Monday, April 23, 2012

Roots of a Music Series

THE Santa Monica-based chamber series Jacaranda puts on some of the consistently most intriguing programs I know. Along with UCLA's Royce Hall and the Hammer Museum, it's one of the things that makes me wish I lived on the Westside.

Composer Olivier Messiaen
The weekend's program included a piece by Olivier Messiaen, a hero to some in the group; West Coasters Terry Riley and Lou Harrison works will close out the season. I spoke to the group's organist and conductor, Mark Alan Hilt, as the latest installment of my Influences column in the LA Times. HERE is the piece.

Mr. Hilt demonstrates some of the issues I've discussed in my creative class series on Salon -- he, and the series he helps lead, can survive in part due to donors who value what the group does. But it also stands on a scaffolding of education (Hilt runs a student orchestra at a private high school) and churches -- a Presbyterian church has been an early partner, and its main venue, since this ambitious series began.

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