The Problem With Young American Conductors


“They have advanced degrees, even doctorates, from major universities and conservatories. They can put together interesting programs, master difficult scores and rehearse efficiently. They can talk to audiences and schmooze donors. Smartly coiffed and dressed, they look good on TV, posters and season brochures. But can they conduct an interesting phrase?”

Have Our Students Become Too Critical?


“In campus cultures where being smart means being a critical unmasker, students may become too good at showing how things can’t possibly make sense. They may close themselves off from their potential to find or create meaning and direction from the books, music and experiments they encounter in the classroom.”

Hong Kong Cancels Anthony Gormley’s Men-On-Rooftops Piece Because It Hits Too Close To Home

gormley event horizon

Event Horizon, which features statues of the sculptor standing near the edge of rooftops, has already inspired emergency calls from people who thought they were seeing a suicide in London, New York, and São Paulo. But the lead sponsor of the installation in Hong Kong withdrew after one of its own employees threw himself from the offices’ rooftop earlier this year.

How ‘The Velocity Of Autumn’ Met The Ferocity Of Broadway Reality

velocity of autumn

The new play had an entertainingly over-the-top premise (elderly Mom booby-traps her apartment with Molotov cocktails to Sonny can’t send her to a nursing home), two skilled stage actors (Stephen Spinella and the 86-year-old Estelle Parsons), and excellent audience and critical response from its run at Arena Stage in D.C. Yet it closed after a month, despite a Tony nomination for Parsons.

A French Film Star, Beneath The Makeup And The Making Up


Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose,” “Rust and Bone”), of appearing in “Anchorman 2”: “I’m a big fan of America comedies, especially Will Ferrell and all his team. And they have known that I was a fan, so they asked me if I would be a part of it, and of course I said yes right away. But I never question how people could see me.”

Finding New-To-Us Music In The Age Of Pandora And Spotify


“What would I do now, if while listening to, say, the ‘Aaron Copland’ channel on Pandora, Ives came up in the rotation? Would I really have the patience to listen to his heartbreaking and dissonant piece ‘The Unanswered Question,’ a suite whose whole point is to make a listener feel uneasy?”

How Is Bill DeBlasio Going To Treat The Arts In NY?


“His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, was a major supporter of the arts and spent around $3bn on cultural projects during his 12-year tenure. After more than 100 days in office, De Blasio has made one thing clear: his approach will not resemble Bloomberg’s high-gloss, high-budget agenda.”

What’s It Like To Be Second In Command At The Met?

Sarah Billinghurst

“One of the most important people in opera you’ve never heard of,” Sarah Billinghurst “is responsible for strategic decisions about the company’s repertory, watching out for artists at competitions and rival houses and producing more than two dozen operas a season: finding directors, filling roles major and minor, coordinating rehearsals.”

When New York Lost Its Booksellers

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“Here is a brief honor roll of bookshops now vanished: the Seven Gables Bookshop; House of Books Ltd.; Scribner’s; the Gotham Book Mart; the Carnegie Book Shop; Dauber & Pine; the Eberstadt Brothers; University Place Book Shop; Ursus Books; House of El Dieff; and Parnassus Books.”

What Eurovision Means To (And For) The World


“Framed as a sort of cross between the Olympics and a battle of the bands, part of what makes Eurovision so different is the way its entries play with ideas about national pride (and sometimes international shame). On top of the free-wheeling approach to performer nationality that can give Celine Dion to Switzerland, language requirements for the contest mean that a country can sing (and lose, miserably) in an entirely non-native language.”