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With Michael Apted Gone, Can His ‘Up’ Documentaries Keep Going?

Beginning in 1964 with Seven Up!, Apted made a series of nine films, shot at seven-year-intervals, following the lives of a group of 14 Englishmen and -women from ages 7 through 14, 21, 28, etc. (63 Up was released in 2019.) After his death last week, the 12 remaining subjects and several longtime crew members are considering whether to...

Howard Johnson, Pioneering Virtuoso Of Jazz Tuba, Dead At 73

"Before Johnson, in instances wherein the tuba was part of a jazz arrangement, it was typically confined to bass parts. Johnson demonstrated a prowess that allowed him to play melodic lines, even lead parts. … He was a featured player in the Mingus, Carla Bley, and Gil Evans big bands; he also put in time with Charlie Haden's Liberation...

Amazon Sued For Colluding With Big Five Publishers In E-Book Price-Fixing

"The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York on January 14 by Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman, … currently names only Amazon as a defendant. However, it labels each of the Big Five publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Random House — as '“co-conspirators' in an alleged scheme … to squelch consumer price competition...

Two Baritones Learned That Where They Were Working When The Pandemic Hit Made All The Difference

Jarrett Ott and Steven LaBrie met in music school in Philadelphia and remained friends as they moved to New York and their careers grew. In 2018, Ott took a salaried singing position at the opera house in Stuttgart, while LaBrie remained in the U.S. with a busy freelance schedule. When COVID brought public performances to an abrupt end, each...

Atlanta’s High Museum Receives Major Gift Of 19th-Century French Art

"The gift, from Atlanta collectors Irene and Howard Stein, which includes sculptures, prints and posters, is part of a larger bequest made by Steins, the museum announced on Wednesday. Included in the bequest are: 41 prints and posters and 10 sculptures by Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Gauguin and Desjardins; a drawing by Degas; and an oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux." -...

In Ontario, Even Livestreamed Performances Without Audience Are Now Banned

As the number of COVID cases continues to spike, "organizers behind a number of livestreaming concerts and theatre shows in Ontario say the province's stricter stay-at-home orders have forced them to sideline an array of upcoming virtual events. … The changes come after Premier Doug Ford introduced a new directive which, as of Thursday, requires residents to stay home,...

After High-Profile Robberies, Germany To Spend Millions On Security For Arts Venues

"The German government has announced that it will hand out €32 million ($38 million) this year to national cultural institutions undertaking modernization projects, including updating security systems. More than 73 cultural venues across Germany" — and outside the big cities in particular — "will benefit from the grant." - Artnet

This Year’s Kennedy Center Honorees

The Kennedy Center Honors announced today that the lifetime artistic achievement recipients for its 43rd ceremony will be choreographer and actress Debbie Allen; folk singer-songwriter Joan Baez; country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke. - New York Magazine

Why You Can’t Stop Watching “Bad” TV

“Consolatory entertainment” is a better term for such programming. There is consolation in the simple pleasures of ordinary conversation, shared enjoyment and of laughing together that underpins the success of panel games, quiz shows and even celebrity chat shows. - The Conversation

The Wrenching Realities Of Gentrification

Gentrification is one of the most pressing – and polarising – issues confronting cities today. In popular discussions, defenders of gentrification tend to paint it as an influx of badly needed capital into blighted urban areas... Critics view gentrification as a quasi-colonial invasion of the privileged into economically vulnerable communities. - Aeon

Smithsonian Abandons $2 Billion Redo Of National Mall Castle

The Bjarke Ingels Group proposal was unveiled with great fanfare in late 2014 as a reimagining of the campus on the southern edge of the Mall, stretching from the Freer Gallery of Art at 12th Street to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at Seventh Street. The splashy concept had been in development for two years, with construction expected...

COVID Is Killing American Indian Tribal Leaders And Their Culture

“It’s like we’re having a cultural book-burning,” said Jason Salsman, a spokesman for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in eastern Oklahoma, whose grandparents contracted the virus but survived. “We’re losing a historical record, encyclopedias. One day soon, there won’t be anybody to pass this knowledge down.” - The New York Times

Trump, Insurrection And Classical Architecture

Before the attempted coup, architecture critics were debating the lasting impact of the president’s executive order decreeing that federal buildings should be in classical style. "Now, they are talking about whether the damage to the Capitol should remain, in some form, as a permanent goad to memory, reminding visitors of the destruction wreaked by the president’s supporters." - Washington...

We Need A Moratorium On Comparisons To Orwell’s ‘1984’

Especially for some folks, writes former high school English teacher Rachel Klein. "'This is just like 1984!' the right-wing mob cries as it changes the very meaning of words to suit its nefarious aims. 'So Orwellian!' its leaders cry as they demand unthinking fealty to an unhinged, unquestioned leader. … It's a text that allows them to frame themselves...

Riccardo Muti Speaks Out About Met Opera’s Treatment Of Its Orchestra Musicians

“My appeal is to give back to the musicians of the Met the dignity which we all deserve and the hope that they can soon return to share with us their art. We must support them during this unprecedented and terrible pandemic.” - ClassicFM

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