15 Reasons to Consider LA for Your String Education
Los Angeles has become a key destination for college- and conservatory-bound string students
The 2003 opening of deconstructivist architect Frank Gehry's twisting titanium-covered Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles launched a flurry of activity that has seen the rise of the City of Angels as a key destination not only for classical-music lovers, but also string students. It's the glistening new home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and its soon-to-be music director Gustavo Dudamel, as well as the edgy REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater).
Across the street from Disney Hall, the venerable Colburn School has ramped up activities at its music conservatory, attracting such notable string faculty as violinist Robert Lipsett, violist Paul Coletti, cellist Ronald Leonard, and the members of the Calder Quartet. Meanwhile, violin virtuoso Midori is making sweeping changes as the innovative head of the strings department at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. This year, Ralph Kirshbaum—the American-born cellist and educator who until recently had been living in the UK for the past 30 years—joined the list of celebrated educators flocking to the Thornton string faculty. In 2007, the Herb Alpert Foundation granted $30 million to UCLA to create the cross-disciplinary Herb Alpert School of Music; in April, the foundation donated another $15 million to the School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts. And LA boasts a thriving arts scene—from coffee houses and concert halls to world-class museums and libraries—to help stimulate curious minds.
The metropolitan area boasts thousands of performance spaces.
Gramophone recently dubbed LA's contemporary music scene a "brave new world" populated by the likes of the Southwest Chamber Music ensemble and the far-reaching Nucleus Ensemble, but it's also home to more than a dozen regional community orchestras. And, of course, there are career opportunities in the film and recording industries.
All that and (sometimes) sunny, sandy beaches, too!
This article, "15 Reasons to Consider LA for Your String Education," is part of the Strings Archive, which you can access with a paid site subscription.
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