Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Closes Valley Performing Arts Center’s Guitar Series March 7

LAGQThe Los Angeles Guitar Quartet will present an extended set of short works from the Spanish Renaissance that sprung out of a recent project on “Don Quixote” the LAGQ developed with the British actor/comedian John Cleese, that features arrangements of music that Cervantes could have heard in his lifetime. Inspired by their foray into this rich and varied repertoire, the LAGQ presents a potpourri of favorites from this production. These and recent work by Ian Krouse are on the LAGQs upcoming New Renaissance album release that coincides with their Valley Performing Arts Center appearance on Saturday, March 7 at 8pm. This show is the finale of Valley Performing Arts Center’s Guitar Series underwritten by and Elizabeth-Ann Purcell.

The Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre. The LAGQ is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians – John Dearman, Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant – bringing a new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from Bluegrass to Bach. They consistently play to sold-out houses world-wide. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground. Continue reading

National Symphony Orchestra of México featuring Guitarist Alfonso Moreno Continues Valley Performing Arts Center’s Guitar Series March 6

NSOMSpanish Festival Program, featuring the brilliant classical guitarist, Alfonso Moreno at Valley Performing Arts Center on Friday March 6 at 8:00pm. The show is part of VPAC’s Guitar series, sponsored by Elizabeth-Ann Purcell.

Founded in 1971 at the initiative of Maestro Enrique Bátiz and the State Government of Mexico, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México was characterized from the outset by its efforts to bring its message of unity to all corners of the Republic.

In over 40 years, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México has appeared in concert with a large number of the top guest conductors and soloists worldwide, including Leon Barzin, Kurt Woess, Jose Iturbi, Piero Gamba and Joel Levi.

In their discography recordings devoted to the overtures of Verdi and Rossini deserve special mention, to the music of Mexico and Spain, with outstanding composers Joaquin Rodrigo and Isaac Albeniz but above all, the comprehensive series of Beethoven symphonies, Schumann, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

The orchestra has toured the globe extensively and in 2008 the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México performed its most extensive tour, a U.S. trip from coast to coast performing in forty-eight cities to great success with audiences and critics.

Alfonso Moreno is one of the world’s greatest interpreters of classical guitar. Moreno takes a symphonic approach to the guitar, using a broad palette of colors, timbres and dynamics, which often give the listener the sense of listening to an entire orchestra. Continue reading

Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet Headlines Valley Performing Arts Center’s Guitar Series March 5

Noted guitar player Bill Frisell will bring his alternately deeply intimate and epic orchestral multi-faceted compositions of time-honored jazz and folk songs to Valley Performing Arts Center on Thursday March 5 at 8:00pm. Frisell is joined by his Big Sur quintet members Jenny Scheinman, Eyvind Kang, Hank Roberts and Rudy Royston, in a performance of This Land – Woody Guthrie’s Better World. This show is the second in Valley Performing Arts Center’s Guitar series, sponsored by Elizabeth-Ann Purcell.

Frisell will examine one of folk music’s preeminent figures, Woody Guthrie. Best known for the classic “This Land Is Your Land,” Guthrie was at the helm of the folk music revival of the mid-twentieth century, and a major influence on Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and John Mellencamp, among countless others. Drawing inspiration from Guthrie’s music and views, on the racial, social and economic struggles of his time, Frisell will explore the lineage of protest songs, whilst re-imagining familiar melodies through an adventurous perspective. Continue reading

Valley Performing Arts Center Presents Yo-Yo Ma at a Gala Fundraising Performance May 6, Individual Tickets Available

Yo-Yo Ma FlyerValley Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce that its spring fundraising event will be a gala performance with the incomparable cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Taking place on May 6, the performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. Concert tickets that include a pre-show reception will be available starting today at http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org/calendar/yo-yo-ma-gala/view/2015-05-06.

The repertoire for the event will include three popular J.S. Bach suites – No. 1 in G Major, No. 2 in D minor, and No. 6 in D Major as well as pieces by modern classical composers Saygun and Mark O’Connor.

The multifaceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is a testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras worldwide and his recital and chamber music activities.  His discography includes over 90 albums, including more than 17 Grammy award-winners. Continue reading

Julian Sands Brings A Celebration of Harold Pinter Directed by John Malkovich to Valley Performing Arts Center February 26

Julian Pinter 1In a humorous and fascinating solo performance, the Oscar-nominated actor Julian Sands, best known for his romantic lead in A Room with a View, presents an intimate portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning poet, playwright and man – Harold Pinter. Directed by acclaimed actor, producer and director John Malkovich, A Celebration of Harold Pinter comes to Valley Performing Arts Center’s intimate Plaza del Sol Concert Hall on February 26 at 7:30pm.

British actor Julian Sands is frequently seen world-wide in films, on stage, and on television. He trained in London at The Central School of Speech and Drama and has appeared in over 100 films including; The Killing FieldsA Room With A ViewImpromptuLeaving Las Vegas, Oceans 13, and The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. On television, he is best known for his recent role on 24 but has also been seen on SmallvilleGhost Whisperer, Dexter and Banshee.

In 2005 Mr. Sands was approached by the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet Harold Pinter himself and asked to prepare a set of Pinter’s poems for a special presentation in London. Working closely with Pinter, he was granted a rare insight into his personality, life, and work. This extraordinary collaboration evolved into a wonderfully humorous and fascinating solo show directed by John Malkovich titled, A Celebration of Harold PinterContinue reading

14th Annual DIY Convention ‘For Mature Audiences Only’ Takes Place March 6 and 7

diyconvention-logoThe 2015 DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books, produced by JM Northern Media, has themed the conference “For Mature Audiences Only.” No, they aren’t advising on how to create X rated content, but aiming the forum towards a more seasoned group of musicians, authors, and filmmakers who are transitioning away from corporate supported cultural creation models to a more DIY future. Honoring the best of independent content, the 2015 DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books, is pleased to announce the schedule for its 14th annual event.

“After 13 conferences we noticed that mature artists need somewhat different info than newer creators who have grown up in a more DIY era,” said conference managing director Bruce Haring. We are excited to focus on the challenges faced by over-30 content creators in the market.” Continue reading

Legendary Martha Graham Dance Company Brings Classic and Contemporary Modern-Dance Creations to Valley Performing Arts Center


Mariya Dashkina Maddux in Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” Photo and copyright by Hubbard Nash Photography

Mariya Dashkina Maddux in Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” Photo and copyright by Hubbard Nash Photography

Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge, announces its presentation of the celebrated Martha Graham Dance Company, in its sole Los Angeles appearance in the 2014-15 season. The esteemed and historic dance company, founded by Martha Graham in 1926, will appear at VPAC Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 8pm. VPAC is offering additional related events including educational programs and a photography exhibit in the VPAC Gallery, featuring iconic imagery of the Martha Graham Dance Company taken by photographer Barbara Morgan.

VPAC’s Graham Company program includes a rare staging of Appalachian Spring (1944) set to Aaron Copland’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score. Considered Graham’s great enduring masterwork, Appalachian Spring celebrates its 70th birthday this season. The program also features Lamentation Variations, newly choreographed by three celebrated dance makers: Sonya Tayeh, Kyle Abraham and Larry Keigwin. The works by Tayeh and Abraham are West Coast premiers following their debut at the Joyce Theater in New York. Tayeh is best known to television audiences for her choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.

Valley Performing Arts Center Executive Director Thor Steingraber says, “We are proud to present the Martha Graham Dance Company in Los Angeles, especially for this opportunity to celebrate Appalachian Spring in its 70th anniversary. We embrace the continuing appeal of this treasured American dance company, especially as it bridges some of our nation’s greatest dance history with the “now.””

Says Martha Graham Company Artistic Director Janet Eilber, “We’re excited to bring a program to VPAC that includes amazing, cutting-edge works that resonate with Graham classics like Appalachian Spring. The brand new choreography brings a fresh perspective to Graham’s legacy, and the Graham masterworks give a greater context to the contemporary work. It’s an incredibly powerful interaction that gives our audiences so many new ways to get inside the art.  Graham’s dance career began in Southern California about 100 years ago, and with new works by Sonya Tayeh, Andonis Foniadakis, Kyle Abraham and others on the program, our performance will span almost a century of Graham’s innovation and influence.” Continue reading


The popular Emmy® Award nominated PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train will come to life on the stage in a big way with Dinosaur Train – Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge on February 7, 2015, at 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Buddy the dinosaur’s world will be created for this live “pre-hysterical” experience as only the Jim Henson Company can.

Dinosaur Train – Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure will bring the beloved stars of the hit PBS series to Los Angeles for the first time. Kids can join Buddy, Tiny, King, Don and more in a fun-filled, interactive and immersive live trip back in time to an age when dinosaurs roamed the earth….and rode in trains! They will be brought to life in an exciting, original, musical story created just for the stage where the audience is always a part of the action. Utilizing lush projected backgrounds and vistas, magical special effects that fill the theatre, a full sized replica of the Dinosaur Train, unique hybrid puppeteered costume characters and an engaging live host, our Dinosaur pals and their adventures will truly seem larger than life. Continue reading

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz Perform as SHUFFLE.PLAY.LISTEN. at Valley Performing Arts Center January 29, 2015

Master musicians Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a duet performance as SHUFFLE.PLAY.LISTEN. Bringing a fresh mix of classical and pop genres from Bach to Radiohead to Stravinsky, the duo performs respectively on piano and cello at Valley Performing Arts Center on Thursday January 29, 2015 at 7:30pm.

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz join together to explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a collaboration that crosses in and out of the classical and pop music genres. The program showcases their talents as collaborators and soloists, defining what it means to be an artist in the 21st Century. Audiences will hear works by J.S. Bach and pioneering film composer Bernard Hermann, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Piazzolla and Prokofiev. A double CD recording, SHUFFLE.PLAY.LISTEN., was released on Oxingale in the fall of 2011 to rave reviews. Continue reading

Tango Buenos Aires Performs Song of Eva Peron at Valley Performing Arts Center January 23, 2015

Tango Buenos Aires, one of Argentina’s great cultural exports, known throughout the Americas, Europe and the Far East as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of the tango, will perform their acclaimed full length production Song of Eva Peron at Valley Performing Arts Center January 23, 2015 at 8pm.

Tango Buenos Aires was created for the “Jazmines” festival at the famous Buenos Aires cabaret “Michelangelo” by renowned composer and tango director Osvaldo Requena. The company met with tremendous success and was immediately added to the season of the General San Martin Municipal Theatre.

In 1986, the company traveled to the United States in order to represent Argentina at the Latin-American Festival, which took place at the Delacorte Theatre in New York City’s Central Park. This began a whirlwind of international tours and television appearances globally, that continues to the present day, and solidified Tango Buenos Aires reputation as one of the top tango companies worldwide.

The current artistic director of the company is Rosario Bauza and the music director is Fernando Marzan. Song of Eva Peron was created by noted choreographer Héctor Falcón, a longtime associate of Tango Buenos Aires. Continue reading