Congratulations to Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels, co-composers of the opera Omar, which won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The opera premiered on May 27, 2022 at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina and had its West Coast premiere at LA Opera in October.
I am overwhelmed by the diversity of arts that are available to us. We are a hothouse of creative arts. Here are three that are here for only a one-night stand.
Let’s start with one of the most creative music adventurers by Music Artistic and Executive Director Patrick Scott and co-founder Mark Alan Hilt.
It started almost 20 years ago in Santa Monica. I was there at the beginning and am so proud of its longevity and bold programming. Plus Patrick’s program notes are a brilliant testament to what is being performed.
Jacaranda is presenting Za’atar. Friday, May 19 at 8pm with an artist conversation at 7pm.
Za’atar is a spice common in the cuisine of Turks, Israelis, Persians and Egyptians.
Pianist Inna Faliks sprinkles the spice liberally across contrasting textures and moods. Turkish American electronic music composer and jazz record producer Ilhan Mimaroglu
sets the stage. Richard Danielpour revisits his Persian childhood. Ljova honors the
“Jewish Caruso” a Ukrainian-born cantor whose voice was captured by wax cylinders. Fazil Say imitates the sounds of the Turkish Saz. Persian American Shahäb Päranj’s
solo cello suite exists in two poetic worlds. Lyris Quartet joins Faliks for the sparkling “Egyptian” Piano Concerto No 5 by Camille Saint-Saens arranged for piano and string
quartet that suggests a Nile boatman’s love song and finishes with thrilling exuberance.
First Presbyterian Church Santa Monica
1220 Second Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Wallis is presenting Jeffrey Kahane playing the Goldberg Variations. Thursday, May 25 at 7:30pm.
Equally at home at the piano or on the podium Jeffrey Kahane is recognized around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to the music of our time. After 20 years as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Kahane makes his Wallis debut with his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations long regarded as the most serious and ambitious work for the keyboard. Kahane has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago and San Francisco symphonies among many others and is also a popular artist at all of the major US summer festivals. In August 2016 he was appointed Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival and he is also currently the Artistic Adviser of the Sarasota Orchestra.
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance is presenting Jazz piano virtuoso and ASCAP winner Matthew Whitaker at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Sunday, May 21 at 7pm.
Whitaker has been earning acclaim since he was a prodigious young musician. At just 13 years old he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond Organs in their over 80-year history. At 15 he was named a Yamaha Artist – the youngest musician to join the stellar roster of jazz pianists. Despite being blind his talent is so exceptional that scientists are now studying his brain to understand his unique vision of music. His performance in Los Angeles will be an exciting chance to see a special talent in action.
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
929 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
PostScript: The Arts stimulate us in so many ways. Keep attending.
Backstage with the Buzz is written by Sheila Tepper, Producer Cultural Programming. Sheila has lived in the Larchmont area for fifty years, among her passions have been passing legislation for children with disabilities and interviewing outstanding artists appearing in the Los Angeles area.