undays Live, Los Angeles' venerable long-running concert series, threw itself a party at the historic Capitol Records building in Hollywood tonight. The ticketed fundraiser was in support of Sundays Live which has been bringing live broadcasts of outstanding musical performances to Southern California audiences since 1948. Last night's festivities included a catered reception and a brief lecture by film music historian Jon Burlingame. The highlight of the evening was a special recording session by members of the Capitol Ensemble: Phillip Levy & Amy Hershberger (violins), Andrew Duckles (viola), and David Low (cello).
The event was held in Capitol Studio's famous Studio A. That studio has quite an interesting musical history; Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland are just a few of famous voices to have graced Studio A. The first ever Grammy for a chamber music recording was awarded to the Hollywood String Quartet in 1958 for their album of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 13 which was recorded in Studio A. The room is also a favourite of many contemporary artists. Composer Michael Giacchino recorded much of the music for the television show Lost there.
Built in 1956, the Capitol Tower was an engineering and architectural marvel and is purported to be the world's first cylindrical office building. Its studios boast 10 inch thick concrete walls and floors that sit atop layers of cork and rubber all designed to make the studios impervious to outside noise. The building's architect was Welton Becket who was also designed several other iconic Los Angeles structures including UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, the Music Center, the Cinerama Dome, and the Beverly Hilton Hotel, among many others.
Sundays Live's permanent home for the past 20 years has been the Leo Bing Theatre on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art located along L.A.'s Miracle Mile. Concerts are presented every Sunday at 6pm and are FREE of charge. The live broadcast can be heard via the Sundays Live website.