In Our Time
In Our Time: Conversations with Robert Hurwitz

Caetano Veloso: Thu, Oct 8 at 3PM PDT | RSVP here

Julia Bullock: Tue, Oct 20 at 3PM PDT | RSVP here

Laurie Anderson: Thu, Oct 22 at 3PM PDT | RSVP here

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Thu, Oct 29 at 3PM PDT | RSVP here

In Our Time is an ongoing series of wide-ranging conversations with artists whose creative lives and work have left an indelible mark in music, arts and culture globally. In Our Time was conceived by the longtime President of Nonesuch Records, Robert Hurwitz whose unique history with each of the artists adds perspective and insight.

Hurwitz explains: In Our Time is a series of conversations about what it means being an artist in this moment. The "moment" has evolved since I first began planning the series: it was at first the pandemic moment; then it became the economic catastrophe and jobless moment; then it became the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter/racial injustice moment; then it became the fire/hurricane/global warming moment; and now it’s the election/Supreme Court and democracy under fire moment — and many moments in between. All of these moments are still with us, they keep piling on.

Part of the conversations will be about practical considerations. What it means for a musician accustomed to constantly performing for audiences suddenly going for months without being front of the public. What it means being away from the fellow musicians who are such an important part of their life. What it means in terms of the daily rhythm of life; what it means economically. And what it might mean in terms of current and future creative work.

UCLA students, faculty and staff are invited to tune in to these free online conversations. 


Robert Hurwitz served as President of Nonesuch for thirty-two years, beginning in September 1984. When he took over Nonesuch, it was a classical label and the home of the legendary Explorer series. After he became the head of the label, he redefined its role in contemporary classical music and modern composition, expanded its mission in world music, and began recording and releasing artists from a wide range of musical genres, including jazz, music theater, folk, bluegrass, and rock.

Among the artists he has signed or worked with are composers including John Adams, Laurie Anderson, Timo Andres, Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, Henryk Gorecki, Philip Glass, Adam Guettel, Nico Muhly, Astor Piazzolla, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewki, Stephen Sondheim, and John Zorn as well as performers and songwriters including Björk, Devendra Banhart, David Byrne, Jeremy Denk, Bill Frisell, Gipsy Kings, Richard Goode, Tigran Hamasyan, Kronos Quartet, Gidon Kremer, k.d. lang, Lake Street Dive, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Audra McDonald, Natalie Merchant, Stephin Merritt (and the Magnetic Fields), Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Mandy Patinkin, Punch Brothers, Randy Newman, Joshua Redman, Chris Thile, Dawn Upshaw, Caetano Veloso, and the World Saxophone Quartet.

The Boston Globe said, “Under Robert Hurwitz, Nonesuch Records has been an oasis of artistic excitement. When one picks up a Nonesuch CD, there is a sense of occasion, the feeling that the artists in question have been assembled not as an exercise in star power, but as an exercise in artistic exploration.” And the New York Times Magazine said, “In a business now largely run by accountants and M.B.A.’s, Hurwitz is, in the words of Stephen Sondheim, ‘one of the few left who practice the making of records as a craft.’”

Hurwitz has remained closely involved with Nonesuch’s creative activities as an Executive Producer on a dozen projects a year; he is also the Chairman Emeritus of the company. He has taught at the New School for more than a decade, and has been teaching at UCLA for the past few years as well.

Caetano Veloso, called “one of the greatest songwriters of the century” by The New York Times, is among the most influential and beloved artists to emerge from Brazil, where he began his musical career in the 1960s. He has more than fifty recordings to his credit, including fifteen on Nonesuch.

Absorbing musical and aesthetic ideas from sources as diverse as The Beatles, concrete poetry, the French Dadaists, and the Brazilian modernist poets of the 1920s, Veloso—together with Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, his sister Maria Bethânia, and other poets and intellectuals—founded the Tropicália movement, permanently altering the course of his country’s popular music.

Veloso and Gil were exiled from Brazil in the late 1960s, relocating to London for several years. They returned home in 1972 and found that Tropicália had remained intact and their audience had continued to grow. Veloso’s music has evolved greatly over the years. Incorporating elements of rock, reggae, fado, tango, samba canão, baião, and rap, Veloso’s music is sometimes traditional, sometimes contemporary, often hybrid. At once an astute social commentator and balladeer of highly emotive love songs, Veloso is one of the most respected poets in the Portuguese language.

Laurie Anderson is one of America's most renowned—and daring—creative pioneers. Her work, which encompasses music, visual art, poetry, film, and photography, has challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than thirty years. Anderson is best known for her multimedia presentations and musical recordings. Her tours have taken her around the world, where she has presented her work in small arts spaces and grand concert halls, and everywhere in between. She has numerous major works to her credit, along with countless collaborations with an array of artists, from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel.

Anderson's first single, "O Superman," launched her recording career in 1980, rising to number two on the British pop charts and subsequently appearing on her landmark release Big Science. She went on to record six more albums with Warner Brothers. In 2001, Anderson released her first album with Nonesuch Records, the critically lauded Life on a String. Her subsequent releases on the label include Live in New York (2002), a reissue of Big Science (2007), Homeland (2010), Heart of a Dog (2015), and her Grammy-winning collaboration with Kronos Quartet, Landfall (2018).

Cécile McLorin Salvant is a composer, singer, and visual artist. The late Jessye Norman described Salvant as “a unique voice supported by an intelligence and full-fledged musicality, which light up every note she sings.” Salvant has developed a passion for storytelling and finding the connections between vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the world, theater, jazz, and baroque music. She is an eclectic curator, unearthing rarely recorded, forgotten songs with strong narratives, interesting power dynamics, unexpected twists, and humor.

Salvant won the Thelonious Monk competition in 2010 and she has received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her three latest albums, The Window, Dreams and Daggers, and For One To Love; she awas nominated for the award in 2014 for her album WomanChild.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, of a French mother and Haitian father, Salvant started classical piano studies at five, sang in a children’s choir at eight, and started classical voice lessons as a teenager. She received a bachelor’s in French law from the Université Pierre-Mendes France in Grenoble while also studying baroque music and jazz at the Darius Milhaud Music Conservatory in Aix-en-Provence, France.

American classical singer Julia Bullock is “a musician who delights in making her own rules” (New Yorker). Combining versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, she has, in her early 30s, already headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world.

Also an innovative curator in high demand, she holds notable positions including opera programming host of the new broadcast channel All Arts, founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of the San Francisco Symphony and 2020-22 Artist-in-Residence of London’s Guildhall School. Bullock previously made debuts at San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West, Santa Fe Opera in Doctor Atomic, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Dutch National Opera in The Rake’s Progress, and the English National Opera, Spain’s Teatro Real and Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre in the title role of The Indian Queen.

In concert, she has collaborated with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, while her recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Washington’s Kennedy Center, the Mostly Mozart and Ojai Music festivals, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her growing discography features Grammy-nominated accounts of West Side Story and Doctor Atomic, which she recorded with the composer conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Committed to integrating community activism with her musical life, Bullock is also a prominent voice for social consciousness and change.

In Our Time is presented by The New School and UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.