It has made available more than 100,000 of the “top” books worldwide to readers. “It should not be important whether you are a member of an institution and whether you live in a city with bookstores and libraries in order to have access to books. We still approach the book depending on where we are and which institution we belong to. We still read what others dictate to us rather than what we find ourselves. There is still a very small number of writers who get a chance to publish. When the books are opened in a digital format, it creates new opportunities that will maximize every evolving society.
Pick your desire – “eye-opening reads” that are “for art-lovers” – and click the buttons, and voila! The app, now in its fourth iteration, provides hours of fun and small quibbles with the creators – and a lot of opportunities to catch up on books readers had missed this year.
“Colors are something we experience, individually and collectively. But without our experience of color, science would have no reason to suspect its existence. There would just be fifty shades, or more likely fifty thousand shades, of electromagnetic waves. That is why even a Nobel Prize-winning biologist like Gerald Edelman tells us that reality is actually colorless; because he takes reality to be what science tells us it is, not what he experiences as an individual.”
Filmmaker and writer Merete Mueller introduces her 7½-minute documentary about Roslyn Mays and the workshops she teaches. (video)
“Redux includes two lists of radical thinkers: those of the past and present, respectively. The past list includes blurbs about influential thinkers from Socrates to Thomas Jefferson to Anna J. Cooper to Alan Turing, with some perhaps unexpected entries. An entry on Jesus of Nazareth, for example, reads, ‘Notorious radical and troublemaker, taught the poor, executed by the state.'”
Adam Kirsch: “One illusion that will be particularly painful to part with is the idea that high culture and the arts have any effective power in American life. … The central role that writers and artists have played in public debate and popular culture is a thing of the past, but that role was always secondary to their real purpose.”
The current Polish government had asked the court to allow the extradition of the director (who is a dual citizen of Poland and France) to the U.S. over his notorious statutory rape charge from the 1970s.
“Nothing like a boycott promoted by conservative Republicans to send the Broadway grosses soaring.”
“‘In the social media, there have been tens of thousands of comments about ‘King Bibi’,’ [sculptor Itay] Zalait said on Army Radio when asked what had inspired him to create the statue. ‘I simply made it a reality and put it in its deserved place, the Kings of Israel Square.'”
Marina Harss looks at the special qualities of this first star part for young male dancers, and she talks to a 12-year-old who’s sharing the role at New York City Ballet this year.
Oh yes, it was booed, and not only by the professional claques. There are some big differences from the revised version Puccini eventually published – especially with the character of Pinkerton, who was originally much more craven as well as more caddish.
“While critics and book reviewers may continue to be an essential part of public cultural life, literary theorists who do not embrace AI will be at risk of becoming an exotic species – like the librarians who once used index cards to search for information.”
“Artists objected to the fact that the NAS Creative Community Fellows program would have emphasized community engagement–which they view as the province of outreach programs administered by nonprofit organizations. It also placed substantial emphasis on training for more community engagement–an investment of time and energy many artists view as taking them away from the focus of their work. They note that the work itself is exhibited in galleries and featured in art walks and as such has made enormous contributions to Cleveland neighborhoods.”
“In the U.S., we’re citizens of our debt,” the collective, which grew out of the Occupy Wall Street movement, told me. “Almost everyone has some kind of debt. If artists don’t organize around it, [the debt] is going to gobble us up.”
A century ago, Maude Adams was such a renowned actress that one critic described her as “the most popular person in the United States.” Peter Pan was the role that made her a superstar, and she was also famous for her Napoleon II. Yet the play she loved most was an adaptation of the old fable of Chanticleer.
“I found that the way in which they spoke was really familiar to me, as an African-American woman who has struggled with marginalization throughout my entire life. For the first time, they were saying, ‘We feel unseen, unheard, frustrated.’ At the end of the meeting, I said, ‘You guys sound like socialists.'” A Q&A with Slate‘s June Thomas.
The figure for last season was up 15% over 2014-15 and is the fourth increase in a row. Total attendance was down slightly, and there was a $561,000 deficit after three years of surpluses; both decreases can be blamed on (yes, really) the weather.
He’d been acting professionally in British theatre, film, and television for seven decades when he was cast (at age 90) as Maester Aemon in HBO’s juggernaut. “With his bulky figure, small eyes and prognathous jaw, he usually played the type of character you would not want to bump into on a dark night in a darker alley, even though, in real life, Vaughan was known for his conviviality,”
And not just in the contemporary category, either. Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain and John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles are up for best opera recording (Higdon’s up for best new composition as well). Among other nominees are the Seattle Symphony doing Dutilleux, Leila Josefowicz acing John Adams, Salonen and the LA Phil zinging Zappa, Third Coast Percussion banging out Reich, and Mason Bates performed by both MTT/San Francisco and Muti/Chicago.
“In a year that lacked some of the breakout narratives that have marked the jazz category in recent years – see Gregory Porter, Cecile McLorin Salvant – Grammy voters once more leaned on veteran or otherwise familiar talents for the bulk of the nominations field.”
The headline in this morning’s ArtsJournal touted the “bombshell” report by the Toronto Symphony that it had avoided what looked like a likely $4-6 million deficit to instead post an $831,000 surplus AND reduce its long term accumulated debt of almost $12 million by about $5 million. Great news, right?
But read down into the Musical Toronto story and the news is more sobering. In fact, it looks like the “surplus” barely masks yet another shaky financial year for the orchestra, which has been carrying accumulated deficits for decades. How long? The orchestra has carried debt continuously since… 1979.
To put this year’s results in the black, the orchestra drew a hefty $4.9 million on its ~$33 million endowment. And then this curious notation:
The rest of the $5M reduction in accumulated debt comes from the historical musical instrument collection, which the orchestra valued at $4.2M and is unlikely to depreciate, due to its historical classification.
Since presumably the orchestra wouldn’t sell its valuable instruments(?) how did the instruments help reduce the accumulated deficit?
While the overall financial picture doesn’t seem really to have improved, the orchestra does seem to have adroitly avoided what was looming as a financial crisis after former CEO Jeff Melanson left last year. And the TSO did report that individual contributions to the orchestra were up impressively by more than 20% over the previous year, and the number of donors was up 15%.
The TSO’s books showed fundraising hitting an all-time high at 37.7%. Tickets contributed 27.5%, Government grants at 17.3%, Foundation contributions at 15.5% and an additional 4.9% from other sources such as parking and concession sales.
Still – there are an awful lot of unfilled seats in Roy Thomson Hall these days. For whatever his faults as an administrator, Melanson had a big vision for the orchestra. With the TSO looking for a new CEO and a new music director, some compelling idea about what the orchestra should be will be a high priority.
- Douglas McLennan
“After years of making use of elaborate renderings on one New York soundstage, NBC is taking a cue from Fox’s recent production of “Grease: Live!” and, for the first time, is staging the production in Los Angeles including a live studio audience and will mount some of the production outside.”