Category: Society

Plans for L.A. Phil season-opening gala begin with food tastings

August 26, 2011 |  3:59 pm

Chef Andreas Roller and Rob Carson, with  (L-R) Ginny Mancini, Lenore Greenberg & Ann Ronus

"We have Gustavo and Gershwin, and Herbie Hancock too -- what could be better than that?" said Joan Hotchkis, co-chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's annual gala, happening Sept. 27 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Hotchkis was referring to the season-opening concert, which will be conducted by Gustavo Dudamel with Herbie Hancock on the piano. On the program: Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture,” “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris.”  But for Hotchkis, there's more to the evening: the dinner that will follow for donors who pay $2,500 to $15,000 for tickets to the gala. (Tickets without the dinner run $98 to $255.)

A gourmet meal and dancing will follow the concert in an adjacent tent styled to resemble a 1940s supper club, with banquettes, damask accessories and other period touches, according to event planner Gai Klass. To ensure the menu befits the occasion, the event committee met Thursday at Disney's Founders Room to review possible contenders for the hors d'oeuvres, appetizer, main course and dessert.

The tasting began with six hors d’oeuvres, from which four would be chosen. As flavorful as the samples seemed, however, decisions had to be based upon practicality. Gone were the lobster wontons for fear their sauce might drip on a dress; next the Hoisin duck spring rolls, delicious though they were, disappeared because they would take too many bites for guests holding a glass of wine.

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'The Arts of Survival' at the Museum of International Folk Art

July 30, 2011 |  2:00 pm


In an unfortunate coincidence, days before "The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Disaster" was scheduled to open at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, N.M., raging wildfires forced the evacuation of nearby Los Alamos nuclear lab.

 "There was still smoke in the air," curator Suzanne Seriff said. An interactive section where visitors can talk about their experiences with extreme weather was added to the exhibition, which explores how folk artists helped their communities recover from four recent natural disasters: the Haitian earthquake, Pakistani floods, Indonesia's Mt. Merapi's volcanic eruption and Hurricane Katrina.

 "I'm a child of the late '60s and thought of the theme of earth, wind and fire. A natural disaster caused by each of these elements gone awry in 2010. I also wanted to include the U.S., which is how Katrina was selected."

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Scene & Heard: A fundraiser for the Colburn School

April 8, 2011 |  5:00 am


What would a fund-raising evening called “Celebrate Colburn” be without students performing onstage? Tuesday's annual Colburn School gala for the arts academy featured an eclectic mix of dancers, choral singers and musicians who played jazz, classical music and pop tunes, and in one case on bottles (pictured below).

Bottleaires Awards were also on the program. School President Sel Kardan and “Lost” executive producer Carlton Cuse presented the Colburn Prize to Michael Giacchino, the Oscar-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer whose credits include scores for television's "Lost," Alias" and "Fringe;" the films "Star Trek," "Ratatouille" and "Up;" video games "Medal of Honor," "Call of Duty" and "Jurassic Park;" and more.

Music director Yehuda Gilad and Carol Colburn Hogel gave the Richard D. Colburn Award to Toby Mayman, the school's founding executive director. Both the award and the school were named for Hogel's father. 

Click here for the full story.

--  Ellen Olivier

Photos of the Colburn gala by Howard Pasamanick

Scene & Heard: MOCA's conversations about art

September 18, 2010 |  9:45 am

Aitken The Museum of Contemporary Art began its first brunch series, “Salons by the Shore,” on Sunday with “A Conversation with Doug Aitken” at the Malibu home of Nancy and Howard Marks. Additional salons are scheduled over the next few weeks with artists Urs Fischer and Richard Prince at the seaside homes of other L.A. cultural leaders and art collectors.

MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch and event co-chair Lilly Tartikoff Karatz both talked about the unique quality of Los Angeles, which combines the natural beauty with important cultural resources. Tartikoff Karatz called that combination the inspiration for the series, while Deitch said those qualities may be responsible for nurturing great artists. 

Guests gathered on the lawn atop a seaside bluff for the talk with the internationally known, L.A.-based Aitken, who described his creative process, while illustrating his diverse body of work. He ended with a few thoughts about the “Artist’s Museum Happening” on Nov. 13, for which he will be designing as an artwork, which guests will experience.

Excerpts from the Conversation have been posted on MOCA’s blog, The Curve.

Look for the full report in Scene & Heard here and in Sunday’s Image section.

-- Ellen Olivier

Photo: Hosts Howard and Nancy Marks with artist Doug Aitken. Credit: BEImages

Scene & Heard: Opening night dining at the Bowl and a museum preview

July 9, 2010 |  4:31 pm


One of L.A.’s great social traditions happened this week, as classical music fans (including Lakers owner Jerry Buss) dined alfresco at the Hollywood Bowl for Tuesday's kickoff of the L.A. Philharmonic’s summer season with fireworks and a tribute to the late Ernest Fleischmann.

Although many recall the days when picnickers brought along fine china, linens, candelabras and, in one case, the butler, to dinners at the Bowl, today’s concert-goers are more likely to pack a casual basket or order from Patina, the Bowl’s official caterer. Yet flowers still dotted tables and recent innovations, such as the big screens, were well-appreciated.

And then the next night museum supporters got a sneak preview of “Age of Mammals,” which opens Sunday at the newly renovated 1913 Building at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park.  

Paul Haaga, chairman of the NHM board, talked about the museum’s transformation to the 21st century, which is “less in the direction of showing people things, and more towards showing how we know what we know and then leaving people curious and wanting to know more.” He added, “We use question marks in our exhibits, so you come out with new knowledge, but also with a sense of wonder.”  

With Lynn Brengel and Diane Naegele as event co-chairs, an estimated 670 guests “mingled with the mammals” and met, among others, paleontologist John Harris, lead curator of the exhibit, which spans 65 million years of evolution.

Look for the full story here and in “Scene & Heard” in Sunday’s Image section.

-- Ellen Olivier 

Photo: Jerry Buss at the Bowl. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times.


'Age of Mammals' at the Natural History Museum

Interactive graphic: Natural History Museum makeover

Music review: Grant Gershon opens Hollywood Bowl classical season

The Hollywood Bowl's spectacular fireworks


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