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PEOPLE - August 2001

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Thursday August 30

FRANK EMILIO FLYNN, 80: Blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn has died in his home town of Havana. With the Symphonic Orchestra of Havana, he performed music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven which had been transcribed into Braille. He was best known, however, as a pioneer of Latin jazz. Nando Times (AP) 08/29/01

Tuesday August 28

BASICALLY BARENBOIM: Conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim has had a controversial year. Prodigiously busy musically, he's also been embroiled in spats from Berlin to Israel. Though critics increasingly pick holes in his musical interpretations, "he remains one of the most discussed musicians of our age not least because, among his Protean gifts, is a talent for stirring up controversy that borders on genius. That is evident from the battles he has fought over the past few months." The Times (UK) 08/28/01

SCHNABEL, 92: Legendary piano teacher Karl Ulrich Schnabel died Monday in Connecticut at the age of 92. "Schnabel taught master classes in Europe, Asia and in North and South America. He began teaching at age 13, preparing students who wanted to study with his father." Nando Times (AP) 08/28/01

Monday August 27

DECIDING ARCHER'S ART: Playwright and British MP Lord Archer is in jail for perjury, and he's facing big claims on his fortune. Does this mean he'll lose his art collection, reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds? The Art Newspaper 08/24/01

Friday August 24

BERKOFF IN THE DOCK: Playwright Steven Berkoff is considered a genius by some, a true original."This is the dramatist who recently declared that he should take over the National and fire all its existing staff. This is the dramatist who has caused stir after stir in the theatre, back in 1975 shocking Edinburgh by using the c-word 29 times in the course of a 90-second speech. Now Berkoff faces a damages claim for 500,000 from a woman, who cannot be named, alleging that she was raped, assaulted and racially abused by him." The Times (UK) 08/24/01

  • BERKOFF DEFENDS: Berkoff says the law should be changed so that men like him couldn't ne charged with rape. "It's the most terrible thing that's ever happened to me, but it will be resolved. It's ironic that it should happen now when everyone is finally beginning to see that I am sensitive." The Guardian (UK) 08/24/01

Thursday August 23

ARTS CZAR STEPS DOWN: Evan Williams, Sydney's de facto arts Czar, is retiring. "Williams was the boss of the bosses of the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Museum, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (the Powerhouse), the NSW State Library, the Historic Houses Trust, the Sydney Opera House, the State Records of NSW, and the NSW Film and Television Office." Sydney Morning Herald 08/23/01

Wednesday August 22

CLEVELAND CURATOR LEAVES: Diane De Grazia is leaving the job of chief curator of the Cleveland Museum of Art. "An expert on 17th-century European paintings and drawings, De Grazia came to Cleveland from the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 08/22/01

WHEN THEY REALLY REALLY DON'T WANT YOU: Last week the Scottish Ballet informed Robert North it wouldn't be renewing his contract as artistic director. Now North has been told by the Scottish government he has to leave the country within eight days or he'll be thrown in prison... Glasgow Herald 08/22/01

Tuesday August 21

IT'S A MONEY THING: Why did David Ross leave as director of San Francisco's SFMOMA? It was money. Ross saw some opportunities for himself to make some money. The museum's board thought Ross's being the head of a website that sells art was a conflict. And, as the economic downturn was affecting the museum, Ross was thought not to be the person to get the museum through it. "David is an entrepreneur - he comes up with 15 ideas an hour - and it's hard for nonprofits to deal with that. Now he has come to a point where there is an opportunity to go to a for-profit and benefit financially from his ideas. We understand. When you tell someone like David to stop, you destroy him." San Francisco Chronicle 08/21/01

Monday August 20

THE GREAT ART SCAMMER: Michel Cohen was such a successful player in the art markets that he could borrow $100 million to buy paintings, with few questions asked. But he also couldn't resist trying to double his money in the stock market, and when the market crashed, he vanished with a lot of other people's money. National Post (Telegraph) (Canada) 08/20/01

Friday August 17

NEW RODGERS BIO SAYS: Outwardly, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, who died in 1979 at 77, seemed to have led a charmed life. But he was an alcoholic, and "the drinking increased throughout his life - playwright Moss Hart once saw him down 16 scotch and sodas in one sitting - and in 1957, he was hospitalized for depression and alcoholism at Payne Whitney, which the novelist Jean Stafford called a 'high-class booby hatch'." New York Post 08/17/01

Wednesday August 15

ACCIDENTAL CAREER: Christopher Wheeldon is the hottest young choreographer around right now. Not long ago the 28-year-old British-born dancer was a star with New York City Ballet. How he got there, though, started with an ankle injury. The Guardian (UK) 08/15/01

Tuesday August 14

TALL AND TAN AND SUED: The Girl from Ipanema (she of the song's inspiration) is now 57, and she owns a boutique called Girl from Ipanema in Sao Paulo, where she now lives. The families of the men who wrote the song - claiming copyright - are suing to stop her from using the name on the store. National Post (Canada) 08/14/01

Monday August 13

REMEMBERING JOHN GIELGUD: "Now that Gielgud, who seemed immortal, nevertheless died in 2000 at the age of 96, a century of Anglophone theater seems to have gone with him. Partly because theater has changed, the dashing romantic leading man la Olivier and the sensitive, musical-voiced protagonist la Gielgud are seldom called for nowadays, even in Shakespeare." The New York Times 08/12/01 (one-time resistration required for access)

WHAT WRECKED BRANDO: Marlon Brando was poised to be one of the great actors of the 20th Century. But his contempt for his profession and the way Hollywood was set up to accomodate him made for the unraveling of his career. The New Republic 08/13/01

Sunday August 12

MENOTTI AT 90: Gian-Carlo Menotti is turning 90. "So much fuss. All of a sudden I'm famous not because I write good music but because I'm old and still here. My advice to composers is, try to reach 90, and everyone will love you." But though he is beloved in Italy and still has some champions, elsewhere his music has been passed by. The New York Times 08/12/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Friday August 10

LIFE AFTER VIRGINIA: What was Leonard Woolf's influence and contribution to Virginia Woolf's work? A set of letters, written by Leonard after his wife's suicide to a woman he had a prolonged afair with, shed some light on Virginia's creative life. Irish Times 08/10/01

Thursday August 9

ONLY TWO MORE YEARS OF MISHA? Mikhail Baryshnikov is 53 and still dancing. "He has had six operations to one of his knees. Some mornings he is so stiff that he has to crawl to the bathroom and get under a hot shower before he can move easily. He is convinced he will die at 60. He says, 'All my relatives died very young. I really believe in genetics. I hope I am wrong. I will go when I am 55, when I am 60. I am prepared: at least I can speak about it. . '." The Telegraph (UK) 08/09/01

Wednesday August 8

POETRY CON: Ravi Desai pledged millions of dollars for poetry programs at major American universities. But after fanfare over the gifts died down, Desai failed to come through with the money. "Most business cons are for riches. This was a con whose payoff was to rub shoulders with poets. What did he gain, except for an engraved ax?" Poets & Writers 08/01/01

JORGE AMADO, 88: Jorge Amado was Brazil's most popular and most successful novelist; his 32 books have sold millions of copies in more than 40 languages. Perhaps his best known - at home and abroad - was Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, which sold two million copies in Brazil alone. Amado had been in ill health for several years. The New York Times 08/07/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Tuesday August 7

BIG BUCKS, BIG THANKS (EXPECTED): Alberto Vilar has given more than $200 million to the cause of opera. "The magnitude of his giving would guarantee his fame; the conditions often attached to those gifts, however, have given him a quirky notoriety. Vilar persuaded the Met to give the names of major underwriters greater prominence in its programs; this took some effort." Opera News 08/01

TAKING IT PERSONALLY: Wall Street Journal Pulitzer Prize-winning opera critic Manuela Hoelterhoff is every bit as outspoken in her personal life as she is in her reviews. Now she's in court defending herself from a lawsuit brought by one of her most powerful New York suburban neighbors. Seems she made a cutting remark about part of his anatomy and he took it personally... New York Magazine 08/07/01

HARMONICA MASTER DIES: "Highly-acclaimed musician Larry Adler, widely acknowledged as the world's greatest harmonica player, has died at the age of 87." BBC 08/07/01

COULD SOMEONE FETCH MR. CLINTON $10 MIL? "Former President Clinton has agreed to write his memoirs for Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher announced Monday, in a deal expected to involve one of the biggest advances ever for a nonfiction book. The book is expected to be out in 2003." Ottawa Citizen (AP) 08/06/01

Monday August 6

WHOLE LOTTA CONTEMPT GOIN ON: Writer Arunhati Roy has been protesting a court decision in India not to stop work on construction of a dam. The court charged her with contempt of court for her characterization of the decision. And now the court is deciding whether her response to the contempt charges is further contempt. The Times of India 08/04/01

READING IS BELIEVING: Victor Hugo is widely considered to be the greatest French poet of the 19th century by scholars and lay readers alike. But aside from repeated viewings of the musical version of Les Miserables, most English speakers have never had much of a chance to judge Hugo's work for themselves, most of his work having never been well-translated. A new collection aims to change all that. The Weekly Standard 08/06/01

LETTERS SPECULATE ON PLATH'S DEATH: "A set of unpublished letters written by the late former poet laureate Ted Hughes - including one blaming anti-depressants for Sylvia Plath's suicide - have been acquired by the British Library. The collection of over 140 letters and other documents were written to literary critic, biographer and friend of Hughes, Keith Sagar, over a period of nearly 30 years." BBC 08/06/01

Sunday August 5

ADAMS EXHIBIT OPENS IN SF: "The first comprehensive exhibition of Ansel Adams' work since his death in 1984 reinforces his status as America's foremost nature photographer and secures a place for his work on museum walls." Detroit News (AP) 08/05/01

  • WHAT IF ADAMS HAD GONE DIGITAL? With the advent of digital technology, the art of photography is likely to change forever. Many famous photographers of the pre-digital era would likely have had little use for the new technology, but Ansel Adams, who was so eager to control every aspect of his work, would likely have embraced the form. San Francisco Chronicle 08/05/01

CAPTURING A SOLDIER'S GROWTH: Photographer Rineke Dijkstra has always been fascinated by the changes people go through as their lives progress, and her photos reflect the uncertainties of such change: "frankly expressive, roughly life-size, head-on views of people at points of change in their lives or moments when they are vulnerable or not quite composed before the camera." Her newest project finds her following a new recruit to the French Foreign Legion. Arizona Republic (NYT News Service) 08/05/01

Thursday August 2

EINAR SCHLEEF, 57: German actor, author, and director Einar Schleef has died in Berlin. "Schleef worked in the mid-1970s at East Berlin's Berliner Ensemble, founded by Bertolt Brecht. In 1976, in the face of resistance to his work from the communist authorities, he left for the west. After Germany was reunited, he returned to the Berliner Ensemble." Nando Times (AP) 08/01/01

Wednesday August 1

JAZZ KING: Jazz at Lincoln Center has named Bruce MacCombie, dean of the School for the Arts at Boston University, as its new executive director. He's a composer and former dean of Juilliard, and he replaces Rob Gibson, who was removed from the job in February in part because of his "divisive" management style. The New York Times 08/01/01 (one-time registration required for access)

ART DONATIONS: Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who died last week, left much of her art collection to Washington's Freer Gallery and the National Gallery of Art. The National gets "a cubist still life by Diego Rivera; it will be the second Rivera painting in the gallery's collection." Washington Post 07/28/01