Category: Radio

L.A. Phil concerts with Dudamel, Salonen, others will air on KUSC

March 29, 2012 |  9:30 am

A new series of broadcasts featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic in concert will be heard on classical music station KUSC-FM (91.5) beginning this weekend.

The 14 programs are from the orchestra's 2011-12 season, and half are conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the L.A. Phil. Others feature guest conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Simon Rattle, James Conlon and John Adams.

Included in the lineup are three concerts from the Phil's ambitious Mahler Project, featuring the composer's Symphony No. 4, No. 9 and No. 8. The latter, set to close the KUSC series on July 1, was recorded in Caracas, Venezuela, and features not only the Phil but also the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and a huge chorus -- 1,400 performers in all. Times music critic Mark Swed attended that event Feb. 18 and called it a "grand performance."

"Los Angeles Philharmonic in Concert," airing Sundays at 4 p.m., will be hosted by KUSC's Brian Lauritzen. Like other KUSC programming, it will also be heard on KPSC-FM (88.5) in Palm Springs, KDSC-FM (91.1) in Thousand Oaks, KQSC-FM (88.7) in Santa Barbara, KESC-FM (99.7) in Morro Bay/San Luis Obispo and online.


Dudamel's monster Mahler 8 in Caracas

Gustavo Dudamel's Mahler Project

L.A. Phil embraces a new generation with Dudamel

-- Lee Margulies

Photo: Gustavo Dudamel conducts the L.A. Philharmonic in Mahler's Ninth Symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall in February. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times


L.A. Theatre Works moving to Sundays on KPFK-FM

March 13, 2012 |  8:25 am

  Los Angeles Theatre Works is changing radio stations. Starting March 25, the radio-play series will begin broadcasting on KPFK-FM (90.7) each Sunday at 8 p.m. The show will be leaving KPCC-FM (89.3). The first broadcast on KPFK will be "Dinah Was," the biographical musical of Dinah Washington, performed by Yvette Freeman
Los Angeles Theatre Works is changing radio stations in its hometown. Starting March 25, the radio-play series will begin broadcasting on KPFK-FM (90.7) each Sunday at 8 p.m. The show will be leaving KPCC-FM (89.3), which it has called home since 2002.

A spokeswoman for L.A. Theatre Works said the move was prompted by KPCC's decision to rearrange its programming. The show has been airing Saturdays at 10 p.m. on KPCC. The spokeswoman said the new time slot on KPFK is more desirable for the company.

L.A. Theatre Works produces audio versions of classic and contemporary plays. The productions are recorded several times a year in front of a live audience at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA, as well as in a studio. The company previously recorded at the Skirball Cultural Center.

The first broadcast on KPFK will be "Dinah Was," the biographical musical of Dinah Washington, written by Oliver Goldstick and performed by Yvette Freeman. Subsequent broadcasts will include Ibsen's "A Doll's House," with Calista Flockhart (April 1); Kenneth Lonergan's "Lobby Hero," with Tate Donovan (April 8); and A.R. Gurney's "The Cocktail Hour," with Bruce Davison (April 15).

L.A. Theatre Works reaches a nationwide audience through its weekly broadcasts on public radio stations around the country. The company has more than 450 recordings of stage plays in its archives.


L.A. Theatre Works moving to UCLA for 2011-12 season

L.A. Theatre Works to tour China with Pentagon Papers play

On heels of "Mad Men" delay, Jon Hamm to take brief detour to an L.A. stage

-- David Ng

Photo: Yvette Freeman in the biographical musical "Dinah Was." Credit: Carol Rosegg / Skirball Cultural Center

Rush Limbaugh sculpture is planned for Missouri statehouse

March 6, 2012 | 11:56 am

Rush Limbaugh

When Thomas Hart Benton's murals depicting Missouri state history for the Capitol building in Jefferson City were unveiled in 1937, deep in the dark days of the Great Depression, a clamor arose over the artist's inclusion of corrupt Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. Within a few years, Pendergast would be locked away in Leavenworth -- something about failure to pay taxes on bribes received --  but Benton was adamant in defending his mural's depiction.

Facts were facts, truth was beauty. Everything in the mural had happened in Missouri history, Benton insisted, and if he had been hired to paint a mural for Illinois he would have included Al Capone.

Pretty much the same defense is now coming from Missouri Republican Steve Tilley, speaker of the House, who recently chose conservative radio shock-jock Rush Limbaugh to be immortalized in a bronze sculpture inside the state Capitol. Limbaugh is currently bleeding advertisers in the wake of a three-day diatribe demeaning a law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her position on women's healthcare. The broadcaster lives in Palm Beach, Fla., but was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

“It’s not the 'Hall of Universally Loved Missourians,’” Tilley told the Kansas City Star in defense of his decision, now the subject of a petition drive to halt the move. “It’s the Hall of Famous Missourians.”

Continue reading »

NPR thinks Jackson Pollock is a controversial artist

January 30, 2012 | 12:30 pm

Christopher Knight wonders why NPR thinks Jackson Pollock is a controversial artist

It's 1949 over at National Public Radio, which this weekend aired an astounding segment on its popular program, "All Things Considered," claiming that Jackson Pollock, the Abstract Expressionist painter universally regarded as among the 20th century's great artists, is deeply controversial. Pollock died in 1956. The broadcast was in recognition of the centennial of his birth, which fell on Saturday.

"Even a century since his birth, American 'splatter artist' Jackson Pollock still provokes heated debate about the very definition of art," says NPR's Web version of the story. "Was a man who placed a canvas on the floor and dripped paint straight from the can actually creating a work of art?" (You can listen to the broadcast and read the Web story here; a transcript of the broadcast segment, which claims "his work is as derided as it is desired," is here.)

Um, huh? What's a "splatter artist"? Who is having a "heated debate"? What century are we living in?

The Pollock shtick reminds me of deniers of the Holocaust or global climate change. Virtually no one in the field doubts Pollock's achievement and significance for the history of Modern art, but one can always find some crank willing to abjure. What is this, National Booboisie Radio?

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L.A. Theatre Works moving to UCLA for 2011-12 season

June 21, 2011 |  9:00 am

StacyKeachDerekHutchisonLAThtrWks The venue will change as L.A. Theatre Works moves from Brentwood to Westwood for the 2011-12 season that starts in September. But the concept remains the same as it has been since 1987: no sets, costumes or need to memorize lines, but plenty of name actors (such as Stacy Keach, pictured) performing in front of microphones for live audiences that will expand vastly when the recorded results make their way to the airwaves and the Internet.

The series' new home is to be the 278-seat James Bridges Theater at UCLA; since 1998 L.A. Theatre Works had used the 350-seat theater at the Skirball Cultural Center (before that, the venue had been a hotel ballroom in Santa Monica).

In an announcement of the switch and the 10-play season, producing director Susan Loewenberg cited the Bridges' intimacy, its suitability "for integrating multimedia into some of our performances," and the potential for reaching student audiences, enlisting UCLA faculty for panel discussions, and for cross-promotional piggybacking with other campus events.

Productions are to run for six performances each, Thursdays through Sundays, including weekend matinees. The scheduled kickoff is Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," (Sept. 22-25) with Calista Flockhart and JoBeth Williams; other well-known titles are "Copenhagen," Michael Frayn's play about pioneering nuclear physicists Werner Heisenberg and Nils Bohr (Nov. 17-20); Sam Shepard's "Buried Child" with Amy Madigan (Dec. 8-11); "Look Back in Anger" by John Osborne, with Matthew Rhys (March 15-18, 2012); Peter Morgan's "Frost/Nixon," with Keach reprising his national touring role as the disgraced ex-president; "The Browning Version," by Terence Rattigan, with Joanne Whalley (June 21-24, 2012); and Eugene Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" (July 19-22, 2012).

Less-familiar plays are Itamar Moses' "Completeness," (Oct. 20-23) a drama about a love affair between two young scientists that premiered in April at South Coast Repertory; "Next Fall," (Jan. 19-22, 2012), Geoffrey Nauffts' Tony-nominated drama about gay lovers, which will have its West Coast premiere in November at the Geffen Playhouse; and "Opus," (May 17-20, 2012), with Sarah Drew cast in Michael Hollinger's comic drama, seen last year at the Fountain Theatre, about a string quartet unraveling under the pressure of an impending White House gig.

KPCC-FM (89.3) remains the Southern California radio outlet for L.A. Theatre Works' nationally syndicated series "The Play's the Thing"; Williams and the late David Dukes star in the current archival offering, Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass,” which can be heard here; beginning Saturday, the weekly show is "The Importance of Being Earnest," with Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell.

The audio-only "Earnest" is not to be confused with a more recent take on Oscar Wilde's comic classic that stars Brian Bedford and represents L.A. Theatre Works' first venture into the world of satellite-beamed video. The production by New York's Roundabout Theatre Company is being shown Thursday at the James Bridges Theater, and Sunday at the Bridges and the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.


L.A. Theatre Works lends an unlikely hand to "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Is it theater? Is it radio? Does it matter?

Theater review: "Completeness" at South Coast Repertory

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Stacy Keach performs for L.A. Theatre Works. Credit: Derek Hutchison

L.A. Opera takes to the radio airwaves with 'Il Postino' and five other productions

May 19, 2011 |  6:30 am

Ilpostino "L.A. Opera on Air" begins its fifth season on classical music station KUSC-FM (91.5) this weekend, showcasing six productions from the company's 2010-11 season. First up is "Il Postino" (The Postman), featuring L.A. Opera General Director Placido Domingo in the lead role of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

"L.A. Opera on Air" will air Saturdays at 10 a.m. on KUSC, with simultaneous streaming on All six operas were recorded during performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Duff Murphy will host the series.

Commissioned by L.A. Opera, "Il Postino" was adapted by Daniel Catan from a 1994 Italian film of the same name that was based on Antonio Skarmeta's novel about a fictional friendship between Neruda and a young mail carrier. It had its world premiere last September. Catan, a resident of South Pasadena, died April 8 at the age of 62.

During the broadcast, Andrea Puente Catan, the composer's widow, will participate in a live chat on KUSC's website,, moderated by Christopher Koelsch, L.A. Opera's senior vice president and chief operating officer. The public is invited to join in the discussion and ask questions.

L.A. Opera is hosting a memorial for Catan on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It is open to the public.

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Pianist David Benoit to host morning show at jazz station KKJZ-FM

April 27, 2011 |  1:30 pm

Benoit Jazz pianist and composer David Benoit, who recently began hosting an afternoon show at classical radio station KMZT-AM (1260), likes the job so much that he's going to take over the morning shift on jazz outlet KKJZ-FM (88.1).

Beginning Monday, Benoit will host the 6-10 a.m. weekday program at KKJZ, better known to listeners as K-Jazz. He'll continue his 2-5 p.m. gig at KMZT. Both stations are operated by Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.

In a statement released by KKJZ Wednesday, Benoit called it "a great thrill and privilege" to "take part in the presentation of this treasured music. I've been a local fan of this radio station for ages, and it's especially exciting to have this opportunity in my own backyard." He was born in Bakersfield but grew up in Southern California.

A five-time Grammy nominee, Benoit also serves as music director of the Asia America Symphony Orchestra.

He won't be KKJZ's only musician-deejay. Earlier this month, the station introduced a two-hour weekend program hosted by saxophonist Kenny G.

Current KKJZ morning host Bubba Jackson will move to the 6-10 p.m. shift, with syndicated host Bob Parlocha sliding to 10 p.m.-6 a.m. 


David Benoit: All that jazz and more

-- Lee Margulies

Photo: David Benoit. Credit:


David Benoit: All that jazz and more

Kenny G to host his own show at KKJZ-FM

March 30, 2011 |  4:10 pm

Large.r6710t368q2n Grammy-winning saxophonist Kenny G is adding a new job to his resume: radio host.

Starting Sunday, the musician will be heard for two hours each week on KKJZ-FM (88.1), better known to its fans as K-Jazz. The program will be called "C to C With Kenny G," which the station explained stands for "Classic to Contemporary," meaning he'll be playing music "ranging from Dave Brubeck and Wes Montgomery to Esperanza Spalding and Chris Botti."

"I love jazz and grew up listening to all the great masters of jazz as well as the more contemporary instrumentalists," the 54-year-old sax man said in a statement released by KKJZ. "My new program will draw from jazz-oriented music recorded throughout my lifetime."

Kenny G (real name Kenneth Gorelick) has sold more than 75 million records since the release of his first album in 1982. His hit CDs include "Duotones," "Breathless" and "Miracles."

"C to C" will air Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m.

-- Lee Margulies


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L.A. Phil concert at Disney Hall to be broadcast on KUSC-FM

March 29, 2011 |  2:02 pm

Fleischmann The Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn.'s tribute concert to its former leader Ernest Fleischmann will be broadcast live from Walt Disney Concert Hall Tuesday night by classical music station KUSC-FM (91.5). 

The concert, which begins at 8 p.m., features the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre Boulez and Lionel Bringuier sharing the conducting duties. Also performing will be tenors Daniel Chaney and Grant Gershon, baritone Abdiel Gonzalez, bass Reid Bruton and the Los Angeles Children's Chorus.

Fleischmann, who managed the L.A. Phil from 1969 to 1998 and is credited with transforming it into one of the nation's leading orchestras, died last June at the age of 85.

Hosting the concert for KUSC will be Gail Eichenthal and Brian Lauritzen.

Meantime, it was business as usual for KUSC Tuesday, a day after learning it would be getting some local competition beginning next week when KGIL-AM (1260) morphs back to its previous incarnation as KMZT (K-Mozart). Station executives said they weren't concerned about the explanation from station owner Saul Levine that he was changing formats in part because of what he believed was dissatisfaction among some listeners over how classical music is presented on KUSC.

"We don't expect Saul's format shift to have a negative impact on KUSC," station president Brenda Barnes said. "Since classical music is our mission, not our business, we are always glad when more classical music is available."


L.A. Phil to honor Ernest Fleischmann

L.A. to get second classical music outlet

--Lee Margulies

Photo: Ernest Fleischmann. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Monster Mash: Analyzing the 2011 Pritzker Prize winner; Getty Museum to return Nazi-looted painting

March 29, 2011 |  7:30 am


Winner: Portugal's Eduardo Souto de Moura has won the 2011 Pritzker Prize, the top international award in architecture. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne offers his analysis. (Los Angeles Times)

Changing hands: The J. Paul Getty Museum has agreed to return a 17th century painting looted by the Nazis. (Los Angeles Times)

Staying away: Attendance at Los Angeles museums lags behind smaller cities, according to a new report. (Los Angeles Times)

Farley Granger dies: The film actor, who had many Broadway and other theater credits, was 85. (Associated Press, via Los Angeles Times)

No deal: Universal Pictures won't be producing the film version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "In the Heights." (Deadline)

A bit young, perhaps?: Ralph Fiennes is to play Prospero in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" on London's West End, starting in late August. (Variety)

On the waves: Classical music is getting a second radio outlet in the L.A. area. (Los Angeles Times)

Saved: A Vienna photo gallery, along with a group of entrepreneurs, has acquired a collection of several thousand Polaroid prints by well-known artists, including Andy Warhol, that were in danger of being auctioned off. (New York Times)

Deadline: Striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra said they have been given until Friday to make a deal with management. (Associated Press, via Chicago Tribune)

For sale: The Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York is planning to auction off a 19th century painting to fund new projects. (New York Times)

Deadlock: Musicians of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra are refusing to go along with $1.3 million in salary and benefit concessions. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

Also in the L.A. Times: Art critic Christopher Knight reviews "Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1965" at LACMA.

-- David Ng

Photo: Eduardo Souto de Moura. Credit: Miguel Manso / Associated Press


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