People

San Diego Opera Settles With Its Former Director

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“The opera said in a statement that it has mutually resolved its differences with Campbell and his ex-wife Ann Spira Campbell, a former high-ranking adminstrator at the company. It said the differences arose out of their former employment relationships with the opera.”

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Actress Elaine Stritch, 89

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“Ms. Stritch’s career began in the 1940s and spanned almost 70 years. She made her fair share of appearances in movies, including Woody Allen’s “September” (1987) and “Small Time Crooks” (2000), and on television; well into her 80s, she had a recurring role on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” as the domineering mother of the television executive played by Alec Baldwin.”

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Actress Elaine Stritch, 89

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“Once, when she went to the Actors Studio for a tune-up, [Lee Strasberg] just waved her away with ‘Elaine, you were born with The Method’.”

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Architect Randall Stout, 56

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“Mr. Stout, an associate in Frank Gehry’s office before establishing his own firm in 1996 in Los Angeles, explored the relationship between architecture and energy in holistic designs that were no less sculptural and humane for being ecologically responsible. Sustainability helped shape form.”

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Harper Lee Disavows New Biography (Again)

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“Now, with the publication this week of The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee, [former neighbor] Marja Mills’s memoir of what she describes in the book as a warm friendship with Ms. Lee and her older sister, Alice Lee, Harper Lee is back to remind us that she did not authorize the book or cooperate with Ms. Mills.”

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Is This The Next Lena Dunham? (Not Exactly)

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“Most references to director, writer and actress Desiree Akhavan place a neat three-word descriptor by her name: bisexual Iranian American, often followed by the words ‘the next Lena Dunham’.” But being young, female, and a writer/director/actress is where the similarities end.

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The Genius Of Lorin Maazel

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“He had an incomparable stick technique (something he pooh-poohed as a technique). A brilliantly accomplished musician (he was a virtuoso violinist and a composer), he boasted what must have been a genius-level IQ. He appeared capable of playing four-dimensional mental chess while carrying on a dinner conversation with lesser mortal beings.”

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Did Slavoj Žižek Plagiarize A White Supremacist Magazine? (Sort Of)

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“[The] superstar Marxist philosopher … [has] been accused of the worst professorial misdeed of them all: plagiarism. And not just any plagiarism – plagiarism of a 1999 article in American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine published by an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a ‘hate group’.”

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The Jazz Cemetery

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“We’ve only got a few left,” he comments, adding that a “high percentage” of those who have invested will have done purely because of the proximity to the trumpeter.

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Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, 90

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“Regarded by many as South Africa’s leading writer, Gordimer was renowned as a rigid moralist whose novels and short stories reflected the drama of human life and emotion in a society warped by decades of white-minority rule.”

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Trying To Figure Out Why A Newly Famous Documentarian Took His Own Life

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“Making feature documentaries is incredibly hard. You either have to have a massive trust fund or take this existential risk. You can’t have a family. You can’t have a mortgage. The idea that you could turn a 10-minute film on a Swedish arts programme into an Oscar-winning documentary, it’s either folly or extraordinary bravery.”

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Kurt Vonnegut Talks To The Dead

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“As part of WNYC’s 90th anniversary celebration, Marty Goldensohn, former WNYC news director, shares excerpts from the station’s 1998 series Reports on the Afterlife. It’s based on Vonnegut’s book God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, a fictionalized account of interviews with recently deceased people.”

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Paul Horn, 84, A Founding Father Of New Age Music

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As the flutist/saxophonist once told an interviewer, “New Age music does something wonderful to the nervous system. It settles you down into a deep state of relaxation. When people want to ‘cool out,’ a [New Age] record will do it real quick. It’s meditative music.”

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Seymour Barab, 93, Cellist And Composer Of Whimsical Chamber Operas

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While he did write serious stage works based on Dostoevsky and de Maupassant, “he was still more widely known for lighter one-act works whose accessibility, tunefulness and economy of scale made them among the most frequently performed operas in the world … perennial favorites of college, semiprofessional and regional companies.”

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Should We Still Care About Wagner’s Anti-Semitism?

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“The recent Wagner anniversary has brought a predictable amount of equivocation and hand-wringing about the German master’s role in the history of hate. We know by now not to read history backward. A nineteenth-century composer who died in 1883 cannot logically be accused of personal complicity in a twentieth-century genocide. Yet that does not mean that the broader question of his responsibility for the spread of modern anti-Semitism can be simply ignored.”

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Taylor Swift Writes About The State Of The Music Business

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There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie. It’s part of the new currency, which seems to be “how many followers you have on Instagram.”

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It’s Not Easy To Be A Piano Teacher In Islamabad

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J. Jerome has to deal with a shortage of instruments, an even greater shortage of tuners (he’s the only one in town), a near-total lack of spare parts – and, as a member of Pakistan’s small Christian minority, the threat of extreme Islamist militants who disapprove of music in general and Western music in particular. Yet he struggles on. (includes audio)

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