Monday, February 11, 2008

Classical WETA/WGMS - FM -- Formerly Public Classical Music In The Nation's Capital -- Makes Top 10 Notable Art Heists Of Past Generation

_ "February 2008: Armed robbers steal four paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet worth $163.2 million from the E.G. Buehrle Collection, a private museum in Zurich, Switzerland.

_ December 2007: Picasso painting valued at about $50 million, along with one by Brazilian artist Candido Portinari valued at $5 million to $6 million, are stolen from the Sao Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil, by three burglars using a crowbar and a car jack. The paintings were later found.

_ February 2007: Two Picasso paintings, worth nearly $66 million, and a drawing are stolen from the Paris home of the artist's granddaughter in an overnight heist. Police later recovered the art when the thieves tried to sell it." ...

_ January 2007: Priceless public radio station, WETA-FM, is stolen from the public by Sharon Percy Rockefeller, who after deciding that classical music on public radio was indeed valuable after all, accepts junior partnership in a merger offer from failing, commercial-driven WGMS-FM. Ms Rockefeller then tries to disguise heist by painting merger as "the new Classical WETA/WGMS-FM", while jettisoning all independent music curators and vocal and choral music, and virtually all American and modern classical music. One of largest cultural property thefts in American history.

_ "February 2006: Around 300 museum-grade artifacts worth an estimated $142 million, including paintings, clocks and silver, are stolen from a 17th century manor house at Ramsbury in southern England, the largest property theft in British history.

_ February 2006: Four works of art and other objects, including paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Monet and Dali, are stolen from the Museu Chacara do Ceu in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by four armed men during a Carnival parade. Local media estimated the paintings' worth at around $50 million.

_ August 2004: Two paintings by Edvard Munch, "The Scream" and "Madonna," insured for $141 million, are stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, by three men during a daylight raid. The paintings were recovered nearly two years later.

_ August 2003: A $65 million da Vinci painting is stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in southern Scotland after two men join a public tour and overpower a guide. It was recovered four years later.

_ May 2003: A 16th century gold-plated "Saliera," or salt cellar, by Florentine master Benvenuto Cellini, valued at $69.3 million, is stolen from Vienna's Art History Museum by a single thief when guards ignored a burglar alarm. The figurine is later recovered.

_December 2002: Two thieves break in through the roof of the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and steal two paintings by van Gogh valued at $30 million. The men are convicted a year later, but the paintings were not recovered.

Associated Press "List of Notable Art Heists" Washington Post February 11, 2008


Happy Birthday, Mother!

And many thanks for driving us to all those music lessons (Dad too!); and for taking me to all those Library of Congress and National Gallery of Art evening concerts when I was a pre-teenager and a teenager.

Autumn II by
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).
Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Wassily Kandisky Concerning the Spiritual in Art 1911

The extraordinary Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. was founded by American Duncan Phillips (1896-1966), a great art lover [unlike WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller]. The collection establishes a subtle link between the symbolic works of European modern art (Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Klee, etc.) and those of the post-war generation of American artists (Edward Hopper, Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Alexander Calder, Hans Hofmann, Richard Diebenkorn, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Susan Rothenberg, Elizabeth Murrey, etc.)

Photo credit: (c) ADAGP, Paris and Phillips Collection. 2008. All rights reserved.


If you support American Classical Music for the Nation's Capital, please call or write:

Ms. Sharon Percy Rockefeller
President and CEO
Classical WETA-FM
2775 South Quincy St.
Arlington, VA 22206
tel 703.998.2600
fax 703.998.3401

Afro-Ukrainian Hip-Hop; And "Potomac-Dniester" Baltimore, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk, And Arlington Sister City Cultural Exchange


Adriana Helbig, Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will give a presentation: "'Make Me a Hip, Make Me a Hop:' Afro-American Music, African Migration, and Class Identity in Ukraine"

Helbig analyzes how certain groups use hip-hop to engage interracial and interclass dialogues in Ukraine. In particular, she examines the correlation between the present popularity of hip-hop in the post-socialist sphere and increasingly articulated expressions of racialized class identities in cosmopolitan Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv. She takes into consideration the significant economic migrations from Africa to Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union and identifies hip-hop as a musical form used by local and migrant populations to negotiate understandings of pluralism in a new democratic context. Specifically, she analyzes hip-hop as a process through which articulations of new identities such as "Afro-Ukrainian" are politicized and put into practice.

Tuesday, February 19
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-3027

Call: 202-691-4000



Come learn about the drink that Ukrainians and Russians call the "Water of Life." Vodka - a clear, colorless, almost odorless unaged liquor made from potatoes, and sometimes from corn, rye, or wheat. Sample different vodkas from around the world, hear why vodka is so popular in Eastern Europe, and learn more about the Baltimore-Odessa [Odesa] Sister City Committee. Vodka tasting will be provided by the company "Mid-Atlantic Beverage Group, LLC."

Friday, February 22
6:00 p.m.

Belvedere Hotel
1023 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

$5.00 (covers the cost of the lecture and four vodkas to taste)

Contact Mark or Anna White at 410-337-8965; e-mail:



The next meeting of a newly-formed committee will continue exploring the creation of a sister-city relationship between Ivano-Frankivsk and Arlington, Virginia. Both residents and non-residents of Arlington County are welcomed to attend and participate.

The committee is working in cooperation with the broader Arlington Sister City Association (

Among the near-term projects is an ASCA Tour to Reims, France and Ukraine from June 11-23, 2008, which will include stops in Kyiv, L'viv, and Ivano-Frankivsk.

Saturday, February 23
1:00 pm

Arlington Central Library
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201

Contact: Chrystia Sonevytska at

Odesa (above) and Ivano-Frankivsk (middle), Ukraine, Future European Union. Odesa Philharmonic. The Odesa Philharmonic Hall (below) resembles the Doge Palace in Venice, Italy, Present European Union.

[Click on images for enlargement.]

Photo credits: (Ivano-Frankivsk]and Paganel [Odesa Philharmonic Hall] via Wikipedia. With thanks.

Friday, February 08, 2008

some free, local, new and unusual old music to enjoy while waiting for the cherry blossoms and the election

Some free, local, new and unusual old music to enjoy this weekend while waiting for the cherry blossoms and the election:

Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 8:00 pm
Library of Congress
with JENNIFER LARMORE, mezzo-soprano
Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Music Director

Larmore is a brilliant collaborator with the French period instrument group admired for meticulous research and virtuosic performances, in particular itsdefinitive recordings of Vivaldi.

Arias from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Ariodante, and Rinaldo; Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice; and Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso; along with Vivaldi Sinfonias and Concerto for Two Violins.

Please note: The ticket supply for this concert, via Ticketmaster, has been exhausted; however, there are often up to 80 empty seats available for "sold out" concerts at start time. Interested patrons are strongly encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert nights to join the standby line for no-show tickets.


Sunday, February 10 at 6:30PM
West Building Main Floor, West Garden Court, National Gallery of Art

Eighteenth-century music from the Spanish royal court

Concert Notes

Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000)
The Migration of the Negro, Panel No. 57, 1940–41
Acquired 1942
© Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence. Courtesy of the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation

Photo credit: (c) The Phillips Collection. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Colored American Opera Company; And Democratic And Un-American Classical Music In The Nation's Capital

"In 1873, just a decade after the Emancipation Proclamation, a group of African American singers debuted as the capital's first opera company.

Organized as the Colored American Opera Company, the troupe's beginnings are rooted in Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church, a 150-year-old black Catholic congregation that remains an influential parish in the city today. The church choir, responding to the need to raise money for a new building and school, created the opera company, which produced and toured The Doctor of Alcantara, a popular operetta of the times. The endeavor surprised music lovers and raised thousands of dollars.

Now, the history and music of the long-forgotten company have been resurrected by the Music Center at Strathmore, a concert hall just outside the District of Columbia in Bethesda, Maryland. Through narration, song and an operatic concert performance Free to Sing: The Story of the First African-American Opera Company, an original Strathmore production that premieres February 16, tells the heroic story of those early singers.

"Preserving and presenting local music is an important goal of Strathmore," says the center's artistic director, Shelley Brown, who launched the research that culminated in the production. She had stumbled on a mention of a "colored" opera company while researching the area's musical history." ...

Marian Smith Holmes "Lifting their Voices: Paying tribute to America's first black opera [company]" January 30, 2008.


In 1892, the first African-American performers appeared at Carnegie Hall.

Democratic Classical Music in the Nation's Capital. (For Un-American Classical Music in the Nation's Capital, see Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM: Public Radio for so-called Greater Washington.)

Photo credit: (c) Morgan State University Choir. 2008. All rights reserved. Via And (c) 2008. All rights reserved. With thanks.


If you support American Classical Music for the Nation's Capital, please call or write:

Ms. Sharon Percy Rockefeller
President and CEO
Classical WETA-FM
2775 South Quincy St.
Arlington, VA 22206
tel 703.998.2600
fax 703.998.3401

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Post 'Super-Tuesday' Blues

Photo credit: (c) Associated Press. 2008. All rights reserved. With thanks.

Music+ Matters: Classical Music Born Of Northern California And The "Potomac Primaries" Heads To Carnegie Hall; WTO 'Approves' Ukraine's Membership

In case you haven't been paying attention to the classical music primaries and to international economic and social integration and inequality and poverty reduction developments:

Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 8 PM, Carnegie Hall
National Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, Music Director and Conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
Mason Bates, Electronics

MASON BATES Liquid Interfaces (NY Premiere)
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel)


Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 8 PM, Carnegie Hall
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, Music Director and Conductor
Colin Currie, Percussion

R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche
STEVEN MACKEY Time Release (NY Premiere)
DEBUSSY Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite (1919 version)


Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in "Greater Washington".


"The General Council today [5 February] paved the way for Ukraine’s membership in the World Trade Organization by approving its accession terms. Ukraine will have to ratify the deal by 4 July 2008 and would become a WTO member 30 days after the ratification.

“Ukraine’s WTO membership will strengthen the multilateral trading system and provide this country with a stable and predictable trade environment that will boost its growth and prosperity. I am particularly pleased to welcome to the WTO President Victor Yushchenko, whose personal commitment to his country’s accession was a major factor in the successful outcome to these negotiations.” declared Director-General Pascal Lamy.

Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko declared “Ukraine’s membership to the WTO is truly an historic moment and is a decisive milestone in the development of our economy. We are convinced that our efforts will yield results and allow us to build closer economic ties worldwide.”

Ukraine applied for WTO membership in 1993, and the Working Party concluded the negotiations on 25 January 2008 under the chairmanship of Chile’s Ambassador Mario Matus. The General Council approved the Working Party report, the market access schedules on goods and services, the General Council Decision and the Protocol of Accession."

In center, Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko and WTO's Director-General Pascal Lamy.

Photo credit: (c) World Trade Organization Electronic Press/511 via the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Before There Was Barack Obama, There Was Another American Born In 1961 Who Had A Somewhat Unusual Name -- Byron Kim ...

Byron Kim, Synecdoche, 1991-92, oil and wax on panel, 394 panels, each 10 x 8 inches. Collection of the artist; courtesy Max Protech Gallery, New York.

"Byron Kim belongs to a generation of artists striving to revitalize the practice of abstract painting and to make it relevant for contemporary times. Kim brings to his painting autobiographical and cross-cultural references. His first landmark work, Synecdoche, 1991-92, included in this exhibition, is a grid of 400 monochromatic rectangles each based on the skin color of various people, thus redefining the traditions of portraiture and figurative painting."

Photo and caption credit: (c) Byron Kim via University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. 2004. All rights reserved. With thanks.

On 'Super-Tuesday', Pan Cogito's Thoughts Turn, Unexpectedly, To Youth, Magic Horns, Village Folk Theater, and Magic Mountains ...

... "I haven't told you about my trip to Dragobrat in January [2008] yet. Frankly speaking, I didn't expect that we have such beauty in Ukraine. It is the highest mountain resort in our country! We went there by train to Ivano-Frankivsk, then by jeep, because other vehicles are unable to ride on [such] extreme mountain road. There are only hotels for tourists and all the infrastructure for skiing and snowboarding. We stayed at hotel "La romany", it is called so because the owners and all the staff are roumanians. It was very interesting to learn more about their culture.

There we rode on snowboards, walked around the mountains and climbed up to the top (the highest one is called Zhandarm, 1800 m). The day before departure, on January, 13 (old-style new year) we dressed as folk characters of ukrainian vertep (street theatre) and walked around the village making performances and singing shchedrivky (special carols which people sing on this day). It was very bright. People took photos with us and gave us some money. To me, this tradition is a bit similar to American Halloween by its "trick or treat". In general, I got lots of warm memories after this trip." ...

(c) J.M. 2008

'The ski industry helped the Carpathian Mountains region of Ukraine pull out of an economic slump caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union.'

[Though less materially rich than either Poland or the Russian Federation, Ukraine --like the Czech Republic or Japan or Sweden -- has significantly less income inequality than do those two neighbouring countries. In fact, Ukraine's degree of income inequality is today exactly the same of that of Austria; while income inequality in the Russian Federation is now approaching the level of that of the United States.]

Photo and caption credit: (c) Anne Sherwood for the New York Times. 2006. All rights reserved. With thanks.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Would The Tone Of A Barack Obama Presidency Help Reshape The Classical Programming Of American Orchestras And Public Radio Stations?

Carnegie Hall's Great American Orchestras I and II, 2008-09

Thurs, Sept 25, 2008 at 8 PM
San Francisco Symphony
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director and Conductor
Katia and Marielle Labèque, Piano

LIGETI Lontano
POULENC Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5

Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 8 PM
The Cleveland Orchestra
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director and Conductor
Measha Brueggergosman, Soprano

LIGETI Atmosphères
WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder, Op. 91 (orch. Mottl/Wagner)
·· Der Engel
·· Stehe still!
·· Im Treibhaus
·· Schmerzen
·· Träume
R. STRAUSS Eine Alpensinfonie

Tues, Feb 17, 2009 at 8 PM
New York Philharmonic
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Lorin Maazel, Music Director and Conductor
Celena Schafer, Soprano
Jessica Jones, Soprano
Kate Lindsey, Mezzo-Soprano
Susanne Mentzer, Mezzo-Soprano
Kelley O'Connor, Mezzo-Soprano
Philippe Castagner, Tenor
Ian Greenlaw, Baritone
Kevin Deas, Bass
New York Choral Artists
Joseph Flummerfelt, Director
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Joe Miller, Director
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun, Director

RAVEL L'Enfant et les sortilèges
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé (complete)

Sat, May 2, 2009 at 8 PM
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Bernard Haitink, Conductor

BRUCKNER Symphony No. 8


Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 8 PM
The Cleveland Orchestra
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director and Conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano

GEORGE BENJAMIN New work (NY Premiere)
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad"

Tues, Mar 10, 2009 at 8 PM
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Pierre Boulez, Conductor

IVES Three Places in New England
IVES The Unanswered Question
VARÈSE Ionisation
VARÈSE Amériques

Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 8 PM
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

David Robertson, Music Director and Conductor
Karita Mattila, Soprano
Anssi Karttunen, Cello

WAGNER Prelude and Good Friday Music from Parsifal
KAIJA SAARIAHO Mirage for Soprano, Cello, and Orchestra (NY Premiere)
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82

Mon, May 4, 2009 at 8 PM
Minnesota Orchestra
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Osmo Vänskä, Music Director and Conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin

SIBELIUS The Wood Nymph, Op. 15
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

Photo credit: (c) All rights reserved. With thanks.

'Post-Supers': Fruit Of U.C. Berkeley's Center for New Music and Audio Technologies On Display At Carnegie Hall This Thursday

MASON BATES -- Liquid Interface for orchestra and electronica (24')

3 flutes (all doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3. doubling English horn), 3 Bb clarinets (3. doubling Eb clarinet and bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3. doubling contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, bass drum, bongos, trap set, vibraphone, xylophone, marimba, cymbals, 3 suspended cymbals, ride cymbal, chimes, high tam tam, castanets, triangle, glockenspiel, washboard with spoon, crotales, 2 harmonicas, slide guitar, crystal glasses (glass harmonica), wind machine, strings, and electronica

Commissioned and premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin conducting, February 2007. New York City premiere at Carnegie Hall, with the NSO under Mr Slatkin, February 7, 2008. Electronica developed at U.C.-Berkeley's Center for New Music and Audio Technologies.

Composer and Electronica DJ Mason Bates.

Photo credit: Via the Young Concert Artists website. With thanks.


And who do who think that -- if nominated and elected -- Hillary Rodham Clinton -- and WETA's Sharon Percy Rockefeller -- might choose to be the next Chairwoman or Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts?


Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy, curated by Jessye Norman at Carnegie Hall, 2008-09.

[I don't believe that the music of Pulitzer Prize-winning American classical composer George Walker has once been played on racist Classical WETA-FM -- while the D.C. Youth Orchestra did perform George Walker years ago [in 1972] before Herbert Von Karajan and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.]

As Post-Cold War American Military Savings Reverses Itself, What Will American Culture Look Like After January 2009?

"As Congress and the public focus on more than $600 billion already approved in supplemental budgets to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for counterterrorism operations, the Bush administration has with little notice approached a landmark in military spending.

The Pentagon on Monday will unveil its proposed 2009 budget of $515.4 billion. If it is approved in full, annual military spending, when adjusted for inflation, will have reached its highest level since World War II." ...

Thom Shanker "Proposed Military Spending Is Highest Since WWII" New York Times, February 4, 2008.


Reuters "Bush Budget Sees Bigger Deficits as Economy Slows" February 4, 2008

Name that tune [and that American city] ...

Photo credits: (c) Library of Congress American Memory; (c) Soviet Musicians; (c) Arnold Schoenberg Institute, Vienna, Austria [formerly, Los Angeles, California]. All rights reserved.