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Review: Itzhak Perlman and Beethoven at the Hollywood Bowl

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

The program notes for Tuesday’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl included a 1920 quotation from Italian musician and conductor Ferrucio Busoni, “With Beethoven humanity enters into music for the first time.” Busoni’s postulate also holds true for the humanistic performance of violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman who led the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s in an all-Beethoven program including Romance No. 1 in G Major, Romance No. 2 in F. Major, Symphony No. 8 in F Major, and Symphony No. 5.

The indefatigable Mr. Perlman had the dual role of violist and conductor at Tuesday’s magnificent performance. Mr. Perlman’s sensitive interpretation of Beethoven had guts, soul, and heart.

As a conductor, Maestro Perlman is easily the best one to have graced the stage of the Hollywood Bowl for his talent in bringing out the best in each individual member of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. Instead of turning Beethoven’s pieces into loud, showy works, as other conductors are apt to do, Mr. Perlman wisely elicited the nuance and texture brought about by each individual instrument, probing the depth and rich emotions of each piece. To the Hollywood Bowl’s credit, its video projection screens complemented the nuanced performance by providing close-ups of the individual members of the string, brass, woodwind, and percussion sections coming to the forefront at any given moment of the Beethoven Program. The perfect rhythms elicited by Mr. Perlman made the L.A. Philharmonic soar seamlessly as one, as they did during the Fourth Movement (Allegro) of the 5th Symphony.

Perhaps, none said it better than E.T.A. Hoffman: “the soul of each thoughtful listener is assuredly stirred, deeply and intimately, by a feeling that is none other than that unutterable portentous longing, and until the final chord — indeed, even in the moments that follow it — he will be powerless to step out of that wondrous spirit realm where grief and joy embrace him in the form of sound.”

The audience was electrified after such a soulful interpretation of Beethoven, rendering a once-familiar composer a newfound treasure. After the finale, I, and those near me, sat in our seats, stunned, tears flowing down our cheeks.

Thank you, Maestro Perlman for a life-changing experience and a memory that I will never forget.

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The Magical World of Peter Lai: Fashion event Thursday Sept 8th at Pacific Asia Museum

The Magical World of Peter Lai 

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Stepping into the shop of San Marino designer Peter Lai is a step into a magical world. The visitor slips into a realm of Venetian masks, Chinese costumes imbued with symbolism from the Qing Dynasty, and contemporary Californian designs. A Hong Kong native, Mr. Lai was born into a family of costume designers for Hong Kong’s opera, television, and film industry.

Mr. Lai’s shop has been a fixture on Mission Street in San Marino for decades, and his exquisitely detailed gowns add glamour to museum galas and social events like the Save Venice ball.

Left: Design by Peter Lai.

Right: Rose Detail, Peter Lai designs

In 2004, Mr. Lai won the Golden Needle designer award in a competition whose industry judges included Mr. Blackwell, creator of the infamous Best and Worst Dressed list.Mr. Lai’s creative and richly-crafted designs fuse cultures.

For instance, he uses Venetian masks as a base and infuses them with Asian-inspired motifs. Mr. Lai himself takes part in the theatrically mysterious, donning his own costumes, mask included, at dinner parties.

Photo: Mask by Peter Lai

Photo Left: Designer Peter Lai next to his own design.

’Bob Mackie didn’t recognize me’, Lai revealed, “’he asked, ‘Who are you?’” Ever full of surprises, Mr. Lai has also been a student of Kabuki for the past ten years and performed the Japanese art form in full costume this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.

This Thursday, September 8th, the Pacific Asia Museum will be hosting a fashion event with Peter Lai from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of the Festival of the Autumn Moon. For more information, please visit:

http://pacificasiamuseum.org/

Peter Lai. 2571 Mission St. San Marino, 91108. (626) 799-4645

From left: Vest by Peter Lai

Right: Detail from Vest

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Cultural Events LA labor day weekend- Sept. 1, Sept 5. Sept 6

This week’s Cultural Cocktail includes a dose of antiquity, a labor-free stroll through LACMA, and one of the world’s greatest violinists

Trojan Women (after Euripides) at the Getty Villa 8:00 P.M.

SITI Company, directed by Anne Bogart and adapted by Jocelyn Clarke. Previews Thursday–Saturday, September 1–3 Performances: Thursdays–Saturdays, September 8–October 1 Getty Villa, Outdoor Classical Theater. For more information call (310) 440-7300 or visit:

http://www.getty.edu/

LACMA FREE Labor Day Monday, September 5th 12 pm

*Free* day at the museum (all day) including a live performance. Tickets required*Does not include free admission to the Tim Burton exhibit or any specially ticketed exhibitions. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA http://www.lacma.org/

ITZHAK PERLMAN performs Beethoven

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 8:00PM

Hollywood Bowl.

2301 North Highland Avenue. Hollywood, CA 90068. Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Itzhak Perlman, violin/conductor. Beethoven: Two Romances, Symphony No. 8 For more information, call (323).850.2000 or visit: http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/


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Review- Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”

Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”– Just How Private?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

In the International City Theater’s light-hearted production of “Private Lives,” divorced couple Elyot and Amanda cannot seem to live with-or without- each another. Caroline Kinsolving embodied the headstrong, alluring Amanda while Freddy Douglass portrayed the witty, brooding Elyot Chase. The glamorous costumes and music in the ICT production enhanced the accidental reunion of the jet-setting pair in Deauville, France. Elyot and Amanda go from loving each other one minute to throwing barbs (and records) at each other the next. Adam J. Smith‘s sensitive performance as Amanda’s caring second husband Victor infused a dose of integrity to the chaos; despite being ditched by the runaway bride, he returned to ensure her safety. Underneath the veneer of biting wit and tumultuous emotions, one could not help but feel that something was missing- not from ICT’s production- but from Coward’s play itself. Looking at the play from a historical perspective, Mr. Coward was a homosexual at a time in which he would have been jailed had his private life been made public. Had Elyot and Amanda been gay characters, many of the play’s scenes would have made more sense and had more depth. For instance, Elyot’s affectionate young bride, Sibyl (Jennice Butler) begs him three times on their honeymoon to kiss her; he forces himself to do so reluctantly. Later, when accused of being too flippant, Elyot retorts that his flippancy masks deeper emotions. Perhaps the flippancy of Coward’s lines also masked a more complex subtext. But, Coward was no coward. His predecessor Oscar Wilde died in prison when his private life was revealed.  Private Lives proves that in the 1930′s England one could only go so far in exploring the truly private.

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Cultural Events this weekend in LA: Aug 26, 27, 28

Noel Coward’s “Private Lives

Fri. Aug 26 (Opening Night) + Sat. Aug 27 8pm.

Sun Aug 28 2pm. Directed by Luke Yankee. Featuring Jennice Butler, Wendy Cutler, Freddy Douglas, Caroline Kinsolving, Adam J. Smith. INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE Long Beach Performing Arts Center.300 East Ocean Blvd. Long Beach CA 90802 For information on tickets and show times,  For information on tickets and show times, please call (562) 436-4610 or visit: www.InternationalCityTheatre.org  Photo by: C. Delgado

Saturdays off the 405- Getty Museum- party

Sat, Aug. 27 6:00

Music: Charles Bradley and DJ Clifton Free Spotlight after Dark tours in the galleries at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Getty Center. 1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049. (310) 440-7300 http://www.getty.edu/

LACMA- Daniel Rothmuller (cello) and Bernadene Blaha (piano)

Sun. August 28 6 pm Chopin: Sonata, Opus 65, and Brahms: Sonata in E minor, Opus 38 Bing Theater.   FREE, no reservations. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA,

http://www.lacma.org/

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Film Review: Mozart’s Sister- now playing in Los Angeles and New York

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Mozart’s Sister, directed by René Féret,  presents a behind-the-scenes look at the life of the Mozart family: ambitious patriarch Leopold, his doting wife Anna-Maria, and his gifted children Woofgang and Nannerl (played by Feret’s daughter, Marie). The film contrasts the exterior aspect of the musical family, including the children’s performances at court with an interior portrait of a family who engages in pillow fights at bed-time, and more sinisterly, the unyielding favoritism that Leopold showed his young son. The rigid Leopold squelches his young daughter’s talents by not only refusing her an education, but by falsely telling her that her compositions (which he passes off as those of Wolfgang) lack merit. The mistreatment of Nannerl was not unusual at the time.  In his book “The Other Mendelssohn,” Larry Todd describes the life of another talented and relatively unknown composer, Fanny Mendelssohn, sister of Felix.

It is fitting that the talented young Nannerl composes pieces in a minor key. Melancholy permeates her character, and the dark cinematography symbolises the shadows to which she is relegated.

A dose of light-hearted Shakespearean cross-dressing adds a dose of intrigue, and Nannerl’s new found chum Princess Louise (played with vivacity by Feret’s real life sister, Lisa) allows a flower of friendship to flourish between two passionate young women confined by the walls of the court, the church, and their fathers.

Photo: Real Life Sisters Lisa Feret and Marie Feret, playing Louise De France and Nannerl Mozart

For trailers and showtimes, please see:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/mozartssister/

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Cultural Events LA- Aug 19, 20, 21

This week’s Cultural Cocktail recipe includes two doses of Beethoven blended with Pacific Asia Fusion, and topped with Mozart- not on the rocks, but on the lawn of the Huntington library- enjoy!

Beethoven’s Ninth- Hollywood Bowl

Thurs, August 18, 8:00PM  Los Angeles Philharmonic

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor

Jeremy Denk, piano;  Los Angeles Master Chorale

Beethoven’s Ninth and Choral Fantasy

2301 North Highland Ave. Hollywood, CA, 90068. 323.850.2000

http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/

Fusion Fridays-

Pacific Asia Museum

Fri. Aug. 19 7:30-10:30pm

Island Style Grand Finale

Polynesian dance in the courtyard, classic Hawaiian music by Moana in the upstairs lounge.

Free for members, $15 for non-members.

46 North Los Robles Avenue. Pasadena, CA 91101-2071(626) 449-5269

For more information, please visit: http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org/

Southwest Chamber Music Festival

Sat. Aug 20 and Sun. Aug 21- 7:30 p.m

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Quintet for Horn and Strings, K. 407; Wadada Leo Smith

Ten Thousand Cereus Peruvianus for Harp and String Quartet

Mozart: String Quintet No. 6, K. 614

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. 1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA, 91108

http://www.swmusic.org/ 

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In the news: Rembrandt drawing stolen from Marina del Rey Hotel this weekend

 

This weekend, “The Judgement,” a pen-and-ink drawing by Rembrandt was stolen from an evening exhibit at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey. The work, worth more than $250,000, was snatched around 10:30 p.m during an evening event for potential buyers. The curator was temporarily distracted by a person, who may have been part of a team of art thieves. According to experts, more than 81 of Rembrandt’s works have been stolen over the past century.

For more information on the Marina del Rey heist, please read:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/8702503/Rembrandt-stolen-in-well-planned-heist.html

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In the News: Musician and Conductor Daniel Barenboim to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

You heard it here first!

News reports suggest that Musician and Conductor Daniel Barenboim will be nominated next week (Aug 17) for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 69-year old Barenboim helped to found the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999,  which is composed of international musicians including: Israelis, Arabs, and Iranians.

This week, before his orchestra performed in South Korea, Barenboim said,

Music cannot solve conflicts,  but music has the ability to make people interested and passionate about the same thing,” 

For the full story, please see:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iwKlHCm2ufOtt6Tvosjpez941X4Q?docId=CNG.395bec0157ae53758ac65c87b4cf6e70.211

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LA Cultural Events Aug 12, 13, and 14

This week’s Cultural Cocktail recipe is: 3 Oz. of Italian chamber music, a Dash of Mendelssohn, and a Splash of a soirée for young art enthusiasts. Shaken. Not Stirred. Enjoy!

Commemorating the Unification of Italy through the Music of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart

Free Concert at the Norton Simon

Fri. August 12- 7:00 p.m

To mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the California String Quartet will perform chamber music by Italian composers Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, in addition to compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who influenced Italian opera.

Concert is free (with museum admission ticket)

Norton Simon Museum of Art.411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/

Gallerati Society

Sat. Aug 13. 3:30- 5:30 p.m

The Glass Garage Gallery, 414 N. Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90048

The Gallerati Society is a new breed of social networking: an art gallery soirée where young arts enthusiasts mingle over art, fine wine, and gourmet desserts. Meet 3 of the artists at a group exhibition featuring Surrealist landscapes and portraits, abstract sculptures, crashed Porsches, and defiled Bibles. The exhibiting artists are: Clair Carter, Jerry Wanye Downs, Susan Hannon, Steven Kenny, Aleve Meh Loh, Larissa Morais, and Joshua Suda. Carter, Hannon, and Morais will be in attendance.

For information on purchasing tickets to the exhibit, as well as the dinner at Il Piccolino Restaurant after the show please visit: www.gallerati-society.com

The Lyris String Quartet

Free Concert at LACMA

Sunday, August 14- 6 pm

Mendelssohn: Quartet in A minor, Opus 80.

Bing Theater.

No reservations or museum ticket needed.

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA

323-857-6000

http://www.lacma.org/

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