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Cultural Picks- the best of ballet in LA this April

Mikhail Baryshnikov

The choreographer from Black Swan!

This week, LA gets a double-dose of ballet

Enjoy this week’s Cultural Cocktail

Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève

April 13-15

Dorothy Chandler Pavillion

North American premieres of Les Sylphides, Le Spectre de la Rose as well as Amoveo,

Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, former New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer of the award winning film Black Swan.

135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 972-0711


In Paris

April 11-21

Adapted from Ivan Bunin Directed by Dmitry Krymov

Performers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Sinyakina

with Maxim Maminov, Maria Gulik and ensemble. The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. 1310 11th Street  Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 434-3200

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Cultural Picks LA: April 7-8

Herb Ritts: L.A. Style

April 3-Aug 26

Getty Center.

West Pavillion

1200 Getty Center Drive.

LA, CA. 90049.

(310) 440-7300




Cellist John Walz & Pianist Robert ThiesFree Concert

Sun, April 8th 6 pm

Brahms: Sonata in F major; Debussy: Sonata for Cello & Piano.

Bing Theater. No reservations needed.


5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036

323 857-6000





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Cultural Pick for LA- weekend of March 30th

APHRODITE and the Gods of Love

opens March 28

Getty Villa. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA.

(310) 440-7300

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Schoenberg to Strauss– Thanks but No Thanks


If you don’t have anything nice to say….

Richard Strauss’ caustic jabs about Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg came back to haunt him.

In his delightful Book of Musical Anecdotes, Norman Lebrecht reveals that when Schoenberg was asked to compose a piece for his sharp tongued critic, he wrote back as follows:

Dear Sir,

I regret that I am unable to accept your invitation to write something for Richard Strauss’s fiftieth birthday.

In a letter to Frau Mahler…Herr Strauss wrote about me as follows:

The only person who can help poor Schoenberg now is a psychiatrist…. I think he’d do better to shovel snow instead of scribbling on music paper.

It seems to me that the opinion I myself and indeed everyone else who knows these remarks is bound to have of Herr Strauss as a man (for here is envy of a ‘competitor’) and as an artist (for the expressions he uses are as banal as a cheap song) is not suitable for general publication in honour of his fiftieth birthday.” [Lebrecht, 290-291]

In other words– Strauss, go jump in the DANUBE  (Different Strauss, but you get the picture)

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LA Cultural Pick: March 23-25

Ballet Preljocaj – Snow White
March 23-25
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  135 North Grand Ave. LA, CA, 90012

With costumes by Jean Paul Gautier and the music of Gustav Mahler, this performance is likely to sell out soon.

For information on tickets, please call (213) 972-0711 or visit

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In the news: Riccardo Muti’s eyes “threw daggers” after fisticuffs erupted at the Chicago Symphony

Ahh.. Brahms..

The music of soothing lullabies, sleeping babies, and…fist fights?

This month, while the illustrious Riccardo Muti conducted Brahms Symphony No. 2 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a young man turned the exclusive box seats into a tawdry Fight Club. The 30-ish man punched a 67-year-old man in the face, in an apparent dispute over the correct proprietor of the box seats.

An ambulance arrived to squire the senior citizen to the hospital, as his face had been cut. The Brahms Brawler fled the scene before police arrived.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Muti flashed “dagger eyes” at the brutish interruption. Maestro Muti was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, “This was the first time in my more than 40 years of (musical) activity in all parts of the world that such a thing has happened. Never could I imagine the concert hall would become a (wrestling) ring. The irony was that this took place during a program of Brahms. Most of his music was written to express consolation, not aggression.”

“I hope it was not my interpretation that brought this on,” Muti is reported to have said with a smile.

If the fighter became this inflamed during Brahms, imagine how would he would have reacted during Liszt’s Totentanz or Prokoviev’s Scynthian Suite?

For the full report of the fight, please see John Von Rhein’s report in the Chicago Tribune.,0,4806105.column

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Cultural Events LA: Weekend of March 17th

Los Angeles Ballet presents Swan Lake

March 17. 7:30 p.m.

Alex Theatre. 216 North Brand Boulevard.Glendale, CA 91203 310.998.7782




March 17 8:00 PM

Los Angeles Philharmonic. Neeme Järvi, conductor;Mischa Maisky, cello. Dvorák: Carnival Overture; Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 S. Grand Ave. LA, CA USA 90012 (323) 850-2000


Celebrating Norwuz, Iranian New Year at LACMA

Sun. March 18 11:00-7:00 p.m

Program includes: Musical Performances, Calligraphy, Story Reading,and Film Festival.

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036 tel 323 857-6000


For more information please visit:

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In the news: Art detectives possibly discover lost mural by…Leonardo Da Vinci?


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Art researchers in Florence claim to have found a strong clue that a mural entitled The Battle of Anghiari by  Leonardo Da Vinci lies hidden in a wall of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. Art detectives, led by Maurizio Seracini, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, drilled tiny holes in a fresco by Giorgio Vasari which lies on top of what they believe is a work by Da Vinci.

Clue #1: Black Pigment

Using miniature cameras and tiny endoscopic probes, the team has found the proof that they believe links the work to Leonardo: black pigment which matches the exact paint used in Da Vinci’s most famous work, the Mona Lisa.

Clue #2: Mysterious Message

Researchers point to another clue, a message painted on the Vasari work, which lies on top: Cerca Trova,” or “Seek and you shall find.

Is this a hoax?

Critics of the project accuse the researchers of trying to stir up some “Da Vinci Code” publicity. 

Florence’s Mayor says, “Carry on, Detectives!”

However, the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, has declared. “We need the courage to push on and resolve this mystery.” 

What do you think, my fellow Sherlocks?

For the full story, please read:

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Art world crime: In the news: Joshua Bell impersonator robs hotel room of celebrity violinist

Art World Crime:

Joshua Bell Impersonator robs hotel room of world-famous Violinist


Leticia Marie Sanchez




So while Joshua Bell is performing the Brahms Concerto with the London Philharmonic in Zaragoza, Spain, a man goes to the front desk of his hotel claiming to be the world-famous violinist.

The Hotel clerk does not bother checking the guy’s ID. (Ever try Google Image, buddy?)

The hotel hands over the key to Joshua Bell’s room to a man off the street while poor Bell fiddles his heart out on stage.

The thief no doubt could not wait to get his sticky fingers on Bell’s 1713 Stradivarius, worth about 4 million dollars. But, unlike the thief, Bell was actually working that night and had his trusty Stradivarius with him.

Instead of leaving the room, the thief decides to indulge in a hot, steamy shower in Bell’s room. I suppose that once he saw that the hotel bathroom was stocked with lavender-scented mini soaps, he may as well try to get some aromatherapy out of it. 

You would think that sudsing up in the shower of the Musical Director of St. Martin’s in the Fields would be enough. But instead, the thief wrapped a towel around his waist, called the front desk, and asked them to help him open the safe. Who needs a Rat Pack of code-breaking accomplices when you can outsource all your safe-cracking needs to the dimwits in hotel security?

The whiz kids in the hotel security team proceeded to assist the half-naked thief in his quest to crack the safe of the high-profile celebrity whose safe they were hired to protect. They never once checked his ID. 

Okay, so to board a plane from Duquesne to Hibbert’s Gore you need to show a driver’s license, lose the overpriced sunblock, and your Red Velvet Cupcake, but to access the private safe of one of the world’s most famous violinists, all you need to do is ask. Duly noted.

 After his refreshing shower, the thief made off with Joshua Bell’s laptop, cash, and a $38,000 watch.

No word yet if the thief stole any Sangría or Croquetes de Jamon from the mini-fridge.                                                                                                 For the news story, please see:

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Cultural Events LA weekend of March 10


LA. Theatre Works & The James Bridges Theater present a National Theatre Live broadcast

Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors HD film Screening at UCLA

Sun.March 11, 4 pm

Stand up-comedian Lenny Henry stars as Antipholus of Syracuse.
James Bridges Theater. UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television 235 Charles E. Young Dr. LA, CA 90095. For information on purchasing tickets, please call 310-827-0889 or visit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Pianist Abbey Simon performs at LACMA- free concert

Sun.March 11, 6 pm

Mozart: Sonata in A major, K. 331, Liszt: 3 Petrarch Sonnets, Chopin: Impromptus I-III.

No reservations needed. Bing Theater.

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036 tel 323 857-6000

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