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Posted: 09/09/2005 10:08 am
America On Top (In Universities) "Since the second world war Europe has progressively surrendered its lead in higher education to the United States. America boasts 17 of the world's top 20 universities, according to a widely used global ranking by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. American universities currently employ 70% of the world's Nobel prize-winners, 30% of the world's output of articles on science and engineering, and 44% of the most frequently cited articles. No wonder developing countries now look to America rather than Europe for a model for higher education. Why have European universities declined so precipitously in recent decades?" The Economist 09/08/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 10:11 pm
- Reinventing The Modern (Ancient) University Global competition is forcing some of the world's most venerable and tradition-bound universities to rethink what they do. "These tradition-loving (or -creating) institutions are currently enduring a thunderstorm of changes so fundamental that some say the very idea of the university is being challenged. Universities are experimenting with new ways of funding (most notably through student fees), forging partnerships with private companies and engaging in mergers and acquisitions. Such changes are tugging at the ivy's roots." The Economist 09/08/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 10:07 pm
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130 Years Of Maturing America's Artists The Art Students' League of New York turns 130 this year, and its history is chock full of legendary artists and impressive anecdotes. More importantly, the school has amassed an extensive collection of works by its former students, and many of the pieces are on display this fall at the school's West Side headquarters. "And it won't be partying alone. As an anniversary salute, more than a dozen Manhattan art galleries have organized smaller shows, some already on view, devoted to artists associated with the institution." The New York Times 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:18 am
Taubmans Loosen Grip On Sotheby's The Taubman family, which has owned controlling interest in Sotheby's auction house, is reducing its investment to minority shareholder status. "The deal, which ends years of speculation about the Taubmans' intentions for their holding, ends a dual share structure that had allowed the family's 22% stake to carry 62% of the votes. The family will continue to hold 7.1 million shares, which will give them the same power as other investors in the company." The Guardian (UK) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:45 pm
Renoir Kin Implicated in Potential Billion-Dollar Art Fraud "According to documents filed in an Arizona court, Jean-Emmanuel Renoir, great-grandson of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, has lent his name to what one lawyer claims could be the 'biggest art fraud in history', a plan to market hundreds of thousands of works inspired by Renoir-Guino sculptures to which the artist’s descendant does not hold copyright. Projected revenues are over $1 billion." The Art Newspaper 09/09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:34 pm
Do We Want "Appropriate" Art For WTC Projects? Cultural buildings at the site of the World Trade Center are mired in debates about what is "appropriate." " 'The challenge for the curators is going to be: given the context of where these cultural institutions are, what's appropriate here?' Whatever else this particular controversy has illustrated, it is just the latest trouble to visit the four cultural structures of the new World Trade Center site. One way or another, the future of all four of them -- the memorial, the memorial museum, the performing arts center, and the cultural building -- is unclear. Gotahm Gazette 09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:21 pm
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Denver Prepares To Inaugurate Its New Gem "To celebrate what designers believe is a world-class opera house, a run-of-the-mill classical concert just would not do. Something very special was called for, and that's what Opera Colorado plans to deliver Saturday evening with the first performance in the $92 million Ellie Caulkins Opera House... The opening of a new opera house anywhere is noteworthy, because the construction of such buildings is so rare. Some companies have to perform in less-than-ideal venues designed for multiple functions or adapted from other uses. For this 2,268-seat facility, Boulder acoustician Bob Mahoney and Semple Brown Design created a lyre-shaped theater that they believe can compete with any of the world's top opera houses in terms of sound, comfort and technical sophistication." Denver Post 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:49 am
The Orchestra Unplugged A new documentary film featuring the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra takes a decidedly personal view of music and the people who play it. "The paradox of performing in an orchestra is that it is an intensely private experience in a public arena," and the aloofness with which orchestral musicians (and orchestras as a whole) are usually portrayed stands at stark odds with the film's exploration of the emotions and contrasting inspirations of the Philadelphians. "The musicians... are presented as regular people who have been anointed with a gift they do not fully comprehend, or want to. The ineffability of their musicmaking is central to their passion." The Christian Science Monitor 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 5:51 am
Proms Unscathed By Terrorism The London bus and subway bombings barely made a dent in ticket sales at the BBC Proms. After an initial dip at the beginning of the festival (which occurred between the July 7 bombings and the second attempted attack on July 21), sales were robust throughout August, and the final tally will likely be down only 2% on last year. More than 20 concerts in the massive Royal Albert Hall sold out, and overall capacity was better than 80%, a big success in a venue more than twice the size of the average concert hall. The Guardian (UK) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 5:41 am
Wigmore Get In To The Recording Business London's Wigmore Hall, prized for its good acoustics, has started its own recording label. The Guardian (UK) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:49 pm
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Possible Lead In KCS Murder Police in the suburban town of Independence, Missouri, have picked up a Kansas City teenager for questioning in the murder of Kansas City Symphony bassist Steven Peters, who was killed in his home on Tuesday. Police are not saying whether the 17-year-old is a suspect in the case. Kansas City Star 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 5:47 am
- Previously: KC Symphony Musician Murdered 51-year-old bass player Steven Peters, a 21-year veteran of the Kansas City Symphony, was found murdered in his home on Tuesday. Police are releasing little information about the crime, but Mr. Peters' brother-in-law has been quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the house had been burgled four times in the last six months. Members of the orchestra were notified by phone Tuesday night. Kansas City Star 09/07/05
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One Singular Sensation Without A Home The glut of shows looking for homes on Broadway has gotten so bad that an $8 million revival of one of the Great White Way's biggest smash hits ever has been reduced to begging for performance space. A Chorus Line, which ran on Broadway for 15 years, is slated to open in fall 2006, but it hasn't even been able to get signed as a backup booking. In addition to the booking jam, "there is also the question of just how well A Chorus Line has held up over the years and whether audiences will flock to see a revival of a show that hasn't been gone all that long (it closed in 1990)." New York Post 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 7:08 am
Shakespeare In Afghanistan Shakespeare's Love's Labor Lost is being performed in Kabul. "The William Shakespeare play is one of the first to be staged in the country since the fall of the Taleban in 2001. Theatre is much more popular than television. But during the Taleban's time it wasn't allowed." BBC 09/09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 10:15 pm
Altman, 80, Makes London Stage Debut Film director Peter Altman is making his London directing debut. "Altman, who turned 80 this year, will tackle one of the last plays written by Arthur Miller, Resurrection Blues, which he was rewriting in the months before his death in February. The director of Gosford Park and Short Cuts knew Miller as a friend and wanted to bring the production to London, a wish expressed by the late playwright himself." The Guardian (UK) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:41 pm
- Are Directors London's Latest Hollywood Obsession? "Hollywood actors come over to the West End all the time, of course, attracted by a relatively short run, all-expenses-paid accommodation in a top hotel or apartment, bags of prestige - and they've often got a good deal of theatre experience to draw upon anyway. But will a Hollywood director find it quite the same congenial experience?" The Guardian (UK) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:33 pm
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Chicago Reading Project Goes Retro Chicago's citywide group-read project, known as "One Book, One Chicago", is four years old, and this fall, the city's mayor has decided that it's time for Chicagoans to expand their literary horizons across the Atlantic. The new selection is Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, and several academic and theatrical institutions around the city will be hosting events, lectures, and performances based on the book. As usual, Chicago booksellers and libraries were tipped off about the selection ahead of time, so as to be sure that plenty of copies will be available. Chicago Sun-Times 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:41 am
At Least She's Not Sucking Up To The Judges One of the novelists shortlisted for the Booker Prize obviously isn't running for Miss Congeniality. Zadie Smith, whose latest book, On Beauty, made the shortlist, has described England, where she lives (and where the Booker is based) as being filled with "stupidity" and "vulgarity." London, in particular, is "a disgusting place," according to Smith. On the other hand, Smith doesn't cut herself or her colleagues any slack, either: in the same interview, she described novel-writing as "quite stupid work." BBC 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 5:58 am
Today's Students Eschew Books For Internet College libraries are finding that students are abandoning libraries. "Today’s students can go through a semester, or even a year, without ever wandering into the stacks or opening a hardbound volume, and that’s a reality more and more librarians are recognizing. That circulation is down shows students aren’t simply using the Internet to check things out in digital form, but using it in lieu of checking things out at all." Bookstandard 09/07/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 10:00 pm
Surprise - You're Not On The Booker List Some of the UK's biggest heavyweight writers have failed to make this year's Booker list. "Ian McEwan's tale of an extraordinary day in the life of brain surgeon Henry Perowne, has widely been seen as a shoo-in for the shortlist from the date of its publication. And he was joint favourite with Julian Barnes at the longlist stage to take home the gong for the second time. Instead, he has become the shortlist's most high-profile casualty - although with previous winners Salman Rushdie and JM Coetzee also failing to make the cut, he is in very good company." The Guardian (UK) 09/08/05
Posted: 09/08/2005 9:53 pm
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Mid-Lockout, CBC Appoints A New Leader "The [Canadian] government has appointed screenwriter and journalist Guy Fournier as new chairman of the CBC's board of directors, prompting hope among the broadcaster's locked-out employees that the board will move to resolve the four-week-old dispute. Fournier, who was also instrumental in founding Quebec's Télévision Quatre-Saisons network, was named to the board for a four-year term in February and takes over a top job that has been vacant throughout the build-up to the labour showdown." The union representing the locked-out CBC workers made hopeful noises about Fournier's appointment, but an independent watchdog group says that a change in board leadership will likely do little to change CBC president Robert Rabinovitch's hard-line stance towards his employees. Toronto Star 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 7:24 am
TIFF's Global Outreach Film buffs are, by nature, always looking for the next hot thing in moviegoing, but sometimes, even the devotees need a push to begin looking seriously at unfamiliar work. So goes the thinking behind the Toronto International Film Festival's "Planet Africa" project, which has recently been retired after ten years of specifically promoting African films at the fest. The idea is not to create a one-time celebration of underappreciated cultures, but to bring those cultures permanently onto the North American radar screen by making them a valued part of the festival. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:53 am
ABC To Add Spanish To Primetime This fall, ABC will become the first American network to make its primetime schedule available in Spanish, as part of an effort to draw in the country's ever-expanding Hispanic population. The network will use a combination of voice-dubbing and closed captioning to translate its entire lineup of entertainment programs. Hispanics, the fastest-growing minority population in the U.S., make up 1/7 of the overall population, and studies have shown that a high percentage watch mainly Spanish-language channels, eschewing the programming offered by the larger broadcast networks. Baltimore Sun (AP) 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:32 am
Volunteer Radio Effort Scuttled By Relief Officials One of the more frequent complaints from survivors of Hurricane Katrina has been the government's utter failure to coordinate and distribute the information they need in order to begin rebuilding their lives. So when a group of well-meaning Houston residents decided to set up a low-power FM radio station aimed at the refugee-choked AstroDome and dedicated to repeating crucial information 24 hours a day, public officials at all levels were excited. But it didn't take long for the tangled bureaucracy governing relief efforts to first delay, and then completely shut down the volunteers' efforts, for reasons passing understanding. Wired 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:04 am
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PBT Cuts Nutcracker Again The financially troubled Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, which recently made waves with a decision to lay off its orchestra in favor of recorded music, has canceled five of the performances it was scheduled to give of The Nutcracker this holiday season. It was the second such announcement in only a few months: back in June, PBT announced it would cut Nutcracker back to 17 performances from the 23 it mounted last year. The ballet says that its holiday schedule has been hurt by the addition of the traveling Radio City Christmas Spectacular into Pittsburgh's fall arts lineup, but members of the laid-off ballet orchestra suggest that the public may not be interested in attending a Nutcracker with canned instrumentals. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 7:15 am
Reality TV Finally Gets Around To Dance "This is how far dance has sunk in the American public's estimation: By the time reality television executives got around to adding a dance competition to the mix of talent show-inspired programming, the market was already saturated with hopeful singers, models, starlets and fashion designers." But shouldn't the dance world take TV's sudden interest in the art as a compliment? Um, no, says Gia Kourlas, not so long as the overarching point of the dance programs popping up in primetime is to laugh at incompetent celebrities who thought serious dance looked easy. "Dancing isn't just about unearthing some inner, mysterious passion: dancing is hard. It serves as a magnifying glass, and no amount of slick talk or charm can hide the truth about your personality." The New York Times 09/09/05
Posted: 09/09/2005 6:27 am
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