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ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2014 | By David Ng
The viola is often considered to be the neglected stepchild of the orchestra, stuck in between the more visible violins and cellos. Violists are sometimes referred to pejoratively as failed violinists. But in June, a 300-year-old viola will take the spotlight at a Sotheby's sale where the asking price will start at $45 million. The sale is being co-organized with the instrument dealer Ingles & Hayday. The so-called "Macdonald" viola was one of only a handful of violas created by Antonio Stradivari in his lifetime.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2014 | By David Ng
The viola is often considered to be the neglected stepchild of the orchestra, stuck in between the more visible violins and cellos. Violists are sometimes referred to pejoratively as failed violinists. But in June, a 300-year-old viola will take the spotlight at a Sotheby's sale where the asking price will start at $45 million. The sale is being co-organized with the instrument dealer Ingles & Hayday. The so-called "Macdonald" viola was one of only a handful of violas created by Antonio Stradivari in his lifetime.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
Google "viola joke" and you'll be rewarded with thousands, an afternoon's worth of hilarity at the expense of one of the most expressive sound producing machines ever conjured up. Here's a popular example: What's the difference between a viola and a trampoline? You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline. I learned that one from a violist who, like many of his colleagues, collects the jokes and posts them online. Why shouldn't he? He lives a charmed life with a string instrument mellower than a violin and more agile than a cello, a mechanism of magic, under his chin every day. He has no need for insecurity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf and Matt Stevens
A foster mother convicted of second-degree murder in the beating death of a 2-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to 25-years-to-life in state prison. Kiana Barker, 34, who had been trying to adopt Viola Vanclief in 2010, severely beat the toddler and later called 911 to report that the girl had stopped breathing, prosecutors allege. In October, a jury found Barker guilty of second-degree murder, assault on a child causing death and child abuse. The case was the latest in a years-long series of problems for United Care, a nonprofit foster agency that contracted with Los Angeles County at the time of Viola's death and had placed the girl with Barker.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
Having a Hollywood actor learn Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 for a role is a little like asking a child to master differential equations - it's virtually impossible. But in the case of music, the task can be convincingly faked with the right editing, and more important, with the right music coaches. When the makers of the movie "A Late Quartet" were looking for a musician who could help actress Catherine Keener get into character as a classical viola player, they sought the help of Carrie Dennis, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's principal violist, who joined the orchestra in 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
It was only natural that "Naturale" would serve as the centerpiece for the What's Next? Ensemble's micro-series program Saturday night at Monk Space, designed to explore "musical concepts of space, time and place. " Luciano Berio's score for viola, percussion and recorded voice investigates the intersections of world cultures in the folk traditions of Sicily, with a late 20th-century viola twist. "Naturale" also happens to be one the greatest solo works of any time or place for the instrument.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 1989 | JOHN HENKEN
VIVALDI: Concertos for Guitar, Two Guitars, and Viola and Guitar. Lubomir Brabec and Martin Myslivecek, guitars; Lubomir Maly, viola; Oldrich Vlcek conducting the Prague Chamber Orchestra. Supraphon (CO-2306-EX, compact disc). This re-release is distinguished by its sonics (booming reverberation) and its material (the overly tried Concerto in D, sure, but also a very attractive and little-heard Concerto in D minor for viola and guitar). Neither the arrangements nor the performances are the last word in period style, but the playing is as bright and crisp as possible in the echoing context, and eminently direct.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2000 | RICHARD S. GINELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Duo Calabrese operates on a charming, even rebellious premise: exploring out-of-the-way repertory that features only the violin and the once flourishing, now rarely used 14-string viola d'amore. The question before the listener: Is it worth the effort? Certainly there was a wide stylistic range among the duos and solo pieces that the husband-and-wife team of John Anthony Calabrese (viola d'amore) and Gabriela Olcese (violin) dusted off at Schoenberg Hall on Sunday afternoon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2000 | Raul Gallegos, (714) 520-2512
The Placentia Founders Society will stage the concert "The Bridges of Orange County" at 3 p.m. Feb. 20 at 136 Pal Circle. The concert will feature local residents Anne Bretton on violin, Eric Bretton on viola/guitar, Evan Marshall on mandolin and Barry Hicks playing the cello. Information: (714) 993-2470.
TRAVEL
June 16, 2002
Regarding "In Patriotic Times, Rushmore Calls" (June 2): I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In the early 1930s my parents drove us out from Rapid City, S.D., to see Gutzon Borglum carving the four American presidents. We spread out a picnic lunch under some pine trees and gazed upward at the growing monument. My siblings, Melvin and Viola, tried to climb the rock until a park ranger chased them away. KENNETH LARSON Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
It was only natural that "Naturale" would serve as the centerpiece for the What's Next? Ensemble's micro-series program Saturday night at Monk Space, designed to explore "musical concepts of space, time and place. " Luciano Berio's score for viola, percussion and recorded voice investigates the intersections of world cultures in the folk traditions of Sicily, with a late 20th-century viola twist. "Naturale" also happens to be one the greatest solo works of any time or place for the instrument.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
Having a Hollywood actor learn Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 for a role is a little like asking a child to master differential equations - it's virtually impossible. But in the case of music, the task can be convincingly faked with the right editing, and more important, with the right music coaches. When the makers of the movie "A Late Quartet" were looking for a musician who could help actress Catherine Keener get into character as a classical viola player, they sought the help of Carrie Dennis, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's principal violist, who joined the orchestra in 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
The new film "Won't Back Down" tells the story of a crusading single mother and a dedicated teacher who take on a bad principal, an unforgiving union and an entrenched bureaucracy in an attempt to improve a failing public elementary school. The real-life tale couldn't be more topical: The Chicago teachers strike brought public school reform to the forefront of the national conversation. But the film's relevance is proving problematic too. Pro-union, anti-charter school advocates began denouncing "Won't Back Down" weeks ahead of its Friday release, making the movie a target in ways its makers hadn't intended.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
For a moment, it looked as though "Hugo" could sweep this year's Academy Awards. Martin Scorsese's 3-D family film snapped up five trophies in technical categories, including surprise wins for cinematography and visual effects. But as the more prestigious prizes were handed out later in the night, momentum shifted to the expected favorite, "The Artist," which won for best picture, director and lead actor among its five awards. The only upset in the highest-profile categories came near the end of the show, when Meryl Streep won the lead actress statue for her portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," beating out Viola Davis for "The Help.
NEWS
November 10, 2011 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Viola Davis has long considered herself a cynic. It's a reflection of the 16 years she has spent in an industry that does little to support the career of black women. It's being a part of a Hollywood that continually asks her to play the "urban single mother. " One that honors the movie "Precious" but does little to make another one like it. So it was with great apprehension that the 46-year-old Davis took on the role of the uneducated Southern maid Aibileen in the film adaptation of the bestselling novel "The Help.
SPORTS
August 13, 2011 | By Diane Pucin
Last year, while she was recovering from a second surgery on her right foot, Brittany Viola considered that her diving career might be over. And it's not as if she has no plans for the rest of her life. The 24-year-old, who is the daughter of former major league pitcher Frank Viola, has her degree from University of Miami. Her major was electronic media and sports administration. "I want to do something in sports," Viola said Saturday at the Spieker Athletics Center at UCLA. But for the near future anyway, that "something in sports" is still going to be diving.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 5, 1996
Whoa! How did that "Our Favorite Quote" get published, taken from the article about Zubin Mehta ("The Pit and the Podium," by Judy Pasternak, April 28)? Mehta mentioned that when the Israel Philharmonic played in dangerous neighborhoods, his first-chair violist would sit onstage "with a pistol in his pocket. To shoot back." The story didn't go on to characterize the gentle musician with the gun as a racist redneck or a militia member, and it didn't even use one of your seemingly obligatory phrases, "gun-toting."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 1987 | KENNETH HERMAN
Two months after Karen Sanders started violin lessons, she lost her violin. And when her father replaced it with a guitar, she promptly left it out in the rain. If these were less than auspicious musical beginnings for a 10-year-old who was more interested in swimming than in music, Sanders can now look back on them with amusement.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 2011 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
The leading ladies of the upcoming film "The Help" — Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain — sat down with The Times last week to discuss their movie, race, and being women in Hollywood. Based on the novel of the same name, "The Help" is set in 1960s Mississippi and arrives in theaters Aug. 10. Stone plays Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a career-minded college grad who persuades a group of black maids to tell their stories so she can publish them.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Why is everyone giving Tom Cruise such a hard time? Can't we just forget about what happened on Oprah's couch? Is that asking too much? Is the movie business so flush with charismatic stars who can carry a picture that it can afford to eat its young? I don't think so. If you doubt Cruise's skills in the star department, "Knight and Day" should make you a believer. It's hardly a perfect film, not even close, but it is the most entertaining made-for-adults studio movie of the summer, and one of the reasons it works at all is the great skill and commitment Cruise brings to the starring role.
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