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The Wild Beast at CalArts lives

CalArts students begin playing in new music building

Posted: September 22, 2009 10:29 p.m.
Updated: September 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Students from Professor Erika Duke-Patrick's string workshop play their violins and cellos inside The Wild Beast for the first time at the Valencia California Institute of the Arts campus in Valencia on Tuesday. The Wild Beast is a new $4 million shape-shifting music pavilion for rehearsals and performances.

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California Institute of the Arts has unleashed The Wild Beast.

The Valencia art school finished construction over the summer on its $4 million shape-shifting, multi-use music pavilion, known as The Wild Beast, that will be used for concerts and classes.

The pavilion is designed to meet the needs of CalArts' Herb Alpert School of Music, which has faced increased enrollment in recent years.

A rolling wall allows the 3,200 square-foot structure to transform from an acoustically refined recital hall accommodating 140 to an outdoor performance space for audiences of up to 1,000.

The Wild Beast has already begun housing programs for the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts and will open to the public with a special performance event in spring 2010.

"Our school of music investigates musical forms in all of their diversity, positioning our students on the leading edge of musical innovation and experimentation. This new music pavilion will offer a host of new possibilities from guest artist master classes and performances to student recitals and festivals across a wide range of music literatures," said President Lavine in a statement.

The pavilion name comes from an essay by Morton Feldman about the illusive space in a work of art between surface and subject, where meaning lives.

Landscape designer and CalArts alumnus Allen Compton is planning a garden setting for the surrounding courtyard, which is slated for completion in winter 2010.

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