April 2011 Archives

Turnover At Yet Another Lone Star State Museum: Ned Rifkin Resigns, Is Immediately Replaced
I'll be visiting New England Conservatory, and taking part in a debate at Cambridge University, in England.
Met's least erudite catalogue in recent memory. Macabre hologram on cover. Reputation of the fashion house/sponsor soars; Met's falters.
A fantastic new documentary shows that don't have to be glamorous, rich or young to be part of New York's cultural haute-monde

Happy birthday, Zubin

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Cost squeeze -- ticket sales

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Details of the orchestra cost squeeze: spending more money to sell fewer tickets, at lower prices -- which shoots a big hole in your budget.
Realization of its usefulness in the arts and culture sector

Who Is Applause For?

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Here's what happened at an HD movie-theater showing of the Met's alluring "Capriccio"
"Baby It's You!" and "The People in the Picture" reviewed.
Here's how it looked from backstage as Paul Moravec and I waited to take our "Danse Russe" curtain call.
April has been a cruel month for the arts in America.
The Joffrey Ballet dances a reconstruction of the original "Rite of Spring."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Igor Stravinsky takes a second look at the expressive power of music.

Lucky Thompson In Person

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The logical followup to the piece below about Chris Byars' hero Lucky Thompson is a piece by Thompson.

Lucky Thompson In Person

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The logical followup to the piece below about Chris Byars' hero Lucky Thompson is a piece by Thompson.
The music reflects lessons Thompson learned from his contemporary Tadd Dameron, an arranger whose work was a pervasive influence
State Department's assistant secretary for human rights got "no sense of comfort" about Ai during two-day talks. Where's Hillary?

Reading Tea Leaves

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What Do "Time And Money" Surveys Tell Us About Museum Attendance? The NEA Has Answers

The cost squeeze

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Smithsonian undersecretary reveals previously undisclosed reason for the end of political interference with "Hide/Seek." AAMD's president blasts opponents' "creepy agenda."

Nastiest opera ever?

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Song of himself

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"The Normal Heart" reviewed.
Here's my weekly theater guide.
A few last thoughts before Thursday's premiere of "Danse Russe."
See two TV interviews with Igor Stravinsky that I used as sources for the libretto of "Danse Russe."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Igor Stravinsky on the expressive power of music.

Oversubscribed

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Call For Artists To Go Abroad Brings A Barrage Of Applicants; Fine Line Between Cultural Diplomacy And Imperialism
What makes hotel rooms such compelling spaces to stage site-specific performances?
Clough needs to attend---reponsive, not defensive. Former NEA heads give perspective on polticial realities. (Apologies for previously broken link.)
Clough needs to be there---reponsive, not defensive. Former NEA heads give needed battlefield perspective on polticial realities in Washington.
Tibetan choreographer Sang Jijia is a fresh voice in contemporary dance
Tibetan choreographer Sang Jijia is a fresh voice in contemporary dance
Here's the headline: William Burroughs on trial for corrupting Turkish morality. Believe it or not, this isn't from The Onion.
Does Citibank know a Thing, or two?

The Numbers Game

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What would you measure?

L'artiste Lui-même

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Norman Ogue Mustill in his desert lair. A self-portrait with collage. Blogs are personal.

Mahler dismembered

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The Next New Thing

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Gamification Starts To Come To Cultural Institutions: A Few Caveats Before Mistakes Are Made

And one to go

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Fugitive thoughts before the final dress rehearsal of "Danse Russe."
Igor Stravinsky conducts a rehearsal of his "Pulcinella."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Igor Stravinsky on understanding his music.
"You're wrong!" is not the right way to mollify critics. Question I'd ask Clough if I were in tomorrow's audience.
He's not a name that many in the music and/or art world know, but really, everyone should.
Old master of contemporary sculpture speaks somewhat disparagingly of younger generation's work. Park Avenue, are you ready for Sir Anthony?

Term Limits

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In a way our technology is putting sound and music back together
"The House of Blue Leaves" and "Born Yesterday" reviewed.
The "Rite of Spring" sequence from Walt Disney's "Fantasia."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Igor Stravinsky on music appreciation.

The Art Cops Return: Fluxus Must Die

John Perreault's animated art criticism cartoon wrecks havoc once again. Back by popular demand!
Sometimes being "followed" on Twitter is not a good thing. Where's a Bloggers Protection Program when I really need one?

Social Engagement?

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Museum Has 17th C Painting, To Which A Figure Was Later Added. What To Do? Ask The Public?
Why is the source for the Guantanamo series that dominates today's NYT front page buried so deep in the stories?
If we "measure what we treasure," isn't the arts test the way to go?

Just about there

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Dress rehearsals for "Danse Russe" start today, and I'm expectant.
See Pierre Monteux, a character in "Danse Russe," conduct "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Igor Stravinsky on artists and obstacles.
A few questions prompted by recent events at the Philadelphia Orchestra and Intiman Theatre
Broad, on CBS broadcast, said museum for his contemporary collection would cost more than $1 billion. UPDATE: Broad corrects himself.

The Stravinsky odyssey, once a signature 20th century achievement, has in the 21st century become an elusive object of singular fascination.

Max And David

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The Gordons: The Museum Director Publishes Tribute To His Famous Brother, Who Made "Architecture For Art"
From high perch, I could see what critics perhaps couldn't: Levine's conducting is seriously pain-constrained. Monstrous contraption floors Voigt.
Norio Ohga has died
Norio Ohga, RIP
Discussion of innovative models for the arts and culture sector
Hint, Hint: It's not bubble tests...

La Vie En Satchmo

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Two famous roses are named after Louis Armstrong. He has a song appropriate to the honor.

New Recommendations

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The Rifftides staff updates their picks of Cds, DVDs and books.
Unless Hillary herself attends next week's discussions, demanding Ai's immediate release, State Department should revise its slogan to "Diplomacy Inaction."
http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2011/04/shes_out_shes_edgy_and_she_acc.html
They're scaling down the conservatory to pay more to Netrebko & Co
Our recent conclave may prove to be more deeply informative and freewheeling than next week's Smithsonian conference. Watch the video.
Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio (Woodstock, '72-'84) revived by Columbia U, The Stone
"Jerusalem" and "Sister Act" reviewed.

Just because (I)

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See Pierre Boulez conduct "The Rite of Spring.".

Just because (II)

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Michael Colgrass talks about recording "The Rite of Spring" with Stravinsky on the podium.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Wyndham Lewis on laughter.

Contrarian Gift

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So What If Art History Students Favor Contemporary Art? A Brand-New Institute For Medieval Manuscripts
Gopnik's successor publishes serious charges against Hawass, but doesn't verify their reliability. Gopnik returns to Washington for Smithsonian's "Hide/Seek" panel.
Nations are at war, orchestras go bankrupt, gay folks are demonized, and we try to comfort ourselves with pickle brine

Inspiration

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Why we should redouble our passion for classical music, in a time of trouble.

Tipping point

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Why the Philadelphia bankruptcy is a turning point for classical music. (With more on that to come.)
1. Lost artist rediscovered. 2. How to destroy Fluxus once and for all.
Here's my weekly theater guide.

Almanac

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Today's entry: George Saintsbury on humorlessness.
Bradley Manning has been transferred to a medium-security military prison in Kansas. Glenn Greenwald explains why it happened.
The past and future of old--and modern--dance masters
The Birth Of The Modern, Told Like A Movie, With A Dream-Like Start And In Flashbacks

You Might Also Like

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Was a virtual recommendation from a collection of music fans what it took to demystify contemporary classical music?
Petitions are fine; forceful government action is better. If curators must conform to totalitarian dictates, they should just say no.
Is it enough to believe that relevance is established through the transcendence of art?

Theatre on Screen

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On experiencing a play at the movie theatre for the first time
The Riss diner is no longer there. In it's place is a bagel shop. Much less interesting.
"High" and "Wonderland" reviewed.

Holy Participation

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Celebrating The 400th Anniversary Of The King James Bible With Art, Music, And A YouTube Bible. Join In

Snapshot

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This week's video: Paul Lynde, June Carroll, and Alice Ghostley in excerpts from "New Faces of 1952."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Alfred North Whitehead on civilization.

With a Bow and a Beat

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Kevin Olusola is doing more than his part to recruit kids to the cello section.
Visual arts criticism rates another Pulitzer. (ArtsJournal's Mclennan on jury.) Gopnik tells "Arts Journalism" panel that the future looks bleak.
Why is anyone surprised by Rebecca Black's fame?

Group mentality

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The NY Times reports that group sales move significantly more Broadway show tickets than social media does.

Double-header

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Paul Moravec and I talk about "Danse Russe" on today's edition of "Soundcheck."

Just because

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Steely Dan plays "Peg" live in 2003.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Dorothy Gambrell on technology.
The Hirshhorn Flaunts Its Elitism: Why Is A National Museum Offering A "VIP Area"?

Celebrate rigor

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Being held to a high standard is the highest possible compliment you can pay someone, says Merit School President Duffie Adelson. So celebrate rigor when you teach the arts.

Voice Mis-Leading

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Added notes in a piano chord may represent more "voices" -- or something else may be going on

Breaking News

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Zahi Hawass Is Sent To Jail By Egyptian Court And Fired -- He Calls It "A Misunderstanding" - Appeal Coming
It's going to take more than cartoon characters and fear.
That's The Wave Of The Future, Right? Here's A Case, Or Several, Of Real Participation
Spring, pro and con.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Chelsea G. Summers on praise.
Keith Seward, in a remarkable piece of detective work, susses out the mystery behind an enigmatic literary figure
empathy or myth?
Paul Desmond's omnipresent composition is a boon for the good works of his principal legatee.

Exit No Exit

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On flipping Jean-Paul Satre's existentialist drama inside out

Bankrupt?

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If the Philadelphia Orchestra really does declare bankruptcy this weekend, it's huge, huge news.

"Take Five" a la Pakistan

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In Lahore, tabla, sitar and a full string section adapt the Desmond/Brubeck classic.

Bankrupt?

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The Philadelphia Orchestra bankruptcy -- if it really happens -- is huge, huge news.
Each a connoisseur---one a man of commerce, the other of scholarship. Both generous with their insights. Some personal reminiscences.

New model money

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Classical music needs a new financial model -- to survive selling lower-priced tickets, to make money from performances in clubs, and to reach a larger, pop-oriented audience.
The Criterion Collection does right by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Virgil Thomson on fame.
Obama's speech on reducing the deficit pleased liberal pundits like Maddow and Krugman. Glenn Greenwald is having none of it.
"War Horse" reviewed.
"...somewhere a parent is explaining to a child why his her music program has disappeared..."
The best place to enjoy an opera in the U.S. might be Big D
That Didn't Take Long, Because It's An Inside Job Now. Museum Chiefs Send A Signal
Sullivan reveals difficulties Clough's decision caused him, addresses artists' rights issues involving Wojnarovicz's video, Bronson's demand to withdraw his work.
A Progress Report...
Reviews On Carlos Slim's Soumaya Museum Start To Come In, And They're Not Good
Ted Wilson's reviews of everything from centipedes to Osh-Kosh provide the perfect tonic to burnt-out arts critics
Here's my weekly theater guide.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Virgil Thomson on adjectives in criticism.

Play It, Sam, Play It

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Listening to Holcombe Waller's "Into the Dark Unknown," over and over and over again.
After Sifton's astonishing comments last time, NY Times journalists aren't on panel. My WSJ editor is. News I can use?
His Recreated Neues Museum In Berlin Wins 2011 EU -- Mies van der Rohe Award

Snapshot

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This week's video: Zero Mostel sings "Comedy Tonight."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Virgil Thomson on composers who teach.
Harpooning Tut sadly battered. Offering "compensation" (aka ransom) to thieves is ordinarily bad practice. But these were not ordinary times.
All you ever wanted to know about your agent

Mahler unremembered

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An erratic start to the Maazel cycle
The story of the Postal Service's new stamp, its designer and the changes it went through.

Billy Bang, 1947-2011

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Inhabited by his combat experiences, his emotions wounded, Bang found relief and rehabilitation by returning to the violin he had studied as a child.
'Priscilla Queen of the Desert" uses three nameless characters instead of the cross-dressing leads in their ads.
Is NPG's director sitting this one out? Smithsonian names only its in-house panelists (but not Sullivan). "Flashpoints" conference described.
An Upcoming Lot At Christie's Occasions An Inquiry About His 1901 Exhibition
Violinist Billy Bang on horrors underground in Viet Nam, and how music helped him heal
I am very happy to report that the $25 million that the Senate had proposed, which is a cut from $40 million, is in the budget agreement.
Fifty five people from 23 countries convened to explore global perspectives on the power of music to transform individuals and societies. Here's our concluding statement. Please share it.
Weekend cultural romps to Alameda, San Francisco International Airport and the waterfront
A commander in chief who enables Bradley Manning's torture (per Greenwald) and a president who lacks moral backbone (per Krugman).
"Infinite Variety" Quilts Show Mighty Popular: But Before It Tries To Travel, A Hitch
"The Motherf**ker with the Hat" and "Catch Me if You Can" reviewed.

Almanac

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Today's entry: William Schuman on originality.

Meet Olaf Polziehn

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Everyone else out there may have known about Polziehn, but he was new to me
I can finally post NTD-TV's hard-hitting video, contrasting "Enlightenment" paintings with Ai's deplorable detention. Plus, alarming new developments.

It's over

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Why the debate about the value of pop music ought to be over.

Monodramas -- success story

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How City Opera had an audience triumph with Monodramas, even though attendance at first dropped after opening ngiht.
A painting, a final record
Paul Moravec and I chat about our new opera, whose premiere is drawing nigh.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Florence King on American generosity.
Health problems cause Pitman's departure, almost three years after assuming Dallas directorship. Is Houston's Marzio irreplaceable? Meslay, Goffe interim directors.
But Not With Western Art; Parting Gives An Occasion To Muse About Men And Museums

Well, hello Baby Flo

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How opera's newborn gets announced first on Twitter

Odds And Ends

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More Help For Japan. Carmen Staaf. "The LIkes Of." The Backlog.

Lucky Ducks

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Which Artists Get To Call Themselves Guggenheim Fellows? The 2011 List, Plus Links To Their Work
Join me in signing this petition. Museums' "future collaboration with the Chinese colleagues" in jeopardy. Hillary takes up Ai's cause.
Come interrogate National Portrait Gallery's director (and me) at the "Hide/Seek" conference tomorrow morning at Rutgers. NPG's former chairman moderates.

Disembodied

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On Lemi Ponifasio's Tempest: Is too much relentless bleakness on stage a good thing?
In Brooklyn, jazz activities sustain racial divisions despite everyone's best intentions
"Anything Goes" reviewed.
The power of technology demonstrates the pure good and beauty people can band together to create.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Thornton Wilder on perfect love.
One of the world's finest early music vocal ensembles makes its long-awaited west coast debut...in a sub-par venue in front of a half-full house.
New Science Uncovers Lost Autumn Sky, May Allow Attribution Of Attic Pottery, And More
Lizzie Ratner, one of the editors of "The Goldstone Report" from Nation Books, responds to the Goldstone "bombshell."
Electric music innovator Morton Subtonick & video artist Lillevan mix "Silver Apples of the Moon" anew
Video gives tantalizing look at "Art of Enlightenment," contrasting show's message with China's oppression. Will Dylan let loose in Shanghai?
Musicians on both sides of the United States are raising money to help earthquake and tsunami victims

Mulligan's Birthday

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Gerry Mullligan would have been 84 today. Here's a good way to remember him.
Do They Now Need Add-Ons, Like Music In The Galleries And Interactives?
Here's my weekly theater guide.

Almanac

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Today's entry: John Steinbeck on the longing for love.
Weighing in on the supply/demand discussion...
Artist rights, Google books verdict, intellectual property issues, and innovation...
Ai will "pay a price" as a "maverick." U.S. should offer him asylum, urge China to agree. We appreciate mavericks.
new music, of course
Descriptions of Ai's circumstances should be stationed at entrances to galleries displaying Chinese art. Artworld luminaries must demand his release.
French Senate Sides With Billionaire Arnault, Not With French Opponents
Twenty-five passably interesting things you didn't know about me. There will now be a pause to say "Who cares?"

Snapshot

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This week's video: Jimmy Rushing and the Count Basie All-Stars perform "I Left My Baby" in 1957.

Almanac

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Today's entry: Rufus Wainwright on true love.

Only in New York?

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Can the new classical music audience be created outside New York?
New Artopia cartoon: Talking About Relational Aesthetics. You have nothing to fear but theory itself.
Brooklyn Chief's New Promise: To Make The Permanent Collection The Primary Attraction
What was happening in art and culture in 1956, the year I was born? Quite a lot, actually.

Just because

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See Diana Krall sing "Love Letters."

Almanac

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Today's entry: Jacques Barzun on the idolatry of art.
On the pros and cons of giving historical or mythical figures a modern spin on stage
Cancel your Washington flight plans! House subcommittee's appropriations hearing with Smithsonian Secretary Clough not yet rescheduled. Come to Newark instead!
Who knows where Suzuki-trained/medical-schooled Tim Soo's idea might take us. Beyond Guitar Hero, we might hope.
The venerable jazz club and its famous orchestra collaborate to help raise money for earthquake/tsunami relief.
New music by a bassist, and three trumpeters who are substantially different from one another
Some aspiring musicians don't enter competitions because they don't want to lose
My lecture in Amman at U of Jordan - Moroccan composer and bluegrass folky's responses
If Ai isn't promptly released, human rights activists will have a galvanizing martyr and powerful rallying cry. U.S. joins condemnation.
This amazing slice of classical music's future -- it's been seen at many New York concerts.
It's more nuanced than Goldstone's critics claim and not the moral vindication Netanyahu says it is.
An idea for ticket 'rebates' if shows do better than expected inspired by Bach Choir of Bethlehem's 'Guarantee' program
Stark contrast in Beijing between sordid scene at airport, celebratory ribbon-cutting for blockbuster show from Germany. International response needed.
NYTimes Article On Smithsonian's Clough Only Raises More Questions. But There Is A Solution.
I saw my first movie in a theater fifty years ago. Here's how it felt to see it again.

Almanac

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Today's entry: T.E. Lawrence on success and defeat.

Another Sony scoop

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Report From Iran

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The Art World There Lives, Even Flourishes, But Often In The Shadows. And What Tourism?
Formal remarks are set to begin at 5:45 p.m. EDT, so get your questions ready.

Time-Lapse

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Geoff Hoyle doesn't look a bit like his head shot and that's just the point
Sendai City Museum, near earthquake's epicenter, sustained "only minor damage." Boston plans to "honor our commitments," sending 140 woodblock prints.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2011 is the previous archive.

May 2011 is the next archive.

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