting NY Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert

Music
As part of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Classical Music & Opera, our group of 23 met yesterday with the New York Philharmonic’s talented new conductor Alan Gilbert. Joining Gilbert in the meeting was his composer-in-residence, the Finn, Magnus Lindberg. Also on the panel was Gilbert’s artistic administrator, John Magnum, formerly of the L.A. ...

Jerome Robbins’s “Glass Pieces” at NYCB

Dance
Program opener “Glass Pieces” was a standout at the final performance of New York City Ballet’s fall season Sunday afternoon. Jerome Robbins made the piece in 1983, a bit of a late comer to the music of minimalist composer Phillip Glass who had long been the darling of the downtown world. The Robbins validation was ...

Le Poisson Rouge = no red herring 1

Music
I arrived in New York last night to attend the classical music arts journalism institute run by the National Endowment for the Arts at Columbia University. The ten-day program, which includes classical music performances, talks, discussion, lectures and writing workshops, kicks off this evening with performance of Kronos Quartet. The program includes works by Clint ...

Film Foundation tribute gears up @ LACMA

Film
arts·meme guest writer Doug Cummings previews LACMA’s upcoming film series: Martin Scorsese is a valued friend of the film program at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); he’s also a friend to cinephiles everywhere through his pioneering organizations devoted to film preservation, The Film Foundation (formed in 1990) and the World Cinema Foundation (formed ...

Great Los Angeles-born ballerina Cynthia Gregory returns to West Coast 1

Dance
This Martha Swope photo of Cynthia Gregory with the Hungarian, Ivan Nagy, was published in a dance book I pored over as a teenager. The image had a huge impact on me — it was a proto-feminist portrait of a powerful, free young woman. Boy, did I ever want to be her. I enjoyed a ...