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UCLA Lincoln Celebration




Event Type:

ALBC Endorsed Event


UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions


Los Angeles



Event Info:

UCLA Lincoln Celebration
UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions
UCLA Law School

The UCLA Lincoln Celebration, to be held November 18-21, explores Lincoln through theater, music, and public dialogue.  

It will open Wednesday evening with a reading of Norman Corwin’s play, “The Rivalry,” about the Lincoln-Douglas debates.  Thursday night there will be a concert featuring the UCLA Philharmonia and Chorale, plus the Interact Theatre Company, with Copland’s “Canticle of Freedom;” “Lincoln Echoes,” an original composition by David Lefkowitz; and “I, Abraham Lincoln,” a pastiche of period music and Lincoln’s words, directed by Tony Award winner John Rubinstein.

On Friday and Saturday an academic conference will feature lectures by historians Daniel Walker Howe and Allen Guelzo, and panels on Lincoln as Writer and Lincoln as Politician and Political Thinker.

All events will take place on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. This is the inaugural public event of the new UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts.

Daniel Lowenstein, Director
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
Phone:  310-825-5148



The new UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions presents as its inaugural public event a gala four-day Celebration of Abraham Lincoln, featuring theatre, music, lectures, panels, discussion, and fellowship.

  • Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m. – The Rivalry, by Norman Corwin, a play about the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
  • Thursday, November 19, 8:00 p.m. – A concert with classical music (including an original composition) and period popular music integrated with some of Lincoln’s greatest words.
  • Friday, November 20, 2:00 p.m. – A lecture by Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Walker Howe followed by an audience-interactive panel on Lincoln’s writings and a reception and VIP dinner.
  • Saturday, November 21, 10:00 a.m. - A panel on Lincoln as politician and political thinker, then a lecture by noted Lincoln biographer and scholar Allen Guelzo, followed by an optional luncheon.

This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Law School for its co-sponsorship.  Special thanks also goes out to the UCLA Music Department for its cooperation, to the Interact Theatre Company for its participation, and to the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, for its generous grant to support the Lincoln Celebration.

Questions and requests for further information may be sent to Daniel Lowenstein, director of the Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions or, on logistical matters, Leigh Iwanaga, public events manager of the Law School. 

For more information, visit:  http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/Apps/Events/LincolnCelebration/Program.aspx



Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m. 

The talented and award-winning Interact Theatre Company opens the Celebration with a staged reading of "The Rivalry," a play by Norman Corwin about the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Admission to the reading is free, but seating will be limited. Therefore, you may wish to reserve seats.

Thursday, November 19, 8:00 p.m. 

The Celebration continues with a concert featuring the acclaimed UCLA Philharmonia and Chorale and actors from the Interact Theatre Company. The orchestra and chorus will be directed by Neal Stulberg.  The classical portion of the concert will include an original composition by David Lefkowitz.  The second portion, integrating period popular music and Lincoln’s words will be directed by Tony Award winner John Rubinstein.

Aaron Copland, "A Canticle of Freedom," Chorus and Orchestra

David Lefkowitz, "Lincoln Echoes," Cantata for Narrator, Tenor, Baritone, Chorus, and Orchestra (World Premiere)

"I, Abraham Lincoln," a pastiche of period music and Lincoln’s words, written by Brett Ryback and directed by John Rubinstein

Friday, November 20, 2:00 p.m.

The conference portion of the Celebration begins:

Featured Lecture: Daniel Walker Howe, "Honest Abe: Abraham Lincoln and the Moral Character"

Panel: Lincoln as Writer

NOTE: The members of this panel have agreed each to emphasize one of Lincoln’s speeches in their comments. Audience discussion of these works will also be encouraged. The work selected by each panelist is indicated below. You can read these speeches here.

  • John Briggs, University of California, Riverside. Lincoln’s "Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions" (1859)
  • Stephen Dickey [link to http://teachingshakespeare.wikispaces.com/Stephen+Dickey?f=print], UCLA. Lincoln’s "Peoria Address" (1854).
  • Lucas Morel, Washinton & Lee University. Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (1865).


There will also be a VIP dinner Friday night, with speakers and panelists and other UCLA faculty and special guests and supporters. You can support the Celebration and the Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions and receive an invitation to the VIP dinner here.


Saturday, November 21, 10:a.m.

Panel: Lincoln as Politician and Political Thinker