Schoenberg at UCLA: reminiscences from Leonard Stein [interview]

Kawabata, M. (2000) Schoenberg at UCLA: reminiscences from Leonard Stein [interview]. ECHO: A Music-Centered Journal, 2 (2) ISSN 1535-1807 (online)


Los Angeles is the city of paradox. Where else could Shirley Temple, the Marx Brothers, and other Hollywood luminaries live in the vicinity of eminent Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg? Indeed, many influential artists, musicians, and cultural critics of the European avant garde found themselves in the land of palm trees and Hollywood glitz during the massive upheavals that led up to the Second World War. Leonard Stein, who was born in Los Angeles, was an active participant in the intellectual émigré community, and his close association with Arnold Schoenberg in particular make him an invaluable asset to those interested in the city’s art music life. Stein is a pianist who studied with Schoenberg at UCLA and assisted the composer in his musical and scholarly activities. He was one of the first performers in the Evenings on the Roof concert series, which continues to this day at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Maiko Kawabata performed Schoenberg’s last composition, the Violin Phantasy, Op. 47, with Stein in the spring of 1999 as part of this distinguished series. But it is his role as a keeper of Schoenberg’s legacy that makes Stein important to historians of the European avant garde.

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