Monday Evening Concerts, the historically distinguished music series jettisoned from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this month after 40 years of support, will survive for at least another season.
A committee of 15 national and international music movers and shakers, including composers Pierre Boulez, William Kraft and Morton Subotnick and former Los Angeles Philharmonic general director Ernest Fleischmann, has announced three dates for three programs next season at the downtown Colburn School's Zipper Concert Hall: Feb. 19, March 19 and April 16.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday May 16, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Monday Evening Concerts: A story in Saturday's Calendar about the Monday Evening Concerts series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art misspelled composer Steven Stucky's last name as Stuckey.
Details of a fourth program -- a tribute to LACMA music director Dorrance Stalvey, who died at 74 last July -- are being finalized.
"We have three members of the Los Angeles music community who have agreed to curate the season: Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steven Stuckey and Kent Nagano," committee director Justin Urcis said Thursday. "They're not formally members of the committee, but they're part of the season."
According to Urcis, the group has applied to become a nonprofit corporation and currently has a budget of about $75,000. (Stalvey had estimated the budget for all LACMA music programs as about $250,000 a year. The museum's annual budget is about $40 million.)
"It's not a huge budget, but we are going to be able to have these four concerts," said Catherine Uniack, a committee member and executive director of the enterprising Piano Spheres series.
"We have over 100 donors who have given from $10 to thousands of dollars. That's been a great source of support for us," Uniack said. "We're starting from ground zero, but we have come a long way. We're ready to have the season. It's encouraging, very encouraging."
Still, said Urcis, "without institutional support to fall back on, we need to keep the fundraising going throughout the year so we can build up a reserve to have a season the following year."
Monday Evening Concerts evolved from an Evenings on the Roof series created in 1939 in their Silver Lake home by writer Peter Yates and his pianist wife, Frances Muller.
From the start, the programs showcased or premiered works by eminent 20th century composers -- such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Boulez and John Cage -- who often attended the programs.
After Yates retired as director in 1953, Lawrence Morton took over, shepherding the series through several venues before it landed at LACMA in 1965.
Stalvey took over as artistic director in 1971 and in 1981 became director of music programs at the museum. During his tenure, he added two residency concert series, by the California EAR Unit and Xtet; a chamber music series; and a free outdoor Friday night jazz series.
For these efforts, Stalvey and the museum received six awards for adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the most recent in 2004.
But last June, LACMA announced that it was eliminating the two residencies and sponsoring Monday Evening Concerts for one more year only. The museum said the free Friday night jazz programs and Sunday concerts would continue, however.
"We're going to concentrate on programs that enhance the core mission of an art museum, which is to present the visual arts to the public," Bruce Robertson, then LAMCA's deputy director and now consulting curator, said in a statement.
This year, the museum hired two new music directors and announced the launching of two new series -- Latin Sounds and the Mix at Eight -- bringing the total number of music concerts scheduled in 2006-07 to 117, its most ever for a single season. But the news did not mollify the serious music community.
"Dorrance was very worried that Monday Evening Concerts would end with him because of all of this horror that happened when he was very sick," his wife, Valerie Stalvey, said Thursday.
"Continuing this is important to me from a musical standpoint and an emotional standpoint. It's important for Dorrance's legacy, and Lawrence's legacy, and the Yateses' legacy."
All the committee members have been affiliated with those legacies.
"Several worked with Lawrence Morton," Urcis said, "and some have been involved for 30 to 40 years."