Lecture Series

The Harold Clurman Lecture Series, formed in 1993 in an effort to keep students in touch with larger theatrical traditions, brings professional writers, directors, musicians, dancers and actors to the Stella Adler Studio. After lecturing, guests are interviewed by students, creating an open forum about what it means to be an artist today. The Lecture Series is one of many programs named to honor the spirit of Harold Clurman.

Upcoming Free Online Lectures:

The Harold Clurman Lecture Series Presents: Form and Freedom in Art and Life with Ron Carter and Cornel West

Form and Freedom in Art and Life
with Ron Carter and Cornel West

RON CARTER is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. He has recorded over 2200 albums, and has a Guinness world record to prove it! From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He can be heard on many iconic jazz records of the 60’s and 70’s such as Speak No Evil, Maiden Voyage, Speak Like a Child, Red Clay, Nefertiti and Miles Smiles, to name a few. After leaving the Miles Davis Quintet he embarked on a prolific 50-year free-lance career that spanned vastly different music genres and continues to this day. He recorded with Roberta Flack and Aretha Franklin, appeared on the seminal hip-hop album Low End Theory with a Tribe Called Quest, wrote and recorded pieces for string quartets and Bach chorales for 2-8 basses and accompanied Danny Simmons on a spoken word album. Carter spends at least half the year on worldwide tours with his various groups. The Ron Carter Trio, The Ron Carter quartet, the Ron Carter Nonet and Ron Carter’s Great Big Band. He has recorded multiple albums with his groups.

Ron Carter has received numerous prestigious awards including multiple Grammys, The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, awarded by the Japanese government for his contributions to Japan-US relations in the field of music, the medallion and title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Minister of Culture given to those who have distinguished themselves in the domain of artistic or literary creation and for their contribution to the spread of arts and letters in France and the world. Since Carter earned a Guinness World Record as the most recorded jazz bassist with 2,221 recordings he has recorded hundreds more.

His autobiography “Finding the Right Notes” is available in print and as an audiobook read by the Maestro himself. In October 2022 PBS released a full-length feature film documentary called Ron Carter Finding the Right Notes. Because of his indelible contribution to the genre, he is featured in many jazz documentaries including Ken Burns “Jazz”, “Birth of the Cool” about Miles Davis, “It Must be Schwing”, the story of the Blue Note and many more.

As a teacher Carter has lectured, conducted, and performed at clinics and master classes, instructing jazz ensembles and teaching the business of music at numerous universities, including the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies (Boston), The City College of New York, Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. Carter earned a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School in Rochester and a master’s degree in double bass from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He has also received seven honorary doctorates. More at www.RonCarterJazz.com

CORNEL WEST is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy & Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.

He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

Dr. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand.

He has produced three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert. His spoken word interludes are featured on productions by Terence Blanchard, The Cornel West Theory, Raheem DeVaughn, and Bootsy Collins.

Participating Lecture Series Artists Include:

Edward Albee
David Amram
Alan Bates
Cicely Berry
Peter Bogdanovich
Christian Borle
Phoebe Brand
Richard Briers
Zoe Caldwell
Betty Comden
Brian Cox
Ossie Davis
Ruby Dee
Benicio Del Toro
Richard Dreyfuss
Olympia Dukakis
Five Lesbian Brothers
Maria Irene Fornes
Herb Gardner
Whoopi Goldberg
Henry Goodman
Adolph Green
George Grizzard
Rosemary Harris
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Ron Howard
Gordon Hunt
Anne Jackson
Cherry Jones
Harvey Keitel
Frank Langella
Arthur Laurents
Ming Cho Lee
Norm Lewis
Kristen Linklater
Robert Lopez
Laurence Luckinbill
Sidney Lumet
Harold Mabern
David Margulies
Jeff Marx
Geraldine McEwan
Terrence McNally
Matthew Modine
Anna Moffo
Alfred Molina
Michael Moriarty
Donna Murphy
Bruce Myers
Jamil S. Nasser
Yoshi Oida
Sidney Poitier
Harold Prince
Everett Quinton
Tony Randall
Lynn Redgrave
Lloyd Richards
Steve Rosen
Mark Rylance
Gene Saks
Roy Scheider
Cedric Scott
Marian Seldes
John Patrick Shanley
Fiona Shaw
Lois Smith
Lewis J. Stadlen
Patrick Stewart
Elaine Stritch
Walter J. Turnbull
John Travolta
Eli Wallach
Zoe Wanamaker
Sam Waterson
Jennifer Westfeldt
Diane Wiest
Henry Winkler
Joseph Wiseman