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PEOPLE - June 2000

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Tuesday June 27

  • TALES FROM THE ART CRYPT: Richard Feigen is one of the foremost dealers in Old Master paintings - and a famously difficult personality. His new book illuminates some of the more shadowy corners of the art world. "There is, for example, a scathing account of the shenanigans several years ago at the Barnes Foundation, the fabled museum outside Philadelphia, when trustees attempted to sell off holdings in violation of its founder's will - an attempt Feigen all but single-handedly scotched. Or there's his comparing the exhibitions policy at New York's Metropolitan Museum, with its 'random mixture of box-office frivolity with serious art,' to 'a nice girl of good family who just once in a while goes out and turns tricks for some pocket change.' " Boston Globe 06/27/00

  • EPIC, PART II: By the time he died in 1992, author Alex Haley had amassed boxes of research for another novel in the tradition of his "Roots" epic. His estate went searching for a writer to take over the project, and came up with a novelist who writes in the supernatural suspense genre and is a former Miami Herald feature writer. Chicago Tribune 06/27/00

Monday June 26

  • STILL MOZART TO DISCOVER: At the age of 69, after a full career, Alfred Brendel could certainly afford to ease up a bit. But he's just discovered Mozart. "He still plays around 90 concerts a year - 90 repetitions of the experience he once described as 'the sudden burst of sweat in a spasm of anxiety'. Last year saw him performing in 53 towns and cities from Tokyo to Minnesota, from New York to Plush, Dorset." The Guardian 06/26/00

  • RICHARD SERRA on art, museums and life: "I think basically I'm not interested in people following my work or making work like my work. But what does interest me is the notion that if you do a lot of work it means there's a potential for other people to understand that a lot of things are possible with a sustained effort and that the broadening of experiences is possible and I think that's all art can be." Coagula 06/00

Sunday June 25

  • MORE OF BLAKEMORE: After a long time in the trenches, director Michael Blakemore scored big with a double Tony win a few weeks ago. Now come the opportunities. "I've turned down other offers in order to make the most of this while I can," he says. "At my age, it would be stupid not to." The Telegraph (London) 06/24/00

  • LEAVING ON A HIGH NOTE: Lofti Mansouri prepares to retire from the helm of San Francisco Opera after next season, and the tributes have already begun. Los Angeles Times 06/25/00

Friday June 23

  • RUSSELL CROWE AND A SIDE OF RIBS: Women from all around the world are in a bidding frenzy, hoping to get their hands on the much-coveted tickets to see Australian actor Russell Crowe's band "Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts." The concert will be held at Stubbs BBQ restaurant in Austin, Texas - tickets are presently going for around $200 on internet auctions. The Age 06/23/00

  • ALAN HOVANESS dies at age 89 in Seattle. The prolific American composer "embraced melody in an atonal age and drew heavily on music of the East." New York Times 06/23/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 

Tuesday June 20

  • ACTRESS NANCY MARCHAND DIES in Stratford, Connecticut at age 71. Broadway veteran and four-time Emmy Award winner for her role on “Lou Grant,” Marchand was famous most recently as Livia Soprano on “The Sopranos.” New York Times 06/19/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • THE LINE KING: Al Hirschfeld turns 97 on Wednesday, and he’s still going strong, regularly caricaturing the worlds of stage, dance, music, and film. “I’m enchanted with line, what makes it work, how it communicates recognition to the viewer,” roars the man they dubbed The Line King. “That sounds like a ridiculous, insane kind of thing to devote your life to, but that’s what I’ve done. I find it fascinating, and I’m closer to a definition of it than when I started.” MSNBC 06/19/00

  • RAGS TO RICHES: Scottish painter Jack Vettriano’s life story reads like Horatio Alger: a miner’s son, he only started painting at 21 and was rejected from art school repeatedly. But now he’s Britain’s most commercially popular artist, with original work selling for up to £40,000 and posters of his work outselling those of  Monet. London Telegraph 06/20/00

Monday June 19

  • GETTY DIRECTOR RESIGNS: John Walsh announced he will step down this fall after heading the J. Paul Getty Museum for 17 years, during which he broadened the Getty’s collections and oversaw the museum’s transition to its lavish new Brentwood home two years ago. Getty chief curator Deborah Gribbon will step into Walsh’s position in September. New Jersey Online (AP) 06/18/00

Sunday June 18

  • NINA BALLERINA: Nina Ananiashvili is taking the US by storm on the Bolshoi's current tour. After years of fighting for her artistic freedom, she's now trying to juggle her "insane" perfectionism with a busy international career. Los Angeles Times 06/18/00

Wednesday June 14

  • RECONSIDERING VON KARAJAN: Herbert von Karajan made and sold more records than any other conductor in history, he changed the way people listened to music, and changed the public's expectations of a concert. But he was also a problematic figure - autocratic and politically suspect. A new biography attempts to wade through a sea of charged conceptions about the man. Boston Globe 06/14/00

Monday June 12

  • REMEMBERING JACOB LAWRENCE: "His body of work tapped great social and philosophical themes, captured the economic and racial ruptures and shifts that have defined our culture and, amazingly enough, found beauty in struggle." Washington Post 06/12/00
  • PRINCES OF ART, PART I: Britain's Prince Charles and Saudi Prince Khalid Al-Faisal have joined up for a joint exhibition of their recent paintings in London. Thirty recent watercolours by Charles and 26 oil paintings by the Saudi Prince are going on show. London Evening Standard 06/11/00
    • PRINCE OF ART, PART II: Britain's Prince William will study art history in Edinburgh after taking a year off. London Evening Standard 06/11/00

Sunday June 11

  • LOSING FAITH: Jane Alexander began her term as head of the National Endowment for the Arts with optimism. Her new book shows that by the time she left the NEA, her "health, idealism and forbearance all suffered. She gripes about flying coach. She complains that the government won’t pay to move her back to New York. 'The system is so corrupt that it may never be fixed,' she concludes, sweepingly." Cleveland Plain Dealer 06/11/00

  • A COMPLICATED LIFE: Author Martin Amis at age 50 has gotten around to explaining his life in a new memoir. " 'Experience' is an astonishing memoir, and destined to be imitated by self-chroniclers looking to escape the confines of chronology." Cleveland Plain Dealer 06/11/00

  • PAINTER JACOB LAWRENCE dies in Seattle. He was 82. "Lawrence rose to fame in 1941 after creating one of the most original and forceful series of narrative works in the history of American art - the 'Migration of the Negro.' " Seattle Post-Intelligencer 06/10/00

  • SEGAL DIES: Pop artist George Segal dies in New Jersey at age 75. CBC 06/11/00

    • SEGAL: "He had a very sophisticated and deep understanding of people and expressed that through his sculpture." Newsweek 06/11/00

Friday June 9

  • KENT NAGANO named principal conductor of the Los Angeles Opera Company. Los Angeles Times 06/09/00

  • CHANGING CHIEFS: Chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada to take chief curator job at New York's Frick. CBC 06/09/00

Thursday June 8

  • MORE THAN JUST STRANGE: Pianist Glenn Gould was renowned both for his talent and for his eccentric performance habits, which included rocking back and forth, humming loudly, and conducting to himself during concerts. Now the director of the music division at Canada’s National Library says evidence shows Gould suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a kind of autism. “I went 'Bingo.' I'd suspected for a long time that this was more than just a weirdo.” Yahoo (Reuters) 06/07/00

  • THE FAMILY BUSINESS: Neeme Jaarvi and his sons Paavo and Kristjan are founding something of a family dynasty - all three Estonian conductors are now music directors of American orchestras. The Age (AP) 06/08/00

  • ANOTHER CELEBRITY WHO PAINTS: Joni Mitchell has gotten rich and famous as a pop singer. But even though music has paid the bills, she considers herself a painter.  "All through this," she relates in an exclusive interview, "I have always thought of myself as a painter derailed by circumstance." Now she has a show in Canada. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/08/00

  • THE ART OF ALOHA: The man who invented the "Aloha" shirt (way back in 1931) has died. "The Aloha shirt is the ultimate expression of delighted creativity. You can't help but feel good when you're wearing an Aloha shirt." Washington Post 06/08/00

  • THE DIPLOMAT MAGICIAN: Any sign that North Korea willing to open its doors and forsake its Stalinist, bomb-making ways? It seems there is one man who has appealed to their softer side: magician David Copperfield. Two North Korean diplomats recently journeyed to Las Vegas to catch one of his shows, and invited Copperfield to perform in Pyongyang. "The man of secrets and the men from a country of secrets got along well." The New Republic 06/12/00

Wednesday June 7

  • MAESTRO ON EDGE: Wolfgang Sawallisch may be on his way out as director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, but he's got a remarkable thing going in Philadelphia. "Although orchestra players traditionally complain about anyone who wields a baton, Sawallisch seems to inspire consistent affection from the orchestra, even amid observations that age has robbed his baton technique of some precision. But the mind behind the technique has gained precision." Philadelphia Inquirer 06/07/00

Tuesday June 6

  • MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR ARTS FUNDING: As do most ex-chairpeople of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Alexander has written a book about her experience running the American public arts funder. "From her coy pose on the cover, to the last desperate Shakespeare quotation, Jane Alexander has...produced a stunning argument for saving trees. This account of her tenure as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993 to 1997, unfortunately reads like a high school student's account of a summer abroad. The Idler 06/06/00

  • FREEZE FRAME: Eccentric Englishman Eadweard Muybridge discovered the photographic system that would revolutionize scientific understanding and the process for naturalist art. Was this dedicated craftsmen "a mad scientist, promoting his lab experiments as photographic art? Or was he an artistic opportunist, using science to gratify his flair for fantasy?" Civilization 06/00

  • "WE NEED YOU TO HELP SELL THE TICKETS:" Nina Simone sits for an interview and answers every question with a plea to help sell tickets. The tour) "hasn't been doing too good. We need you to help sell the tickets." Boston Herald 06/06/00

Sunday June 4

  • JOHN ADAMS RETURNS TO LONDON: John Adams has become one of America's most popular, widely performers and accomplished composers. "Outgrowing the hypnotic drone of minimalism, he has taken on the classical tradition and annexed its august forms. It's native bravado, not arrogance, which makes Adams measure himself against Verdi or compare his own dramaturgy with Shakespeare's. The Observer 06/04/00

  • MASUR'S LEGACY TO THE NEW YORK PHIL: There's been so much talk recently about who will be the New York Philharmonic's next music director, Kurt Masur, the NYP's current leader has been a bit forgotten. That's a mistake. The 72-year-old Mr. Masur, who has done so much to restore the orchestra to a lofty international standard of performance since taking it over in 1991, is to remain in place for two more seasons. New York Times 06/04/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • PLACIDO DOMINGO DAY: "The list of the tenor's accomplishments — as singer, conductor, opera Intendant (in Washington, D.C., and, starting this summer, in Los Angeles) and restaurateur — is unrivaled in today's opera world; and for a vocalist who, officially, turns 60 this year, his longevity is nothing less than astonishing." San Francisco Examiner 06/04/00

Friday June 2

  • CROSSING OVER: Kurt Weill is seen as a composer who lost his way in America, who sold his artistic birthright for the pottage of commercial success. But today Weill's embrace of popular music seems prophetic rather than opportunistic. When so much classical music aspires to the condition of pop, Weill - the first classical composer to reject high for low - seems a model of crossover. The Atlantic 06/00

  • MAKING HAY ON "ARTISTIC BANKRUPTCY": Lars Von Trier isn't a director, he's a Happening. Picking up the top prize at Cannes only inflamed his supporters and critics. For some, "Dancer in the Dark" confirmed the flamboyant 44-year-old Dane as a posturing charlatan. "The director's work is undoubtedly ambitious and original, and he has an ardent band of followers. But for many he remains as specious as the fake aristocratic Von he has attached to his name." The Telegraph (London) 06/02/00

Thursday June 1

  • ROMAN HOLIDAY: A look at Roman Polanski’s turbulent career and the morbid fascinations at the heart of his film work to date. “All are disturbing works which showcase his ability to invest the everyday with psychological terror, and the other way round.” London Times 06/01/00