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Leonard Stein

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ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
When pianist, pedagogue and Arnold Schoenberg's former secretary Leonard Stein formed Piano Spheres in Los Angeles in 1994, he was providing exposure to four of the best and most imaginative students he had mentored. Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson and Susan Svrcek are now among theĀ  best, busiest and least dispensable pianists in Los Angeles, to say nothing of the most dedicated. Nine years after Stein's death, Piano Spheres still thrives and on Saturday celebrates the series' upcoming 20th anniversary by providing a rare opportunity to hear all four pianists on the same stage.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
When pianist, pedagogue and Arnold Schoenberg's former secretary Leonard Stein formed Piano Spheres in Los Angeles in 1994, he was providing exposure to four of the best and most imaginative students he had mentored. Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson and Susan Svrcek are now among theĀ  best, busiest and least dispensable pianists in Los Angeles, to say nothing of the most dedicated. Nine years after Stein's death, Piano Spheres still thrives and on Saturday celebrates the series' upcoming 20th anniversary by providing a rare opportunity to hear all four pianists on the same stage.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 1991 | DANIEL CARIAGA, Daniel Cariaga is a Times staff writer.
Leonard Stein, director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute at USC, gives his last performance in that capacity this week. He announced his retirement during a recent interview at the university. After 16 years as head of the institute, Stein says, without rancor, "Enough is enough." Appointed director in 1975, the genial pianist/conductor, who served as teaching assistant to Schoenberg before the composer's death in 1951, oversaw the opening of the USC facility in 1977.
NEWS
October 28, 2004 | Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
There was a touch of melancholy in the air at Zipper Concert Hall on Tuesday night, for the founding father and kindly guiding light of Piano Spheres, Leonard Stein, was not in the house. One of the last links to a now-distant era, when such giants as Stravinsky and Schoenberg lived and worked in Los Angeles, Stein died unexpectedly June 24 at the age of 87.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2004 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Leonard Stein, who as a pianist and authority on the works of Arnold Schoenberg became one of the preeminent figures in Los Angeles' musical life, has died. He was 87. Stein, director of the Schoenberg Institute at USC from its inception in 1975 to 1991, died Wednesday of natural causes at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
NEWS
November 22, 2001 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Schoenberg, his music and his world, is actively in our midst. Over the next couple of weeks, symposiums related to the composer will be held at a number of places around town, including UCLA and the Getty Center. Southwest Chamber Music plays Schoenberg next weekend. Los Angeles Opera presents, in concert, "Moses and Aron," Dec. 9.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 1993 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For an organization often known for its contemporary programming, the Southwest Chamber Music Society's concert Thursday at Chapman University waxed nostalgic, relatively speaking. The musical era in question was the period between the World Wars, and the program proved to be a provocative history lesson. The spotlight belonged to Leonard Stein, displaying easy facility and dynamic sensitivity as a pianist.
NEWS
October 28, 2004 | Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
There was a touch of melancholy in the air at Zipper Concert Hall on Tuesday night, for the founding father and kindly guiding light of Piano Spheres, Leonard Stein, was not in the house. One of the last links to a now-distant era, when such giants as Stravinsky and Schoenberg lived and worked in Los Angeles, Stein died unexpectedly June 24 at the age of 87.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2001 | JOHN HENKEN, John Henken is a regular contributor to Calendar
In 1992, new-music diva Joan La Barbara asked Leonard Stein to accompany her in some music by Eric Satie and John Cage. They gave the program that summer at the Ravinia Festival outside Chicago, and then met Cage and percussionist William Winant for a historic performance in New York. It was Cage's last concert appearance before the legendary avant-gardist died. The performance featured the premiere of "Four{+6}," with parts specially created for each performer.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 1997
The music of Philip Glass is minimal in every way except sheer bulk and relentless tedium ("Minimal Fanfare, Please," by Mark Swed, May 4). I met him at a party 40 years ago where some of us were improvising variations on stated themes. Then, as now, Glass was full of himself and his "ideas" but he couldn't invent a decent melody then and he can't now. HOWARD D. AMACKER Santa Monica Please! Please! I did not teach La Monte Young "reductive Serialism." He studied counterpoint with me and heard the recordings of Webern I made with Robert Craft.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2004
I knew Leonard Stein from the many concerts around town where he was a performer or attendee ("Leonard Stein, 87; Schoenberg Institute Chief, Pianist, Teacher," by Mark Swed, June 25). But I knew him mostly from the music concerts run by Dorrance Stalvey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As I became more acquainted with him (he was already an elderly man), and we would sometimes talk, I became increasingly intimidated by his history, his musical knowledge and criticisms, his acid-tongued opinions and his being, toward the end, a kind of curmudgeon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2004 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Leonard Stein, who as a pianist and authority on the works of Arnold Schoenberg became one of the preeminent figures in Los Angeles' musical life, has died. He was 87. Stein, director of the Schoenberg Institute at USC from its inception in 1975 to 1991, died Wednesday of natural causes at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
NEWS
October 10, 2002 | CHRIS PASLES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The adventurous Piano Sphere series opened its ninth season Tuesday in a new location: Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles. The series moved from its home at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena, founder Leonard Stein said before the program, because Zipper provided a stage and a piano. "We always had to rent a piano before," he said.
NEWS
November 22, 2001 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Schoenberg, his music and his world, is actively in our midst. Over the next couple of weeks, symposiums related to the composer will be held at a number of places around town, including UCLA and the Getty Center. Southwest Chamber Music plays Schoenberg next weekend. Los Angeles Opera presents, in concert, "Moses and Aron," Dec. 9.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2001 | JOHN HENKEN, John Henken is a regular contributor to Calendar
In 1992, new-music diva Joan La Barbara asked Leonard Stein to accompany her in some music by Eric Satie and John Cage. They gave the program that summer at the Ravinia Festival outside Chicago, and then met Cage and percussionist William Winant for a historic performance in New York. It was Cage's last concert appearance before the legendary avant-gardist died. The performance featured the premiere of "Four{+6}," with parts specially created for each performer.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2001 | RICHARD S. GINELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Leonard Stein is a civic treasure, a living link to a now-fabled time when distinguished residents like Schoenberg and Stravinsky made Los Angeles something of a mecca for 20th century music. Best of all, he's still quite active at 84, constructing unusual, enterprising programs such as the one that closed Piano Spheres' seventh season Tuesday night at Pasadena's Neighborhood Church. You could hear the gears turning in that mind as you followed the musical links--contrapuntal J.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2004
I knew Leonard Stein from the many concerts around town where he was a performer or attendee ("Leonard Stein, 87; Schoenberg Institute Chief, Pianist, Teacher," by Mark Swed, June 25). But I knew him mostly from the music concerts run by Dorrance Stalvey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As I became more acquainted with him (he was already an elderly man), and we would sometimes talk, I became increasingly intimidated by his history, his musical knowledge and criticisms, his acid-tongued opinions and his being, toward the end, a kind of curmudgeon.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2001 | RICHARD S. GINELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Leonard Stein is a civic treasure, a living link to a now-fabled time when distinguished residents like Schoenberg and Stravinsky made Los Angeles something of a mecca for 20th century music. Best of all, he's still quite active at 84, constructing unusual, enterprising programs such as the one that closed Piano Spheres' seventh season Tuesday night at Pasadena's Neighborhood Church. You could hear the gears turning in that mind as you followed the musical links--contrapuntal J.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 1998 | DANIEL CARIAGA
When Leonard Stein titled his latest Piano Spheres program "Three American Masters," he did so with perfect appropriateness. As musicians move into the next century, the keyboard works of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles and Roger Sessions ought to be, if not part of their functional repertories, at least a strong element in their background and thinking.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 1998 | JOHN HENKEN
Leonard Stein has had such an impact on music in Los Angeles as a teacher, scholar and impresario that it can be easy to forget how important he has been as a pianist. Monday he reminded us with a characteristically probing and multi-threaded recital at the Neighborhood Church of Pasadena, part of the valuable Piano Spheres series that he oversees. The main focus was on musical transformations through variation and transcription traced along a Busoni-Schoenberg axis.
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