-THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT for the Arts will have $1 million more to play with this year, thanks to Pres. Ronald Reagan's budget recommendation, which contains his first (slight) increase ever for the arts. The new budget will be $170.1 million for fiscal 1990, beginning in October 1989. The administration also proposed an increase of $300,000 for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and $200,000 for the Institute of Museum Services, an agency that Reagan at first had sought to eliminate.
-ARCHITECT FRANK O. GEHRY and Associates of Venice, Calif., has been selected as designer of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a 2,500-seat home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Besides the large hall, there will be a 1,000-seat chamber music hall and a glassed-in foyer that can double as a site for concerts. Shops, gardens, leisure space and a cafe will fill out the complex.The building, made possible by a $50 million gift from Lillian B. Disney, Walt Disney's widow, will relieve pressure on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles, where the Philharmonic must share with increasing demands by local and visiting opera, theater and ballet companies.
Disney Hall will be built across the street from the Chandler Pavilion, and connected by a pedestrian overpass. An acoustician will be selected to work with Gehry, and the final plan will be announced in September, with construction to be completed by the beginning of the Philharmonic's 1993-94 season.
-THE ANCHORAGE CENTER for the Performing Arts opened last month with a rather sorry lack of public and governmental support. The mayor has been trying to close the center down, and citizens have been irate about what they consider waste and extravagance.
Mayor Tom Fink's 1989 budget contains $675,000 for the building, enough to pay heating, lights and security, but not enough to operate it. Though Anchorage is still suffering the effects of the sharp drop in oil prices, a real estate crash and population decline, the Anchorage Assembly (city council) added $500,000 to the center's budget, which with $300,000 from private sources will run the center this year. Fink said he may veto the assembly's action.
The troubles have cast a pall over the grand occasion of opening the last of three theaters in the $70 million center - the final and most ambitious phase of the Project '80s building program which earlier in the decade brought Anchorage a sports arena, central library, museum of art and history, and a convention center, all paid for by oil revenue.
Arts Center woes have included economy moves and cost escalation, and even the name. In 1986 the assembly named it after Martin Luther King Jr., but the voters rejected the King name last year.
Greg Carr, supermarket executive and chairman of the board that runs the center, wants to put the troubles behind. "In the first 33 days this building was open it had 57 functions, and in 1989 it's booked for 380 performances," he said. "In a town with 215,000 people, that's pretty progressive arts activity."
He noted that the center's cost was paid by taxes on North Slope oil, not local property. "You're talking about a state with $10 billion in the bank and a city with its economy on the move, and it's having trouble celebrating a $70 million arts center it never paid for," he said.
-SADLER'S WELLS ROYAL BALLET will leave London to take up residence in industrial Birmingham, lured away by $10.6 million in extra funding. Both Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet will continue to be run by the Royal Opera House of London.
-IT'S OFFICIAL: The New York Philharmonic will visit Jackson Hole, Wyo., in July for a two-week residency under auspices of the Grand Teton Music Festival, and will perform four concerts in its 750-seat wooden theater. Concerts will be on July 7, 8, 14 and 16, conducted by Klaus Tennstedt and Ling Tung, music director of the Teton Festival. Their appearance precedes the Teton Festival, and is not actually a part of it, though proceeds will benefit the festival. The orchestra may also play an open-air program in Yellowstone National Park, if difficulties can be resolved.
-DEATHS IN THE ARTS: In Santa Barbara, Karl Geiringer, 89, from the effects of a fall. The Viennese-born musicologist is noted for his definitive books on Brahms, Haydn, and the Bach Family. He came to America as a refugee in 1939, taught at several American schools before settling in Santa Barbara. Carolina (Lina) Prokofiev, widow of Sergei Prokofiev, died in London at age 91, of cancer. A singer of Spanish birth, she married Prokofiev in 1918, moving with him to the Soviet Union in 1936, though they drifted apart in the '40s. Her husband was denounced by Stalin in 1948, and she spent three years in a Soviet prison camp. Nicholas Calas, 81, poet and art critic, died in New York. Manuel Compinsky, 87, died in North Hollywood. A violinist and teacher, he formed the Compinsky Trio with his brother and sister, and was a member of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini.
-BOTHERED BY A PLAGUE of coughing this season, the San Francisco Symphony has begun to issue cough lozenges to its patrons. A deal was orchestrated with Walgreen's drug stores to provide the suppressants.
-A QUICKLY ARRANGED BENEFIT concert by world-famous musicians raised more the $660,000 last month, to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Soviet Armenia. The London concert featured cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, flutist James Galway, and conductor Andre Previn with the English Chamber Orchestra, among others. Funds came from video and record rights as well as ticket sales. - Compiled by Dorothy Stowe