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PEOPLE - March 2000

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  • SPOTTING THE NEXT NEW THING: "The British art scene now is full of people bidding to define the next thing post-Damien Hirst. Contenders have come and gone, but it's Higgs, curator of exhibitions including 'Then and Now' at the Lisson Gallery and a director of London's Cabinet Gallery, who seems to be the man with a plan. And the reason that Higgs is a genuine influence is that he choses the right artists. Long before they attained their current fame, he worked closely with Ofili, Martin Creed, Fiona Banner, Jeremy Deller and Paul Noble." The Guardian 03/30/00

  • ANTHONY POWELL, novelist, and a contemporary of Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and Cyril Connolly, has died at age 94. New York Times 03/30/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • ONCE AN ARTIST, ALWAYS AN ARTIST: An interview with German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau who celebrates his 75th birthday-and five decades of recitals, concerts, and operas-next month with the release of a special Deutsche Grammophon Fischer-Dieskau Edition of 20 CDs. Retired from singing since 1992, Fischer-Dieskau has kept busy ever since reciting poetry, conducting, and painting. What keeps him hungry for artistic expression? "Goethe always said that life must be like art somehow. It is for him only bearable if it is art. Otherwise it cannot be lived." London Times 3/28/00

  • DRABINSKY IN THE BLACK: Former Livent theater entrepreneur Garth Drabinsky has been hired by Conrad Black's National Post newspaper to be "creative marketing consultant." CBC 03/27/00

  • DATING SYLVIA PLATH: Before her stormy marriage to poet Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath was dating a Canadian student at Cambridge, who has long since disappeared. Whatever happened to this extra-literary-circle character "with a habitual affable sheepish look, and a reputed...alcoholic"? Globe and Mail (Toronto) 03/27/00

  • THINK AGAIN: Last year Alice Goldfarb Marquis embarked on a project to come up with a list of the 100 most significant independent scholars of the 20th Century. What fun, she thought, as she set about gathering her names. And then she started circulating her suggestions... The Idler 03/23/00 

  • THE GROUND BENEATH OUR FEET: Over three decades, the unconventional Boyle family of artists has developed a growing reputation for sculpting ravishing facsimile wall reliefs, "ranging from the surface of a road to a beach or snow" of random sites around the globe. "Most projects involve six-week field trips as far afield as the Australian desert or to the Vesteralen Islands in the Arctic Ocean. Destinations are determined by sending out invitations with a dart enclosed; at the ensuing party blindfolded guests throw darts at a map." London Evening Standard 03/23/00

  • NOVEL EXPERIENCE: When one of her books was being made into a movie, Margaret Atwood found life on the film set to be very different than her solitary life as a writer; the group dynamics, the realization that the director has Alzheimer's and the lead actress, whose breasts were becoming increasingly larger, was pregnant. "'You don't have those problems when you're a novelist. If the person's breasts in the novel get bigger and bigger, it's because you've made that happen."" The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 03/23/00

  • MYSTERY SANTA: An mysterious Australian woman who died in a nursing home without any of her fellow residents knowing she was wealthy, has left $12 million to artists - included in the bequests were a $60,000 fellowship for a pianist to study abroad and $6 million to Australia's National Gallery to buy art. Sydney Morning Herald 03/22/00 

  • AN OUTSTANDING PROPAGANDIST: Pierre Boulez turns 75 this year, and the fuss and attention celebrating him in the musical world is astonishing. But the man is dogmatic and a propagandist of the first order, writes Norman Lebrecht. And while we're at it, he adds, Boulez has been in a major creative slump for decades. What, exactly, are we celebrating? The Daily Telegraph 03/22/00  

  • MODEL FARMER: Twenty years ago a farmer in Suffolk decided to build a model of the famed Second Temple of Jerusalem. "He began at a leisurely pace, immersing himself in the necessary books and fitting the handiwork in around the long hours demanded by his farm near Fressingfield." But the model has evolved well beyond its original ambitions, and archeological experts say the farmer, working from historical records, has made some fascinating discoveries. Daily Telegraph 03/22/00

  • A BATTLER: "Susan Sontag's recovery from her second bout with cancer has been dramatic. You will find few with a stronger will to live than this extraordinary American writer, though not of course without aid: medicine, not any wishful or literary thinking about illness (TB, remember, was once considered a romantic disease), is what her celebrated 1973 essay, Illness as Metaphor, advocates." National Post (Canada) 03/18/00

  • FROM BEHIND THE FAMOUS FATWA: S alman Rushdie is still officially under a death threat. But, "his conduct, however, suggests that he's trying to play two sides of the most famous death threat in the history of English letters. On the one hand, the literary apparatus that built Rushdie's fame does not hesitate to stage rock-star events at which audiences are all but frisked before hearing the endangered master read. On the other, the man himself is finding that it's tough to bask in the limelight from behind a scrum of bodyguards." Feed 03/17/00

  • CITIZEN BLUMENTHAL: W. Michael Blumenthal, curator of Berlin’s Jewish Museum and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, will be made an honorary citizen of Oranienburg, the small German town where he was born. Blumenthal, whose family fled to the U.S. in 1939, became an American citizen in 1952. Oranienburg's mayor said the aim of the honor was “to show there was no place for anti-Semitism there.” Die Welt 03/16/00  

  • LOVE UNDER THE FATWA: Author Salman Rushdie has found a reason to stop hiding from the death warrant that was issued against him ten years ago: love. Rushdie, who is still married, has a new 29 year-old girlfriend with whom he has been publicly cavorting. He has also reportedly started working out and had cosmetic surgery performed on his “drooping eyelids.” The Sydney Morning Herald 03/16/00  

  • TO BE HELD AGAINST HER? "For two years, Nina Kotova was a hired clothes horse, pictured in Cosmopolitan and Glamour. A musician by training and vocation, she strutted the fashion shoots until she had enough money to buy a decent cello. Then she returned to the serenity of music where, by the perverse logic of modern times, she is being marketed as the gorgeous ex-model who plays the cello." She's good - but will the real critics listen beyond the hype? London Telegraph 03/15/00

  • MAD MONK RETURNS: Eighty years after it disappeared, a 500-page dossier on Rasputin comes to light. It would seem to confirm that the semi-literate peasant prophet did have an affair with the Czarina Alexandra. The papers have cast new light on the myths, sexual conquests and power of the legendary figure in the Romanov court. National Post (Canada) 03/15/00

  • RETURN TO SENDER: If Ronald Lauder has his way, he will be responsible for the return of thousands of works of art to the heirs of Holocaust victims from whom they were seized. Yet in the two years since he formed his Commission of Art Recovery to achieve this, Lauder’s crusade has been mired in conflict. The Art Newspaper 03/11/00

  • AT WIT'S END: Margaret Edson won a Pulitzer for her first play "Wit." But while the enormous attention the play has received is gratifying, she says, she has no plans to write another. Philadelphia Inquirer 03/13/00

  • FOOTBALL FAN AND ROLLERCOASTER FANATIC: Dmitri Shostakovich was both of these. But a new book adds gasoline to the controversy of whether the Soviet composer was a government stooge or brave artist. The Observer 03/12/00

  • A LIBERALIZING EFFECT: Britain's Poet Laureate Andrew Motion reflects on the power of poetry. Just because he's the government poet doesn't mean he has to be a stooge. The Guardian 03/12/00

  • THE NEXT SHARK: Dealer Jay Jopling helped bring the world Damien Hirst's pickled shark, as well as a generation of British artists. Now he's got new plans for an aesthetic revolution. London Telegraph 03/11/00

  • COULTHARD DIES: Canadian composer Jean Coulthard, one of Canada's first composers to achieve widespread recognition, has died at the age of 92. CBC 03/10/00

  • HUGHES PLEADS NOT GUILTY: Time Magazine art critic Robert Hughes pleads not guilty to reckless driving in Australia. Charges against him came out of a head-on accident on a remote road. He was trapped inside his rented car for three hours and then spent 12 hours on the operating table. "I believe that I am innocent. That I am in no way criminally culpable and naturally I hope that I will be fully acquitted," Mr Hughes said. The Age (Melbourne) 03/09/00

  • A CHILD BEING TOLD SHE'S GOING TO FAIL: Midori was the classic prodigy, with a brilliant career. "The press constantly talked about how prodigies never succeed when they grow up. Imagine a child being told she's going to fail. It was pretty terrible," she says. After a crisis in her early 20s, she set up a foundation to help kids. Now 28, the violinist is about to graduate from NYU with a degree in psychology and gender studies. Toronto Globe and Mail 03/08

  • ALL IT TAKES IS BELIEVING: In a public school system that teachers routinely flee because of low pay and other concerns, one music teacher has outlasted seven principals and myriad budget cutbacks - even splitting her days between two schools during one three-year stretch. During that time, she's fashioned one of Washington DC's most successful elementary school music programs, one that sends students to perform at sporting events (including Capitals and Wizards games), sells out a local church at its annual musical (this year's offering: "Brigadoon") and lures professionals to join their performances (most recently, folk singer Tom Paxton). Oh yes, and the kids won a Grammy, too. Washington Post 03/06/00

  • FILMMAKER LENI RIEFENSTAHL, 97, has been injured in a helicopter crash in the Sudan while making a film of her life. CBC 03/02/00

  • BRITISH SECRET SERVICE tried to prevent Paul Robeson from entering the UK, new papers show. "The star, who died aged 77 in 1976, was regarded as a 'nuisance' by MI5 because of his outspoken left-wing views and support for black civil rights." BBC 03/03/00