People

Composer Ezra Laderman, 90

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“A prolific composer of symphonic, chamber and vocal music, Mr. Laderman won public notice thanks to his work about Marilyn Monroe for the New York City Opera.”

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Veteran Theater Critic Margaret Croyden Dead At 92

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“Born in Brooklyn and educated in New York, Ms. Croyden contributed regularly to The New York Times during the 1970s and 80s, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, American Theatre, The Nation and Theater Week” and wrote books about stage directors Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook.

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Logical: Canadians Are Turning Their $5 Bill Into Tributes To Mr. Spock

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“For years, Canadians have been wielding pens to draw Spock’s pointy Vulcan ears, sharp eyebrows and signature bowl haircut on the fiver’s image of Laurier. Contrary to what many believe, the Bank of Canada said Monday it’s not illegal to deface or even mutilate banknotes, although there are laws that prohibit reproducing both sides of a current bill electronically.”

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The Great Pianist Who Keeled Over Dead Performing In Carnegie Hall

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“In the 1950s world of classical music, Simon Barere was mentioned in the same breath as other superpianists of the era – Georgy Cziffra, Ignatz Friedman, Vladimir Horowitz and Josef Lhevinne. But his most ardent admirers say he was actually in a class by himself. Barere had given frequent solo recitals, sometimes twice a year, at Carnegie Hall to packed houses, with such musical giants as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leopold Godowsky and Vladimir Horowitz often in the attendance.”

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Maggie Smith Will Do No More Theatre – “It’s So Exhausting”

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“I just don’t think I could cope with it. Almost every Wednesday and Saturday I wake up relieved it’s not a matinee.. … It’s hard enough doing film and television, but at least you know it’s not day, after day, after day. I just found it so exhausting.” (By the way, what she actually said about Downton Abbey is less definitive than you think.)

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A Day With Machiavelli In Exile

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Johns Hopkins classicist Christopher Celenza looks at a letter Machiavelli wrote to a close friend describing his daily life in the country, not long after he was banned from Florence, during the period in which he wrote the first part of The Prince.

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Yasar Kemal, Turkey’s Master Novelist And Fierce Critic, Has Died

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“Mr. Kemal’s home region — Cukurova in southern Anatolia, known in antiquity as Cilicia — is the backdrop for his sweeping tales of rapacious landlords, callous bureaucrats and peasant heroes who fight injustice. He wrote more than two dozen books, using a colorful narrative style that appealed to a broad audience, fiercely criticizing injustice and creating noble outlaws who became permanent parts of Turkey’s cultural landscape.”

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Bob Hope Captured America, But His Legacy Is Sinking Fast

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“These days few readers may know or remember just how big a deal Hope was in his prime. … Hope was both ‘the most popular’ and ‘the most important’ entertainer of the twentieth century, ‘the only one who achieved success—often No. 1-rated success—in every major genre of mass entertainment in the modern era: vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television, popular song, and live concerts.'”

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Leonard Nimoy, 83, Who Was Star Trek’s Spock And So, So Much More

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“His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: ‘Live long and prosper’ (from the Vulcan ‘Dif-tor heh smusma’).”

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The Designer Who Became Apple’s Biggest Asset

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Jonathan Ive “establish[ed] the build and the finish of the iMac, the MacBook, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. He is now one of the two most powerful people in the world’s most valuable company” – on whom 100,000 employees and a not-insignificant chunk of the stock market depend. Says Steve jobs’s widow, “Jony’s an artist with an artist’s temperament, and he’d be the first to tell you artists aren’t supposed to be responsible for this kind of thing.”

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Louis Jourdan, 93, Suave French Film Star

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“Lithe, debonair and exceedingly handsome, with a tide of dark, wavy hair, Louis Jourdan became Hollywood’s ideal of Gallic charm and seduction in the late 1940s and 1950s. His peak came in the Oscar-winning musical Gigi (1958), which cemented him in the popular imagination as a debonair playboy.”

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The Man Who Saved Impressionism

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The story of Paul Durand-Ruel, who repeatedly risked bankruptcy to support Monet, Degas, Manet, Pissarro, and their fellows – and created a market for their work, especially in the United States.

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“Not Useful For Creating Original Work”: Why John Cameron Mitchell Avoids Social Media, Even For “Hedwig”

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“It’s hard to keep up with that; it takes a lot of energy and recently [there was] some study that overusing social media can make you depressed and jealous, so I actually chose not to go there. … User comments-culture is not useful for creating original work, I think. I’m all for information diets, which are helpful for the mood and for the art.”

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Joan Rivers: An Appreciation, And A Reckoning

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“From the nineteen-sixties on, Rivers had been the purveyor of a harsh Realpolitik, one based on her experience: looks mattered. If you got cut off from access to men and money — and from men as the route to money — you were dead in the water. Women were one another’s competition, always. For half a century, this dark comedy of scarce resources had been her forte: many hands grasping, but only one golden ring. Rivers herself had fought hard for the token slot allotted to a female comic, yet she seemed thrown by a world in which that might no longer be necessary.”

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Valery Gergiev: I Just Wanna Play Music, So Why Does Everybody Keep Bothering Me About Putin? (Oh, By The Way, Speaking Of Ukraine, …)

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“People come to hear music, not to hear shouting. And to go on stage and scare Netrebko, how can the Met let this happen? If someone were to shout an anti-American slogan on the stage of the Mariinsky, it would be my fault.” The conductor then goes on to talk about Ukraine and Crimea.

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“Not Indifference But Detachment” – Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

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“I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at NewsHour every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming. … I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future.”

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A Children’s Cartoon Landed This Man In An Iranian Prison

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“In 2006, the Iranian artist Mana Neyestani sat down to draw a children’s cartoon for a weekly magazine called Iran Jome. The image showed a 10-year-old boy named Soheil trying to have a conversation with a cockroach in a nonsensical cockroach language. The insect didn’t understand the boy and responded, ‘Namana?’ – which means, ‘What?'”

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Pussy Riot Gets Buried Alive In First English-Language Video

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“It’s called ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ and as the title indicates, the song is something of a tribute to Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died last summer after New York Police Department officer placed him in an apparent chokehold. ‘I can’t breathe’ were Garner’s last words, repeated and captured on video.”

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“They Are, In A Way, Aliens”: Helen Mirren On The British Royal Family

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“The world they live in is so beyond our understanding. You’ve never queued for anything. Ever, for anything. Every time you go in the street, the traffic is stopped for you. It’s a world you can’t imagine. They are, in a way, aliens. But inside that, they are the same flawed, insecure, vulnerable, complicated human beings we are. It’s my job to get into the person who’s inside that world.”

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