Category: Southwest Chamber Music

Music review: 'Cage 2012' at Southwest Chamber Music

March 4, 2012 |  1:10 pm

2012-03-03 Shalini Vijayan plays Cage's One-6 with sculpture by Mineko Grimmer_ Photo by Jan Karlin (2)

This is officially the Year of Cage, 2012 being the centennial year for the late, great American avant-gardist composer/conceptualist John Cage. Los Angeles has a special stake in the celebratory spirit, as the composer’s birthplace on Sept. 5, 1912, and sometime creative stamping ground. To that end, Cage is being feted by Southwest Chamber Music, which launched its four-concert “Cage 2012” series on Saturday night at the Japanese American National Museum.

Starting the series with gentle force, Saturday’s fare consisted of the uniquely minimal, meditative works “One6” and “One10" -- with original collaborator Mineko Grimmer’s audio-kinetic sculpture and solo violinist Shalini Vijayan -- written in 1990 and 1992 (the year of Cage’s death).

Atmospherically, the museum’s high-ceilinged, glass-walled atrium proved an ideal and ideally unconventional concert setting for Cage, with its ambient sounds of traffic, cricket song and the occasional siren. He no doubt would have appreciated the space, sonic stowaways and all.

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Monster Mash: Lena Horne dies at 92; Manet self-portrait up for auction; 'Fatal Attraction' on stage

May 10, 2010 |  8:21 am

Horne -- Sophisticated lady: Lena Horne, whose beauty, resilience and silky voice helped her overcome racial barriers to go from Cotton Club chorus girl to stage, screen, nightclub and recording star, has died at 92 in New York. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Hot market: Edouard Manet's "Self Portrait with a Palette" -- the latest in a series of high-value Impressionist and modern works to be offered for sale -- could bring as much as $44 million when it goes up for auction in June. (Bloomberg)

-- Bunnies, beware: A stage version of the 1987 Michael Douglas-Glenn Close romance-revenge film "Fatal Attraction" may be heading to the West End. (Guardian)

-- A real Raphael? An ornately framed portrait painting that had been kept in the storeroom of an Italian palace for years may be an original Raphael and not a copy as long thought. (Associated Press)

-- Road trip: Less than a month after it opened, the Broadway revival of  "La Cage aux Folles" -- which is up for 11 Tonys in June -- has announced plans to launch a national tour in the fall of 2011. (Wall Street Journal)

-- Music lover: Flora Laney Thornton, a longtime Los Angeles philanthropist and patron of the arts for whom USC's School of Music is named, has died at 96. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Back onstage: Emmy winner Edie Falco and Tony nominee Alison Pill are set to open this week in Chloe Moss' prize-winning life-after-prison play, "This Wide Night," off Broadway. (Playbill)

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne visits Medellin, Colombia, where investing in ambitious civic architecture has sparked a renaissance; Victoria Looseleaf reviews Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at UCLA's Royce Hall; a new exhibition at the Autry Museum tells how women helped shape the American West; music critic Mark Swed looks back at Southwest Chamber Music's role in the first large-scale cultural exchange between the United States and Vietnam.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Lena Horne in 1981, when she won a Tony for her one-woman show, "The Lady and Her Music." Credit: Christian Steiner / Thirteen / WNET

Violins across the Pacific

February 13, 2010 | 12:30 pm

Chamber In a few weeks, 19 members of Southwest Chamber Music will be traveling to Hanoi for a string of concerts with two of Vietnam's leading music institutions, part of a partnership set up with a grant from the U.S. State Department.

After that, Southwest and 19 Vietnamese will come to Southern California, where more concerts are scheduled. Concerts in both countries will feature works from up-and-coming Vietnamese and American composers as well as pieces from the older generation of composers.

The Ascending Dragon Music Festival was set up by Southwest after the ensemble traveled to Vietnam in 2006 to hold master classes. Now, the Pasadena-based group is hoping to help lead Vietnam's musical future -- to more contemporary classical music.

"When this is over, we will all cry," said Thu-Nga Dan, spokeswoman for Southwest.

To read my full story on the exchange, click here.

--My-Thuan Tran

Photo: The troupe at a recent performance with Artistic Director Jeff von der Schmidt. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times


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