Comedian Jack Benny once introduced Dorothy Buffum Chandler and her husband, Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler, as Mr. and Mrs. Pavilion. This was very funny because the Times building has a Norman Chandler Pavilion and we all know about the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which turned 50 this month.
But it was also an acknowledgment of something quite rare, a major concert hall named for a woman. This being a major anniversary season of the Music Center, Mrs. Chandler's contribution to the musical life of L.A., which included the enviable pursuit of a major performing arts center downtown and home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (which she also ran for decades as the imperious board chairwoman), has deservedly gotten a lot of attention lately. So has the current president and chief executive of the orchestra, Deborah Borda, arguably the most successful arts administrator in America at the moment. Last week the orchestra received a $20-million gift in her honor.
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