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  • UK Theatres Becoming Important Venues For Standup Comedy

    “Regional theatres are playing an increasingly important role in hosting stand-up comics, with the number of comedy events in venues around the UK up 46% since 2009.”

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    Kennicott: How To Visit A Museum

    “After years of spending time in art museums, I’ve come to accept that I believe wildly contradictory and incompatible things about art. The usual cliché about this realization would be that by forcing us to confront contradiction, art makes us more human. But never trust anyone who says that last part: “art makes us more human.” That’s meaningless.”

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    Manuscript Of Important Mozart Sonata Found

    “The head of the Hungarian National Szechenyi Library’s music collection has stumbled across a rare discovery.
    As he looked through a folder of unidentified music scores, among the many copies and unremarkable scores he suddenly noticed a page that made his heart jump.”

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    What Does It Mean That We Seem To Want To Document Everything Now?

    “What if the omnipresence of cameras and the act of recording helps some people to be more firmly in the moment than if they weren’t documenting it? Maybe it isn’t so much about the result of that documentation – the arguably inflationary numbers of selfies, time-lapses and photos – but about the mere act of consciously documenting?”

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    Guggenheim Museum Plans Expansion

    “The expansion plan comes just over 60 years after the Guggenheim commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design its original space and more than a decade after it abandoned a scheme for a second, Frank Gehry-designed museum downtown.”

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    Netflix To Release Movie In Theatres And Online At Same Time (How Significant Is This?)

    “Certainly a high-profile movie that would go into theaters and online at the same time is noteworthy. But is it a game-changer –‎ something that, in success, will hint at and even hasten a very different future? Here are a number of questions that inform that answer.”

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    Where Are The Real Debates In The Arts?

    “I don’t see a lot of honest debate going on in our field – at least not public debate. Maybe it’s happening somewhere, but it isn’t highly visible and readily apparent to me. I wonder if that kind of challenging of assumptions and holding people accountable for their positions is going on out of the public window in our organizations – from funders to researchers to service groups to academia. I wonder if the kind of serious debate that is healthy for arriving at well thought out conclusions on which to base decision making is happening behind closed doors – because I don’t see it happening much in our public arenas.”

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    Gunther Schuller Talks About Composing

    “The thing about composing, nobody can tell — even Beethoven couldn’t tell until he had composed quite a bit of music and it got better and better — the degree of talent. You can’t get up one day [and say], ‘I’m going to be talented today and write a great piece.’ The only thing you can do is start composing and work your buns off working on it and studying the great music of the past and learning from it and then try to create sort of your own language.”

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    My Life With Doris Lessing (Words Can’t Describe…)

    “When she died last November at the age of 94, I’d known Doris for fifty years. In all that time, I’ve never managed to figure out a designation for her that properly and succinctly describes her role in my life, let alone my role in hers. We have the handy set of words to describe our nearest relations: mother, father, daughter, son, uncle, aunt, cousin, although that’s as far as it goes usually in contemporary Western society.”

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    No, Practice Doesn’t Make Us Experts (But Here’s Why That’s Okay)

    “If we acknowledge that people differ in what they have to contribute, then we have an argument for a society in which all human beings are entitled to a life that includes access to decent housing, health care, and education, simply because they are human. Our abilities might not be identical, and our needs surely differ, but our basic human rights are universal.”

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    How I Came To Play Pablo Casals’ 1733 Cello (And What It Was Like)

    “I was shaking when the door was opened and Marta handed the case to me. Should I open it myself? What if it breaks when I touch it? The cello was calmly asleep when I took it over, as if an old man was peacefully enjoying a deep rest. Moreover, I couldn’t resist the strong smell of Casals’s famous pipe emerging from the cello as I settled down to play the first notes.”

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    Why The Artworld Is So Fascinated By Outsider Art

    With the growing interest in outsider art comes the seeming contradiction of “mainstream” outsider artists, especially in the US, where monographs and high prices have created cults among collectors.

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    Dallas Symphony Starts A Fellowship Program For String Players

    I… “want them to come away with an overview of the nuts and bolts of an orchestra, what it takes to run and fund an orchestra like this. This is not a management program, but we want to give them the tools to ask the right questions as they start their own careers, probably inside an orchestra as performers.”

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    Today: Let’s Talk About Growing Arts Audiences

    Join the conversation: Building Arts Audiences – live panel discussion with Kurt Andersen, NEA chairman and national arts leaders. Oct. 1 at 3pm est. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/buildingartsaudiences” target=”_blank”>#buildingartsaudiences</a>

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    Jessye Norman On How To Deal With Critics

    “Oh, they might write it, but, darling, I don’t read it. I don’t need it. I know whether or not I have done onstage what I intended to do that night. … And if it doesn’t suit somebody who is sitting there, not having paid for their ticket to be there, and they find it not to their liking – what does it matter? Who are they?” (video)

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    ABT To Lose Three Star Principals

    “Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent and Xiomara Reyes will retire this spring near the end of Ballet Theater’s 2015 season at the Metropolitan Opera House.”

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    The Destruction Of Mecca

    “The dominant architectural site in the city is [no longer] the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic focus of Muslims everywhere, is. It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel … The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures – an amalgam of Disneyland and Las Vegas.”

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    Turning An Audience Into Asylum-Seekers Trying To Sneak Across A Border

    Bordergame, the latest site-specific production by National Theatre Wales, will have live audience members on a train trying to cross illegally from England into “the Autonomous Republic of Cymru” – as online audience members decide their fate in real time.

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    A Fourth Italian Opera House Loses Its Chief Conductor

    With the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari having cancelled its fall productions after posting a €2 million deficit for 2013, the house’s young chief conductor, Daniele Rustioni, has said he won’t renew his contract when it expires next January. (in Italian)

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    How Our Sense Of Humor Changes As We Age

    Researchers describe it as a progression from aggressive humor to affiliative humor – but it’s clearer and more understandable than those two terms may sound.

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    UK Stage Directors Form Their Own Union

    “Increasing fees in the sector is one of Stage Directors UK’s first priorities. It will also represent directors on issues such as royalties, contracts, digital rights and copyright, as well as leading on training initiatives.”

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    U. Srinivas, South India’s Master Of The Mandolin, Dead At 45

    “Bringing the mandolin into Carnatic music was still a new – and later, frequently criticized – endeavor when U. Srinivas picked it up at age 5. … He brought a liquid sound to his instrument that is arguably untouched by mandolinists working in any genre. Along the way, he became one of the most globally beloved South Indian musicians.” (includes video and audio)

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    Two Cinema Chains Refuse To Screen “Crouching Tiger” Sequel Because It’s Also Being Released On Netflix

    Regal Cinemas and Cinemark declared that they won’t show Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, the first major release to appear on Imax and an online streaming service on the same date. Said one exec: “At Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3 inches wide on a smartphone.”

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    Fighting Our Addiction To Being Connected At All Times

    Michael Harris: “I think that we’ve gone through this very giddy ride of absorbing new communication technologies, and what we’re hitting now is a point where we have to start becoming intelligent about our media diets in the same way that we had to become intelligent about our food diets after we got a super abundance of sugar and fats at our disposal.”

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    The Attractions Of Slow TV

    “A slow-TV program is like a great view you encounter on vacation: it’s always there, impervious, but it gains meaning and a story depending on what it conjures in your head. … As entertainment, it is backward: it appears to do its job by casting viewers into their own minds.”

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    The Daydreaming Disorder: Is “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo” The Next ADHD? (Is It Even Real?)

    “The name of [this] ‘new attention disorder’ sounds like an Onion-style parody … It also sounds like a classic case of disease mongering: blurring normality with sickness to boost drug companies’ bottom lines. … Disease mongering is a tough concept to define – but if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. What we have here seems to be a duck egg.”

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 09.30.14

    This is not censorship
    AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-09-30

    “Sculpture Victorious,” Yes, But In What Way?
    AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-10-01

    Have We Lost the Ability to Be Alone?
    AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-10-01

    It can be done
    AJBlog: Sandow | Published 2014-09-30

    Dancing the Breaking Point
    AJBlog: Dancebeat | Published 2014-10-01

    Another free Chicago jazz festival: Hyde Park and local stars
    AJBlog: Jazz Beyond Jazz | Published 2014-09-30

    Joshua Bell Playing The D.C. Metro: Here’s What Happens When He Alerts People Ahead Of Time

    “The hall was so packed that when the students who accompanied Bell performed an opening set, people in the back of the crowd kept clapping after the students left the stage, not realizing that the music they were then hearing was a recording.”

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    The Unexpected Rise Of Indie Bookstores

    “In 2009, the number of independent bookstores in the nation stabilized at around 1,400, and then slowly began to grow. As of last May, the number of indie bookshops in the U.S. was 1,664. Why the turnaround?”

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    The Fight To Save Paris’s Oldest Bookstore

    “It’s difficult to imagine the shuttering of a bookstore causing a similar outcry anywhere else—not to mention direct government involvement in the matter of a private lease. This has something to do with what the French call l’exception culturelle.”

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    Brooklyn Bar Sues City For The Right Of Patrons to Dance

    “Andrew Muchmore​, owner of ​Muchmore’s Cafe ​in Williamsburg, filed suit in Brooklyn federal court to challenge New York’s ​cabaret laws ​– which prohibit danci​​ng ​by more than three people at one time unless the venue has a cabaret license. In the suit, he cites the first and 14th amendments and claims the tight restrictions against patrons shaking their money makers have forced him to play ​sedate if not ​dreary tunes at his nightspot​ and coffeehouse.”

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    The Problem With Protecting Canadian Content

    “The problem facing the Canadian TV industry – from the big three commercial outfits to the guilds, unions and lobby groups representing the creators – is that cultural protectionism is a very, very hard sell. And it’s a hard sell because there is so little Canadian programming that is truly cherished and admired by the public. In this, everyone, from the top executives to the creative end of the industry, must face blame.”

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    Live Screening Of Billy Elliot Musical Tops UK Box Office This Week

    “The screening, which was broadcast live from London’s Victoria Palace Theatre to more than 500 cinemas across the UK on September 28, beat new releases The Equalizer and The Boxtrolls to the top spot, and was the widest ever cinema release of a live event.”

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    Why Is Academic Writing So Dreadful?

    “The familiarity of bad academic writing raises a puzzle. Why should a profession that trades in words and dedicates itself to the transmission of knowledge so often turn out prose that is turgid, soggy, wooden, bloated, clumsy, obscure, unpleasant to read, and impossible to understand?”

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    Cincinnati International Piano Competition Gets A New Name, New Format, New Life

    “The World Piano Competition will now be known as the Cincinnati World Piano Competition. The Artist Division, which has a top prize of $20,000, will be held every three years, instead of annually. And on alternate years, there will be a Young Artist Competition and an all-new Amateur Competition.”

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    As Corporate Arts Sponsorships Decline, Lincoln Center Doubles Down

    “Lincoln Center’s move comes as overall corporate philanthropy is dwindling and big companies’ support of the arts is eroding. Corporate giving fell nearly 2% in 2013, according to Giving USA. Meanwhile, the share of corporate philanthropy dedicated to the arts fell to 5.3% in 2012 from 8.8% in 2007, according to CECP, a coalition of chief executives working to improve society.”

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    Google Earth Reveals Ancient Giant Geoglyphs

    “Using Google Earth, researchers have discovered an archeological gem in northern Kazakhstan—more than 50 previously unknown geoglyphs of different geometric shapes and sizes sprawled across the landscape. Geoglyphs are large designs created on the surface of the ground, usually made by arranging stones or sculpting the earth.”

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    Battle For The Soul Of Nashville Music

    The cluster of streets southwest of downtown Nashville has long been the spiritual and commercial center of the nation’s country music business — a concentration of record companies, small-time showbiz strivers and studios that Christine Kreyling, a local writer, once called “the Vatican City of country music.” But “If we let certain musical touchstones go, these centerpieces of collaboration between artists and engineers, then what’s left that makes Nashville’s music scene unique?”

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    Piracy Stalemate – Illegal Downloading For Good And Bad

    “Piracy is putting pressure on antiquated business models, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the prevalence of piracy shows that people are growing up in a culture of free, and that is not good for the future of entertainment, either.”

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    Carol Ann Duffy: My First Five Years As Poet Laureate

    “When Carol Ann Duffy was appointed poet laureate in 2009, the first woman to hold the post in its nearly 350-year history, she set herself several goals that included setting up new prizes, giving support to new festivals and helping to generate commissions for poets.”

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    Tech Companies Begin To Understand That Changing The World Isn’t Just About Tech, It’s Politics Too

    “A new generation of tech companies, however, have made Silicon Valley’s political needs less theoretical, and more immediate. They are taking on pre-existing, real-world industries. (The purely virtual ideas — search, portals, email — have been taken.) It’s harder to ignore politics when you’re changing the world, not just the web. And so these companies — Uber and Airbnb are the most obvious — have found a sweet spot where founders’ disdain for politics and regulators meets the smartest political strategy money can buy.”

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    A Remarkable Career: Soprano Magda Olivero Dies At 104

    The spell she cast could win over even skeptics like Schonberg, who began his review of her now-legendary Met debut by inexplicably claiming, “It wasn’t Magda Olivero’s evening, as it turned out.” But he then went on to aver, “It was history come to life last night, as the soprano, despite her age, gave us a feminine, fiery, utterly convincing Tosca.”

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    How Do We Build Sustainable Arts Audiences?

    Join the conversation: Building Arts Audiences – live panel discussion with Kurt Andersen, NEA chairman and national arts leaders. Oct. 1 at 3pm est. #buildingartsaudiences

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    Atlanta Symphony CEO Resigns As Lockout Continues

    “I believe that my continued leadership of the ASO would be an impediment to our reaching a new labor agreement with the ASO’s musicians,” said Stanley Romanstein in a press release.

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    Julio Bocca Injured In Auto Accident

    The former ballet superstar, now director of the National Ballet of Uruguay, suffered “minor traumas” when his car ran off the road and flipped over about 30 miles north of Montevideo.

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    Can Ballet Depict The Abuse Of Native Children In Residential Schools?

    “In one scene, a young residential school student receives crippling blows from a clergyman. In another, he is brutally strapped. His classmate later has her long hair sheared off. This is part of what viewers will see when Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation debuts at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on Wednesday.”

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    The New Yorker Discovers Barroom Shakespeare

    Rebecca Mead visits the Three Day Hangover theatre company, founded last year, which performs “textually divergent interpretations” of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet” in crowded New York bars.

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    Les Arts Florissants Loses State Funding (But They’ll Adapt)

    The celebrated Baroque specialist ensemble “is losing the support it has received for 25 years for performing and teaching in Caen, where the city and regional French governments are cutting back.” But, says founder/director William Christie, the group is better situated to absorb the shock than many other French arts organizations.

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    Giving Voice To Syria’s Hidden Dead In New Theatre Piece

    Tania El Khoury’s interactive sound installation/performance piece Gardens Speak reconstructs “oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes” because public burials were too dangerous.

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    “The Airbnb Of Classical Music”

    “Groupmuse – started in 2012 and run by [Sam] Bodkin, Ezra Weller and Kyle Nichols-Schmolze – matches Groupmuse users looking to host a concert with willing musicians needing a venue to perform. Once a match is set up, other ‘Groupmusers’ are invited to attend, creating an event that’s part house concert, part party, part social platform.” (includes video)

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