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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
Bruin Walk

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Spring 2005
Living La Vida 'Lorca'

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Choreographer Mari Sandoval
Violinist Lindsey Strand_Polyak
Violinist Alexander "Sasha" Tseitlin
From top: Choreographer Mari Sandoval demonstrates flamenco-style hand clapping; first violinist Lindsey Strand-Polyak makes a notation on her score; concert master Alexander "Sasha" Tseitlin, the first chair violinist.

LORCA WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED PIANIST and sometime composer before gaining fame as an author, and the rhythm of his writing, Krouse says, suggests that “what he clearly had in mind was that a lot of the text should be sung.” At the time that Galbán began working on her Lorca theatrical piece, Krouse was already working with the BFA on a separate Lorca project. The relationship between the BFA and Krouse began in 1982, when Carmen Zapata telephoned USC looking for someone who might be interested in writing music for English translations of the poet’s work. Krouse was then 26 and pursuing a doctorate in composition. Nearly 6 feet tall, he had dark brown hair that fell to his shoulders in soft curls, heavy eyebrows and fine features. Krouse had grown up in South Bend, Ind., in a home filled with books and music — classical, opera, folk and Broadway musicals. There was no television in the house. His father, Philip, was a math teacher, and his mother, Charlotte, a mostly amateur pianist. Krouse learned to play piano from his mother, but his favorite instrument was the guitar.

After graduating from Indiana University at South Bend with a double major in guitar and composition, Krouse came west to pursue advanced studies. As a guitarist, he was prodigiously talented and played with an intensity that would later cause him trouble.

In 1979, Krouse joined with two friends, Terry Graves and Kenton Youngstrom, to form the all-guitar ensemble, The De Falla Trio (later the Falla Guitar Trio), named after the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), who was a friend of Lorca. Signed by Columbia Artists Management Inc., the three guitarists kept up a busy touring schedule. In 1983, they made their New York debut and went into the studio to cut an album. Released the next year on the Concord label, Virtuoso Music for Three Guitars was named record of the year by Stereo Review.

For Krouse, the success was not to last. For some time, he had been minimizing the symptoms of a serious condition then called tendonitis but now known as “overuse syndrome.” It started with pain in his right hand. Before long, the left hand was afflicted. After a while, he lost the use of the middle finger of his right hand. “I couldn’t even brush my teeth or use a pencil,” he says. “I eventually threw in the towel. Fate, I guess, was telling me I was supposed to be a composer.”

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