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CalArts' Wild Beast performance hall ready to open

October 16, 2010 | 11:00 am



The beast is alive!  And it turns out it’s wired with a 5.1 surround sound system and high-speed Ethernet connectivity to boot.

CalArts’ long-awaited state-of-the-art performance space, the Wild Beast, is up and running finally, “humming from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with classes and performances,” says David Rosenboom, dean of the institute’s Herb Alpert School of Music. And its inaugural concert season kicks off Oct. 23 with the first of an open-air, four-concert series, “Strauss, Mozart and Gabrieli Under the Stars.” 

Designed by architects Craig Hodgetts and Ming Fung, the building is cutting-edge in both design and functionality, conceived as a musical instrument itself –- able to house anywhere from a dozen students to 1,000 audience members, depending on how it’s configured. Considering this flexible, multi-use capability, the building feels more like an ensemble of instruments rather than a lone musical device. With all its various doors and “hatches” closed, it’s a tight, clean and modern student rehearsal or recital space or an intimate concert hall for 140 people.

To read a full account of the Beast, click here.

--Deborah Vankin

Photo: The exterior of Wild Beast, CalArts' state-of-the-art performance venue on the campus in Valencia. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times