Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are The Doctors In Or Out?

[Click on images for enlargements.]

According to the IMF, collectively, the G-20 accounts for around 90% of global economic output and about two-thirds of the world's population.


The United States, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Canada, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. Spain is also participating.


"The global economic crisis will hit jobs hard, with unemployment set to reach double digits in many developing and advanced countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Sunday."

Francesca Piscioneri "Double-digit unemployment looms, OECD tells G8" Reuters March 30, 2009


"The World Bank released a grim report on Russia on Monday, projecting a 4.5 percent contraction in the economy in 2009 and warning that the financial crisis would push 5.8 million Russians into poverty unless the government shifted more spending to poor families. …

The report praised the government’s $85 billion anticrisis program, which stabilized Russia’s banks and prevented financial panic. But it said too little had gone to households — a hazard in a society where 37 million people, a quarter of the population, lives near the poverty line."

Ellen Barry "World Bank Grim on Russian Economy" New York Times March 31, 2009


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the three fasting growing occupations in the United States, at present during the severe recession, are health care; education; and archivists, curators, and museum technicians.


Image credits: The Doctors (c) William Kentridge. 2009. Copyright controlled; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Which Pan Cogito Remembers Occasionally To Read ArtsJournal.com On The Future Of Classical Music

“But who likes Birtwistle? I was once talking with the marketing and publicity directors of a major orchestra, which had programmed Birtwistle on a concert with two Beethoven piano concertos. I remember how, as we were talking, they began to think that, just maybe, the audience for Beethoven and Birtwistle might not be the same.

But who might be Birtwistle audience be? Apart from a few high-church music biz insiders. I suspect that it's the alt-classical crowd. I remember teaching 20 years ago at the U of Minnesota, and finding that the students in my class who loved hearing Babbitt were heavily into punk. I think the alt crowd has the most open minds, of any audience group I know how to define.

But then the question becomes what to program Birtwistle with. I think that's solvable, probably without too much difficulty. Messiaen with ambient electronic work was an inspired, if in retrospect obvious choice, and there's probably something that makes sense with Birtwistle. Maybe Squarepusher, even (if they're still around).

If a mainstream institution got an alt audience interested in anything they did -- and, most important, trusting them -- I think Birtwistle might not be a problem. I'd love to see this happen.”

Gregory Sandow in ArtsJournal.com March 29, 2009


Works by Harrison Birtwistle and Sofia Gubaidulina are happily scheduled for performances at, respectively, the Kennedy Center and the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in the month of May. These works will be performed happily in the company of other classical works of music.


At the Kennedy Center, the Nash Ensemble will perform a work by Birtwistle in the happy company of -- not Squarepusher -- but rather Knussen, Benjamin, Carter, Matthews, and Maw.


On Thursday, May 21, 2009, Sofia Gubaidulina will be a special guest at the Freer Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., along with the Moscow String Quartet. Born in the Tatar Republic of the former Soviet Union, Sofia Gubaidulina has earned commissions from the world’s leading ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. The Moscow String Quartet performs her String Trio and String Quartet no. 4, Glinka’s Quartet in F Major, and Borodin’s Quartet no. 2.


The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin

May 9–September 13, 2009

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in collaboration with The Moscow Kremlin Museums, this presentation features more than sixty exceptional objects that large embassies, diplomatic missions, and trade delegations of Ottomans and Safavids offered to the tsars of imperial Russia. Ranging in date from the late sixteenth to the late seventeenth century, these lavish gifts and tributes include rarely seen arms and armor and jeweled ceremonial vessels and regalia intended for the Russian court or the Orthodox church. Some of the finest pieces are equestrian in nature: stirrups with pearls, golden bridles with turquoises and rubies, and saddles covered with velvet and silk. The exhibition, only on view in Washington, D.C., explores the reasons why these extraordinary gifts were presented, their artistic and cultural impact, and the aesthetic styles and ceremonial etiquette they inspired that came to characterize the Russian court in the seventeenth century and beyond.


Header credit: Peter Paul Rubens: The Road to Calvary, 1632; oil, emulsion paint on wood; 18 x 23 1/2 in.; Berkeley Art Museum purchase. (c) Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. 2009.

Footer credit: Heinrich Aldegrever: Children Fighting Bears, 1537 (detail); engraving; 1 1/16 x 17 5/16 in.; gift of the Estate of J. K. Moffitt. (c) Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. 2009.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Some Material And Immaterial Remains Of A Recent Stay ...

Although I am trying, generally, to not "collect" CDs, at this point of my "career", my inability to find time to attend live performances on my recent 10-day trip to Berkeley led me to purchase three CDs/CD sets; two of which I have listened to: a 30 minute textless, 'spectral' work for two sopranos and orchestra by Gerard Grisey on a disc also featuring Rameau, Mozart, and Berlioz [$6]; John Blackwood McEwen's early twentieth century Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity, which was recommended by Bob Shingleton on his On an Overgrown Path blog (as I had been reviewing my old college John Milton volume) [$9]; and the four-CD set of Egon Wellesz's nine Symphonies -- all composed starting when the former Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern colleague was in his sixties and living and working productively, in exile, in Oxford, United Kingdom (like Stravinsky and Schoenberg in, respectively, Hollywood and Pacific Palisades, California) [$28].

While I heard some of Egon Wellesz's fascinating piano music at the Austrian Cultural Forum, in Washington, D.C., and have been attempting to find time for Wellesz's trail-blazing history of Byzantine music that I found on an earlier Berkeley home-stay [$12]; I haven't yet found time or inclination to begin listening to the fascinating and promising Wellesz cycle, although I have been studying the program notes. There are three mid-career choral-orchestral works by Wellesz that I also plan to investigate. (I must also relisten to the Wellesz opera based upon Euripides that I have in my collection.)

This past weekend's high-light was attendence at an excellent performance, by the Washington National Opera, of Peter Grimes (almost 33 years after I heard Jon Vickers perform the work in San Francisco]. Classical WETA-FM also broadcast a very satisfying program last night of a Bach motet, Poulenc's Four Penitential Psalms, and Rameau's Pygmalian opera-ballet. On Wednesday, the public radio station will fulfill a proper role by rebroadcasting the National Symphony Orchestra performance, under Ivan Fischer, of Mahler's Symphony #3, recorded at the Kennedy Center last autumn.

In Berkeley, my mother and I listened to one-half of a fine, but a bit strange, delayed broadcast by the San Francisco Symphony: Liszt's early Tasso tone poem and Ravel's Concerto for Piano in G with Martha Argerich. (Will the SFS really be reprising the Liszt Tasso next season?) My mother hopes to hear Leila Josefowicz rehearse Thomas Ades's Violin Concerto with the SFS this Wednesday morning. I heard the work, conducted by Mr Ades, in North Bethesda, Maryland, last season, performed by the Baltimore Symphony. I hope to hear Ms Josefowicz perform the Oliver Knussen Violin Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra in May.


What American operas do readers here think the Washington National Opera should be exploring in future years?


Header credits: (c) National Symphony Orchestra web-site; and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco web-site [The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan]. Copyright controlled. With thanks.


“E. M. W. Tillyard contrasts John Milton's sonnet on his dead wife "Methought I saw my late espoused saint" with John Donne's self-absorbed "Since she whome I lov'd," noting that Milton focuses on his deceased wife rather than on himself. The deep personal sadness of Milton's sonnet is indisputable; as Barbara Lewalski asserts, "It is one of the great love poems in the language, displaying what is not elsewhere evident: Milton's capacity to love a woman deeply and respond to her love."

Milton's purgatorio by Theresa M. DiPasquale


[Cleaned the Washington house for a National Gallery of Art curator's visit on Thursday evening to see a Oleg Kudryashov figurative drawing/painting/etching; and N.'s return from her six-week home-leave on Friday.]

Friday, March 27, 2009

Next Week's Pre-Easter 'Globalization' Agenda: Reconnecting Soft Power, Charity, Pacifism And Classical Art In A Post -"Free-Market Capitalist" World

[Click on images for enlargement.]

Saint Christopher Carrying the Christ Child with the Globe of the World, c. 1500/1509
bronze/medium brown patina


Christ Child, 9.2. cm (3 5/8 in), Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington


Saint Christopher, 27.2 cm (10 3/4 in), Musée du Louvre, Paris

"The two bronzes were 3,800 miles apart until 1970, when a young Louvre curator named Bertrand Jestaz became intrigued by a figure called "Boy with a Ball" while studying the Kress Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The boy's posture suggested he had been seated on something, and his distinctive drapery was similar to that of a statue thought to be an "Atlas" or "Hercules" at the Louvre. When Jestaz asked that the boy be removed from its base, a small prong was found whose measurements seemed to be a match for a threaded hole in the upraised palm of the "Atlas.""

Full Story


Georges de La Tour Paid Money, also called The Money-lender, also called The Payment of Taxes. c. 1625-27. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union.


Judith Joy Ross, Addison Bross, Protesting the U.S. War in Iraq, Allentown, Pennsylvania, from the series Protest the War, 2006; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery; purchase through a gift of Helen and Richard Spalding.

On view through April 26, 2009 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Image credits: (c) National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; (c) Olga's Gallery; and © Judith Joy Ross . Copyright controlled. With thanks.


Amnesty International

CARE: Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty


'Reform is needed. Reform is in the air. We can't afford to fail. The task is to build a new financial architecture. If we flunk it, the pain will strike most cruelly in the world's poorest countries.'

Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz March 27, 2009


Shiro Amakusa, the Christian Rebel
March 28 at 4:00PM
East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art

A rare historical film from Nagisa Oshima's oeuvre, Shiro Amakusa is based on a true event, a seventeenth-century uprising in which a young boy known as Shiro (played by popular actor Hashizo Okawa) led the poor and exploited Christian peasantry against the Shogunate. (1962, 35 mm, Japanese with subtitles, 100 minutes)


The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Anne Wagner: Everyday People
March 30, 2009, 5:30 pm, Tour/Lecture

Anne Wagner, professor of modern art at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses artistic responses to globalization, exploring the link between portraiture and everyday lives.

Free; registration required: CSMAprograms@phillipscollection.org
Museum galleries closed.

Older And Newer And Genderless World Classical Music Meaningfully Performed Side-By-Side At The State-Supported Library Of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
FREE (first come, first served)

RICHARD NUNNS, traditional Maori instruments

“fluid and energetic. . .moments of uncommon eloquence”

MENDELSSOHN: String Quartet in E minor, op. 44, no. 2

WHITEHEAD: Puhake ki te rangi (“Spouting to the Sky”) for string quartet and Maori instruments

SCHUBERT: String Quartet in G Major, D. 887

Gillian Karawe Whitehead's writing has evolved out of the modernist tradition, and has in recent years drawn significantly on improvisation and, more recently, on her Maori heritage. A significant number of pieces involve voice and text; collaboration with writers, dancers and performers is most important to her. Fleur Adcock and Anna Maria dell'Oso are the writers with whom she has most frequently worked, and her collaboration with the taonga puoro (singing treasures – the range of Maori musical instruments) player Richard Nunns has resulted in a number of pieces which combine taonga puoro with various ensembles of traditional western instruments.

Gillian Karawe Whitehead's Scores and Recordings held by the Australian Music Centre

Photo and caption credit: (c) Erica Murray via Australian Music Centre. With thanks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alive From Minneapolis And St. Paul! ... Minnesota OperaWorks!

Minnesota OperaWorks

2008-2009: The Adventures of Pinocchio (Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton; international coproduction with Opera North)

2009-2010: Casanova's Homecoming (25th anniversary production of Dominick Argento's opera, which premiered during Ordway Center's first season)

2010-2011: Commission - The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie)

2011-2012: Commission - working title: Joyeux Noël (Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell)

2012-2013 (50th season): Commission - Title TBA (Jack Perla, librettist tba)

2013-2014: Revival: El Nino (John Adams)

2014-2015: Revival: Wuthering Heights (Bernard Herrmann)

"Minnesota OperaWorks reinforces Minnesota Opera's position as a leader among the local arts community and the international opera field."


Image credit: © 2007 The Minnesota Opera. Copyright controlled.


The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.: The G-20 London Summit 2009: Recommendations for Global Policy Coordination, March 26, 2009

Weather Update: Winter Continues in Fargo, North Dakota And Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Photo credits: (c) Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press via New York Times; Lviv main train station [1905](c) Lviv.biz. Copyright controlled.


Financial Regulation after the Subprime and Credit Crisis

by Morris Goldstein

Forthcoming • 144 pp. ISBN Paper 978-0-88132-421-1

The recent subprime mortgage and credit crisis has impacted nearly all Americans. It is too late to prevent this crisis, but it is not too early to look at what caused it and what can be done to avert similar situations in the future.

Financial Regulation after the Subprime and Credit Crisis presents an insightful analysis of the crisis' catalysts, and most importantly advances a practical plan to overcome the deficiencies of the existing regulatory regime.

What lessons have we learned about regulatory reform, models of securitization, and liquidity requirements? This book addresses issues central to the debate for strengthening regulatory design through a reduction of home foreclosures, an imperative to improve the performance of credit-rating agencies, and an agreement on executive compensation. By identifying strategies for modification within the market, Goldstein proposes workable reforms that respond appropriately to current financial vulnerabilities and minimize the likelihood of a future crisis.


How Ukraine Became a Market Economy
and Democracy

by Anders Åslund • March 2009 • 248 pp. ISBN 978-0-88132-427-3

Ukraine has been one of the hardest hit economies during the current global financial crisis. Its embattled currency, the hryvnia, suffered one of the worst depreciations in the world. The stock market has fallen precipitously, and the country has sought emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund to help stabilize the financial sector. Ukraine’s large steel industry—­the heart of the economy—is facing a major structural predicament, and many of the existing big corporations will undoubtedly go under. …

At this juncture, it is critical that the United States continue to play an important and positive role in the life of independent Ukraine. Only the United States can guarantee Ukraine’s security, and it has committed itself to doing so in multiple agreements on Ukraine’s denuclearization. The United States should also catch up with the European Union and offer Ukraine a bilateral free trade agreement to favor economic integration between the two countries. Ukraine needs to develop a new elite, and the United States can help by offering a large number of student scholarships [1,000 per annum] at American universities. Finally, the United States should facilitate visa regulations for Ukrainians, all the more so as Ukraine allows all American citizens to enter Ukraine without a visa [unlike the Russian Federation and Belarus which require visas of American citizens].

'Economic' And 'Art' Update: Gross Domestic Product Exceeds Gross National Happiness

"East of Mount Everest and bordered by India and Tibet, Bhutan is a remote and mystical kingdom, considered by many as “The Last Shangri-La.” A sovereign nation that has maintained its cultural, artistic, and religious traditions intact, it is one of the few countries in Asia never colonized by its neighbors or Western powers.

The first exhibition of its kind, The Dragon's Gift [at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco] provides an exceptionally rare opportunity to view some of the most sacred and beloved Buddhist arts in Bhutan.

Many of the 150 objects – intricate paintings, sculptures, textiles, and more – are still used in temple and monastery rituals and never have been accessible to a Western audience.

All are on public view for the first time." ...


Gross Domestic Product

Gross National Happiness


Credits: (c) Toles and the Washington Post. 2009. All rights reserved. (c) cnnfn.com. 2009. (c) Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. 2009. All rights reserved. (c) Ken Howard and Opera America. 2008. Copyright controlled.


Tony Boutté as Arjuna in Music-Theatre Group’s production of Douglas Cuomo’s Arjuna’s Dilemma, directed by Robin Guarino with choreography by John Kelly and design by Donald Eastman (scenery), Gabriel Berry (costumes), Robert Wierzel (lighting) and William Cusick (projections). World premiere production presented as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2008 Next Wave Festival. Photo (c) Stephanie Berger. Copyright controlled.


Refreshing the Repertory

While Classical WETA-FM Continues To Suppress American Classical Music, National Gallery Of Art Continues To Celebrate American Classical Music

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

2,717th Free Concert Celebrating World and American Classical Music
March 29, 2009
Sunday, 6:30 pm, West Building Lecture Hall
FREE (first come, first served)

Alan Mandel, pianist

Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829 – 1869)

Bamboula, Danse des negres (1848)
The Dying Poet (1863)
L’Union (1852)

Elie Siegmeister (1909 – 1991)

Sonata No. 1 (“American”) (1944)

Fast, with Fiery Energy
Moderately Slow, with Great Dignity
Lusty and Joyous

Alan Mandel (b. 1935)

Steps to Mount Olympus (2006)

Andante con moto
Misurato; con eleganza
Andante espressivo
Allegrissimo; energico


Charles Ives (1874–1954)

Piano Sonata No. 2 (“Concord, Mass., 1840 – 1860”) (1916, revised 1947)

The Alcotts

National Gallery of Art Concert Program Notes


Sharon Percy Rockefeller's supremacist, Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation's Capital, now working day and night to suppress American classical music.

Header photo credits:

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Diana of the Tower, conceived 1892/1893, cast 1899
Pepita Milmore Memorial Fund

"Imagine this diminutive sculpture of Diana the Huntress as a rotating, 18-foot-tall, gilded weathervane atop the tower of the newly built Madison Square Garden. In collaboration with his friend, architect Stanford White (the Garden's architect), Saint-Gaudens originally designed the monumental Diana to reign over the New York skyline, a rival to Bartholdi's Liberty in New York Harbor. But Saint-Gaudens' figure proved too unwieldy to function properly (the original had metal drapery attached as a rudder) and was removed. He then designed a 13-foot version, which also failed as a weathervane and had to be bolted fast to the tower."

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Shaw Memorial, 1900
U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Charles Stewart Butler and Lawrence Smith Butler, 1880-1881
Avalon Fund and Margaret Bouton Memorial Fund

All three images copyright © 2009 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.


You guessed it, another day of absolutely no American classical music on Sharon Percy Rockefeller's supremacist, American classical art disdaining Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation's Capital.


Next February 3 and 4, 2010, the San Francisco Symphony, under American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, performs Henry Brant’s spectacular arrangement of Charles Ives's Concord Sonata -- entitled A Concord Symphony.

Unlike earlier when WETA-FM was responsibly managed, don't expect to hear this American classical music masterpiece on Sharon Percy Rockefeller's new, supremacist Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation's Capital.


A member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, Henry Brant was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Ice Field (2001). He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was the first America composer to win the Prix Italia. Among other honors are Ford Foundation, Fromm Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Koussevitzky awards and the American Music Center’s Letter of Distinction. The Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, European Union, has acquired Brant’s complete archive of original manuscripts including over 300 works.

Charles Ives, obviously banned and considered degenerate music, on Sharon Percy Rockefeller's supremacist Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation's Capital.


Reich Music, Nazi-approved music

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

National Gallery of Art Integrates Modern American Classical Music With Its Outstanding National Collection of American Classical Paintings, Drawings

Today’s free concert, at noon, performed by the New York Chamber Soloists, at the superbly managed, state-supported, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. [link to program notes]:

Arthur Berger (1912 - 2003)
Quartet in C Major for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1941)
Allegro moderato
Allegro vivace e leggermente

Vincent Persichetti
(1915 – 1987)
Parable xiv for Unaccompanied Trumpet, op. 127 (1973)

Walter Piston (1894 – 1976)
Three pieces for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1926)
Allegro scherzando

Wallingford Riegger (1885 – 1961)
Duo for oboe and clarinet
From Duos for Three Woodwinds (1943)
Moderato; poco più mosso
Andante affettuoso
Thema e variazioni

Mel Powell (1923 – 1998)
Divertimento for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Trumpet (1956)
Con tenerezza
Allegro comodo


Header images:

Joshua Johnson
The Westwood Children, c. 1807
Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch

Joshua Johnson was a free black artist who worked in Baltimore, Maryland, during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The 6-foot-high plaster working model of the celebrated seated Lincoln statue by American sculptor Daniel Chester French(1850–1931), designed for the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, is on view at the nation's state-supported National Gallery of Art in honor of President Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

Both images copyright © 2009 National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Toward The Temporary Nationalization Of American Opera: $465 Million Of Government Money Combined With $35 Million Of Private-Sector Money?

[Click on images for enlargements.]

The closed Hibernia Bank of San Francisco and the very open, largely publically-funded, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. [The afternoons and evenings are less crowded than the morningtime, when school groups often visit.]


Name the great American classical operas funded by Andrew Carnegie, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Citicorp, the Bank of America, or the Rockefeller Foundation?


Photo credits: (c) sfcitizen.com and the California Academy of Sciences. With thanks.


The then and now largely state-funded Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, Future European Union.

The Mariinsky Theatre's production of Prokofiev's state-funded "War and Peace" will be staged at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in the winter of 2010.

Some critics have called Prokofiev's "War and Peace" the greatest opera of the last century. Do any readers know who?

Credit: Library of Congress via Wikipedia Commons.


"The purpose of the Geithner plan is to boost financial asset prices and so make it easier for businesses to obtain financing on terms that will allow them to expand and hire. The plan would take about $465 billion of government money, combine it with $35 billion of private-sector money, and use it to buy up risky financial assets.

The sudden appearance of an extra $500 billion in demand for risky assets will reduce the quantity of risky assets other private investors will have to hold. And the sudden appearance of between five and 10 different government-sponsored funds that make public bids for assets will convey information to the markets about what models other people are using to try to value assets in this environment." ...

Berkeley economist Brad DeLong in the New York Times, March 25, 2009

Thought For Fish Food? (Rumblings From The Old Non-Believers? ...)

"We still have a system that has been exceptionally good, better than any other, in getting capital to the guy who has an idea”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, March 23, 2009


Death Denied, 2008 & Death Explained, 2007.

Glass, steel, shark, acrylic and formaldehyde solution
84.8 x 202.44 x 74.17 in (x2)
Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates. Image is copyright Damien Hirst.

"The PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine, [Future European Union]) is pleased to announce Requiem, a major retrospective of over 100 works dating from 1990 to 2008, by Damien Hirst. Requiem opens on 25th April and continues through 20th September 2009.

In his work over the last two decades, Hirst has continually produced paintings, sculptures and drawings that radically and directly address our shared quest for life in the face of inevitable death. Through an exploration of beauty and decay, love and desire, science and religion, history and art, Hirst has created some of the most conceptually profound and challenging artworks of our time.

Requiem brings together many of the artist’s most celebrated works. Ranging from early iconic sculptures such as A Thousand Years, 1990 and Away from the Flock, 1994 to more recent works like the monumental butterfly triptych, Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven, 2007 as well as Death Explained, 2007, a sculpture of a shark cut in half in formaldehyde, the exhibition shows the extraordinary breadth of Hirst’s artistic enterprise.

Since the start of his career, Hirst has pushed the boundaries of art and what it means to be an artist." ...


March 23, 2009

The Role of the Federal Reserve in Preserving Financial and Monetary Stability: Joint Statement by the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve


Sound economic performance requires both financial stability and monetary stability. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve has critical responsibilities in both areas.

The Congress created the Federal Reserve in 1913 in large part in response to the periodic panics and crises that plagued the U.S. financial system in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Over nearly a century, in the service of its original mandate as well as its monetary and regulatory responsibilities, the Federal Reserve has developed wide-ranging institutional expertise regarding financial markets and institutions, foreign as well as domestic. The Federal Reserve also has the unique ability to serve as the lender of last resort, a vital function in crises. For these reasons, it is natural and desirable that the Federal Reserve shou ld play a central role, in cooperation with the Department of the Treasury and other agencies, in preventing and managing financial crises.

While the Federal Reserve has traditionally collaborated with other agencies in efforts to preserve financial stability, it alone is responsible for maintaining monetary stability. The monetary policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), determines monetary conditions in the United States, subject to its congressional mandate to foster maximum sustainable employment and stable prices. The Federal Reserve's independence with regard to monetary policy is critical for ensuring that monetary policy decisions are made with regard only to the long-term economic welfare of the nation.

This joint statement reflects the common views of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve on the appropriate roles of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury during the current financial crisis and in the future and on the steps necessary to ensure that both financial and monetary stability will be achieved.

The Treasury and the Federal Reserve agree on the following broad points:

1. Treasury-Federal Reserve cooperation in improving the functioning of credit markets and fostering financial stability

The Federal Reserve's expertise and powers are indispensable for preventing and managing financial crises. The programs it has initiated since the onset of this crisis have played a critical role in helping to contain the damage to the broader economy. As long as unusual and exigent circumstances persist, the Federal Reserve will continue to use all its tools working closely and cooperatively with the Treasury and other agencies as needed to improve the functioning of credit markets, help prevent the failure of institutions that could cause systemic damage, and to foster the stabilization and repair of the financial system.

2. The Federal Reserve to avoid credit risk and credit allocation

The Federal Reserve's lender-of-last-resort responsibilities involve lending against collateral, secured to the satisfaction of the responsible Federal Reserve Bank. Actions taken by the Federal Reserve should also aim to improve financial or credit conditions broadly, not to allocate credit to narrowly-defined sectors or classes of borrowers. Government decisions to influence the allocation of credit are the province of the fiscal authorities.

3. Need to preserve monetary stability

Actions that the Federal Reserve takes, during this period of unusual and exigent circumstances, in the pursuit of financial stability, such as loans or securities purchases that influence the size of its balance sheet, must not constrain the exercise of monetary policy as needed to foster maximum sustainable employment and price stability. Treasury has in place a special financing mechanism called the Supplementary Financing Program, which helps the Federal Reserve manage its balance sheet. In addition, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are seeking legislative action to provide additional tools the Federal Reserve can use to sterilize the effects of its lending or securities purchases on the supply of bank reserves.

4. Need for a comprehensive resolution regime for systemically critical financial institutions

The Treasury and the Federal Reserve remain fully committed to preventing the disorderly failure of systemically critical financial institutions. To reduce the risk of future crises, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve will work with the Congress to develop a regime that will allow the U.S. government to address effectively at an early stage the potential failure of any systemically critical financial institution. As part of the framework set forth, the legislation should spell out to the extent possible the expected role of the Federal Reserve and other U.S. government agencies in such resolutions.

In the longer term and as its authorities permit, the Treasury will seek to remove from the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, or to liquidate, the so-called Maiden Lane facilities made by the Federal Reserve as part of efforts to stabilize systemically critical financial institutions.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

San Francisco Symphony Publishes 48 Page 2009-10 Seasonal Brochure Featuring Zero Images Of African-American Classical Musicians Or Patrons

Kerry James Marshall; Visible Means of Support: Monticello and Visible Means of Support: Mount Vernon, 2009; acrylic latex on canvas; courtesy of the artist; © Kerry James Marshall via San Francisco Museum of Modern Art website.


San Francisco Symphony website


All of the youth orchestras to which I belonged -- the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra, the Maryland All-State Orchestra, the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Berkeley High School Orchestra -- were multi-racial as to their memberships, guest soloists, American classical repertoire, and permanent conductors.


American classical conductor Denis de Coteau

Denis de Coteau died in 1999 at the age of 70, after a celebrated career including a 24-year stint as music director of the San Francisco Ballet.

Photo credit: www.grinnel.edu.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ehsan has left a new comment on your post "Studying Islamic Medieval And Renaissance Proportion"

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Hi Mrs.Barimani

I am Ehsan Dadkhah from Iran.

This is my resume: MA in Civil engineering, Sahand university,Tabriz.

I need some information about designing hospitals.

Ehsan Dadkhah


"In the beauty and geometric complexity of tile mosaics on walls of medieval Islamic buildings, scientists have recognized patterns suggesting that the designers had made a conceptual breakthrough in mathematics beginning as early as the 13th century.

A new study shows that the Islamic pattern-making process, far more intricate than the laying of one’s bathroom floor, appears to have involved an advanced math of quasi crystals, which was not understood by modern scientists until three decades ago.

The findings, reported in the current issue of the journal Science, are a reminder of the sophistication of art, architecture and science long ago in the Islamic culture. They also challenge the assumption that the designers somehow created these elaborate patterns with only a ruler and a compass. Instead, experts say, they may have had other tools and concepts.

Two years ago, Peter J. Lu, a doctoral student in physics at Harvard University, was transfixed by the geometric pattern on a wall in Uzbekistan. It reminded him of what mathematicians call quasi-crystalline designs. These were demonstrated in the early 1970s by Roger Penrose, a mathematician and cosmologist at the University of Oxford.

Mr. Lu set about examining pictures of other tile mosaics from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey, working with Paul J. Steinhardt, a Princeton cosmologist who is an authority on quasi crystals and had been Mr. Lu’s undergraduate adviser. The research was a bit like trying to figure out the design principle of a jigsaw puzzle, Mr. Lu said in an interview.

In their journal report, Mr. Lu and Dr. Steinhardt concluded that by the 15th century, Islamic designers and artisans had developed techniques “to construct nearly perfect quasi-crystalline Penrose patterns, five centuries before discovery in the West.”" ...

John Noble Wilford "In Medieval Architecture, Signs of Advanced Math" New York Times February 27, 2007


Sayeh Barimani
Born in May 6,1959
MA in Architecture, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Group Projects
300 bed hospital (Meshed, Iran)
University of Basic Science (Babolsar, Iran)
Designing of 150 bed hospital (Sari, Iran)
Director of planning of Razi psychiatric hospital (Tehran, Iran)
Sport complex (Bonab, Iran)
Legal medicine center (Teheran-Kahrizak, Iran)
Research and physical programming Center of the New Stock Exchange (Tehran, Iran)

Personal Projects:
Factory for the manufacture of metal pieces for telephone cables (Shiraz, Iran)
Four story Residential complex (Tehran, Iran)
Renovation of three residential apartments (Tehran, Iran)
Designing and construction of a residential house (Pool- house, Sari, Iran)

Photo credit: (c) www.caroun.com. With thanks.


Repost of February 28, 2007.

New header photo credit: Tabriz University of the Arts, Tabriz, Iran. Via Pournick and Wikipedia. With thanks.

'Pournick has been a wikipedia user and writer since 2006. He trys to introduce lovely Tabriz to the english speaking countries and the rest of the world. Pournick is a real Tabriz lover with regards to all lovers of dear home town Tabriz.'

For any Contact: Rahi1383@yahoo.com


UNESCO World Heritage Centre


TRANSCEND International: A Network for Peace and Development


Economists for Peace and Security works to inform social scientists, citizens, journalists and policy-makers worldwide about the full costs of war and conflict, and to propose feasible alternative approaches to building international security.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Year Until William Kentridge's Production Of Shostakovich's Gogol Opera 'The Nose' Comes To The MET Opera

The Hindu Kush Hydro Power Plan, in today's Turkmenistan, the largest hydro power plant of the Russian Empire (built 1909).

[The technology was from Budapest, the Austro-Hungarian Empire.]


Photo credit: Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (in Russian: Сергей Михайлович Прокудин-Горский)(1863-1944), the Russian photographer who pioneered color photography.

Via The Empire That Was Russia, Library of Congress, United States of America. (The Library of Congress bought the color negatives collection from the artist-scientist's family in 1948. The collection has recently been digitized.)


William Kentridge's '5 Themes'
, including 'The Nose', at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. [Mr Kentridge suggested 'The Nose' to the MET Opera administration. They agreed, upon consultation with the conducting staff. The production will be conducted by Valery Gergiev.]


Nikolai Gogol

Dmitri Shostakovich


The New Metropolitan Opera

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gone Bay Area Bird-Watching And Mustard Seed Counting

Madrone Audubon Society, Sonoma County, California



Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) is taking an innovative first step to convert the MST fleet to operate using biodiesel. On Thursday, February 14, MST will enter the testing phase of the project by planting two varieties of mustard seed, Pacific Gold and Wild California, along with barley as a control, on 30 acres of land owned by San Bernabe Vineyards in south Monterey County. This test will determine which variety of mustard will produce the highest crop yield, and thus produce the most fuel.

“The mustard seed will be grown locally,” said MST’s General Manager/CEO Carl Sedoryk. “To our knowledge, MST will be the first public transit agency in the country – and perhaps the world – to sustainably produce biodiesel for fleet operations.” After planting, the crop requires little to no irrigation or tending, in contrast to other higher-maintenance biofuel crops such as corn. And, because mustard seed is planted as a “cover crop” during the off-season, it would not displace other commodity crops (i.e., corn, soybeans, etc.) nor drive up prices for food – recently cited as a potentially adverse impact of the biofuel industry. ...


"Hundreds of leading scientists warned Thursday that global warming is accelerating beyond the worst predictions and threatening to trigger ''irreversible'' climate shifts on the planet.

Saying there's no excuse for inaction, the nearly 2,000 climate researchers meeting in Copenhagen urged policy-makers to ''vigorously'' implement the economic and technological tools available to cut emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Their stark message came at the end of a three-day conference aimed at updating the findings of a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change before U.N. talks in December on a new global climate treaty." ...

Associated Press "Scientists Warn of 'Irreversible' Climate Shifts" March 12, 2009


Photo credits: (c) Norris Dyer for Madrone Audubon Society. Copyright controlled. (c) Monteray Salinas Transit. Copyright controlled. With thanks.

Pan Cogito Applauds ‘Globalization’ That Supports The Emerging Widespread, Frugal, Ecological Middle-Class Rather Than Only A Few Pseudo-Aristocrats

No Bay View From Millionnaya Ulitsa, Part I

[Click on images for enlargement.]


A Proven Framework to End the US Banking Crisis
Including Some Temporary Nationalizations

Adam S. Posen, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Testimony, February 26, 2009


Header credits: IMF and Ukrainian Workers Home, Detroit, Michigan, United States. Copyrighted material via atdetroit.net. With thanks.


"Chicago's landmark Sears Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, will be renamed Willis Tower after insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, the company announced Thursday.

"Willis Tower will make us a household name among our clients, prospective clients and in the larger business community," said Don Bailey, chairman and chief executive of Willis HRH, the company's North American business.

The London, England-based company said it will rent 140,000 square feet of the building at a cost of $14.50 per square foot. The move, which involves 500 employees" ...

Ben Rooney "Sears Tower Renamed" CNNMoney.com March 12, 2009

Classical Music Matters: At All Times One Must Look To The Future, As Well As Sideways And Straight Up

“On Tuesday, February 17, at a press conference held at Yoshi's in Oakland, Michael Morgan announced the winners of the New Visions/New Vistas commissioning project, made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Scott Amendola, Benedikt Brydern, Rebeca Mauleón and Narada Michael Walden, all innovative composers with backgrounds in non-classical genres including jazz, Afro-Cuban, soul, R&B and electronic music, were selected by Morgan out of a total of 130 submissions.

Composers who are legal residents of California and have not had any of their music publicly performed by a professional symphony orchestra were eligible to enter samples of their work along with a written description of their proposed piece for the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

"The quality of the submissions and the imagination in many of the proposals made it difficult to choose only four composers," said Morgan. "There were at least ten composers I would commission if I could. I hope in the future to work with some of those not chosen today. The process was very enlightening."

Amendola, Brydern, Mauleón and Walden will be paired with composer mentors for an intensive, one-on-one creative process focused on the practical aspects of writing for symphony orchestra, including advice on score and parts preparation and orchestration. The distinguished mentors are Elinor Armer, David Conte, Laurie San Martin and Laurence Rosenthal. The four finished pieces will be performed and recorded by the Symphony in subscription concerts at the Paramount Theatre in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.”

Oakland East Bay Symphony

Header: American classical composers Michael Morgan and John Baltimore were overlooked for next season by the guest conductor planning committee of the National Symphony Orchestra, in favor of three comparably experienced conductors who all happen to be European born and European professionally managed. They are shown above with their American classical music colleagues Harolyn Blackwell and Denyce Graves.

Photo credits: (c) Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. Via Oakland East Bay Symphony and D.C. Philharmonic websites. With thanks.


Washington, D.C. born John Baltimore has guest conducted orchestras all over the globe, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the Oltenia Philharmonic in Romania, the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra in Russia, and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Egypt. In 2006, he recorded his first album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, UK.


Michael Morgan was born and raised in Washington, D.C, where he attended public schools and began conducting at the age of 12. While a student at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, he spent a summer at the Oberlin College Conservatory at Tanglewood. There he was a student of Gunther Schuller and Seiji Ozawa, and it was at that time that he first worked with Leonard Bernstein.

In 1980, he won first prize in the Hans Swarovsky International Conductors Competition in Vienna, Austria and became Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, under Leonard Slatkin. His operatic debut was in 1982 at the Vienna State Opera in Mozart's "The Abduction from the Seraglio". In 1986, Sir Georg Solti chose him to become the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for five years under both Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

At All Times, One Must Look To The Future (As Well As To The Past) ... New Music In Quasi-Ancient Urban Centers


Post-Classical Ensemble

April 22, 2009, 7:30pm
The Harman Center for the Arts, Lansburgh Theater
450 7th St. NW. 202-547-1122

Benjamin Pasternack, piano
David Krakauer, clarinet
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, conductor

John Adams: Phrygian Gates and Gnarly Buttons

Post-concert discussion with the artists. Joseph Horowitz, host

A rare opportunity for Washington regional audiences to hear two cutting-edge compositions by a leading American composer, performed for the first time by two great American instrumentalists: clarinetist David Krakauer and pianist Benjamin Pasternack.

Krakauer, world-famous as a galvanizing Klezmer artist, has been described by the New York Times as “a combination of soulfulness and electrifying showiness.” Adams’ Gnarly Buttons is a sizzling clarinet concerto distilling swing, blues, and jazz. It registers Adams’ compositional roots “in a household where Benny Goodman and Mozart were not separated.”

Pasternack has been hailed in the Boston Globe for his “astonishing bravura and deeply inquisitive and distinctive musical mind.” Adams’ Phrygian Gates, which he performs, is a landmark of keyboard minimalism, a 30-minute kaleidoscope of swirling colors and textures.


Photo credit: (c) Bogdan Krasel [sp?] 2009. All rights reserved.


Aide Memoire:

In May 2009, composer Sofia Gubaidulina will be visiting Washington, D.C.

March 10, 2009 Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

March 10, 2009 Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Amnesty International

Photo credit: (c) Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images 2009. Copyright controlled. With thanks.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Another Two Post-Threni Shorter Sacred Oratorios: Daniel Kellogg's 'The Fiery Furnace' And Peter Bannister’s 'Et iterum venturus'

Two new sacred oratorios in the wake of Stravinsky's Threni of 50 years ago ...


The Fiery Furnace

Music and Libretto by Daniel Kellogg
Text taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
Commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, Inc.

I. Prayer of the Israelites
II. Nebuchadnezzar erects an image of gold
III. Praise for the image of gold
IV. Refusing to worship the image of gold
V. Prayer of hope
VI. The burning fiery furnace
VII. Praise the God of Judah

all movements are performed without break

Program Notes

Music Sample and Complete Oratorio Music file [$2.69].


Peter Bannister's seven movements of Et iterum venturus est:

1) Fall and Protoevangelion
2) Prophecy
3) Incarnation
4) Kenosis
5) Resurrection
6) Ascension
7) Parousia (Second Coming)

Premiered, in Paris, by Soli Deo Gloria in 2008.


Header: Antologion, Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union. Stavropygian Brotherhood Printing Press. 1649 CE.

Image credit: (c) The Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford, Connecticut: the oldest Ukrainian cultural institution in North America. 2006. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.


Unresearched Areas in Interpreting Byzantine Semiography

"Although the manuscripts belonging to the Putna school have been the object of a variety of attentive research world-wide, they still contain highly challenging areas left almost untouched until today. Evstatie the Protopsaltes appears as the last writer of his time to use in his cryptographic liturgical texts an encryption procedure that had been known in 14th century Europe as keyed writing, best exemplified, among others, by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. By its very dimension and complexity the cryptographic procedures used in his 1511 Antologion are of the most remarkable if not entirely unique in medieval European literature: 87 cryptograms, with 108 combinations in 7 alphabets. An unusual type of cryptic writing is well exemplified in Evstatie's 1515 manuscript by the numerous anagrams used especially in papadic and melismatic chants, normally sung "in extenso" at vespers, and referring to the structure of the poetic text used. Besides those the ideograms, exemplified in the Sofia Antologion, and the repetition signs, invented by Evstatie himself, combine with special other signs such as those used to mark the cadences to offer a truly rich and unexpectedly challenging picture of Putnean semiography. These unusual semiographic aspects also contribute to a large extent in transforming each particular manuscript into a highly specific work, bearing the marked personality imprinted by its author."

Titus Moisescu, Musicologist and Byzantinologist, Iaşi, Romania, European Union.

Centre for Byzantine Studies at Iasi, Romania

Dedicated to the advancement of research in and performance of musical and visual arts of the Byzantine tradition with special emphasis on Eastern chant of the Byzantine tradition and with general emphasis on ecclesiastical chant of the Christian European tradition.


The Section of the Lviv Art Gallery — The Museum of Art of the Ancient Ukrainian Book

Mapping the Money: Brookings' Interactive Map of the G-20 Stimulus Plans

Brookings Interactive Map of the G-20 Stimulus Plans

Map credit: (c) Brookings Institution 2009. Copyright controlled.


Eswar Prasad "Assessing the G-20 Stimulus Plans: A Deeper Look" Brookings Institution March 2009

[Click on image for enlargement and sources.]


The Case for Global Fiscal Stimulus
March 6, 2009
IMF Staff Position Note

Again Leading Nation, San Francisco Opera’s Animating American Opera Initiative Commissions New Opera From Jennifer Higdon For Fall 2013

While I have no idea as to the topic of Ms. Higdon's new opera, here is an engraving of Abolitionist and Suffragist Lucretia Mott as a placeholder.

I will assume that everybody has noticed by now that at times of economic recession in the U.S., American opera companies toss productions of American operas overboard first.

Image credit: Wikipedia.


San Francisco Opera's 2009-10 Season:

Il Trovatore
Il Trittico
The Abduction from the Seraglio
The Daughter of the Regiment
The Girl of the Golden West
Die Walküre

Photo credit: (c) AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.


"My job is to serve the composer [and the librettist] — and the community.
Life is short, and we have to use music to improve the lives of the people around us. That is my mission."

-– Nicola Luisotti, Music Director Designate, San Francisco Opera

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Words And Music Together Again -- This March At The University Of California At Berkeley

Composers and poets Jean Ahn, Oni Buchanan, and Alvin Curran lead this month's Composers Colloquia, starting tomorrow, at the University of California, Berkeley.

Photo credits: (c) Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. Via the artists' websites.


University Chamber Chorus
March 14 | 8 p.m. | Hertz Concert Hall
Marika Kuzma, director

"Berkeley Choral Creations: A retrospective of 70 years: A Tribute to Berkeley Composers Then and Now"

Music by Randall Thompson, Roger Sessions, Andrew Imbrie (A Wind Has Blown the Rain Away), Richard Felciano (The Seasons), Jorge Liderman (Sephardisms II), Brian Current (Inventions on Et in terra pax), and Robin Estrada.