September 2010 Archives

You'll have to supply your own buffet breakfast, but otherwise you can feel just like attending journalists, via webcast.

A second "Scoop"

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In Chicago, Remy Bumppo's "Night and Day" and TimeLine's "Frost/Nixon" reviewed.
On Broadway, "The Pitmen Painters" reviewed.
The night that Edward Albee met Johnny Carson--on camera.


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Today's entry: H.L. Mencken on successful newspapers.
Is concert footage the best way to sell music? A few popular bands think so.
What Does The Grant To Atlanta Sculptor Elizabeth Turk Say About Contemporary Art?

Pub Quiz Culture

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On the cultural fun of pub trivia nights
It succeeds in giving a good sense of what arts education looks like in a classroom, with lots of footage involving kids and teachers.
...with "shady secrets," says NYT. "Crimes are crimes, no matter who does them," says World Can't Wait.
My verbal missile proliferates. Guggenheim's shameless promotion of corporate entities. BMW sends Guggenheim satellites into orbit. Plus, the Goo-per Hewitt.
Here's my weekly theater guide.


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Today's entry: the Goncourt brothers on newspapers vs. books.

Tax status, schmax status

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Jazz is dying? Ha. The stacks of evidence on my office floor say otherwise.

Nothing In between

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On the bipolar musical preferences of Berkeley audiences
I support choice when it comes to education. And to help illustrate that, here's a video of Diane Ravitch and her marvelous counter narrative on school reform.
New Focus On Education May Spell An End To Free "First Saturdays" And Subsidized Admissions
Norman Lundin and Robert Yoder will open their own galleries this fall, each devoted to other artists
Tough talk from the organ loft

Raging Ricky lets rip

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Film stills from Godard, Hitchcock and Lynch, random shots taken in her daily life, views from her studio as well as her bleak back yard. First solo show in U.S.
You think #1 is NYU, home of Professor Philippe? Think again. But how valid, really, is this number-crunching?
Offering free, unique and live track downloads at performances.


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This week's video: Ginette Neveu plays the coda of Chausson's "Poème."


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Today's entry: Karl Kraus on newspapers and reality.
No, Not The One About Money; The One About The Arts In General

Police witness

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Is it absurd that in classical music we are still obsessed with "what the Composer wanted"?
Why is this show of dynamic material so tame, its catalogue so turgid? Is it political correctness, People's Republic-style?
SF Opera's Opera at the Ballpark event hits a home run yet again -- except in one respect

Well spent

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Well spent

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David Cromer and David Simon are among the recipients of this year's MacArthur "genius grants."
Mike Simi's Midwestern family is full of prison guards. He's an artist in Seattle.
Two fabulous "Russian" readings of Gershwin, embracing improvisation, exemplify this composer's singular cultural fluidity.


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Today's entry: Karl Kraus on the falseness of "news."

Ascent and Descent

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What goes up must come down. A perfect day by the Bay.

What's The Connection?

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Art And Wine As Well As Scholarship And Popularity: Now On View At Mount Holyoke

Recent Listening: Danilo Pérez

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However global Pérez's intention, the heart of his music remains in the Central American conventions that formed him.

Weekend Extra: Joan Stiles

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Stiles' sextet is truly all-star: Jeremy Pelt, trumpet; Steve Wilson, alto saxophone; Joel Frahm, tenor saxophone; Ben Williams, bass; and Lewis Nash, drums.
State's new UPMIFA law codifies trashing donor intent, à la Barnes, Cleveland Museum, Fisk. Is this "good faith" and "prudence"?


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Today's entry: George Bernard Shaw on newspapers.

Just do it

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What makes a good slogan for your arts organization?
Almost everyone I know who cares about art and lived in the Bay Area in the second half of the 20th Century considers his work a touchstone


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From populist Balanchine to comico-conceptualist Jerome Bel, with Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe in between, the scope of dance in New York this month.
May I add a Stephen Deutch annex to the MoMA show "The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today"?
LACMA Introduces The Resnick Pavilion Tonight (And Donor Swipes At Eli Broad)
Hear my unexpurgated commentary (as posted on WQXR's website). See my view from the rafters---Gehry concert hall, Bard College.

At, not with

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Huntington Theatre Company's "Bus Stop" reviewed.


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Today's entry: Tennyson on memory.

The body tangle

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If I had my way we'd sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes

From Critic to Dramaturg

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Why it doesn't matter that I won't be writing about the Berkeley Symphony in the media for the foreseeable future
"If we want an educated American citizenry, we need to summon our collective moral courage, if not outrage, in the face of the dubious value of standardized testing."
The past which isn't past as long as good artists insist on working there
You've read my posts complaining about the Great Wall of Price Resistance. Now I get to gripe on the radio!

After The High-Wire Act

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Getting Past Stunts To Get People To Look At Art: 100 Artists Deploy Alternating Currents
In the go-go part of the 1980s, when Robert Hughes was wringing his hands at the corrupt excess of it all, Doug and Mike Starn introduced the pathos of the beat-up photograph

The Puppet Master

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Dramatist Rinne Groff's new play at Berkeley Rep doesn't pull strings as a great play should
And how to weave with glass, bottle caps, license plates, light, film rolls, corks, spit and packing peanuts, peanut butter and jelly, fire
...but this one, if I do say so myself, is unusually interesting.
Here's my weekly theater guide.


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Today's entry: Oscar Wilde on memory.
Researchers Will Probe Museums Collections For Presence And Display Of Art By Women
If Zoe Scofield were a fictional character, she would be Lisbeth Salander, who made her debut in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo".
Arts Education is a human right. Plain and simple.

Watchdog group's attack on new policy protecting construction workers from exploitation illustrates an old adage---"No good deed goes unpunished."

Poking at the Dragon

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facing the flames of educational programming

Poking at the Dragon

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facing the flames of educational programming

Yoga Music...

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The relentless sound of om shanti is getting me down

Buddy Collette, 1921-2010

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Collette was an important part of Southern California jazz long before the invention of the term West Coast Jazz.
Guggenheim and Abu Dhabi's development authority jointly issue detailed Employment Practices Policy to protect construction workers. Next up: Guggenheim Asia?
Ivo van Hove's revival of "The Little Foxes" reviewed.


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This week's video: Ingrid Bergman as Hedda Gabler.


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Today's entry: Nietzsche on memory and originality.
Why Does An Exhibit On Her Creative Process Give Me Slight Pause?
Looks and acts the part of an auction executive. But he's under-the-radar compared to wife---"America's Parenting Expert"!
When a conductor feels like she's treading on another conductor's toes


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We play from memory to forget ourselves -- to forget we're reading a script... Music resists capture
Franco comes through as an artist but is it multi-platforming or art as an arm of the entertainment Industry?

Mistakes were made

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Schadenfreude time! Here's a complete list of corrections that I made for the paperback edition of "Pops."


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Today's entry: La Rochefoucauld on memory and judgment.
Scoop: Gift From Bloomberg Inflates His Bubble -- Making The Museum "A Cultural Think Tank"

The Clothes Make the Band

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What if one of the new music super groups reached for a style that was a little further afield
A terrific Tales of Hoffmann, and other signs of artistic health

The current issue of the Times Literary Supplement (UK) includes my review of this summer's Santa Fe Opera season, featuring a terrific Tales of Hoffmann and further evidence of artistic health. It reads:

John Crosby founded the Santa Fe Opera in 1956. He situated his open-air opera house seven miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a vast polychrome landscape fringed by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. And he married this exceptional site to an exceptional artistic vision. The first three Santa Fe summers included new productions of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (then six years old), Richard Strauss's Capriccio (an American premiere), and Marc Blitzstein's Regina (an American grand opera of world stature still underperformed). The American premiere of Berg's Lulu followed in 1963. Stravinsky became a regular visitor. The lesser known Strauss was systematically exhumed. Meanwhile a new and larger auditorium was built in 1968, and again -- the present 2,128-seat opera house strikingly designed by James Stewart Polshek -- in 1998. Though open to the elements on both sides, and welcoming to chirping crickets and other outdoor sounds, it is a comfortable and acoustically superb setting for a world-class summer opera festival.
Crosby was succeeded as general director by Richard Gaddes in 1998. When Gaddes retired in 2008, his successor was Charles MacKay. Both Gaddes and Mackay are Crosby protégés; both sustained Crosby's emphasis on ensemble opera, and on new and lesser-known repertoire.

This summer -- the first planned and implemented by MacKay -- featured new productions of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, Britten's Albert Herring, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and (a world premiere) Lewis Spratlan's Life is a Dream. A fifth work -- Mozart's The Magic Flute -- revisited a 2006 Santa Fe production. Though none of this attracted the widespread attention generated by Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar in 2005, or Thomas Adès's The Tempest in 2006, the Hoffmann production memorably compelled reconsideration of an opera and its composer. It also happened to be a terrific show which deserves to travel elsewhere (as will Albert Herring, to Los Angeles).

Offenbach's only opera is an elusive, sui generis achievement. To begin with, it's unfinished (Santa Fe used a slightly abridged version of Michael Kaye's edition, based in part on manuscript materials discovered in the 1980s). It oscillates between grand and buffa genres, philosophy and diversion. Santa Fe's version was auspiciously conceived. For a director, MacKay chose Christopher Alden, whose intellectual panache and wicked sense of humor fit Offenbach's psychic exploration of E. T. A. Hoffmann. And Paul Groves, cast as Hoffmann, is an exceptionally stylish, exceptionally brainy tenor. The work has no established performance template. In Michael Powell's famous 1951 film version, Robert Rounseville is a blandly romantic Hoffmann. At the opposite extreme, Julius Patzak left a pair of 1930 recordings documenting a German-language Hoffmann of Hoffmannesque complexity. Patzak's wondrously tart, nasal rendering of Hoffmann's Kleinzach song limns the very physiognomy of the small, sharp-featured poet. In Hoffmann's love song to Giulietta ("O Dieu! de quelle ivresse"), Patzak croons the reprise with a pianissimo head voice: it is Lehár sublimated. Groves' Hoffmann is not remotely like Rounseville's or Patzak's. Its keynote is urgency. I have heard him sing with more freshness and suppleness than in this taxing role. But the cumulative portrait -- ardent, impetuous, desperate -- is galvanizing.

Alden's production sustains an indescribable keenness and specificity of animation, punctuated by moments of high hilarity. We are never permitted to forget that Hoffmann tells his stories within the confines of Luther's tavern. Stella, for whom the poet pines, may be transformed into Olympia, Antonia, and Giulietta -- yet remains tangibly present, contributing to a cluttered accumulation of people, props, and tropes mirroring the clutter oppressing Hoffmann's heart and mind. The barcarolle is here a fleeting indoor distraction; there is no gondola, only a gigantic Venetian canvas in the style of Turner. No person or event is tidily disposed of; rather, Hoffmann's fevered imagination grows the more encumbered. His quest -- whether for Stella or for art -- acquires a veritably Faustian intensity. If at times Alden's Hoffmann resembles a work in progress, so is the opera itself. How I wish this gifted director (winner of the 2009 Olivier Best New Production award for his ENO staging of Handel's Partenope) would be invited to work at New York's Metropolitan Opera, whose most recent Faust -- Berlioz's Damnation, as directed by Robert Lepage -- was a series of special stage effects bereft of special human affects.

Spratlan's adaptation of Calderón's classic play La vida es sueño is not new. It was composed between 1975 and 1978 on commission from the New Haven Opera Theatre. When that company dissolved, the opera was orphaned. A concert version of act two resulted in a 2000 Pulitzer Prize -- but no full staging until now. Calderón's play furnishes exciting material for an opera, and James Maraniss's libretto (in English) successfully combines Calderón's high rhetoric with a necessarily streamlined plot. The fire and enthusiasm Spratlan brings to this assignment are infectious. His palette of color and timbre is eagerly deployed; the play's characters spawn vivid musical signatures. But the idiom, alas, is all too redolent of its time. For most American composers, atonality and serialism proved a cul de sac -- and Spratlan, for all his alacrity, would seem no exception; sacrificing tonality, he sacrifices tools for imparting shape and direction. I liked best the long act one monologue for King Basilio, who condemns his son and heir Segismundo to seclusion because the stars foretold that he would otherwise become a bestial ruler. Spratlan feeds on Basilio's duality: his metaphysical obsession with "science," subverted by human self-doubt. The jagged vocal lines, the violent pointilistic accompaniment here potently converge (and invite a more crazed, virtuosic performance than John Cheek manages on this occasion). Segismundo's own act one monologue, on the other hand, is exclamatory, beginning "Oh, God, why this torment, why this misery?" Such an expostulation, from a chained and imprisoned dramatic tenor, unfortunately invites comparison with Florestan's great aria from Fidelio. In terms of visceral and narrative content, Beethoven traverses a mile in the time it takes Spratlan to move an inch.

I must confess immunity to the other operas newly produced at Santa Fe this summer. For me, Albert Herring is a footnote to Peter Grimes, in which the picture of intense communal intolerance turns curiously exaggerated and under-motivated. And Madama Butterfly has always seemed to me as cynical and opportunistic as Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton himself. But these are minority opinions; the Santa Fe audience responded appreciatively to both works. Certainly both received telling and handsome productions, directed by Paul Curran and Lee Blakeley, respectively. In Herring, Christine Brewer, an Isolde-sized soprano, proved a droll comedienne as nosy Lady Billows. In Butterfly, neither soprano nor tenor possessed the final degree of vocal luster or heft to make the most of the melodrama. But Kelly Kaduce was a Cio-Cio-San of inordinate dignity and mature fury, canceling the coy, mincing inflections envisioned by the composer. At the close, Pinkerton (affectingly portrayed by Brandon Jovanovich) arrived to discover Butterfly's infant son brandishing the dagger with which his mother had just committed suicide -- a more chilling, less sentimental curtain than this opera really deserves.

In The Magic Flute, Charles Castronovo delivered Tamino's "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schȍn" with an eloquence of diction and flexibility of pulse seldom encountered nowadays. Castronovo and Ekaterina Siurina (his real-life wife), as Pamina, anchored the show; they made everything else matter. Tim Albery's breezy production, sung in German, sensibly used breezy English-language dialogue -- accompanied, at one point, by a solo flute reprise of "Dies Bildnis." Bart Feller's fluting in the pit, here and elsewhere, was of the highest distinction. For that matter, Santa Fe's orchestra is world-class in every department. And all five of the summer's conductors -- Lawrence Renes (Magic Flute), Sir Andrew Davis (Herring), Antony Walker (Butterfly), Leonard Slatkin (Life is a Dream), and Stephen Lord (Hoffmann) -- impressed.

The Santa Fe Opera transcends the visible sum of its parts. From the start, Crosby incorporated an ambitious apprentice program for aspiring singers. It flourished and has been widely emulated. But Crosby's Santa Fe Opera was in other respects a relatively isolated enclave. Gaddes and now MacKay have moved toward integrating the Santa Fe Opera with Hispanic Santa Fe. A vigorous educational agenda links with Santa Fe's schools and with the Santa Fe community. Incongruously, only three productions in the company's half-century history have been sung in Spanish: Villa-Lobos's Yerma in 1971, Falla's La vida breve (a weak work) in 1975, and the Golijov in 2005. MacKay's decision to mount Life is a Dream was a considered Calderón gesture. American opera companies can no longer afford the elitism of an earlier cultural moment, when a sizable constituency of initiates could be assumed. A fresh consideration of Falla's El amor brujo, or of a top-drawer zarzuela, might make sense for Santa Fe. The company could also use a more serious bookstore, and more serious opportunities for pre- and post-performance engagement (though Alden's Tales of Hoffmann proved controversial, no opportunity was afforded to chat with the director). Finally, an important summer opera festival several miles from anywhere needs a restaurant.

So far, MacKay has bravely and resourcefully stared down the recession. Next season, Santa Fe offers new productions of Gounod's Faust (with the company's newly appointed chief conductor, Frédéric Chaslin), Vivaldi's Griselda (staged by Peter Sellars), Menotti's The Last Savage, and La bohème, plus a revival of Berg's Wozzeck (led by David Robertson). The company's contributed income is holding steady. Attendance (fifty per cent from out of state, two and a half per cent -- too few -- from abroad) remains strong. In fact, the quality of interest and attention displayed by the Santa Fe audience may be the strongest indication that things are OK. In today's American performing arts, retrenchment and panic often signal over-reliance on brand-name repertoire and performers, or -- worse -- a self-defeating craving for celebrity. In Santa Fe, John Crosby's legacy remains intact.

Some pointers for PR people and arts organizations in a pitching mood

Redefining service

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AG asserts his plan keeps Stieglitz Collection permanently, not temporarily, in Nashville. Regent Dawson got no heads-up on changes.

Inside and out

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Nicholas Lemann ought to read my Louis Armstrong biography.

Just because

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See Noël Coward sing "Nina (From Argentina)."


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Today's entry: William Thackeray on memory.
Or Are They Dead, Given Their Costs And Low Sales? A Few Worthy Experiments


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Though it's small, there's much to like at MoMA Library's "Experimental Women in Flux" exhibition. Catch Carolee Schneeman's feminist blast.

The following article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy was shared with me by a good friend and colleague, Julie Hawkins, Executive Vice President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.  I found it particularly interesting because it tells of an arts entrepreneur who, after a struggle in the not-for-profit world, chooses to cross over into the commercial one. 

Tell your story walking


My music criticism students -- and blog commenters -- try an exercise in describing music.

This is Hamlet

On a new educational DVD about Shakespeare's tragedy

Orchestra Fun for a Lifetime

My contribution to a Sunday morning conversation with Henry Fogel, Aaron Flagg, Edward Cumming, and Steve Metcalf

Jazz elders cast giant shadows

Rollins, Haynes, Muhal and other octogenarians loom large in NYC's fall creative music season
Words of Wisdom: "Giving museums an 'out clause' of generally accepted ethics...of the museum a bad precedent."

Change Is Coming To Pittsburgh

Lynn Zelevansky Starts To Remake The Carnegie Museum, Stating Several Worthy Goals

Two heads are lesser than one

"Me, Myself & I" and "Bottom of the World" reviewed.

Come see me!

If you're in the Orlando area, I'll be speaking at Rollins College on Sunday afternoon.


Today's entry: Rex Stout on the lure of nonsense.

More tricks from the record labels

Public is owed fuller explanation of why NYS Board of Regents reversed itself on deaccession regulations. Greasing the slippery slope.

New Tech, New Music (WANT! edition)

If you are a new music fan in the market for a new digital SLR camera with video capability, secure your wallet and be careful watching this video!

The Highs and Lows of Werther

A production of Massenet's opera which mirrors the essential nature of its protagonist
Hint...hint: Arts Education!

More On The Public View Of Art

Christian Lander Was Funny Re: Classical Music; But What About Art And Artists?

So you want to see a show?

Here's my weekly theater guide.

Backward glance

"Napoleon Dynamite" revisited.


Today's entry: Rex Stout on dignity.

Who's Afraid of the Concert Hall?

New music finds a home inside a coatroom, under the stairs in the lobby.
Take your smooth and shove it
Is posting a snatch of unauthorized, amateur concert video good or bad for jazz?
We've now had two shocking art-disposal developments this week, involving unexpected and illogical flip-flops by public officials.
Using a Diana camera

More shenanigans alleged at the Solti

The "Professional" Choir

What distinguishes an amateur choir from a professional one?
Let Us Count The Ways, With A Little Help From Judge Jerry

Describing what we hear

About my Juilliard course in music criticism, and how it's really a course on how to talk about music.

What really goes on at your agent's

Leaked minutes of an internal meeting

New talent on the fast track

'Porn for Bookmen'

Have a look at Sheelagh Bevan and David Senior's video for the MoMA Library's current exhibition "Experimental Women in Flux."
AG's proposal isn't "long-term solution" to keep Stieglitz Collection in Nashville. (Actually, it is). Judge rewrites Crystal Bridges agreement.

Right to left

The paperback edition of "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong" is now on sale at Amazon.


This week's video: Joe Orton, interviewed on TV five months before his death in 1967.


Today's entry: Joe Orton on theory vs. fact.


Some of my upcoming work -- a project with an orchestra, a speech in the Netherlands. Plus links to past appearances in Australia and Tunisia.
To those who say "that's not music education, that a music experience," I say in return, who cares?

Are You the Next "Next Great Artist"?

Casting calls later this month. Online application for aspiring contestants asks for "most scandalous thing" you've done as an artist.

On Condescending Choral Conductors

To all you naughty, misbehaved maestros out there
A sneaked peak at Rollins' b-day performance with Ornette Coleman, and, earlier, Don Cherry

Bill Evans In The Wall Street Journal

..virtually all jazz pianists who developed from the early 1960s on learned from Evans and, if they could, adapted aspects of his playing.
Leaving comfort out of the equation, dressing in crockery has no downside


Today's entry: Rex Stout on censorship.
The MFA Director Shows How He Went From A Rocky Start To An Imminent Triumph...Outtakes From My WSJ Piece And Further Observations

Hope for us all

At one point, Yo-Yo Ma's booking flyers consisted of quotes from the Louisville Times and Louisville Courier-Journal.

The tensions of change

Lucy Bernholz identifies some of the key tensions facing philanthropy, that also happen to apply to the nonprofit arts.
When I called The New York Times to suggest a correction, an editor hung up on me

Martin Creed welcomes you

Sitting on the edge of our imaginary seats

About comments

Why comments on this blog have to be approved, and why I fear I can't respond to them as much as I used to.


Can you be the best possible artist and teach? Can you ever become the best possible artist if you don't teach?
Fisk calls proposed temporary relocation of its collection "outrageous theft." University would lose coveted $30 million from Walton's Crystal Bridges.

Another Venezuelan takes up the beat

Hot winner in Frankfurt

Strange goings-on in the Solti legacy

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

A variety of interesting things

Recent Listening: Domnick Farinacci

I was intrigued that he seemed to be reflecting in a personal way a school of trumpet playing notable for the subtlety of its beauty.
Detroit Institute Of Arts Had A Good Idea, But It Fumbled. What Might Have Been

Other Matters: The 2010 Crop, Update

There's nothing better for color development than a succession of warm days and chilly nights. (Photographic proof included.)

Loving tongue

So how does "Pops" sound in Portuguese? Way cool--and dig all the new footnotes.


Today's entry: Elliott Gould on fame.

News From The World Of Mummies

Federal Forensic Scientists Help The Nelson-Atkins Museum Break Ground In Egyptian Scholarship

Just because (in memoriam)

See Pablo Casals play Bach's G Major Cello Suite in 1954.

Rollins triumphant

Sonny Rollins, exuberantly inspired at 80, shows how "Jazz is the umbrella covering all other music"
Barack Obama forfeited whatever moral authority he might have had as president when he gave Bush a pass.

Almanac (in memoriam)

Today's entry: William Tecumseh Sherman on the meaning of courage.
He makes mud shine

Too Funny Not to Post

I'll save my Best 9/11 Memorial posting for next year. Instead have a good laugh at this piece of CIA history.
A very interesting example of how a subject like science has managed to break thought into a state accountability regime. What can we learn from this?

Launching my fall

This year's start on my Maryland project -- helping music students to find an audience their own age.

Speaking for herself

Why Maya Beiser's current album shows one place that classical music ought to go.
No one cares what an arts reporter/critic has to say about a gas pipe rupture.

Jessye Fails To Pull It Off

A diva takes a dive
A tornado of vigilantes sweeps up from the bible belt

Jessye Fails To Pull It Off

The great mezzo struggles at the San Francisco Symphony season opener

Charmed, I'm Sure

Baltimore says "Yes, please, more please!" to contemporary composers.

Just because

Dudley Moore plays a parody of middle-period Beethoven.


Today's entry: Peter Drucker on hired hands.

Comeback Stories

The Things Art Works Sometimes Endure: Two Museums, Two Tales

I am nature

Who hasn't felt the same? It's why we aspire to push up daisies or be scattered on the water as ashy food for fish
"If we did it for the arts, we would have to do it for every subject."
Chi Tribune's Greg Kot: Music scene won't miss retiring Mayor

Women Who Experiment

The MoMA Library's Fluxus exhibition features works by Alison Knowles, Mary Beach, Mieko Shiomi, Charlotte Moorman, Yoko Ono, others.
The art tourist is well educated and wears bags with meaningful messages

Recent Listening: Denny Zeitlin

Despite the tempo (eight choruses in two minutes and 47 seconds), not only is Zeitlin not thrown off, but he remains fully in charge for the whole ride.

So you want to see a show?

Here's my weekly theater guide.


Today's entry: Peter Drucker on monomania.

Mad Music

"Years ago it was selling out--now we call it selling in"

The Empty Space

On the sad lack of press at the San Francisco Symphony's latest press party

Mayor Daley's cultural legacy

Retiring after 22 years, Richard II leaves Chicago music and arts on the up & up

I Thought I Was Going To An Art Museum

The "First Museum Exhibition Solely Devoted To The Cultivation...Of Foodstuffs" Wins A Tremaine Award
Announcement of megacollector's gift to Britain of some 200 works and gallery building was (as I then called it) premature.
$800,000 in 21 days. Impressive.

Badenheim 1939 moves to the stage

In an Arnold Wesker adaptation

Another artist takes a walk


This week's video: Mabel Mercer singing at Town Hall in 1974.


Today's entry: William Haggard on resentment of talent.

The Chattering Classes And Art

Should We Really Thank The Heavens That Not Everyone Cares About Art?

Abbie Toots Her Alp Horn Way Out West

Abbie Conant, that is -- the trombonist, actor, singer, poet, feminist, and professor, whom Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in "Blink."

Music During Wartime

After recent weeks of news rich with intolerance and violence, this vet's simple story of music and humanity sneaked into my Google reader and provided a glimmer of, well, hope.
I'm trying gradually to resume normal life (and posting). Your notes of support have buoyed me during this mournful time.

Lang Lang sounds like Beethoven improvising

On an extraordinary live recording, Lang Lang makes me think I'm hearing Beethoven, as if he were alive today.
Fallout continues from SAM's partnership with now defunct bank for its expansion. This on top of staff cuts, building closures.

In The Wound

A summer production which impresses and disappoints in equal measures

The bigger, the better

"Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong" is now available in a large-print paperback edition.
Test prep isn't instruction. In virtually every school I have gone into in recent years, teachers complained about instructional time lost to prepping students for tests.

"large capable hands"

Large hands or hands with wide reach are thought to be an advantage in piano playing

An Organization of Organizations?

Toward an organizational topography

Second stanza

I think maybe I've finally figured out how to take a vacation.


Today's entry: Saul Bellow on the difference between geniuses and intellectuals.

The Celebration Begins Now

A Book And An Exhibitions Mark A New York Gallery's 125-Year Milestone
Of Terry Riley, role play and stunt cyclists

Tip for the top: Russian takes Berlin

His opera launched the modern world

Patrice Chéreau talks Bayreuth and more on the Lebrecht Interview

Fifteen albums in fifteen minutes

The latest meme: fifteen albums that will always stick with me.

Just because

See Dave McKenna play "A Beautiful Friendship."


Today's entry: W.H. Auden on murder.

This month's political pin-up

It's 1935. MoMA Is Six Years Old

For Its First Show By A Living American Artist, It Chooses -- Who? And Why That's Relevant Now

Anita Gravine: A Lotta Coffee

Gravine is an artist whose talent justifies wide fame but who has remained an insiders' favorite

The quick and the dead, in images

If cats were bigger, they wouldn't pretend to like us
Anyone can steal it by downloading it for free

Please omit music (or else)

Iran's top ayatollah doesn't like it--and he's not alone.

Seattle Museum Goes To Court

Yet Another Petition To, Ahem, "Borrow" From The Endowment. A Raid By Any Other Name

Meet the Marketer

Attempting to address an imbalance
The nexus of arts and social justice, from a parent poet, performed for a school board.

Opera-tors of the world unite

A proletarian plan to defeat opera cuts
Radio shows asked to agree to self-censorship
From 5,000 square feet to 150: The most innovative gallery in the Northwest becomes its own mini-me
Important visual artists, museum directors, critics needn't apply...except for one fledgling director who made the companion "Next Establishment" list.

Not so good for the geese

American Players Theatre's revival of Somerset Maugham's "The Circle" reviewed.


Today's entry: William Haggard on the virtues of the well-made play.

Great neighborhood jazz

Chicago's club tour deep in the heart of a local scene

Julian Zugazagoitia's First Moves

Now On The Scene At The Nelson-Atkins, The New Director Sets The Right Tone
Musings on the RSC's decision to bring amateur dramatics into the fold

Books. Children. Arts. Education!

Looking for some great children's books? I've got a little list...

The thing Lang Lang cannot mention

Technology and the new taboos

So you want to see a show?

Here's my weekly theater guide.


Today's entry: William Haggard on artiness.
And Plans Another One-Work Exhibition.
On envying the theatre-goer who can enjoy a play in spite of a terrible production

"Body and Soul": Music and Grieving

Why CultureGrrl went silent, and how jazz and classical music helped.
Fewer government dollars may mean more latitude for advocacy

Watch where the money's moving

fresh cracks in the classical industry

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2010 is the previous archive.

October 2010 is the next archive.

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