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PEOPLE - June 2002

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Sunday June 30

ROSEMARY CLOONEY, 74: "Rosemary Clooney, whose warm, radiant voice placed her in the first rank of American popular singers for more than half a century, died last night at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 74. The cause was complications from lung cancer." The New York Times 06/30/02

MORE CONTROVERSY FOR WEST: Cornel West has built a career out of being simultaneously brilliant and confrontational. He has cut a rap album, published a seminal work on race in America, and feuded publicly with the president of Harvard University. He is also one of America's most respected acadmics. So when he was invited to participate in a conference on the philosopher Sidney Hook, it came as something of a surprise to organizers when a boycott of the conference was suddenly arranged by several conservative academics. The New York Times 06/29/02

NOBODY LIKES A KNOW-IT-ALL: The winner of this year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs is the definition of an overachiever. He's a professor at MIT, a yo-yo champ, the creator of the first digital library, and, according to a colleague, "the last person to know everything." One of the Van Cliburn judges probably summed him up best: "People like that are so annoying." Boston Globe 06/30/02

WHAT, NO MILITARY TRIBUNAL? British actor Steven Berkoff may not exactly be Ben Affleck on the International Fame chart, but he has several high-profile film roles to his credit, and is well regarded in the acting world. So imagine his surprise when, upon arriving in Michigan to speak at a festival, he was grilled by a low-level immigration official who promptly packed him back off to the UK. The reason: Berkoff overstayed his last US travel visa, in 1997, by one day. BBC 06/28/02

Wednesday June 26

WORST-KEPT SECRET: Less than two months after skipping out on his Metropolitan Opera finale, Luciano Pavarotti has announced his retirement from the stage. Speaking with CNN's Connie Chung, Pavarotti struck back at critics who suggested that illness was not the reason for his Met cancellation, and set an end date, (his 70th birthday in 2005,) for his long career as the world's most famous tenor. CNN 06/25/02

JAFFE'S LAST CURTAIN CALL: 40 may not be particularly old in most professions, but for a ballerina, it is a ripe old age, and one at which most dancers have already hung up their toe shoes. So it was for Susan Jaffe at the American Ballet Theater this week, as the company favorite took her final bows in a well-received performance at the Met. "The 25-minute ovation at the end left Ms. Jaffe, a heap of flowers at her feet, mouthing 'I love you' to the audience." The New York Times 06/26/02

Tuesday June 25

THE PATH MOST LONELY: Chicago composer Ralph Shapey, who died last week at the age of 81, was a loner. "Someday when I'm dead and buried, some musicologist will start comparing my music with that of other composers of my generation. He will say, `Shapey was ahead of everybody - Carter, Babbitt, all the rest. They are nothing but imitations of what he did all along.' I wish I could come back to hear that, I really do." Chicago Tribune 06/25/02

Monday June 24

REMEMBERING J. CARTER BROWN: "Brown epitomised the American impresario art museum director. He was the first to hold a masters degree in business administration. His diplomatic skills pulled foreign loans to Washington by the planeload. Ever the pitch-man for his institution, he urged benefactors to donate art “for the nation.” The pitch worked, and paintings by Cezanne, van Gogh, Picasso and Veronese flowed in." The Art Newspaper 06/21/02

BACK IN PUBLIC: Playwright Tom Stoppard is back in public. He's working at the National, and a rather thick new book about him has hit bookstores. "The fizzing cogency for which his plays are famed is hard won. He works long hours, shuns dinner parties because they conflict with his preferred working time, and has no concept of leisure, except that time devoted to his four sons (aged 27 to 36) and two grandchildren." London Evening Standard 06/21/02

Friday June 21

MADONNA'S STAR DEMANDS: Reviews of Madonna's acting performance in the West End were dismal. Still, the show has been selling out nightly, and the singer/actor has been demanding the full star treatment. "Among Madonna's demands was that her dressing room be decorated in pale shades and fitted with a walk-in power shower. She also insisted that her bouncers remain each side of the stage when she is performing. She asked for the stage to be raised by several feet and decreed that large areas of the auditorium be closed to staff during performances." So it's no surprise that the theatre's manager has just quit. London Evening Standard 06/21/02

Wednesday June 19

J. CARTER BROWN, 67: For 23 years Brown was director of the National Gallery in Washington DC, where he greatly expanded the museum's collections and oversaw the IM Pei addition. He was founder of the Ovation TV arts channel, and director of the Atlanta Olympics arts festival, as well as chairman of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. The New York Times 06/19/02

  • THE POPULIST PATRICIAN: J. Carter Brown held one of the most powerful artistic posts in the nation, and yet his legacy is one of making art accessible to everyone. "Brown, an unashamed elitist, was also an inclusionist. He was a patrician multiculturist. To a museum that had only shown (and still only collects) objects from the West, he brought African art and Indian art, South Pacific carving, Noh robes from Japan, scimitars from Turkey, Costa Rican gold." Washington Post 06/19/02

Tuesday June 18

RALPH SHAPEY, 81: Ralph Shapey, who died last weekend at the age of 81, was "perhaps America's most relentlessly self-challenging composer, his catalogue having roughly 200 pieces for a huge range of ensembles. He also cared a great deal if people listened. In 1969, he went on strike as a composer, refusing to allow performances of his works until conditions for modern music improved. At one point, he even threatened to burn it all, which was possible since none of his music had been published and was all in manuscript." The Guardian (UK) 06/17/02

Monday June 17

WHAT'S THE VISION? Rem Koolhaas "may be our greatest contemporary architect, but the nature and volume of his production indicate that he wants to be more than that. He plays the game of cultural critic and theorist, visionary, urbanist, and shaper of cities for the globalized, digitized, commercialized world of the twenty-first century. If we don't begin thinking critically about what he's doing, how our cities look and function might greatly reflect his influence - and what we get might not be what we want." American Prospect 06/17/02

Wednesday June 12

DEALER SENTENCED FOR ART SALES: New York art dealer Frederick Schultz has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for trying to sell stolen Egyptian artifacts. "The stiff sentence, coming after Mr. Schultz's conviction on Feb. 12, is seen as a sign of the federal government's determination to crack down on the trade in ancient objects that have been illegally taken out of their countries of origin." The New York Times 06/12/02

Tuesday June 11

HARVARD MUSEUM CHIEF TO COURTAULD: James Cuno, the director of the Harvard University Art Museums since 1991, has been named director of the University of London's Courtauld Institute of Art. The appointment is seen as a sideways move for the highly-regarded Cuno, who is also president of the Association of Art Museum Directors in the US. His departure from Harvard is "the latest in a number of high-profile departures from the university since the arrival last year of president Lawrence H. Summers." Boston Globe 06/11/02

Monday June 10

PAUL GOTTLIEB, 67: "In his 20 years as publisher and editor in chief of the country's most notable publisher of art books he exercised vast influence, not merely on how such books are published but also on how art is presented and promoted at museums around the world. Gottlieb knew just about everybody connected in one way or another to publishing and art." Washington Post 06/10/02

Friday June 7

RATTLE IN CALIFORNIA: Star conductor Simon Rattle hasn't performed in the Bay Area since 1988. But it turns out the new Berlin Philharmonic chief is a regular visitor - his kids live there. Tonight he performs as a pianist with his son. In a rare American interview he tells Joshua Kosman that he never really considered leading an American orchestra. "I know that with any American orchestra, I would've had to spend a lot of my time fighting for existence, reminding people why we had to be there and taking much more of an educational role than I wanted to take on at this time in my life." San Francisco Chronicle 06/07/02

HOW LEW WASSERMAN RUINED THE MOVIES: He was mourned as a legend this week. But "missing from all the gushy epitaphs is an example of a single great picture that got made because of Wasserman's vision. "If the only movies playing at your local cineplex are Spider-Man and the new Star Wars epic, Wasserman deserves much of the blame. Even during the drug-induced brilliance of 1970s Hollywood, Wasserman's taste at Universal was always conservative, middle-aged, and middlebrow: no Coppolas, no Altmans, no Scorseses." Slate 06/06/02

  • OKAY, SO THE MOVIES WEREN'T ANY GOOD: "Wasserman, who died Monday from the effects of a stroke, was a major figure in the history of Los Angeles, a key figure in the history of American Jews, a critical figure in the history of American politics, even an important transitional figure in the history of capitalism itself. And, yeah - he changed movies too, not entirely for the better." LAWeekly 06/06/02

Thursday June 6

NOT VERY COMMITTED: "Edo de Waart, the mercurial chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, will not be returning to Sydney this year to fulfil his obligations with the orchestra, opting, instead, to stay at home in the Netherlands for the birth of his child." de Waart has ditched other SSO concerts this year, and has complained about the hardship of commuting to Australia from Europe. He has 18 months left on his contract. Sydney Morning Herald 06/06/02

Tuesday June 4

STRITCH SOUNDS OFF: Producers of Sunday night's Tony Awards were generally ruthless about pushing winners to keep their speeches short. Most wrapped up the talking as soon as they heard the music nudge them when their two minutes were up. One who didn't, and was caught mid-sentence was Elaine Stritch. "The 76-year-old Broadway star was thanking her producers when the orchestra started playing over her speech...'Please, don't do this to me'," she pleaded as the telecast cut to commercial. "Backstage, Stritch, crying and shaking with anger, said, 'I am very, very upset. I know CBS can't let people do the Gettysburg Address at the Tonys, but they should have given me my time'." New York Post 06/03/02

Sunday June 2

ALBEE LIVES: Edward Albee is riding a crest of popularity. His work is being widely produced, and he's up for a Tony Award for Best Play. "Not bad for a species of writer thought not too long ago to be extinct." It wasn't always so. "Until Three Tall Women, he says, none of his plays ever received better than 50 percent good reviews, not even Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ' I've always been aware of the difference between critical evaluation and value. You learn this. But there are some writers who say, `Oh my God, unless I am loved, unless I am praised, I am nothing.' That was never particularly of any importance to me'." Hartford Courant 06/02/02

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD: Forty years after his first professional gig, Frank Sinatra Jr. is still on the road singing. Singing in the shadow of his famous dad has certainly been an impediment to his career, but he's still out there trying to keep the 'era's music alive. "We're losing this music. We lost Miss Peggy Lee two months ago. Between Keely Smith, Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett, that's just about all that's left. A whole era is passing." Chicago Sun-Times 06/02/02