“[Stephen Towns’s] Joy Cometh in the Morning series presents six painted figures, each representing a martyr from the rebellion … In Towns’s vision, each wears a noose around their necks, held in place by one raised fist, a gesture of black power.” An employee at one venue where the paintings were shown objected, “stating that she shouldn’t have to look at black faces with nooses around their necks at work.” Towns immediately withdrew the series from the show, leaving blue tape on the walls where each canvas had been. Cara Ober writes about the debate than ensued.
“Five years have passed since the LSO began secret negotiations to bring the Liverpool-born conductor back to his homeland after his 16 sometimes turbulent years at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic, and more than two since his appointment as the LSO’s music director was announced. Who would blame the orchestra for making a big fuss about his first concerts in his new job?”
Slate history maven Rebecca Onion: “Over the 19th and 20th centuries, American time capsules went from containers for civic virtue, to carefully curated museums of popular culture, to catch-alls, capturing the overwhelming amount of stuff that drifts through a consumer society. Looking at the evolution of time capsule contents, it becomes clear that our ideas about which items future historians could use in order to figure out how we lived have changed drastically. But through it all, we’ve retained a touching faith in our own interestingness.”
“One of the ballet world’s busiest superstars is adding another role to his resume, and it’s a big one. American Ballet Theatre principal Daniil Simkin is joining Staatsballett Berlin as a principal beginning with the 2018-2019 season. Though he will be based in Berlin, the virtuoso will maintain his position at ABT, performing with the company as often as his schedule will allow.” Here he talks with Lauren Wingenroth about how he got the job and what his plans for it are.
BBC Music Magazine took a poll of 172 prominent singers, including the likes of Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and Bryn Terfel. You’ve almost certainly heard of the top choice, but it may surprise you (meaning it’s not by Verdi, Puccini, or Wagner); it got more than twice as many votes as the runner-up. (What made us happy is that Peter Grimes made the top five.)
“When you’re performing with a whirling cinderblock or giant hamster wheel as your partner, there is no time for second-guessing your physical fitness. Fortunately, STREB EXTREME ACTION member Cassandre Joseph knows exactly what her body needs to stay safe, even when flying off 30-foot platforms. What are the five habits that prepare her to tackle anything that director Elizabeth Streb might throw her way?”
“The orchestra’s librarians are responsible for obtaining the scores for each program, for making sure all of the markings are the same in all the parts, for putting the music on the stands before each performance, and for being physically present at each show in case of emergencies – even on tour. It takes about 100 hours, says Elizabeth Schnobrick, the National Symphony Orchestra’s principal librarian, to prepare the music for a single subscription program.”
“The deal, announced Thursday in a news release, calls for no wage increases in the first year of the contract and 2 percent base wage increases in the second and third years. The [orchestra management] also agrees to additional contributions to offset increases in health care costs.”
“Sotheby’s announced the price estimates for the works. The Berkshire Museum holdings will be offered at auction starting November, and will continue through 2018. The museum has said it hopes to raise some $50 million from the sale. Leading the sale is a work by Norman Rockwell that has attracted the most ire of those protesting the move.”
Repairs are well underway at the Center for Dance, and the Academy should be back to a full schedule of classes by Sept. 11. The subfloors from both the small studio and the dance lab on the first floor have been removed, as well as two feet of drywall. A new pump and electrical panel for the water system is currently being installed.
Described by founder Elsa Longhauser as a kunsthalle, the ICA LA is a small, non-collecting museum, whose origins lie in the now defunct Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA). After a lengthy rent dispute with its landlord, the SMMoA closed in 2015, and Longhauser, the museum’s executive director, took time to regroup before rebranding the museum as the ICA LA. “We’re not really changing the model,” Longhauser told Hyperallergic at a press preview yesterday, “we’ve just expanded. Moving from Santa Monica to Downtown gave us the opportunity to rethink, revise, and contemplate what we want to do.”
“The bottom line is that, in theatre, as in movies and restaurants, aggregation is just a new way of looking at opinions. Yes, it’s all reductive – even the opinions can be as well, in relation to work they assess – but instead of getting aggravated with these sites, theatre producers should just focus on creating great work, as I believe most do, instead of trying to kill the messenger, as their Hollywood brethren wish they could.”
“To explain the bad news, movie executives are trying out fresh excuses (blame … Rotten Tomatoes?), while journalists are rehashing familiar criticisms (people are bored with sequels!). Both of these explanations are wrong. The subtler truth is that the domestic movie market is in a slow, decades-long structural decline.”
“In place of the vanished aristocratic patrons came a set of interlinked bureaucratic institutions: the federal government, philanthropic foundations, and universities. All three served a similar role of protecting modernism and modernists from an unregulated free market that was assumed to be uninterested in, if not actively hostile to, the survival of the arts, and poetry in particular.”
Andrew Hunter’s mission was to make the AGO relevant to the world outside its doors in a deep and real way. For maybe the first time in its history, it is. The gallery’s task now, with two key positions now vacant — Hunter’s, and the role of chief curator — is to decide whether to maintain course, or chart a new direction. It does the latter at its peril.
“I pulled out all the public records for results in 2014 of London galleries, and I presented [the data] anonymously. It was really interesting because more than half of the galleries were in red. Which I think is one of the problems now: that of keeping up appearances and not being honest and open to your artists.”
“It was finally recovered last month, and investigators are focusing on several theories. And one of them is, in its own way, extraordinary: They are trying to determine if the heist was engineered by a retired New York City schoolteacher — something of a renaissance man — who donned women’s clothing and took his son along as his accomplice, and then hung the masterwork in the bedroom of his own rural New Mexico home, where it remained. In other words, they are examining whether he stole a painting now valued at in excess of $100 million simply so he could enjoy it.”
“More than any previous coterie of corporations, the tech monopolies aspire to mold humanity into their desired image of it. They think they have the opportunity to complete the long merger between man and machine — to redirect the trajectory of human evolution. How do I know this? In annual addresses and town hall meetings, the founding fathers of these companies often make big, bold pronouncements about human nature — a view that they intend for the rest of us to adhere to.”
I must add a warning to music teachers. They will be horrified by this book. “I didn’t practice much and never went to my lesson fully prepared,” Mr. Hersch explains at the outset. Even in later years, he avoided the rote playing of scales and exercises: “I’m never sure what or how to practice, so I rarely do. But I seem to pull it together when the lights go up.” That may seem like a bad attitude for a professional musician, but I have a hunch that much of Fred Hersch’s greatness stems from avoiding over-preparation and embracing the risk-taking attitude jazz improvisation demands when played at a high level.
“In late June, the university lavished Halls with a new long-term contract containing a large pay increase that took him into six figures a year. But, less than two months later, the University of Oregon abruptly terminated that contract, ordering Halls to immediately cease any festival-related work, and told him that it was scrapping tentative plans for him to teach at the UO.”
The star’s desire for a space “as personal and as intimate as possible” is certainly an intriguing goal, and what his performance at the Walter Kerr would freshly reveal is exciting to contemplate. It’s depressing, though, to watch as the running-up of prices ushers in an era of hard feelings.
Grime-streaked floodwater nearly slapped the 10-foot ceilings of the lower of the building’s two chambers, lurching up a winding stairway and foreclosing access to the lobby below. But when the New York-based playwright Rajiv Joseph, who recounted his experience by telephone on Wednesday, peered down into the morass on Aug. 27, the grief was instant and deflating.
“His ambitions carried him far from fashion into the worlds of politics and culture. Though his clients were mostly rich and conservative, he was a staunch supporter of the Socialist Party, a contributor to liberal causes and a patron and arbiter of literature, theater and music.” President Mitterand appointed Bergé head of the Paris Opera, where his six-year tenure was stormy even by the standards of that notoriously contentious institution.