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Friday, May 30, 2003

Berio - Lyric Dissonance Josh Kosman reflects on composer Luciano Berio: "The great Italian composer, who died Tuesday in Rome at 77, could be every bit as dissonant, structural and fiercely analytical as his comrades, including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gyorgy Ligeti and Bruno Maderna. But Berio's music was also infused with a robust vein of lyricism and beauty that drew directly on the Italian vocal tradition. And just about everything he wrote was shaped in part by a deep love for the masterpieces of the previous four centuries." San Francisco Chronicle 05/30/03

  • Berio - A Composer Who Will Be Remembered "Although of a completely different sensibility, Luciano Berio was like a musical David Hockney in at least this respect: he was fascinated both by tradition and the old masters as well as by new technology and ideas, and was for ever working both into his own music. If it were not for this curiosity and a profoundly human and lyrical vein, Berio might have become trapped by the dogmas and overtly cerebral ideas that put paid to many less enlightened talents in the 1950s. Instead, Berio marched joyously in his own direction, absorbing a knowledge and love for electronic music but always marrying it to a powerfully emotional message." The Guardian (UK) 05/30/03

  • Thinking About Berio Richard Dyer remembers composer Luciano Berio, who died this week at the age of 77: "While Berio was fond of generic titles - 'Chorus,' 'Symphony,' 'Opera' - his work was anything but generic as he reinvented and revitalized old forms. His music appealed to traditionalists because it carried the past within it; it appealed to the young because of its theatricality and its political conviction; it appealed to the avant-garde because of its tough, original thinking - which always emerged with an Italianate glow." Boston Globe 05/30/03

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Remembering Berio "Luciano Berio, a composer whose work included orchestral pieces, electronic experiments, a series of famous works for solo instruments, operas and chamber works, viewed music in the broadest of historical perspectives. He used the phrase "remembering the future" to describe his musical philosophy. He made his name as an avant-gardist and he remained a Modernist throughout his career, but he also saw himself as reinventing the past." Los Angeles Times 05/27/03

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Gergiev - Conducting's Energizer Bunny Over the past 15 years conductor Valery Gergiev has established an extensive international career. "Do you know why I work abroad? Not for money. I have conducted more performances for no money than anyone alive. In Russia, at one point, I conducted for three dollars an opera. I was happy - I could grow, learn leadership, nurture new singers. I conduct abroad to help my company and for my own pleasure. I spend six weeks a year with the Vienna Philharmonic - the best orchestra in the world. If I have no pleasure, I don't go." London Evening Standard 05/29/03

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Mounting Tate Modern Vincente TodolŪ is the Tate Modern's new leader. "I have come from a small corner of Europe to a great metropolis and an institution which must talk not only to the local community but to the world. That is exciting for me. In Valencia [where he was director of the Institute for Modern Art from 1988 to 1996] and in Porto I was a one-man orchestra - conductor, soloist, back-up vocals. But I have left my ego behind. Now I want dialogue, confrontation, to be part of a team, which is what Tate is all about." The Scotsman 05/27/03

Luciano Berio, 77 Luciano Berio has died in Rome. He "was regarded as one of the most important contemporary avant-garde composers, with major influence as a teacher and conductor as well as a composer." He was "an outstanding orchestral and vocal composer who was perhaps most remarked upon for his works with solo voice." The New York Times 05/28/03

Why Picasso Stayed A Spaniard Picasso lived in France for 40 years but never became a citizen. Why? "When he sought French nationality in 1940, he was turned down on the ground that he was an anarchist with communist tendencies. The extent of French misgivings about Picasso's politics have just become known with the discovery of the artist's police files from 1901 to 1940. They were among millions of French documents seized by German occupation forces in 1940 and transferred to Berlin. After the defeat of Germany in 1945, they were taken to Moscow. Only since the collapse of the Soviet Union have they been gradually returned to France." The New York Times 05/28/03

Monday, May 26, 2003

Artist Thrown In Jail Over Bush Comment A Bay Area artist upset about George Bush's war on Iraq got into a heated political argument in an Emeryville furniture store. When he mentioned the words "kill Bush" it was the "wrong move in a place filled with American flags and run by military veterans who support the president. Store employees called police, who alerted the Secret Service. Hours after entering the furniture store to buy cubicle partitions for a fellow artist's project, Barry Schwartz was sitting in a small room in the Emeryville police station, being interrogated by two Secret Service agents." He spent the next two days in jail. San Francisco Chronicle 05/26/03

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Rehabilitating Sonia Orwell George Orwell's wife Sonia, whome th author married three months before his death, "was completely demonized," says a new biography. Previous biographers have created "a hardhearted, mercenary gold digger who looked like a painting by Renoir and married a skeleton on his deathbed." By contrast, the new book portrays Sonia as "the most generous person - for her to be reimagined as a monster of cold-heartedness and greed is staggering and extremely distressing." New York Daily News 05/25/03

Hands-On Philanthropists (With Strings) Florida billionaires Daniel and Peter Lewis are hands-on arts patrons. Daniel pledged $16 million towards the Florida Philharmonic's $64 million endowment campaign. But when the orchestra failed to raise supporting capital, he insisted the orchestra be shut down. "The Lewis brothers share a conviction that the arts and other nonprofits must be financially sound - an elusive ideal to nearly every arts group - or be dramatically reconfigured, or even shut down. It is an ideal on which neither of the Lewis brothers seems willing to budge." Miami Herald 05/25/03

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Tate Modern's New Man Vincente Todoli is the new director of the Tate Modern. He's a "Catalan by birth and the latest in a growing line of international curators heading Britain's museums. Aged 45, fast talking, fast moving, fast thinking, he shoots from the heart and smiles winningly. Stamina seeps from every pore. His strong accent, a year in New York as a Fulbright scholar notwithstanding, introduces an element of enigma to what he is saying (we spend several moments disentangling the sibilants of 'thresholds')." London Evening Standard 05/22/03

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Who Is Sean Doran? When Sean Doran was hired to run the English National Opera, everyone was asking who he is. "Indeed, the circumstances surrounding his hiring could hardly have been less auspicious. The selection process looked like a dog's dinner, with well-qualified potential candidates refusing to apply for the position. All this amid chorus strikes, the apparent near-bankruptcy of the company and a bid for a large-scale injection of cash from Arts Council England. Into this smouldering car crash of a company Doran has now ventured. Fresh from the job of director of Perth festival in Western Australia, the 42-year-old has been at his desk for six weeks, during which time the acting executive director, Caroline Felton, has prematurely exited stage left. You can't help feeling sorry for Doran." The Guardian (UK) 05/22/00

James Wins Jerwood "An Australian-born artist based in Wales has won this year's £30,000 Jerwood Painting Prize. Shani Rhys James, best known for her colourful self portraits, beat fierce competition to receive the honour - the UK's biggest single award for painters... Ms James was up against shortlist of established and talented artists - John Hoyland, John Wonnacott, Marc Vaux, Alison Watt and Suzanne Holtom." BBC 05/21/03

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I, Gergiev Valery Gergiev is one of the world's busiest conductors. Presently he's involved in a whirlwind of concerts celebrating St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary. But he hints at taking a vacation. "A vacation? Gergiev? The two seem mutually exclusive. But maybe there are other signs that, having reached the magic age of 50, as he did at the beginning of this month, he has been tempted to slow down, or at least to go less fast." The Telegraph (UK) 05/20/03

Monday, May 19, 2003

Firing Crouch - Was It Something I Said? Was jazz critic Stanley Crouch fired from his JazzTimes magazine column because of of what he wrote? "Crouch, 57, said he is convinced that his column 'Putting the White Man in Charge' was the direct cause for the termination of the column, even though Maryland-based Jazz Times, the nation's most widely read jazz publication, with a circulation of more than 100,000, had promoted the essay as Crouch's 'most incendiary column yet.' Jazz Times publisher Lee Mergner sees the situation differently. "We didn't discontinue Crouch's column because of what he wrote in 'Putting the White Man in Charge. In fact, that wasn't even his last column, which was actually about Eric Reed. We discontinued the column because it had become tedious'." Los Angeles Times 05/19/03

  • Previously: Dear Stanley: You're Fired Stanley Crouch's last column in JazzTimes was blunt. In it he "accuses white critics of elevating white musicians 'far beyond their abilities' to 'make themselves feel more comfortable about . . . evaluating an art from which they feel substantially alienated.' Crouch also claims that white writers, who were born in 'middle-class china shops,' ensure 'the destruction of the Negro aesthetic' by advancing musicians who can't swing at the expense of those who can." And with that, the magazine fired Crouch...Village Voice05/13/03
Sunday, May 18, 2003

John Adams, Voice of America "An interesting thing has happened to John Adams during the past year or so. With neither discussion nor fanfare, he has become America's composer laureate." Not bad for a guy who saw performances of his music cancelled after 9/11, and has often been sharply criticized for an opera based on a real-life terrorist attack. The fact is, though, that America hasn't had a true National Composer since Copland. "Samuel Barber's music, for instance, is too genteel, [Charles] Ives' too ornery and disruptive, Leonard Bernstein's too inconsistent, Elliott Carter's too ugly." Adams, it seems, is just about right. San Francisco Chronicle 05/18/03

The Culture-Mall of America? It's not a great time to be the head of an American arts organization, but Kathy Halbreich is thriving at the helm of Minneapolis's Walker Art Center. The Walker, already one of the Twin Cities' most popular cultural destinations, is embarking on a massive expansion at a time when other museums are having to scale back, and Halbreich is determined to prove that contemporary art can be a cultural centerpiece even in the dumbed-down world of 21st-century America. "I believe that if the Mall of America is about the consumption of things, a cultural institution like the Walker -- if it is properly designed and programmed and inviting enough -- can be about the consumption of ideas." The Star Tribune (Minneapolis) 05/18/03

Work As Self-Fulfillment: Why Hepworth Mattered "Barbara Hepworth was an artist of extraordinary stature whose importance is still to some extent occluded. Over 50 years, from 1925 to her death in 1975, she made more than 600 works of sculpture remarkable in range and emotional force. Her private life was complicated, at times traumatic: two marriages and four children, three of whom were triplets. And there was the long disruption of the war. What makes Hepworth wonderful was the strength of her ambition, the unswerving self-belief. She demonstrated so tangibly her understanding that 'the dictates of work are as compelling for a woman as for a man.'" The Guardian (UK) 05/17/03

The Composer As Iconoclast Pierre Boulez has never been one to understate things, or withhold his opinions on other artists. One of the most eminent composers and conductors of the last century, Boulez gained notoriety in his youth by declaring Schoenberg 'dead' and booing Stravinsky's latest neoclassic offering. He has mellowed a bit with age, but can still rail against the direction of contemporary music with a fervor that borders on the fanatical. He despises contemporary opera techniques, loves the music of Frank Zappa, and reads everything he can get his hands on. And yes, he still has little use for Stravinsky. Boston Globe 05/18/03

Libeskind Adjusts To Life In The Spotlight Daniel Libeskind has been well-known in architectural circles since his first major building went up in Berlin more than a decade ago. But since being selected as the architect who will replace the World Trade Center, Libeskind has had to learn to live with a whole new level of celebrity. People stop him on the street, offer their unsolicited opinions on his design, and generally treat him with the same level of awe the Big Apple affords to such local heroes as Derek Jeter or Rudy Giuliani. Celebrity has its downside, of course, but for the moment, Libeskind seems to reaping all of its rewards. Boston Globe 05/18/03

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Ravi Shankar's Jazz-Star Daughter Norah Ravi Shankar is one of the world's gret musicians. He always assumed his children would be involved with music. And they are. But he never figured on having a jazz star for a daughter. And Norah Jones has become one of the hottest stars of jazz. "Shankar lost contact with Norah for eight years after her mother decided she did not want to see him. Those lost years are a source of regret for him." The Guardian (UK) 05/15/03

Missouri Orchestra Benches Conductor The Springfield (Missouri) Symphony has pulled its conductor from a concert this week after patrons expressed worries over SARS. "Apo Hsu, who has no symptoms of the disease, was asked to forgo her appearance at Saturday's concert by the symphony's board of directors. The board voted to ask principal violist Amy Muchnick to conduct instead after about 30 patrons called the symphony office about Hsu's lengthy stay in Taiwan. Hsu returned May 10 to the United States after spending a month in Taipei." Newsday 05/15/03

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A Musician Without An Orchestra Nick Dargahi is a cellist. Or, rather, he was. Or maybe he still is. It's hard to tell these days. When you are an orchestral musician, and your orchestra is suddenly pulled out from under you, it becomes difficult to know what you are for sure. Dargahi has left the music business, at least temporarily, and is training to be an engineer. Author Richard Florida thinks that stories like Dargahi's are an unnecessary tragedy, and says that orchestras need to redefine their mission and reenergize the public to prevent a sustained crisis. Studio 360 05/10/03 (RealAudio Player required)

Monday, May 12, 2003

Where Did Sister Wendy Go? Whatever happened to Sister Wendy? The nun/art historian seems to have dropped off of UK TV screens. "Sister Wendy offered a laymanís view of painting; that was her charm, and the source of her popularity. That, and the simple fact that anybody with a gimmick on prime-time TV is bound to be a hit no matter what they do, whether itís nuns and paintings or suited spivs with antiques. Here was a nice lady who evidently knew her Arshile Gorky from her El Greco, reassuring us we neednít worry about all that high-falutin elitist nonsense they teach in art schools. All you need do is look at a painting and feel." The Scotsman 05/12/03

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Refugee From Graz Karen Stone is Dallas Opera's new general director - but she's largely unknown in American opera. Her career has been in Europe, in England, Germany and Austria. Most recently she's been running the opera company in Graz. The opera there has a $30 million budget and produces long repertory seasons. Dallas - with a $10 million budget is much smaller. So why leave? "We have huge fixed costs [in Graz], because of the huge amount of employees in the technical department. And we are going through a phase with politicians who are trying to reduce the funding they give us. They want to semi-privatize us. But we don't have the possibility of seeking funds outside. It's incredibly dangerous for the future. Dallas Morning News 05/11/03

Understanding Orwell A conference debates the work of George Orwell. "Celebrated (and often sanctified) for his antitotalitarian novels 'Animal Farm' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four,' Orwell's reportage in 'Homage to Catalonia' and 'The Road to Wigan Pier,' and for scores of essays on everything from communism to brewing a proper cup of tea, Orwell succeeded in his stated ambition - 'to make political writing into an art.' He was also a writer of dazzling range. As Thomas Cushman, the Wellesley sociology professor who organized the conference, put it, ''There was nothing that he didn't turn his guns on.' But at the conference, participants frequently turned their guns on each other..." Boston Globe 05/11/03

Saturday, May 10, 2003

FBI Investigated Aaron Copland For 20 Years The FBI was convinced that composer Aaron Copland was a Communist and spent "two decades and more monitoring Copland's whereabouts, analyzing his comments and taking note of his friends and associates. The result is an inch-thick FBI file, replete with blacked-out passages, released to The Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from late 1997. The papers make clear that the government's interest in Copland did not end with his 1953 testimony at Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist hearings - transcripts of which were released this month."
New Jersey Online (AP) 05/10/03

Has Ingmar Bergman Made His Last Film? Has Ingmar Bergman made his last film? "The last day, the way he was, and the way he said goodbye, he didn't only say goodbye because the film was over. He said goodbye in a way I knew meant 'this is the last time I leave a film set as a film director'." BBC 05/10/03

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Zeffirelli At 80 (Still Going Strong) Director Franco Zeffirelli has been in the biz for 60 years. He's got a new play opening in London's West End. "His timetable is punishing, not least because he is 80 and in frail health after near-fatal complications following a hip operation a couple of years ago. He relies on a cane and any available spare arm. Stairs are hazardous..." London Evening Standard 05/08/03

The Mind Behind Wigmore Hall "William Lyne must qualify as the most un-Australian Aussie ever to set foot on these shores, which he did nearly 50 years ago. He is a man so self-effacing that he would rather sink into a pothole than be hailed by name across a crowded street. If he has tantrums, nobody has seen them. If he has sulks, they are forever concealed behind an indelible smile. He is the opposite of the ďtemperamental luvvieĒ type who is supposed to dominate the arts world. Yet for the past 37 years Lyne has run the greatest chamber-music venue in the world, and run it brilliantly. He has been manager of the Wigmore Hall..." The Times (UK) 05/09/03

Danny Boy - Why They Love Libeskind What is the appeal of Daniel Libeskind? The architect chosen to build on the site of the World Trade Center has dazzled some. "It is clear enough why Libeskind?s work, exceptionally thin in range and character, should have endeared itself over the years to his various clients, all of whom inhabit the world of cultural institutions: museums, schools, and foundations. He himself is most at home in that world, and until recently has inhabited it exclusively. He speaks its language. If his designs struck any of his potential clients as dangerously unhinged, reassurance was always at hand in the form of his impeccable institutional credentials, his professorial demeanor, his high-flown patter." Commentary 05/03/03

Baghdad Blogger Back Online Salam Pax is back, and none too soon for the Baghdad-based blogger's legion of fans in the West. Pax, who writes an online diary about life in the Iraqi capital, stopped posting after the U.S. invasion began, causing many to fear the worst. But now, Pax is filling in the gaps in his story, and doesn't seem overly pleased with his country's 'liberation': "Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Donít let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you donít think about your 'imminent liberation' anymore." Wired 05/08/03

  • Previously: Iraqi Blogger Goes Silent The weblogger known as "Salam Pax" has a lot of readers worried for him. "For months, the mysterious Blogger of Baghdad, whose pseudonym translates as 'peace' in Arabic and Latin - and who is suspected by some of being a secret agent or a hacker - had chronicled the minutiae of life in a city on the edge of war... On Friday, Pax - a gay man in a repressive society, an atheist in a Muslim land, a lover of democracy but a hater of war - filed a worried dispatch as he awaited the first shock-and-awe assault on the city he cherishes." A short time later, the blog, one of the most widely-read on the web, went dark. So far, no one seems to know if Pax is dead or alive, free or imprisoned, or if he ever really existed at all. Philadelphia Inquirer 03/27/03
Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Geoffrey Bardon, 62 "Geoffrey Bardon, the artist credited with teaching Australian Aborigines to paint commercially, creating a multimillion-dollar Aboriginal fine art industry, has died aged 62." Sydney Morning Herald 05/08/03

A Tale Of Two Men With £1 Million One takes £1 million in banknotes and burns them in an existential statement - an act of art. The other invests in trying to save the beleaguered English National Opera. "Why does Bill Drummond get cult status for burning a million and Martin Smith villain status for giving a million? The answer is simple. Drummond, as a rock hero, appeals to our instinct for anarchy. Martin Smith, and many of his friends, are bankers - or stockbrokers, financial consultants, and the like. They deal in money. To some sections of the arts world, the persona of 'banker' is villainous." London Evening Standard 05/07/03

Remembering Mr. Laff Box Is anyone mourning the death of Charles Douglass, inventor of the TV "Laff Box?" "The question of where the first laughs in Charlie's Laff Box came from is still subject to debate in TV geek circles. Some say they were sampled from a Marcel Marceau concert; others claim they came from a classic Red Skelton performance; still others say he recorded live audiences from early 'I Love Lucy' shows. All of these shows relied heavily on sight gags, which would have simplified the recording process." OpinionJournal 05/08/03

Kreizberg to Replace Sawallisch For Philadelphia Tour Russian-born conductor Yakov Kreizberg will replace ailing Philadelphia Orchestra music director Wolfgang Sawallisch on the orchestra's upcoming tour of North and South America. Kreizberg, a rising star in the conducting world, has conducted recently in Philadelphia, but will get only two rehearsals with the Philadelphians before the start of the tour. Sawallisch was forced to bow out of the tour this week when fatigue and other health problems caught up with him during a recent stretch of high-profile performances. Philadelphia Inquirer 05/07/03

"Quickest Brain" In The West? David Gordon's hiring as head of the Milwaukee Art Museum was considered something of a coup for the often-overlooked regional gallery. But while Gordon has certainly lived up to billing as a plain-speaking man with big ideas, his brash style isn't going over terribly well with some local artists, who are afraid that Gordon intends to ignore local art altogether. James Auer is concerned: "I hate to see the museum missing the boat on what is a burgeoning Milwaukee art scene, with many image-makers in the very age group - late teens to early 30s - that the museum covets but has a hard time luring into its gleaming lakefront masterpiece." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 05/06/03

Apologize, Then Hit Back Texas composer Laura Greenday-Ness has apologized for allowing misleading information about her career to be used in her music school's promotional materials, and blamed her publicist for what appear to be flatly made-up accomplishments in her bio. The publicist claims that he wrote what Greenday-Ness told him to write, and nothing more. The composer also attacked the Dallas Morning News for its reporting on her misleading resume, claiming that the paper didn't give her enough time to respond to the charges. Dallas Morning News 05/06/03

  • Previously: Laura Greenday-Ness, This Is Your Life! Oh, Wait, No, It Isn't. This much we know is true: Laura Greenday-Ness is the head of a small music school in a Dallas suburb. But nearly everything else in the Texas composer's resume appears to be patently false. According to her school's promotional materials, Greenday-Ness is a two-time winner of the national Composer of the Year award, is in residence with the Dallas Symphony, and has written for the Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony, and Philadelphia Philharmonic. Reality check: there is no such award; no one at the orchestras in Dallas, Boston, or Chicago has ever heard of her; and there is no such orchestra as the Philadelphia Philharmonic. Dallas Morning News 04/29/03
Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Ailing Sawallisch Will Skip Final Tour Wolfgang Sawallisch, 79, who is in his last week of performances as the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, will finish out this week's concerts with the orchestra in Philadelphia, but will not accompany the orchestra on a three-week tour of North and South America. Sawallisch "has felt dizzy and tired, and has been experiencing blood pressure problems." Philadelphia Inquirer 05/06/03

Sunday, May 4, 2003

Belafonte: An Artist's Obligation Should artists speak out on political issues? Harry Belafonte has always been an activist. "It's a peculiarly modern idea that artists shouldn't express a point of view on issues. But often the cultural and intellectual communities are the first to be attacked, because we're first to protest the social order." Seattle Times 05/04/03

My Day As Saddam Stephen Moss answers the audition call for Saddam lookalikes for a new play. You think an audition is difficult? Try walking through London dressed like an Iraqi dictator... "When I first try on the beret, it feels more Frank Spencer than Saddam Hussein, and several members of my immediate family remark on the campness of my appearance. Naturally, I have them butchered. I am also aware of the greyness of my hair. Saddam was not, it seems, prepared to die, but he was always willing to dye." The Guardian (UK) 05/04/03

Was Shakespeare A Pothead? "Several 17th-century clay pipes found at the site of William Shakespeare's home were used to smoke marijuana, a South African anthropologist says. Although he has no proof that the Bard was the guy who smoked the pipes, he surmises that some of Shakespeare's sonnets and plays also lend credence to the possibility that the writer smoked marijuana for inspiration." The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) 05/04/03

Saturday, May 3, 2003

Asteroid Names After Mister Rogers An asteroid has been named in honor of Fred Rogers. "Misterrogers," formerly known as No. 26858, honors Fred Rogers, creator and host of public television's "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Rogers died Feb. 27 at age 74. Los Angeles Times (AP) 05/03/03

Friday, May 2, 2003

Auctioning Isaac Stern An internet auction of 180 items from violinist Isaac Stern's estate has begun. "The items from the Stern estate range from violins, violin bows and photographs to his humidor and Steinway & Sons piano. Potentially the most valuable piece is a violin made by Frenchman Jean Baptiste Vuillaume around 1850. Bidding for the violin started at $47,500." Los Angeles Times (AP) 05/02/03

Thursday, May 1, 2003

Nunn Surfaces With The Serious Trevor Nunn has been gone from London's National Theatre only a month, and he's launched into a new career - directing Ibsen. "No longer having to explain his decisions, he seems unburdened and even unbuttoned in the usual - and successfully youthful - head-to-toe denim (he is 63). He had hoped to do the Ibsen, in a new version by Pam Gems, at the National. But it got endlessly postponed, so when the Almeida asked me it seemed the obvious choice." London Evening Standard 05/01/03

Great Germans - No Hitler Allowed German TV is adapting the BBC's "Great Britons" poll to choose a "Great German." But "in Germany, the voting procedure has been modified to stop Hitler or any his followers being included. A panel of experts will nominate 250 people. The public will then be invited to chose 50 more before the final voting begins." BBC 05/01/03

Blurring Art And Politics Randall Packer is the U.S. Secretary of Art & Technology. Didn't know there was one, did you? Well, okay, there isn't. The whole thing is a performance art piece. And a website. And a series of treatises. But there's a considerable amount of real-world crossover in Packer's work, and the questions he's raising about art, politics, money, and government are as valid and fascinating as if his Cabinet-level post were real. Washington Post 05/01/03

Piatigorsky at 100 "Among those whose music-making produced a level of beauty, insight and involvement practically alien to the present, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky will always be regarded highly." But with the decline in classical record sales and a general 'embrace-the-new' attitude in classical music, how many listeners really know Piatigorsky anymore? However many it is, the number should increase soon. Piatigorsky would have turned 100 this month, and several Baltimore-area arts organizations are celebrating with concerts, exhibits, and remembrances from family, friends, and colleagues. Baltimore Sun 05/01/03

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