THE GETTY CENTER, LA
Overlooking Los Angeles and a stone's-throw away from the Simpson murder site, the new 100-acre Getty Center approaches art from a distinctly cerebral slant. It will house the Getty Conservation Institute, a Research Institute for the History of Art and Humanities, an Education Institute for the Arts, a 750,000-volume library, a restaurant and a bookshop. Not forgetting, of course, the huge collection of art, photography and sculpture established by the late oil tycoon J Paul Getty. There are several glamorous new additions to the collection, including Mantegna's Adoration of the Magi, Van Gogh's Irises and Hockney's Pearlblossom Highway (above). Designed by Richard Meier, the Center's elegant marble-clad segments successfully complement the surrounding opulence while giving a cultural boost to an area not especially recognised for its scholarly activity. Fusing the ancient and the avant-garde, the opening exhibition "Beyond Beauty: Antiquities as Evidence" looks at cultural and technological information embedded in ancient works of art. If not for the art, the Getty HQ might be worth a visit simply as a vantage point for celebrity backyards.
For information, telephone: 001 310 440 7300.
THE MIHO MUSEUM, JAPAN
Should you be heading east at the weekend, drop by Japan for the opening of its newest and biggest art space. Vying with Bilboa and LA for architectural supremecy is IM Pei's newest creation, the Miho Museum in Shigaraki. The American-based architect is also responsible for the glass pyramid situated in the courtyard of the Louvre in Paris and the new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Miho Museum is another glacial affair covering 247 acres precariously situated between two ridges of a nature preserve on a steep mountain side, and accessible only by tunnel or bridge. It was built to house the Shumei family collection of art - over 1,000 objects from Ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, South Asian, Chinese, Japanese and Persian civilisations - that has been miraculously gathered over six years. British visitors should be captivated by The Art of the Tea Ceremony, a vast collection of Japanese tea bowls and utensils. The opening of the museum neatly coincides with the Tokyo Art Fair, a show of over 1,000 works of art from all over the world with a special exhibition of Japanese artist and associate of Maurice de Vlaminck, Yuzo Saeki.
For information, telephone: 0081 748 823 411.
THE HUDDERSFIELD MUSIC FESTIVAL
Praised by former Heritage secretary Stephen Dorrell as "the Paris of the North", Huddersfield is the unlikely home to one of Europe's most prestigious contemporary music festivals. For two weeks in November (19- 30) this industrial town will be transformed into a music-lovers' Mecca, with 68 events ranging from orchestral concerts and opera to late-night jazz and contemporary dance. Combining high culture with Huddersfield traditions, the festival kicks off with a concert given at the football stadium by 700 brass, wind and percussion players. The Sunday programme then takes on a Scandinavian flavour as trombonist John Kenny plays the only existing carynx, accompanied by the Swedish ensemble, the Yggdrasil String Quartet. The Kroumata Percussion Ensemble takes the stage at the town hall with brass virtuosi, Hakan Hardenberger and Christian Kindberg, while composer Iannis Xenakis will be celebrating his 75th birthday with the UK premiere of his volcanic Cendrees (Cinders), with percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Festival-goers might also sample the latest in live computer animation with ambisonic sound-projectionists Mediamix.
For information, call 01484 430528.
THE BELFAST FESTIVAL AT QUEENS
The investment of pounds 1.26m and the appointment of a new director have ensured that the Belfast Arts festival will be a hive of artistic activity in November, even on Sundays. With over 200 events held all over the city the festival boasts a programme saturated with dance, theatre, comedy, folk, jazz and art, and anticipates over 100,000 visitors. The acclaimed Merce Cunningham Dance Company (above) will be performing "Ocean", a dance appropriately inspired by James Joyce. The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, made up of defectors from the Berlin Philhar-monic Orchestra will be performing Beethoven, Mozart and Barber at Elmwood Hall, and an award-winning Romanian production of Phaedra will have the corpses piling up at the Waterfront Hall. Introducing a literary edge to the event will be writers Martin Amis, Andrew Motion, AS Byatt and E Annie Proulx who will be hosting literary discussions and performing readings of their work. On a lighter note the cast of Ballykissangel will be paying a visit to the Lyric Theatre as will comedian Frank Skinner. With Guinness as one of the weekend sponsors, no doubt there will be plenty of liquid refreshment.
For information, telephone: 01232 665577/666321.
THE GUGGENHEIM, BILBAO
The cultural connoisseur should always be prepared to travel for their art, even on a Sunday. "The Guggenheim Museums and the Art of this Century", an exhibition of more than 300 works of modern and contemporary art, begins the life of the startling new museum in Bilbao, Spain. This first show aims to embody the ethos of the museum collection as an encyclopedia of 20th-century European and American art. The pounds 45m building, designed by the American architect Frank Gehry, resembles a beached Noah's Ark and contains 18 galleries on three levels. It has been proudly dubbed by King Juan Carlos as "the best building of the 20th century." In a happy marriage between Spain's fourth largest city and the famous Guggenheim Museum in New York, the building will be filled with art collected by the Guggenheim empire ranging from the Cubists and the Fauves to contemporary multi-media art. In the first year alone, 600,000 visitors are expected. Casting a distinctive shadow over Barcelona, it is undoubtedly set to become Spain's most important architectural landmark and a vital source of revenue to a faltering tourist industry.
For information, telephone: 0034 4423 2799.
THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
Nothing beats settling down to a good film after a satiating Sunday lunch, and the 41st London Film Festival offers an abundance of films of every conceivable genre and nationality. A gem among the African Beats section is Idrissa Oudraogo's latest offering, Kini and Adams (above), a tale of shared ambition set in contemporary South Africa, starring Vusi Kunene and David Mohloki. Among the films hand-picked by the Evening Standard is The Winter Guest, Alan Rickman's much-anticipated directorial debut set on the chilly shores of a Scottish coastal town, starring Emma Thompson. As well as the largest ever range of gala screenings, this year's festival also sees many industry-focused events including feisty discussions on the state of cinema. Cool Britannia investigates the recent renaissance in British film-making, while Women, Power and Stardom, hosted by Women in Film and Television, looks at the challenges for women working in a male-dominated studio system. You can also enjoy a bit of mutual back- slapping at the Closing Night Gala on 23 November as 45 Fellowships for the BFI are handed out for contributions to film and television culture.
For information call the festival hotline on 0171 420 1122.Reuse content