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Robert Wilson

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December 21, 1986 | WILLIAM TUOHY
At first glance, Robert Wilson would not appear to be the one of the leading avant-garde figures on the American cultural scene. On the cutting edge or not, Wilson's primary influences are in the classics. "You know, the avant-garde is rediscovering the classics. I've always been attracted to classic patterns in architecture, music and drama. So we'll have this Baroque, noble music, with the singers acting in stylized classic way. I wanted the presentation to be formal.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Los Angeles' two greatest cultural disappointments of the past three decades may have been the failure of the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984 to mount director Robert Wilson's eight-hour international operatic epic, "the CIVIL warS" and the Music Center's inadequate support in 2000 of Frank Gehry's grand plan to renovate and urbanize the facility and reshape downtown's civic center in the process. All, though, is not lost. As part of Minimalist Jukebox on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Philharmonic reunited those two transformative artistic visions by presenting Philip Glass' contribution to "the CIVIL warS," known as the Rome section, in Gehry's successful contribution to the Music Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
"Lecture on Nothing," which is published in John Cage's "Silence," is a classic, studied and often recited. One of its much-quoted lines is "I have nothing to say and I am saying and that is poetry as I need it. " The conductor Robert Spano read the lecture at the 2006 Ojai Festival, as the director Peter Sellars once did at the Salzburg Festival, slowly savoring every instant. But what Cage called a composed lecture didn't always go down so easily. The composer first delivered the 40-minute lecture - which is structured like a piece of music, with pauses and repetitions - at the painter Robert Motherwell's 8th St. Artist's Club in Manhattan in 1950.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2013 | By James C. Taylor
NEW YORK - The reports of her death are only slightly exaggerated. The U.S. premiere Friday night of the highly anticipated, all-star, high-culture event “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic” opened with three actors, wearing masks to represent the Serbian performance artist, lying on top of three coffins. Before the show, director Robert Wilson told a gala dinner crowd assembled in the Park Avenue Armory that he and Abramovic had wanted to work together for a long time, but it was only in 2007 that she inspired him with this request: “I want you to stage my funeral.” The three coffins, he explained, represent the three cities in which she has resided: Belgrade, Amsterdam and New York - and what followed that striking, exquisitely lighted tableau was a two-hour, 40-minute opera-cabaret-dance-oral history about Abramovic's life, from its humble beginnings in Communist Yugoslavia to her rise on the international art scene, to her “death” in 2013 (the program is a broadsheet newspaper with the headline: “Artist Marina Abramovic dies at 67.”)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2002 | Mark Swed
The Louis Vuitton window displays this Christmas season are beautiful and not to be missed. Walk around the Rodeo Drive store, particularly at night, and the gorgeous illuminated electric oranges and lime greens lift the spirits. They were designed by the director and artist Robert Wilson, who sees all the world as a potential stage and who flew into town Monday to oversee the opening of his production of the Georg Buchner piece "Woyzeck" at UCLA.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 1992 | JAN STUART, NEWSDAY
"Robert Wilson is Funny!" trumpets the brochure for Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival with the cocky insistence of an old Hollywood trailer that promises "Garbo Laughs!" If you are among those who feel that truth in advertising is implicitly oxymoronic, you will not be surprised to hear that Wilson's latest Zen extravaganza has but one good laugh. In the best Madison Avenue spirit of the cheap tease, I will save it for last.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 1991 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It had to happen sooner or later. Robert Wilson, not content with operas, theater extravaganzas and private exhibitions, is getting into video. And judging by the evidence--his "La Femme a la Cafetiere," the first of four works on the latest segment of PBS' "New Television" (at 10:30 tonight on KCET Channel 28)--video could provide Wilson with a whole new language.
NEWS
January 21, 2000 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert Rathbun Wilson, a nuclear physicist active in the Manhattan Project who later designed and directed the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago, has died. He was 85. Wilson, a UC Berkeley-trained nuclear physicist who had taught for much of his career at Cornell University, died Sunday in Ithaca, N.Y., of complications from a stroke he suffered last year.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 1995 | JAN STUART, NEWSDAY
The promise of Robert Wilson starring in a solo riff on Shakespeare's most renowned work sets off all kinds of responses. First, you have to laugh (one-man "Hamlet," yeah, right). Then, you get curious (Wilson talks, too?). In the end, it begins to make sense. For many, "Hamlet" has always been a monologue, a mighty soliloquy for a Danish prince interrupted by extraneous royals and spear-carriers bent on keeping him from the activity of inactivity.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 1992 | VICKIE HOUBEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Germany's largest port city is best known for its cold and rainy weather and refined atmosphere. It seems to present an irresistible challenge to Robert Wilson and Tom Waits. Why else would they return here for a second time to stage a world premiere in such a chilly environment? In 1990's "Black Rider," Wilson and Waits updated the Freischutz folk legend into a modern-day hero.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
"Lecture on Nothing," which is published in John Cage's "Silence," is a classic, studied and often recited. One of its much-quoted lines is "I have nothing to say and I am saying and that is poetry as I need it. " The conductor Robert Spano read the lecture at the 2006 Ojai Festival, as the director Peter Sellars once did at the Salzburg Festival, slowly savoring every instant. But what Cage called a composed lecture didn't always go down so easily. The composer first delivered the 40-minute lecture - which is structured like a piece of music, with pauses and repetitions - at the painter Robert Motherwell's 8th St. Artist's Club in Manhattan in 1950.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
There is an anecdote about Einstein from when he taught at Caltech in the early 1930s. One day, pianist and Beethoven specialist Artur Schnabel came to visit the famed physicist, who was an avid amateur violinist, and they read through a Beethoven violin sonata. It didn't go well. Fumbling a tricky rhythm, Einstein got lost, and Schnabel exclaimed in frustration, "Albert, you can't count!" I have no idea how true this is (there are variants of the story), but what matters is that 80 years later, Einstein counted at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and it was a momentous event.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Andrew Blankstein
A West L.A. man who police said had 17 pipe bombs in his home is a “lone wolf” who had a fascination with explosives, police said. Police searched the home of Robert Wilson, 29, Wednesday after officials said they found him driving with drugs, a gun and a pipe bomb the previous night in Marina del Rey. Wilson was arrested Tuesday after police pulled him over for a traffic violation about 10:30 p.m. After a search of the vehicle, which...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 29, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
BERKELEY - The magic is back. Boy, is it ever. Philip Glass and Robert Wilson created "Einstein on the Beach" in 1976, and neither music nor music theater - including, and especially, opera - has ever been quite the same since. Glass' score, which made him famous, can be heard on complete recordings made in 1976 and 1992. Wilson's images, which made him famous, have been widely reproduced. That has been enough for the opera to have become the most influential of the past 50 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2010
Joe L. Brown General manager reshaped Pirates Joe L. Brown, 91, the general manager whose shrewd trading and expert rebuilding of the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system resulted in two World Series championships, died Sunday in Albuquerque after an extended illness. Brown, the son of famed comedian Joe E. Brown and a Newport Beach resident, succeeded Branch Rickey as the Pirates' general manager after a last-place season in 1955. He stayed on through 1976, a span in which the Pirates won the 1960 and 1971 World Series and five National League East titles after division play began in 1969.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
So maybe "Baby Einstein" won't make your kids smarter after all. The Walt Disney Co. has offered to refund parents' money, so it looks like plopping kids in front of the videos does not count as instant education. But the few enlightened parents who tried "Einstein on the Beach" instead may have a wiser tale to tell. Saturday night the Westside music series Jacaranda concluded its first concert of the season at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica with excerpts from Philip Glass' groundbreaking opera he conceived with director Robert Wilson in 1976.
BOOKS
November 12, 2006 | Richard Schickel, Richard Schickel is the author of many books, including "Elia Kazan: A Biography," now available in paperback.
ON a Monday, a hideously mutilated corpse is discovered in a dumpster in Seville -- scalped, features erased by acid, hands amputated in an effort to render the body unidentifiable. Early the next morning, a bomb explodes in a basement mosque in an apartment complex, bringing part of the structure down and causing a grievous loss of life, particularly in a preschool on the ground floor. Any devout reader of thrillers knows that these events are not unrelated.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 1990 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Remember Robert Wilson? Remember his "CIVIL warS," the 12-hour, $7-million avant-garde quasi-opera that was supposed to be the highlight of the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles back in 1984? Ultimately the victim of a financial fiasco, Wilson's magnum opus never made it to Shrine Auditorium. In fact, it has never been performed in toto anywhere.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2009 | Richard Schickel, Schickel is the author, most recently, of "You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story."
The English adore their Spanish holidays almost as much as they love queuing for buses, rooting for native-born tennis players not quite good enough for the Wimbledon finals and, of course, their pints of bitter, their noble dogs and their endless television series about ancient Roman weirdos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Robert Anton Wilson, a futurist, philosopher and coauthor of the Illuminatus trilogy, a cult science fiction series about a secret global society, died Jan. 11 at his home in Capitola, Calif. He was 74. Wilson had post-polio syndrome, which had severely weakened his legs and led to a fall that left him bedridden for the last seven months, his daughter Christina Pearson said.
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