LA Newsbriefs

By Peter Gordon '78

  December 10 2007 L.A. Holiday Social

  From the left: Peter Gordon '78, Alf Clausen '66, and Tom Griesgraber '95
  From the left: Josh Florian '00, Chief of Staff Carl Beatty, Mor Mezrich '06, Richard Furch '99, and Tony DiMito '87
  Chris Horvath '87 (left) and Lynne Fiddmont '84
  Photos by Mark Hollingsworth

In December more than 250 alumni and guests gathered at the Rive Gauche Café in Sherman Oaks, California, for the annual Alumni Holiday Social. The capacity crowd was the largest ever at a Los Angeles alumni event, and the wide range of graduating classes represented was impressive. This event has become something of a tradition in the local community and continues to attract even the busiest alumni. This year, Director of Alumni Affairs Karen Bell and Chief of Staff Carl Beatty joined the party. Chapman Stick player Tom Griesgraber provided an enjoyable selection of music and a notable performance. It was truly an evening of holiday cheer.

Also in December, nominees for the 50th Annual Grammy were announced, and as usual, members of the Berklee community fared well. Among the Los Angeles alumni who received nominations were Quincy Jones '51, John Mayer '98, Steve Vai '79, Jeff Lorber '71, Tierney Sutton '87, and Frank Macchia '80. Congratulations, and good luck to all Berklee nominees!

On October 16, the Israel Chamber Orchestra performed the world premiere of Translucent Rocks: Fantasy for Orchestra, a commissioned work composed by Sharon Farber '97. The piece received rave reviews for its four performances and will be featured on the program during the orchestra's American tour in 2009. Farber recently scored When Nietzsche Wept starring Armand Assante (Millennium films) and is now at work on Folie à Deux by British director Sean Martin. In April 2007, Farber became the first female composer to be featured on the cover of Film Music magazine. Read the interview on her website (visit

As was the case for Chris Brown, success for Berklee alumni isn't always limited to the music industry. Following graduation, Brown spent a decade in various bands before focusing on digital media. In 1995 he cofounded InterActual Technologies Inc., which produces technology standards for enhanced DVD-ROM (visit Brown served as a Hollywood evangelist and the executive creative director and helped successfully launch products such as VideoSaver, PCFriendly and InterActual Player. In 2004, InterActual was acquired by digital media leader Sonic Solutions.

The following year, Brown cofounded Metabeam, a Manhattan Beach-based company at the forefront of design standards for mobile and next-generation home media. Recognized as an entertainment technology pioneer, Brown was recently honored with an invitation to join the board of directors at the DVD Association, the largest and most influential group of interactive media developers.

Composer Sharon Farber '97  

Multi-instrumentalist Stevie Blacke '90 has created a successful niche in the L.A. studio scene. He plays not only guitar, banjo, and mandolin but also all the instruments in a string orchestra. Blacke's business logo is "All things stringed," and he has developed an impressive list of credits. His arrangements and performances are featured on releases by Matchbox Twenty, Timbaland, Colbie Caillat, Rihanna, Coheed & Cambria, Backstreet Boys, Weezer, and Ashlee Simpson. He has worked with such renowned producers as Rick Rubin, Steve Lillywhite and Timbaland. For more, visit

The Hollywood Reporter recently featured its choices for 2007 movie scores worthy of Oscar consideration. The list cites alumni composers, including Howard Shore for The Last Mimzy and Eastern Promises and Alan Silvestri for Beowulf. The list also mentions two younger alumni, James T. Sale (for Music Within) and Geoff Zanelli (for Disturbia). Zanelli also recently scored the recent Fox feature Hitman. That's all for now. Stay in touch.

Peter Gordon '78, Director,
Berklee Center in Los Angeles

For more Los Angeles happenings, visit the L.A. chapter website.