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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Iran's Fundamentalist President In Trouble For Watching Dance "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who flaunts his ideological fervour, has been accused of undermining Iran's Islamic revolution after television footage appeared to show him watching a female song and dance show." The Guardian (UK) 12/10/06

Friday, December 8, 2006

Frank Lloyd's Wrongs A new play currently running in Chicago dramatizes the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and to an architecture critic, seeing the production provides a stark reminder that some of our greatest artists can also be reprehensible human beings. It's a tough dichotomy to reconcile: "Does Wright's art justify his life? Or do we have to set aside his skyscraper-size flaws and ignore the irony that this maker of idyllic homes seemed hell-bent on destroying the domestic tranquility that once existed in his own house?" Chicago Tribune 12/08/06

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Evolution Of The Third Tenor Jose Carreras just turned 60, and his career is as alive as ever. But it's not exactly the same career he once had. "Questions about his retirement were rattling around as long ago as 1992. Then, he said 2000. But here we are, six years on, and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down... But there is a sense that the prodigious tenor will be remembered fondly for past operatic glories, not present triumphs." The Times (UK) 12/08/06

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

An Award? Me? Um, Okay, Sure, I Guess. The first woman to win the Turner Prize seems singularly unimpressed by that fact. In fact, Tomma Abts seems to regard her entire underexposed career as something of a personal experiment in success and failure. "Abts has never had formal training in fine art and hasn't taken a painting lesson in her life... She has always painted for herself, on the side, and the fact that it has ended in glory is something she finds quite amazing." The Guardian (UK) 12/06/06

Remembering A DC Theatre Institution Mike Malone, the choreographer, director and teacher who died Monday at age 63, was a stalwart of the Washington theater community for nearly 40 years. He believed in building institutions where the arts would be an avenue for creativity for young people, and enjoyment for all. Washington Post 12/06/06

Pamuk: "Im Not A Bridge-Builder" Orhan Pamuk, on the eve of getting his Nobel Prize for literature, says he's not interested in the larger cultural connections some want to impose on his work. Pamuk, author of "My Name is Red", "Snow" and half-a-dozen other novels said he wanted to be considered above all as a writer and not as a bridge between Muslim and Western cultures. "Bridge builder? I don't like it. I am not writing fiction to explain civilization. This is not my urge." Yahoo! (AFP) 12/06/06

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Pavarotti Cancels Award-Ceremony Appearance "Luciano Pavarotti, battling pancreatic cancer, recently completed medical treatment and is looking forward to resuming his concert tour next year, but won't attend a ceremony this week to receive an award, his manager said Tuesday. ... The occasion would have been his first public appearance since undergoing surgery over the summer." Seattle Post-Intelligencer (AP) 12/05/06

Grants Program Names First $50,000 Recipients "United States Artists, a new nonprofit organization that makes grants directly to artists, made its first awards yesterday, distributing $2.7 million in unrestricted grants to artists working in fields ranging from architecture and design to the visual arts. Among the 50 artists receiving $50,000 were Chris Ware, a young cartoonist from Illinois; Basil Twist, a puppeteer in New York; and Anna Brown Ehlers of Alaska, who weaves blankets in the tradition of her Northern Tlingit family." (third item) The New York Times 12/05/06

Art-Theft Detective Robert Volpe, 63 "Robert Volpe, a painter with a flowing mustache who gained street smarts chasing drug smugglers as a police officer and then put those skills to use as the New York City Police Department’s one-man art-theft squad in the 1970s, died on Nov. 28 at his home on Staten Island. ... Mr. Volpe essentially created his detective’s job after computer analyses pinpointed art theft as a growing problem. Asked to make a survey, he came back with actual arrests instead of a report — underlining the need for a special effort. He became that effort, making the New York Police Department the nation’s only one with a separate bureau for art crime." The New York Times 12/05/06

Monday, December 4, 2006

Zubin Mehta's Edge "Of the many words written about Mehta over the years, 'subtle' has rarely been one of them. His nearly five-decade professional career has propelled him from a musical home in Mumbai (then called Bombay) through a prestigious apprenticeship in Vienna to the head of the most demanding orchestras on three continents. Along the path from prodigy to graying star he has emerged as perhaps the most dashing personality in the ostensibly staid world of classical music, the embodiment of a quickening cultural globalization that he has harnessed often in service of his beliefs, artistic and otherwise." Washington Post 12/03/06

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Tan Dun On The Busking Life Composer Tan Dun chats about his life, including his student years, when he played the violin on a Greenwich Village street corner to make money: "It was West Fourth Street. That time it was very good. In an hour I can make maybe $30. Amazing. I still see those people who used to share the spot with me. 'Hey, Tan, where are you playing?' I say, 'I play at Lincoln Center, but inside.' " The New York Times 12/03/06

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