November, 2007

Gentle Giant

Yuri Temirkanov walked with the slow and deliberate pace of a dignified maestro as he went back and forth from the Disney Hall podium through several rounds of applause and two encores.

But after the concert the St. Petersburg Philharmonic leader, clad in a gray suit sans cravatte, was all warmth and smiles as the crowd at Kendall’s greeted him with yet another ovation and requests for his autograph, which he signed in the Roman alphabet.

“Disney Hall is brilliant,” Temirkanov told FineArtsLA as he sipped a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon by Louis Martini and ordered sweet corn polenta ravioli with lamb chorizo, “one of the best in the world.” The audience was equally wonderful, he added.

By the concert’s second half, the visiting orchestra had recovered from the jet lag that plagued the first part of the program, which included Schubert’s “Rosamunde” entr’acte and Schumann’s Piano Concerto played by Nelson Freire, and Temirkanov drew from it an electrifying rendition of selections from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“Prokofiev was a genius,” said the maestro, “and is still very much underestimated.”

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The Face That Launched a Thousand Chips

At Jacaranda’s all-Debussy concert this Saturday, audience members will be treated to a recitative by Clara Bellar, a singer and actress who makes a memorable appearance as an unravelling android in Steven Spielberg’s “Artificial Intelligence.”

Bellar, who also sings in French in the film, will recite “Les Chansons de Bilitis,” set to the poetry of Pierre Louys, accompanied by two harps, two flutes and celesta.

Louys’ name may not be familiar, but you may in fact know his work. His novel “La femme et le pantin” serves as the source for Luis Buñuel’s 1977 film about erotic obsession, “Cet obscur objet du désir.”

There are still two pairs of tickets remaining as part of our Forty Unders ticket giveaway program. Use the “Contact” button above to e-mail us, subject heading “Jacaranda.”

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FineArtsLA Introduces “Forty Unders”

If you go to chamber concerts in L.A. (and evidently you don’t), you’ll probably notice the majority of the audience is a lot like Alan Rich. Not that the audience shares the same tastes as the octogenarian LA Weekly critic, but that it’s roughly the same age.

Like a declining birthrate, the audience for the performing arts is disappearing faster than it’s being replaced.

Now FineArtsLA will help counter the aging demographic for the arts by launching a new audience-development program called Forty Unders.

What’s it mean for you? Simple: Free tickets.

From time to time, we will put up a Forty Unders post. The first respondents 40 and under to e-mail us get pairs of tickets to an upcoming event. You’ll have to show identification at the door, and if it turns out you’re over 40, old people will shake their fingers at you.

So in order to win you’ll need to visit the site often. What to do if there’s nothing new to read, which is highly likely? Check the calendar to see what’s happening around town. Better yet, build a community of arts fans in our neglected forum.

For the first Forty Unders ticket giveaway, we’re going to tell you when it will take place: Sometime in the afternoon on Monday, November 5. Jacaranda has generously donated 10 tickets (five pairs) to its all-Debussy concert on Saturday, November 10 in Santa Monica.

Another Forty Unders ticket giveaway is already scheduled for the following week.

If you’re an event promoter and would like to donate tickets, e-mail the webmaster here.

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