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Three Concerts : Impresario Morton To Be Remembered

September 23, 1987|JOHN HENKEN

A significant series of events in memory of Lawrence Morton has been planned for October at several locations in the Los Angeles area.

Morton, who died in May, was paterfamilias of the local New Music establishment, and best known as director of Monday Evening Concerts from 1953 to 1971.

Appropriately, then, the tribute begins with the first event of the Monday series' 50th season, in Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oct. 12. The program--to be conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, protege and close associate of Morton--re-creates the last Monday Evening Concert produced by Morton in 1972, a characteristic mixture of the old and new, and one he described as "symbolic of my own tastes and pleasures."'

On Oct. 14, Pierre Boulez will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in concert at the Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo. Boulez made his United States debut under Morton's auspices, and the program includes Boulez's "Eclat," which was given its premiere by Morton.

The concert element of the memorial week ends Oct. 17, with an out-of-season appearance of the Ojai Festival, an institution intermittently directed by Morton. That program features the music of Stravinsky, another Morton associate, conducted by Stravinsky's disciple Robert Craft.

These concerts will share a common program book, a keepsake including program notes and some essays by Morton. Another component of the retrospective will be a three-hour radio special, broadcast on KUSC-FM Oct. 12.

This memorial week was brought about by the informal collaboration of some of Morton's friends and admirers: Dorrance Stalvey, current MEC director; Ernest Fleischmann, executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic--which sponsored a marathon 75th birthday tribute to Morton at Hollywood Bowl in 1979; Jeanette O'Connor, executive director of the Ojai Festival; Leonard Stein, director of the Schoenberg Institute; Gail Eichenthal, radio producer, and bassoonist Don Christlieb, a veteran performer at Ojai and Monday Evening Concerts.

According to Ara Guzelimian, a spokesman for that group, a Lawrence Morton Fund has been established. The fund will support the completion of some of Morton's book projects.

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