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PEOPLE - April 2001

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Sunday April 29

SILENT GENERATION: The United Nations has appointed French mime Marcel Marceaux as an international ambassador "promoting the needs of older people in society" Euronews 04/28/01

Friday April 27

(NEW) LIFE BEGINS AT 90? Composer Elliott Carter is still going strong at the age of 92. "Even now Carter's stature is more thoroughly appreciated in Europe than it is in his native US, where he has always been regarded with some suspicion. His music has always demanded concentration and never provided easy, ephemeral rewards." The Guardian (UK) 04/27/01

MISSING TRIO: The classical music world has lost three important figures in the past few weeks - conductors Giuseppe Sinopoli and Peter Maag, and educator/composer Robert Starer. Boston Globe 04/27/01

Friday April 20

SINOPOLI DIES: Italian conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli died after suffering a heart attack and collapsing on stage during a performance of Verdi's "Aida" at Berlin's prestigious Deutsche Oper opera house. He was 54. USAToday (AP) 04/21/01

MUSEUM DIRECTOR COMMITS SUICIDE: The director of museums in Merseyside, England, knighted by the Queen last year for his service, filled his pockets with sand and drowned himself. “He was desperately overworked. He was worried that he was not in control of everything that he should have been.” The Times (London) 04/21/01

RIGHTS TO PASTERNAK ARCHIVES SETTLED: "The court dismissed an appeal by the family of Olga Ivinskaya, on whom Pasternak based the character of Lara in his novel Doctor Zhivago, leaving his daughter-in- law, Natalya Pasternak, as sole inheritor of his manuscripts and notes." The New York Times 04/21/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Thursday April 19

SMALL POND, VERY BIG FISH: "When announcers call his name, audiences erupt into loud whoops. One poet has designed a Jack McCarthy Fan Club button, and another made a stamp with a quote from one of McCarthy's poems. In last year's Boston Poetry Awards, he was voted ''Boston's Best Love Poet.'' In the poetry world, he's a rock star." Boston Globe 04/19/01

GETTING TO KNOW A LEGEND: One of the most successful playwrights, songwriters, and directors in American theatre history, Abe Burrows, is getting a fresh look from theatre aficionados. Burrows's personal papers, notes, and correspondence have been donated to the New York Public Library by his son, TV producer James Burrows. The New York Times 04/19/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Wednesday April 18

WORDS AND MUSIC BY ORRIN HATCH: The Republican Senator from Utah is a song-writer himself, so he's sympathetic to artists in their battles with record distributors. And he's not just any senator. "As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Hatch has more sway than any other Washington legislator over the future of online music in a post-Napster world." The New York Times 04/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)

MILES DAVIS, SOMEWHAT DIMINISHED: Miles Davis was once "the coolest black musician on the planet." Then along came Jimi Hendrix. And jazz-rock fusion. "At the end of his life, he was playing tunes by Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson, which was either a triumph of anti-snobbery or the effect of looking at the Billboard charts for too long." The New Statesman 04/16/01

AT LAST, A PULITZER FOR CORIGLIANO: Every year John Corigliano worked up a nice level of rage in April, assuming he would be passed over again for the Pulitzer Prize. This year, they surprised him and gave him the award. What makes the Pulitzer special? "In concert music, it is the highest honor a composer can get." (RealAudio interview, requires free RealAudio player.) NPR 04/17/01

Monday April 16

TOP TENOR: "In a world short of big tenor voices, Cura has become the first choice of any major opera house trying to cast Otello, Manon Lescaut, Il trovatore, indeed almost any 19th-century Italian opera. In the seven years since he won Placido Domingo's Operalia competition, he has gone from being an unknown to an operatic superstar whose name sells CDs, whose face provokes the sighs of a devoted fan club, whose voice fills stadiums." The Telegraph (London) 04/16/01

Sunday April 15

WHY I WON'T BE INTERVIEWING DAVE EGGERS: The author has a distrust of journalists - he prefers only to be interviewed by e-mail. "Eggers, I fear, wants a new world, one without a filter between him and his readers. Perhaps because of his Internet experience, he's comfortable only with that relationship." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 04/15/01

Friday April 13

HARRY SECOMBE DIES AT 79: Sir Harry - he was knighted in 1981 - was a staple of British entertainment for more than half a century. His Goon Show, with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, pioneered the manic-surreal comedy picked up by Monty Python, the Firesign Theater, and Beyond the Fringe. BBC 04/12/01

Thursday April 12

MARIA GAETANA MATISSE HAS DIED at age 58 in New York. Widow of Henri Matisse’s son Pierre, she was a longtime New York gallery owner and influential modern art patron. New Jersey Online (AP) 4/11/01

Wednesday April 11

HIPSTER LAUREATE:  Once the essence of the counterculture, the Beat movement is now a legitimate part of American literature. This doesn't stop eighty-two year old poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti from being as hip and edgy as ever. "Poetry is a sofa full of blind singers who have put aside their canes. Poetry is a picture of Ma in her Woolworth bra looking out a window into a secret garden." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 04/10/01

Monday April 9

ARTHUR CANTOR DIES AT 81: Legendary Broadway producer brought some 50 plays to the stages of Broadway and the West End. New York Post 04/09/01

Friday April 6

CONDUCTING WITH A SHARP WIT: The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham died 40 years ago. He was a seminal figure in British music, but remembered now more for his sharp wit. The British," he claimed, "may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes". The Guardian (London) 04/06/01

Thursday April 5

DEATH OF A SALESMAN: Not so very long ago, America's top orchestral musicians were paid on a scale little better than waiters, and their working hours were determined solely by the men standing on the podium. It took many a devoted advocate to sell the industry on the desirability and prudence of paying and treating musicians as the highly-trained artists they are. One such advocate died on Saturday. Philip Sipser was 82. The New York Times 04/05/01 (one-times registration required)

TWO GUYS WHO DIDN'T GET ALONG: Letters between the director of Australia's National Gallery and his star curatorial recruit reveal friction from the moment the latter arrived last year. "The 'Dear John' letters reveal that the honeymoon between the two men was short. Even before John McDonald took up his $90,000 a year position," the museum's director chastised him for his outspokenness. Sydney Morning Herald 04/05/01

Wednesday April 4

ROBESON REDUX: The son of famed opera star and blacklisted activist Paul Robeson has penned a new biography of his father, and the first reviews are in. The younger Robeson had originally commissioned an official biography more than a decade ago, but he was furious at the result, and withdrew his support for its publication as an "authorized" biography. Boston Globe 04/04/01

FINALLY, SOME RESPECT: Female composers have been making great strides in the classical music world in the last decade. Case in point: New Jersey's Melinda Wagner, who has watched her Pulitzer Prize-winning flute concerto take on a life of its own, even as she moves on to her next high-profile commission. Philadelphia Inquirer 04/03/01

Monday April 2

(P)OPERA STAR: "Because Charlotte Church is both MTV and PBS, she has found herself at the center of a debate that's heating up in the classical music world: Is she the industry's savior or its worst nightmare? Will her huge sales finance all the serious musicians whose low profiles challenge the patience of the recording industry? Or will her concessions to popular taste degrade the standards of an entire genre?" New York Times Magazine 04/01/01 (one-time registration required for access)

  • SELECTIVE MEMORY: Singer Charlotte Church is still a teenager, but she's putting out an autobiography. Make that a selective autobiography. All mentions of Jonathan Shalit, the agent/promoter who discovered and built her career have been expunged. Last year Shalit and Church split under unpleasant circumstances. BBC 04/02/01

DEATH OF MODERN JAZZ: John Lewis, founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet, died at the age of 80. Washington Post 04/02/01

Sunday April 1

PASSION TO GIVE: Alberto Vilar has become the biggest arts donor in the world. "I am the archangel. If I can influence the direction of philanthropy, I would be very, very happy. And in the same process, I get the freebie - I keep the arts alive." Washington Post 04/01/01

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Why are we so fascinated with biographies? It's become a huge genre. lists 32,000 English-language biographies, A&E's Biography is one of the channel's biggest hits, and there's even a magazine devoted to biographies. Is it just our obsession with celebrities? The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 03/31/01

GARTH RETURNS: Producer Garth Drabinsky is up and working again with an array of new projects. The Toronto showman, who had built the "largest live theatre production company in North America", saw his empire crash around him in 1998. Now he's well on the comeback trail. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 03/31/01