SANCTUARY SERIES Pre-Concert Conversations

Last season Jacaranda inaugurated the Sanctuary Series pre-concert conversations to celebrate our 15th anniversary and to deepen the Jacaranda experience! The roster included a climate scientist from Rand, Julius Eastman’s friend & biographer, a young brain researcher born in Nicaragua, two musicians who tackle the “impossible,” and the incoming Spanish-born artistic director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.

The Jacaranda experience is more than classical concert going. The room has stunning acoustics and wrap-around seating with comfortable pews. Two lobbies and a welcoming courtyard encourage social interaction and sharing. So does the free coffee and cookies at intermission. Program notes are extensive and include fascinating cultural, political and often unexpected historical information that sets a rich context for the music. Brief verbal introductions welcome the audience and performers. The performance standard is exceptionally high with powerful music that can generate peak moments. To the Jacaranda experience we have added the Sanctuary Series pre-concert conversations at 7pm, unless otherwise announced. Please join us.




October 20, 2018
Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

Alex Purves, author of Space and Time in Ancient Greek Narrative (2010, Cambridge university Press), Synaesthesia and the Ancient Greek Senses (2013, Acumen Press) and the forthcoming Homer and the Poetics of Gesture (2019, Oxford University Press), is a classics scholar at UCLA specializing in Homer.

Joes segal

November 2, 2018
Wende Museum of the Cold War
7:00 pm

Chief Curator of the Wende Museum of the Cold War, Joes Segal authored Art and Politics: Between Purity and Propaganda (2016), and co-authored Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War in East and West (2010), both published by Amsterdam University Press. He formerly taught at UCLA and Utrecht University.

Russell Steinberg

February 3, 2019
Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica

Russell Steinberg, composer, conductor and educator, inspires audiences to deepen their passion for classical music through engaging pre-concert talks at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and an annual lecture series. He has published a series of text-supported audio downloads exploring five Mahler symphonies, including the Sixth.

althea waites. photo by joe la russo.

March 23, 2019
Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica

Althea Waites is currently on the keyboard faculty for the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University/Long Beach. The former director of the William Grant Still Center in Los Angeles, she has recorded many of Still’s piano works. Her 1993 recording, Black Diamonds (Cambria), includes the world premiere of Florence Price’s Piano Sonata. She succeeded George Walker on the faculty of Smith College.

from left: scott dunn; renee levine packer; seth parker woods

April 13, 2019
Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica

Seth Parker Woods is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Dartmouth College. A longtime champion of Julius Eastman's music, he curated the Eastman Portrait Concert as part of the 2018 Frequency Festival in Chicago. Renèe Levine Packer is the author of Gay Guerilla: Julius Eastman and his Music, and This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo. Scott Dunn worked as Lukas Foss’ assistant from 1999 to 2003, and recorded his “Solo for Piano” for Naxos (released 2005).

Marek Zabrowski (L); Steven vanhauwaert

May 25, 2019
Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

Marek Zebrowski, author of Paderewski in California (Tumult Foundation, 2009), and Celebrating Chopin and Paderewski (Warsaw Ministry of Foreign Affaris of the Republic of Poland, 2010) is Director and Curator of the Polish Music Center at USC Thornton School. Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert will speak to the process of learning Mauricio Kagel’s last important work, Piano Trio No. 3 (2007).

2017-18 AWAKE

Robert Lempert, Rand Corporation’s Nobel Prize Winning Climate scientist

October 21, 2017

Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

RAND Corporation’s Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Robert Lempert and Jacaranda Board Chair and Mayor of Culver City Thomas Small discussed climate challenges to Santa Monica, and other shoreline cities, as well as parallels to a growing interest in micro-tonality as an alternative to equal temperament.

Renee Levine Packer, Author

January 20, 2018

Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

Author Renee Levine Packer discussed her books Gay Guerilla: Julius Eastman and his Music, and This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo, based on her first hand knowledge of the special milieu in which Eastman and Frederic Rzewski composed their socially conscious classics.

Joel Salinas, MD

February 24, 2018

Rehwold Chapel, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

Joel Salinas, MD, author of Mirror Touch: Notes from a Doctor Who Can Feel Your Pain (2017) discussed his personal experiences with multiple forms of synesthesia, and related them to Olivier Messiaen’s color hearing.

Steven Vanhauwaert (L); Jonathan Hepfer (R)

March 17, 2018

Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert and percussionist Jonathan Hepfer discussed the unique challenges and the time-commitment needed to realize the solo works by Messiaen students Jean Barraque and Iannis Xenakis — deemed nearly impossible to perform.

Fernando Malvar-Ruiz

May 19, 2018

Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
7:00 pm

Regional Accents celebrated three generations of Spanish music from De Falla to today. Fernando Malvar-Ruiz discussed the changing political environment in Spain, and how it affects arts and culture.