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Historic Sites Series Bows At Townleigh Room

September 20, 1987|DANIEL CARIAGA

David Raksin, for more than 50 years a composer for films, will demonstrate some of the mechanics of that trade at the opening of the 1987-88 "Music in Historic Sites" series next Sunday night.

The place for the non-subscription event, appropriately moderne and Art Deco, will be the Townleigh Room, with clothes racks removed, at the original Bullocks Wilshire store on Wilshire Boulevard.

It is a setting that irrefutably evokes an era (the 1930s) and a place (the film colony of that time). Not surprisingly, to some observers the store and its decor seem never to have gone out of style.

A small symphonic body playing music of the period might have been a stylish ensemble for this festive season-opener. As Raksin sees it, however, there were other choices available to him and series impresario MaryAnn Bonino and Delores Stevens, leader of the Da Camera Players.

"Obviously, there is not the budget for an orchestra," Raksin said recently, "So MaryAnn, Dee and I chose music which can be played by small ensembles--usually no more than eight players."

Illustrated with film clips and commentary, Raksin's program will offer music from a number of films, including parts of the scores of two of his better-known efforts, "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952) and "Laura" (1944).

It will also feature his score to the Thurber-style cartoon "A Unicorn in the Garden" (1953); "Hoofloose and Fancy Free," a dance sequence from "Giddyap" (1950), and Elmer Bernstein's score for "Toccata for Toy Trains" (1957).

Raksin's non-filmic compositions continue to flow. Among the most recent is "Oedipus Memnetai," a cantata on the Oedipus legend, which was presented in December at the Library of Congress in Washington.

The "Historic Sites" concerts, this season divided into five series, continues Oct. 11 with back-to-back performances of a one-hour program to be played by the Mendelssohn String Quartet. No Mendelssohn on this agenda, however; it comprises two Waltzes by Dvorak and Beethoven's Quartet in C, Opus 59, No. 3.

Information: Da Camera Society at (213) 747-9085.

REMEMBERING GABI: Family, friends and colleagues will honor the late cellist Gabor Rejto in a free memorial concert to be given next Sunday at 4 p.m. in Bovard Auditorium at USC. Among the performing participants will be pianists Alice Rejto, James Bonn, Daniel Pollack, Jean Barr and Armen Guzelimian; cellists Peter Rejto, Jeffrey Solow, Michael Mathews, Julie McGinnes, Joanna DeKeyser; flutist Nika Rejto; violinist Andor Toth and guitarist Pepe Romero.

Speakers will be violinist Henri Temianka, founder of the California Chamber Symphony, and Larry J. Livingston, dean of the USC School of Music.

Rejto, a native of Budapest, studied in Hungary and with Pablo Casals in Spain. He taught at the Eastman School in Rochester, N.Y., before joining the USC faculty in 1954. For more than three decades, he gave summer master classes at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Rejto taught until his death in June. As a chamber musician, he was a founding member of the Alma Trio, and played also in the Lener and Gordon String Quartets.

Donations to the Gabor Rejto Memorial Scholarship may be sent to the Dean's Office, USC, University Park, Los Angeles 90089-0851.

MORE COMPOSERS: Three concerts by the Southern California Resource for Electro-Acoustic Music will be given in Schoenberg Hall Auditorium at UCLA on Nov. 7. These concerts, scheduled at 1, 4 and 8 p.m., will offer music by William Alves, Donald Andrus, Roger Bourland, Robert Ceely, Beverly Grigsby, Paul Lansky, Stanley Levine, Frederick Lesemann, Samuel Magrill, Rodney Oakes, Wayne Perkins, Carla Scaletti, Barry Schrader, William Schottstaedt, Carl Stone, Ivan Tcherepnin, Mark Waldrep, David Ward-Steinman and Scott Wyatt.

And among Southern California music makers who have received 1987-88 awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers are CalArts composers Mel Powell, Morton Subotnick and Rand Steiger, and, from the UCLA faculty, Roy Travis.

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