“A master orchestrator who could coax a vast range of tonal colors from the bits of wood and brass for which he composed, Mr. Bassett wrote works for symphony orchestra, chamber and choral ensembles, solo instruments and voice.” He spent 40 years on the faculty at the University of Michigan.
“As the fifth anniversary of the Syrian civil war approaches, Cheikhmous Ali continues to document the destruction and looting of the country’s heritage from France and Turkey, with the help of a network of volunteers on the ground.”
“Who is behind this rise from art historian at the Cleveland Museum of Art to being the National Security Advisor to one of the presidential front-runners for the Republican Party? It appears to have begun with Donald Rumsfeld.”
“The prolific author was known for his novels, short stories, columns and poetry and belatedly saw worldwide recognition when he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013 and was awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres a year later.”
Lucas, 36, was previously the publisher of Guernica, an arts magazine with an international and often political focus. Before that, she had worked at other nonprofit cultural institutions, including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.
“Prized for her vivacious charm, instinctive musicality and sparkling, light-footed technique, Miss Verdy danced in the works of more than 50 choreographers. But she is most closely linked with George Balanchine, with whom she worked from 1958 to 1976, in the heyday of his New York City Ballet.”
“The degree to which a writer shares the prejudices of his family, his class, and his culture is less telling than the degree to which he is ashamed of them. Ezra Pound was defiantly unashamed of his prejudices. Eliot was more than ashamed: he was penitential.”
Recently published research “suggests that Michelangelo Buonarroti suffered from osteoarthritis for the last 15 years of his life. Miraculously, though the researchers claim that this was why the Renaissance master could not write his own letters toward the end of his life, it did not affect his art practice, which remained prolific up to the week of his death.”
“The deeds to Michelangelo’s old Tuscan villa, a three-structure complex complete with Renaissance-age fixtures, functional wood-burning fireplaces, and an olive grove, could be yours for just $8,369,602.” (includes photos and floor plans)
“Pamela became a celebrity in a different age. … Her heirs to the throne of tabloid notoriety have no such luxury, nor do they desire it. The celebs created by Instagram and YouTube became famous to be seen; what’s the point of privacy? Now that every would-be Kardashian can send out a constant, direct-to-consumer stream of staged intimacy and selfies, access—the longtime currency of fame—has been upended. Pamela, whose image was ubiquitous before ubiquity could be juiced with retweets, is left in the strange position of having to renegotiate the nature of her own public image.”
“An heir to the company founded by his grandfather Julius in 1898, Mr. Tishman supervised the construction of three of the world’s earliest 100-story-plus skyscrapers: the John Hancock Center in Chicago, completed in 1970, and the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, completed in 1973.”
Samantha Bee, whose show starts Monday night: “Canadians, in general, are pretty awestruck by the kinds of character studies you get to do during a US election cycle. It’s been true for any election cycle I’ve been a part of, for sure. It’s such a circus, and it goes on forever.”
“I was a young comic at the time, so I didn’t really have all that much actual material, and so at a point, I would read from the box or the package of whatever food I had. I have no idea why. And you know, the toasting instructions on the Pop-Tarts are so damn funny.”
“To modern audiences, Brook’s advocacy of the barest theatrical essentials may seem far from revolutionary, so we need to be taken back in time to a period when bourgeois sensibilities exerted an asphyxiating stranglehold.”
Raphael Schumacher “was performing in an experimental theater production in the courtyard of Pisa’s Teatro Lux when a member of the audience noticed that the rope around his neck was too tight. The actor’s head was covered at the time, but the spectator — a female medical graduate — saw him trembling and realized something was wrong.”
“‘The goddam movies. They can ruin you. I’m not kidding.’ At 17, Winona Ryder underlined those words by Holden Caulfield in one of two copies of The Catcher in the Rye she was carrying with her. ‘Me and Holden are, like, this team,’ she said.” Because she turned out to be completely incapable of phoniness, even when it might have done her some good.
“Wearing police uniforms and fishnet stockings, they whip hooded prisoners and waterboard them in their prison cells. The well-made-up women gleefully throw wads of cash into the air and flirt viciously with their viewers. The Russian punk protest group … sashayed back into the public eye on Wednesday with the release of a music video savaging the country’s prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika, who locked up three members of the group in 2012.”
“[He was] was the pre-eminent theoretician of the French ‘New Wave’ and the film-maker who, with Jean-Luc Godard, came closest in his own work to realising the movement’s aims and aspirations.” Yet he ultimately came to believe that there is no such thing as an “auteur” – “that ‘A film by Jacques Rivette’, for example, was a contradiction in terms.”
A court upheld the conviction of Palestinian poet, artist, and curator Ashraf Fayadh for apostasy – a charge that originally came out of an argument Fayadh had with another man in a cafe.
“He and the late Ray Goulding were among the drollest and most inventive pop-culture satirists of their generation as writers, producers and actors. … A hallmark of Bob and Ray comedy was bone-dry delivery of the absurd. With masterly comic timing – Mr. Elliott with a nasal deadpan, Goulding with booming authority – Bob and Ray mocked the cliches and banalities of newscasts, politics, sports and advertising.”
“Step into Tareq Salahi’s house and you’ll pass a framed Washington Post article crowning him a 2009 Person of the Year. … Look closer, though, and you’ll see what’s changed. There’s a Real Housewives of D.C. sticker covering [ex-wife] Michaele’s face, a bronze plaque listing ‘widely unknown facts’ about the White House gatecrashing incident, and, right next to it, Salahi merchandise that Tareq sells to his Airbnb guests.”
“The son of a Brooklyn baker who won acclaim as a brilliantly nimble dancer and a quirky and often surprising choreographer, … Louis and the choreographer Alwin Nikolais had been artistic collaborators and companions for more than 40 years.”
While the works he staged ranged from Britten to Debussy to Wagner and Gounod (an infamous Faust), his most-admired productions were in the repertoire closest to his heart, that of the 17th and 18th centuries. His most celebrated stagings included a landmark Rameau Boréades at the Aix Festival and a much-traveled Marriage of Figaro. He also had a difficult tenure as general manager of the Paris Opera, presiding over the troubled opening of the new theatre at the Bastille. (in French; Google Translate version here)
“A player of exceptional versatility with a distinctively rich sound, he was as renowned for exploring and championing new repertoire for his instrument as he was for his polished performances of the great works by the likes of Bach and Mozart.”
Eileen Myles: “In 1977, I probably would have been out getting trashed the night before and so the wake-up would be filled with so much dread. I wake up and I don’t feel in a state of existential dread. I wake up with a sense of wonder. I don’t dread the future. I like it. Because this is it. But I still hit the coffee hard.”
“A child prodigy as a dancer — she liked to joke that if one reversed the syllables in her surname, ‘Chou-teau’ became ‘Toe-shoe’ — Ms. Chouteau started dancing when she was 2 1/2 years old. She received early training in Oklahoma and then in New York City, where she attended the School of American Ballet. She was accepted into the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at 14.”
At Chez Panisse, no less. They talk about where in their lives their novels The Color Purple and Brooklyn came from and what it was like to see them made into movies.
He was in the first class of American art students to study glassblowing, and he went on to start programs at U.Cal. Berkeley and the California College of Arts. “In his own practice, he worked glass into small-scale biomorphic shapes with a dazzling array of surface textures produced by cutting, grinding, sandblasting, acid-washing or flocking.”
Well, except for the spouse part. “Trusted lieutenant, enforcer, co-writer, co-creator: however Marie-Hélène Estienne is described, she has been at Brook’s side for the last 40 years. For the past 20, he has barely made work without her. … Calling her unsung doesn’t quite do it: she might be the most famous theatremaker no one has ever heard of.”
“Police officers were surprised early Tuesday morning when they kicked in the door of an Amsterdam man they thought was in trouble and shouting, only to discover he was actually trying to sing along with an opera recording.”