July 3, 2013 |
SANTA BARBARA - Feted by the New York Philharmonic, prominent at the hotshot Salzburg and Lucerne summer festivals and about to become the next music director of the celebrated Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, the 42-year-old German conductor and composer Matthias Pintscher made his West Coast debut Monday night. It was through the back door. But you couldn't have asked for a nicer, or worthier, back door. Pintscher conducted this year's new crop of Music Academy of the West fellows in the 350-seat Hahn Hall, overlooking a stunning stretch of Montecito coastline.
June 27, 2013 |
Last summer the New York Philharmonic attempted Stockhausen's devilishly difficult “Gruppen” for three orchestras. Each orchestra has its own conductor. Music director Alan Gilbert sweated bullets conducting one. The composer Magnus Lindberg sweated bullets conducting a second one. Both demonstrated why the work is rarely performed. Only for the third orchestra did the conductor seem in his element and the music pop out with the arresting immediacy that demonstrated why "Gruppen" is a landmark of the 1950s avant garde.
June 26, 2013 |
Band of Outsiders' creative director Scott Sternberg and Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport hosted a dinner at downtown's Grand Central Market on Tuesday night in honor of style writer turned canning wunderkind Kevin West and his new book "Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving. " Before the 100-person, Southern-flavored dinner, guests from the worlds of art, fashion and food including Doug Aitken, Liz Goldwyn, China Chow, Katherine Ross, Zoe Cassavetes, Bret Easton Ellis and Vogue's West Coast editor Lisa Love, milled about among bales of stratgically placed hay and drank cocktails and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from canning jars. As if that wasn't indication enough, the evening wasn't much on formalities, with Rapoport and Sternberg making only the briefest of remarks before the feast commenced.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 |
This post has been updated. See below for details. Southwest Airlines on Friday night grounded flights across the western United States after experiencing a problem with the internal computer system used to dispatch planes, a company official said. The airline, which has roughly 3,200 flights per day, said the system went down about 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Planes already in the air were not affected. Southwest spokeswoman Michelle Agnew said airports on the West Coast, in the Mountain states and even some in the Midwest have been affected.
June 17, 2013 |
For all of the attention lavished upon West Coast composers lately, one who has mostly escaped the net is Ernest Bloch. Though Swiss-born, Bloch lived a good deal of his life on the West Coast, directing the San Francisco Conservatory and teaching at UC Berkeley. He spent his last 18 years in the tiny town of Agate Beach on the Oregon coast -- and you can hardly get further West than that. So Long Beach Opera, champions of the new and/or neglected, stepped into the breach Saturday night, staging what was touted as the U.S. professional premiere of Bloch's sole opera, “Macbeth.” PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times One reason why Bloch has been in eclipse is that as a Romantic out of time, he doesn't fit in with the revival of 20th century West Coast mavericks, even though he was open-minded enough to have assimilated all kinds of styles -- a West Coast trait, if you think about it. If we hear any Bloch live these days, it is usually his magisterial cello concerto, “Schelomo.” “Macbeth” is an early work, written from 1904 to 1909 when Bloch was in his 20s. The musical language is actually right in sync with that time, teeming with Richard Strauss flourishes and echoes of Wagner.
June 11, 2013 |
After RSVPing for an upcoming Band of Outsiders-hosted dinner in honor of fashion journalist, canning wunderkind and Grand Central Market consultant Kevin West, The Times' fashion critic and I decamped to the 97-year-old downtown landmark -- where we promptly ran into West himself. The author of "Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling and Preserving" (set to be published by Knopf on June 25) was tucking into a Cobb salad at the lunch counter of Valerie, a stall recently opened by the Valerie Confections folks and one of the market's newest tenants (opening for business just 11 days ago)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2013 |
Southern California beaches had overall good water quality during the last year, and a vast majority of beaches received good to excellent ratings, according to an annual report released Thursday by Heal the Bay. The organization's beach report card was first published in 1991 and assesses water quality at more than 600 beach monitoring locations on the West Coast. Each location is assigned an A to F grade. The higher the grade, the lower the chance of becoming ill while swimming in the water. Southern California beaches that received A ratings during summer and dry winter periods included Santa Monica Beach at Wilshire Boulevard and Will Rogers Beach at Temescal Canyon, the report by the Santa Monica-based environmental organization found. Some beaches received A+ ratings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Interior Department violated federal law by failing to conduct an environmental review before ordering a Northern California oyster farmer to shutter his operation, attorneys for the farmer told a federal appeals court panel here Tuesday. In a case that has become a cause celebre across the political spectrum, oysterman Kevin Lunny had been ordered to close the farm late last year when his lease to operate within Point Reyes National Seashore expired. Closing Lunny's Drakes Bay Oyster Co. would make way for the first marine wilderness area on the West Coast at Drakes Estero, an environmentally sensitive area home to a large population of harbor seals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 |
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial rail yard serving the harbor, setting the stage for possible court challenges alleging violations of environmental and civil rights laws. The proposal to build a center for trains hauling freight from the largest port complex in the nation has raised questions about environmental justice, particularly for minority and low-income neighborhoods in west Long Beach, which would bear the brunt of the effects. Council members voted 11 to 2 to approve the Southern California International Gateway and certify its environmental analysis, saying that the $500-million project would bolster efficiency in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, create jobs and improve air quality in surrounding communities.
April 24, 2013 |
Halston was America's first celebrity designer, creator of Jackie O's famous pillbox hat and a hard-partying denizen of Studio 54. He was also one of the first fashion figures to license his name, an experiment that failed miserably at the time but paved the way for the democratization of fashion as we know it today. And now, the latest iteration of his design legacy, the contemporary brand Halston Heritage, has a new home at the Beverly Center shopping mall. The Los Angeles-based Halston Heritage opened its West Coast flagship Friday, three weeks after opening its first-ever store on Madison Avenue in New York City.