“What’s worked for the last 400 years is when you see independent, risky art as an investment, not a subsidy. That can’t happen when the aim is to entertain or achieve quick success. By pursuing that aim, private concert presenters undermine and even endanger the essential, serious work of publicly funded institutions.”
“The Mongol 482 may be just a ‘middle-range, everyday’ pencil. But it’s also one of the most famous pencils in history … Because the Mongol 482 has written its autobiography” – with the “as told to” services of a libertarian economist. Thus, like so many autobiographies, this one had an agenda – and, also like so many autobiographies, it isn’t entirely accurate. (podcast with transcription)
“Twelve miles north of Madrid in Mejorada del Campo, a 90-year-old man is working to finish his life’s work: a grand cathedral. It is a cathedral with no trained architect, no government approval and no benediction from the Catholic Church. It is either the work of a madman or that of a prophet.”
After three major galleries pulled out just before deadline, the board’s decision to cancel was unanimous.
Research psychologist Robert Epstein finds, and worries about, just how much effect a small change in the order of search results can have.
“He says he doesn’t ever wonder why all the roles for men in ballet are straight – ‘that’s where your acting ability comes in, and when I’m kissing Juliet, I’m not myself” – but it is a little odd that a discipline that outsiders so strongly associate with gay men is built entirely on a canon of straight love stories.”
“Classical music makes me a much better saxophonist than jazz does. Because for saxophone technique, guys end up playing fast stuff. In classical music, you just have to develop a technique to execute melodies and ideas that are beyond the linear ways that we tend to think about music. And that’s the challenge of it for me.”
This month, Christopher Wheeldon’s Strapless and Justin Peck’s The Most Incredible Thing got an unusually negative reception. “There’s a similar harshness in the takedowns of these two works (from both critics and audiences) that caught my attention. You don’t typically see such severe reactions to non-narrative works. Why are people so upset by these pieces?” Jennifer Stahl explains.
Meet the founders of the organization Museum Hue.
“‘It’s a richer and more sophisticated rhythm because you can hit one more thing,’ said Gil Weinberg, director of the Center for Music Technology at Georgia Tech. The robotic arm is capable of hitting a drum up to 20 times per second, a rate that’s impossible for humans. And it never needs a break.”
“‘The challenge is saying all these really scary things, but in a way that people aren’t frightened,’ said Debbie Irwin, a New York-based voice actor who also does medical narration. Irwin has done voiceover work for hospitals, medical technology companies, and drugs like Surfaxin, a treatment for a respiratory condition. The tone Irwin tries to take? ‘Warm but factual,’ she said. ‘Absolutely I’m gonna sound like I know what the hell I’m talking about.'”
“Those feelings of displacement and despair crop up repeatedly at the Berlinale, as if in response to our current geopolitical moment – one defined by news stories about forced migrations and refugee crises.”
Whether they function as a resource for art lovers or provide an introduction for an audience that can’t attend — or simply hasn’t — the museum in person, these courses are increasing access in inventive ways.
They feel the telecast needs more suspense.
“Five broad cultural and economic trends are sure to impact sectors across America–affecting our work in the arts in the coming years.”
The original concept of average is, after all, mathematical: the mean of a set of numbers. That measurement came to signify “normal” and even “exemplary” thanks to a frustrated Belgian astronomer who got caught on the wrong side of a revolution.
“Wilde’s life and work was shaped by strong, colorful and ambitious women just as much as it was by the men who conspired to bring him down. Here are some rather surprising facts about some of the women he knew.”
“On many nights, performances are given of shows that have been devised and rehearsed throughout the week. These are shared with an audience made up of a mixture of the theatre’s regular participants and curious outsiders who may never have entered the dome before.”
Ramin Ganeshram, author of A Birthday Cake for George Washington: “It goes without saying that these and other enslaved people were not happy to be enslaved. It goes without saying that their lives were harder and crueler than we could possibly imagine … Nonetheless, Hercules did not fit the ‘norms’ of his time. … To say that [he] couldn’t have done certain things or lived a certain way because others who suffered under the criminal institution of slavery did not, is simply not historically true.”
“Joseph Volpe, who spent 42 years with New York’s Metropolitan Opera – 16 of them as general manager – was named the interim managing director of the Sarasota Ballet Thursday, replacing Mary Anne Servian, who was dismissed from her position of five years earlier this week.”
When the hall’s half empty…
Or, worse, if it has more empty seats than people, as appeared to be the case at the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s concert at the Kennedy Center on Monday. … But wait! … read more
AJBlog: Sandow Published 2016-02-18
Interview: The Skinny on the Beats
Hilary Holladay: How would you size up the significance of the Beats as writers rather than as personalities? Jan Herman: Kerouac has had a huge influence on readers worldwide. I’m sure that more people have … read more
AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2016-02-18
So you want to see a show?
Here’s my list of recommended Broadway, off-Broadway, and out-of-town shows, updated weekly. In all cases, I gave these shows favorable reviews (if sometimes qualifiedly so) in The Wall Street Journal when they opened. … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2016-02-18
“There was more activity, or communication, among the portions of their brains that process stress-related reactions and other areas related to focus and calm.”
“Many of these free light festivals include interactive displays that turn spectators into participants who can change colors or patterns by moving or playing a game. The events are also tourism magnets, attracting locals and out-of-towners alike to waterfronts, historic districts and other neighborhoods on dark winter nights and other periods when tourist activity may be low.”
The fierce new competition seems to have caught Italians by surprise. “There are good voices in Italy but many of them think a good voice is enough and don’t want to learn the other aspects such as acting.”
“The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is about to decide the fate of 95 properties that have been languishing, some of them for decades, on its calendar.” Michael Kimmelman looks at the issues involved – and at some of the buildings he’d like to see saved.
The first and only time before now the Metropolitan Opera has produced an opera by a female composer was in 1903 (Ethel Smyth’s Der Wald).