Category: YouTube

Artist Juan Gris is the latest Google Doodle art star [video]

March 23, 2012 | 12:18 pm

Juan Gris Google Doodle

Google has a gained a reputation for offering users a quick artistic education. Today's Google Doodle is dedicated to Spanish artist Juan Gris on the 125th anniversary of his birth.

Gris was born in Madrid on March 23, 1887, and followed the lead of more celebrated Cubist counterparts Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

Gris found recognition in his own right in part because of his portrait of Picasso exhibited in 1912, although the two may have had some friction in their relationship. Instead of showcasing "Homage to Picasso," Google opted for a rendering of a trio of Gris' works melding guitars, violins and mandolins in place of the search engine’s logo.

A week ago, Akira Yoshizawa was a Google Doodle honoree. The origami artist, who would have turned 101 on March 14, was known for turning paper and water into elaborate sculptures. And late last year, Google Doodle honored the artist and social activist Diego Rivera on what would have been his 125th birthday.

Watch below for a 50-second video that tells more about Friday’s Gris/Google collaboration and a few facts on how Cubism came to be.



Akira Yoshizawa gets Google Doodle: Wet origami? That's genius

Google Doodle celebrates the work of Diego Rivera

Gioachino Rossini, rock star of opera, gets a Google Doodle

— Jamie Wetherbe

Photo: A screen shot of the Google Doodle featuring Juan Gris' works. Credit:

Piatigorsky Cello Festival blends learning with performance

March 14, 2012 |  8:15 am

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson’s YouTube tastes are admittedly a little bit different from his peers at Santa Monica High School.

“I search cellists on the Internet and whatever pieces I’m interested in hearing, and I’ve created a library of my favorite cellists,” says Ferguson, a senior.

The 17-year-old recently added himself to the cellists on YouTube as part of an audition for a spot in the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, a 10-day extravaganza that began Friday night. Ferguson will be one of 110 cellist performing at Walt Disney Concert Hall in the finale of the festival.

“This is the first time I’ve ever put anything of myself playing solo out there for the world to see,” says Ferguson, dressed in a pressed black button-down shirt and matching trousers before a chamber music performance at the Colburn School. “You upload those two pieces, and they watch it, and you hope you get it.”

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Catching up with young soprano Jackie Evancho [Video]

February 18, 2012 |  9:00 am

Jackie Evancho
Is Jackie Evancho a prodigy? A product? A cautionary tale in the making? It depends on whom you ask. One thing is for certain: Any mention of the 11-year old soprano with a mature voice is sure to generate passionate comments. As Evancho is set to be in Los Angeles on Friday for a concert at Nokia Live Theatre, we add our thoughts to the mix in this article in Sunday's Arts & Books section.

For those just catching up: Evancho did the local talent show circuit before joining "America's Got Talent" halfway through the 2010 season as part of a YouTube talent search. Her parents posted the first video of Evancho singing when she was 7 years old, which provides an easy way to see how the voice has changed and grown over the last four years.

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New York City Opera 'La Traviata' eerily invokes Whitney Houston

February 13, 2012 |  8:40 am

Laquita Mitchell
A striking African American woman with a big voice who dies too soon.

Little did New York City Opera know when they cast Laquita Mitchell in the lead role of “La Traviata” ("The Fallen Woman") the significance it would have on the company’s opening performance on Sunday afternoon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Less than 24 hours after the death of pop-star Whitney Houston, the color-blind casting of Violetta Valery — a woman done in by a combination of good looks, notoriety and ill-advised love — gave the 159-year old opera a jolt of relevance.

As a YouTube clip from 1994 featuring Whitney Houston, Luciano Pavarotti, Sting and Elton John riffing on Verdi makes clear opera is an artform that thrives on the unexpected. 

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YouTube users vote on Pittsburgh Symphony soloist

February 10, 2012 |  8:15 am

Getprev-5Justin Bieber got his big break on YouTube, so why not a cellist?

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is calling for instrumental soloists — piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet or harp — to upload videos for the public to watch and rate on YouTube, with the top four contestants earning an audition with musical director/conductor Manfred Honeck.

The contest starts Thursday and with some input from orchestra musicians, users can vote for their favorite player through April 30. The winner (if there is one — Honeck reserves the right to veto all contenders) gets $10,000 and will perform with the orchestra come fall.

This isn’t the first time an orchestra has reached out to patrons (and perhaps younger audiences) via social media. The Pacific Symphony recently encouraged spectators to tweet during an outdoor show and a Berlin theater last month premiered "Effi Briest” live on Facebook with users playing peripheral parts.

It remains to be seen if this “American Idol”-style voting will yield a new orchestra addition, but at the very least, we’re anticipating a good outtake reel.


Los Angeles Dance Festival to debut in a busy April

The undiscovered street photography of Vivian Maier

Art review: "In Wonderland: The Adventures of Surrealist Women Artists" at LACMA

--Jamie Wetherbe

Above: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck talks about the audition contest for soloists they will be holding on YouTube at Heinz Hall before a rehearsal.  Credit: Keith Srakocic/AP

Violist Lukas Kmit stylishly answers ringing cellphone problem [Updated]

January 31, 2012 |  2:31 pm

The cellphone heard round the world seemed to be the one that rang inside Avery Fisher Hall a few weeks ago during a concert by the New York Philharmonic when conductor Alan Gilbert stopped a performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony over a ringing iPhone. "Are you finished?" the conductor asked the culprit.

While theatergoers know these phone interruptions and reactions happen all the time, the Gilbert incident became a talker after it  was tweeted, then Facebooked, then journalized and eventually CNN'd.

But that was nothing compared with the creative response of violist Lukas Kmit while performing at a Jewish Orthodox synagogue in Presov, Slovakia. No surprise that this video of Kmit has gone viral. (Thanks for the tip from Tim Mangan on his Classical Life blog.)

UPDATED: Forgive our original headline on this story. As an observant reader has pointed out, the YouTube description is wrong and Kmit is playing a viola, not a violin.


Music review: John Cage in a motel room as part of PST

'American Idol' alum Constantine Maroulis lands next Broadway job

Art review: 'In Wonderland: Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists' at LACMA

-- Sherry Stern

Monster Mash: Nick Jonas back on Broadway; 'Book of Mormon' plea

January 24, 2012 |  7:50 am


Climbing the corporate latter:
Pop star Nick Jonas suits up to play Broadway's next J. Pierrepont Finch in "How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," following Darren Criss' popular limited run. (Playbill

Sold out: Lawmaker pleads for Colorado homeboys Trey Parker and Matt Stone to extend "Book of Mormon" run in Denver. (Denver Post)

Money matters: The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society wins in dispute with "Spider-Man" producers. (Playbill

Crystal ball: Leaders in entertainment, academia and marketing gathered to predict what Broadway will look like in 2032 at the one-day inaugural TEDxBroadway. (Associated Press)

Spidey fashion sense: A cape made of spider silk — thanks to artist Simon Peers, designer Nicholas Godley and more than a million hard-working insects — goes on display at London's V&A museum. (The Guardian)

"Follies" follies: Even with a high demand for tickets, the critically acclaimed "Follies" ended its Broadway run without turning a profit. (New York Times)

Save the last dance: Financial woes postpone Oakland Ballet Company’s spring program. (Oakland Tribune)

Common ground: A museum devoted to Civil War, civil rights could come to North Carolina. (Fayetteville Observer

Stage hands: Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton have been tapped to host this year’s Olivier Awards. (Theater Mania

Passing: John Levy, first prominent African American jazz manager, dies at 99. (Associated Press

Also in the L.A. Times: Mark Swed reviews the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra's performance of Mahler "Rescurrection"; highlights from this year’s Hollywood Bowl lineup.

-- Jamie Wetherbe

Photo: Singer/actor Nick Jonas as Link Larkin performs during the 2011 production of "Hairspray "at the Hollywood Bowl. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times


Straight No Chaser's hit 'Twelve Day of Christmas' comes to L.A.

December 8, 2011 | 12:15 pm

Straight No Chaser

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is one of those songs that seems a good idea and then somewhere around the maids-a-milking, everyone desperately wants to abort mission. This and the seemingly nonsensical lyrics have made it a holiday favorite on the comedy circuit.

There's Jeff Foxworthy's redneck version, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (a few swears), the Muppets with John DenverJulie Andrews & the King's Singers, a Cajun version and Béla Fleck making all sorts of musical jokes.

The most popular version of all -- at least according to YouTube --is by the a cappella group Straight No Chaser. In 1998, the members made a video of themselves singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" at a concert. Nothing much happened.

Then, in December 2007, on newfangled video sharing site called YouTube, millions of viewers discovered Straight No Chaser, one of which was Atlantic Records Chief Executive Craig Kallman, who then signed the group to a record deal.

Now the group is on a 50-city cross-country Christmas tour, which rolls into the Wiltern on Friday night. The concert will be a blend of holiday and pop music.

Keep reading to watch the group's live version of "Twelve Days of Christmas."

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Ice Cube loves L.A. and the Eameses in latest PST video

December 7, 2011 |  3:43 pm

Turns out Ice Cube is a fan of architecture -- and of Charles and Ray Eames in particular.

The art-world extravaganza Pacific Standard Time has been promoting itself with a series of odd-couple videos that have so far teamed John Baldessari with Jason Schwartzman and Anthony Kiedis with Ed Ruscha. Now it's design paired with hip-hop.

Ice Cube, who helped found the gangsta-rap pioneers NWA in the 1980s and has since settled into a more conventional show-business career, is shown in the latest PST promo pitch touring the Eames House in Pacific Palisades and praising the resourcefulness of the husband-and-wife design team. He also reveals that he studied "architectural drafting" before he got into music and names a few of his favorite landmarks around L.A., including the Forum in Inglewood and the Watts Towers. Thanks to some leaked images, rumors about the Ice Cube PST campaign had been circulating online for a couple of months.

See the video, produced by music-video director Dave Meyers, after the jump. Along with some photographs, it'll go up on the PST website on Thursday.

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Monster Mash: Christie’s auction breaks record; 'Spider-Man' suit

November 9, 2011 |  7:30 am


Auction turnaround: Christie's sold 82 works of art for $247.59 million on Tuesday, including a world auction record of $43.2 million for Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein. (New York Times)

Turn on the lawyers: Director Julie Taymor, who was fired as the creative leader of "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark," has sued the show's producers. (Los Angeles Times)

Mother's pain: The mother of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has accused officials of hounding her son, describing their approach as "creepy, crooked, evil." (Guardian)

Saving the day: Grants for the Arts -- a program funded by a small surcharge on every hotel bill -- is  keeping San Francisco culture afloat. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Taking a stand: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art did something unusual: It effectively came out in favor of marriage equality. (Modern Art Notes)

New festival: The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is announcing its first "Off Center Festival"  with minimalism and eclecticism among the creative approaches. (Los Angeles Times)

Musically minded: Conductor Mark Wigglesworth on what makes some works more popular than others. (Gramophone)

Cheers: Who are the most influential people in London theater, dance, and art and design? (London Evening Standard)

Up and comers: Annaleigh Ashford and MJ Rodriguez of "Rent," Jennifer Damiano of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" and Josh Grisetti of "Enter Laughing" are finalists for the Clive Barnes Award. (Playbill)

New world: Four ways that YouTube has changed Broadway. (Mashable)

Also in the L.A. Times: A review of "Hope: Part II of a Mexican Trilogy" at Los Angeles Theater Center, and catching up with computer music pioneer Carl Stone.

-- Sherry Stern

Image: "I Can See the Whole Room … and There's Nobody in It!" (1961) by Roy Lichtenstein sold for a record $43.2 million. Credit: Christie's

Fifty years ago this fall, San Francisco leaders got a novel idea to put a small surcharge on every hotel bill to fund city arts programs. Grants for the Arts

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