Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and playwright/director George C. Wolfe were awarded $ 25,000 apiece Sunday evening at the third annual Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Awards.

“Theater combines everything I love all at once–community, concern about a world beyond yourself, ideas, dreams, fears, possibilities,” Wolfe told the audience of 400 art patrons, who gave the playwright a standing oviation after scenes from several of his works, including “The Colored Museum” and “Jelly’s Last Jam,” were performed.

Andsnes also performed a Greig sonata to a standing oviation. Both awardees also received a bronze statute designed by artist Robert Graham.

Michael York and Anjelica Huston hosted the awards ceremony and gala, which was held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire ballroom. Jimmy Stewart, James Earl Jones, playwright Athol Fugard, Nancy Travis and Vickilyn Reynolds were among the celebrity performers and guests.

The benefit was the first of four fund-raising events scheduled in coming months for the Los Angeles Music Center’s Unified Fund, which supports the center’s resident companies: the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Center Theater Group/Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theater, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

The fund’s target is $ 14.5 million, with $ 5 million expected to be raised from the corporate contributors, and the remainder from private donations.

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