April 15, 2014 |
For Kerry Brougher, newly named director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' planned film museum, the bubble may be nothing compared with the spaceship. Brougher comes to the academy from the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C., where one of his first tests as interim director was dealing with fallout from a failed proposal to install a $15-million inflatable bubble in the museum's circular courtyard. In Los Angeles, Brougher will inherit a new architectural challenge: what do with a major building project that isn't in danger of being scrapped, as the bubble was, but has significant, even fundamental design flaws.
April 4, 2014 |
With some time to kill between performances of "Lucia di Lammermoor" at Los Angeles Opera (the last one is Sunday), the peripatetic James Conlon merely had to cross 1st Street in order to lead the first of three subscription concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Thursday night. It's hardly news that Conlon seems to be everywhere these days, but it's still a phenomenon worth noting. Indeed, Conlon turned up at the pre-concert lecture and later spent several minutes talking to the audience in the main hall about one of his Recovered Voices subjects: the strange, sad and remarkable career of Erwin Schulhoff.
March 13, 2014 |
A race-against-time thriller set in a crowded concert hall, director Eugenio Mira's "Grand Piano" may never match the silky suspense of Hitchcock's classic of sinister decorum, "The Man Who Knew Too Much," but it has a certain virtuosic joie de vivre. Elijah Wood stars as a celebrated pianist who, five years after a notorious fiasco of a performance, is making a nervous, much-hyped return to the stage. As he begins to play for the eager audience, however, his score reveals a scrawled note from a hidden sniper (a mostly unseen John Cusack)
March 5, 2014 |
While sitting out all but six games this season with Achilles and knee issues, Kobe Bryant apparently had time to build a custom piano. At least that's the premise of his latest Nike commercial. "The sound alone could end war," promises the narrator. "It would be the grandest, grand masterpiece of grand pianos. " While the spot features Lionel Richie playing on a piano in the shape of Bryant's logo, the narrator admits that Bryant did not, in fact, make the instrument. Instead, Bryant is responsible for the "Kobe 9 Collection," his latest signature shoe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2014 |
When Alice Herz-Sommer played the piano at Theresienstadt her audience was enthralled. As she approached the end of Chopin's difficult Revolutionary Etude, the piece's mounting musical turbulence exploded. "Alice's hands slid furiously over the keys, zig-zagging up and down from the heights to the lowest registers, with the final four chords ringing out, like so many shrieks of despair," biographers Melissa Muller and Reinhard Piechocki wrote in 2006. The next day, she was given an extra ladle of watery soup - a privilege at a Nazi concentration camp, but one that made the pianist distinctly uncomfortable.
February 18, 2014 |
Prince William wants to destroy all the ivory artifacts in Buckingham Palace. Here at the other end of the ivory owner spectrum, I'm wondering what to do with my backup piano keys. Organized crime has turned ivory poaching from a worrisome trend that threatens endangered elephants into a raging problem fed by the new middle class in China that seeks out and can afford ivory tchotchkes. From 2002 to 2013, almost two-thirds of the forest elephants in central Africa were killed for their tusks.