It’s Masur’s efforts orchestrating peace that Google highlights in a doodle Wednesday celebrating the conductor’s 91st birthday. In 1989, when Leipzig was at the center of the pro-democracy movement that resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall, Masur was part of a group that helped avert a confrontation between protesters and police that could have led to bloodshed.
While some have decried the decision, pointing out that Mary Anne Carter’s primary form of engagement with the arts is piloting the dance career of her young daughter, who attends a school for the arts and dances competitively, it makes a refreshing break from a pattern established by Trump’s early appointees, to choose department heads that appear actively opposed to the discipline their agency is intended to manage and protect — for example, installing Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, when her most significant achievement is the dismantling of Michigan’s public school system.
“A son of an Albanian immigrant, Dragoti came from the world of New York advertising. He made his Hollywood debut by writing and directing Dirty Little Billy (1972), a Western about the early years of the outlaw Billy the Kid (played by Michael J. Pollard). Dragoti then helmed Love at First Bite (1979), the great Dracula spoof starring George Hamilton as the Count, and got story credit on Mr. Mom. He directed that film, starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr, from a screenplay by John Hughes.”
A small but growing number of scholars are now taking up the connection between Shakespeare and science. And, spurred perhaps by science fiction, by the ways that science factors in the works of key late-modern writers such as Nabokov, Pynchon, and Wallace, and by the rise of scientific themes in contemporary literary fiction, a growing number of readers are aware that writers can and do take up science, and many are interested in what they do with it.
“[Her] more than 150 books — including works about an oppressive ‘cucumber king’ who lords over a cellar and a ‘factory-made boy’ who always goes to bed on time — earned her some of the highest honors in children’s literature, … sold millions of copies and were translated into 30 languages.”
“A scion of a prominent German-Jewish family, Mr. Morgenthau was a son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s treasury secretary, a grandson of the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under President Woodrow Wilson, the older brother of former Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, and a cousin of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara W. Tuchman. … His years as a producer at WGBH in Boston, from 1955 to 1977, coincided with the birth of public television.”
The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance. But according to psychologist Carol Dweck and others, that advice is steering people wrong.
As industrious a writer as he was an editor (John McPhee marveled that Gottlieb once read an 80,000-word article of his overnight, with cogent suggestions for improvements), Gottlieb has published biographical treatments of Sarah Bernhardt, Charles Dickens’s children and the choreographer George Balanchine. Given that he turned 87 in April, the title of his new book, “Near-Death Experiences … and Others,” might suggest a meditation on impending mortality, a midnight reflection on the exit sign hanging at the end of the hall. Nothing of the sort.
Timothy Lees has been on leave since December due to medical issues related to a nerve injury affecting the fingers of his left hand. He has undergone cervical spine surgery and continues with a plethora of treatments. Lees has been on intermittent leave since the condition rose in April 2016. Although he was able to perform for the orchestra’s tour of Asia in March 2017 and again for the re-opening of the renovated Cincinnati Music Hall in October 2017, persisting symptoms resulted in his going back on leave.
Maria Konnikova: “It’s really physically and emotionally and mentally exhausting. I’m just sitting at a poker table inside a casino. I don’t actually see any of the places I visit a lot of the time. It can get really lonely. … People want to get into it because they think it’s easy money are absolutely insane. It’s some of the most difficult money in the world.”
Besides definitive interpretations of his own music, he must surely have given more first performances than any other conductor, alongside an outstanding body of recordings. He was the central focus of so many activities, and an irreplaceable mentor to his fellow composers, who constantly sought and relied on his advice and encouragement.
The 2018 laureates of the Japan Art Assoication’s 15 million yen ($133,000) prize, created as a sort of Nobel for the arts, are actress Catherine Deneuve, conductor Riccardo Muti, architect Christian de Portzamparc, painter Pierre Alechinsky, and sculptor Fujiko Nakaya, known for using fog as a medium.
“A wiry, calming presence backstage, Mr. Johnson choreographed solo shows and revues for performers including Ann-Margret, Bernadette Peters, Tommy Tune and Shirley MacLaine, who once christened him the ‘heir apparent’ to acclaimed choreographers Michael F. Bennet and Bob Fosse. Yet Mr. Johnson remained best known for his work with Brooks” – the dancing in “Springtime for Hitler” in The Producers, the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” tap dance in Young Frankenstein, Madeline Kahn’s burlesque number in Blazing Saddles, the Busby Berkeley-style monks and nuns in History of the World: Part I.
Jean-Marc Bustamante, the outgoing director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), France’s national arts academy in Paris, has criticised the French culture minister for a lack of support after being attacked by students. This follows allegations of sexual harassment made by students against some of the school’s teachers earlier this year. An online petition on Change.org, demanding that the administration address the issue, has more than 1,000 signatures.
“In May, the 95-year-old Marvel superhero creator launched the suit against [Pow! Entertainment’s] co-founder Gill Champion and its CEO, Shane Duffy, after it was alleged Lee had been tricked into signing a document giving away rights to use his name and likeness.” In his statement announcing the end of the suit, Lee said, “The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans.”
“Few musicians have broken free of the questionable tag ‘child prodigy’ as completely as Knussen, who transformed himself from the nervous teenager who conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in his own symphony at the age of 15 to a consummate musician: a composer, conductor and teacher who became one of the most respected figures in contemporary music.”
“Mr. Butler’s music was encyclopedic, precise and wild. He was acclaimed as a member of a distinctively New Orleans piano pantheon alongside Jelly Roll Morton, James Booker, Tuts Washington, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. He was also a forthright, bluesy singer who often used New Orleans standards as springboards for improvisation.”
The 57-year-old actor, who is in Sardinia shooting a TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, was riding a scooter when he was hit by a car that failed to yield right-of-way at an intersection. He has reportedly been discharged from a local hospital with only minor injuries.
She lost her Hollywood career (though she found work on stage) thanks to her advocacy for free speech. “Hunt is the last surviving member of what was known as the Committee for the First Amendment. It was a group of a few dozen big Hollywood names, including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Huston and Judy Garland. They produced a radio show called Hollywood Fights Back, protesting HUAC as itself un-American. And several members, including Hunt, flew to Washington, D.C. to show support for the writers and directors who’d been called to testify before HUAC.”
At the time of the profile, the 88-year-old documentarian was editing footage from the New York Public Library, and he had more than 150 hours to cut down to two or three. “While the technique is uncompromising, some of the observations are laugh-aloud funny – as when a telephone operator valiantly attempts to explain that unicorns don’t exist, or a picture librarian demonstrates a system of themed archiving with images of ‘dogs in action’. ‘Everything that I find is coincidental, but there’s nothing coincidental about the final film,’ explains Wiseman, who is not only the director and editor, but the sound recordist and producer.”
“Sometimes billed as ‘the world’s greatest trombonist,’ Watrous was universally admired among jazz musicians for the beauty and fluency of his playing, as well as both his speed and lyricism. Over a 55-year career he developed a long and spectacular résumé that included work with such luminaries as Kai Winding, Maynard Ferguson, Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, and Chick Corea, as well as the jazz-rock band Ten Wheel Drive and his own Wildlife Refuge Orchestra.”
While he had an extensive career as journalist, editor, public intellectual, and lover of Simone de Beauvoir, it was with Shoah, a 9½ oral history of the Holocaust widely considered one of the greatest documentary films ever made, that Lanzmann gained world renown. He never retired: his final film, Napalm (about his youthful affair with a nurse in North Korea), and his miniseries The Four Sisters were both completed last year.
“It is Memorial Day weekend and we are in a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, where about 350 members of the autonomous Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem have gathered to mark the 900th birthday of the Knights Templar. Members of the charitable organization, known by the unwieldy abbreviation SMOTJ, regard themselves as spiritual descendants of the original Templars.”