Thursday, February 25, 2010

Minor Memos? -- More On Muti

In 2010-2011, Chicago Symphony Orchestra audiences will hear the world premieres of commissioned works by Osvaldo Golijov, Bernard Rands, Mark-Anthony Tunage, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Donna Nobis Mir

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych holds a Bulava, a historical symbol of power, after taking oath in the parliament in Kyiv, Ukraine, 25 Feb 2010.

Question: True or False?

"Without Ukraine, Russia stops being an empire with a foothold in Europe."

Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard” 1997

Photo: (c) Associated Press 2010.

Did Someone Say American Civilization?

"However, the British now tend to echo the historian Lord Macaulay, who said that the end of their physical empire would be the proudest day in their history if they left behind “the imperishable empire” of their arts and their morals, their literature and their laws. In other words, national self-esteem should not stem from global might but from cultural values and achievements. Faced by the prospect of decline, Americans could hardly do better than to cling to the noblest traditions of their own civilization."

Piers Brendon "The American Empire Will Rise Again" New York Times February 24, 2010

Header credit: Cultural critic Robert Hughes as Jabba the Hutt in Jeff Koons's "Hands that Built America" (c) Jeff Koons.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where's The Renaissance?

Memo: T is Trillions

Photo credit: (c) Stephen Crowley and the New York Times 2010. Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The design calls for a secure and environmentally efficient glass cube set atop a colonnade in a landscape with a pond and pathways open to the public

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Wall Street Bonuses Up Sharply By 17 Per Cent In 2009; American Confidence Down Sharply By 19 Per Cent In February 2010

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And lending by the U.S. banking industry fell 7.5 percent in 2009, the largest annual decline since the 1940s.

Header: By 1980, this large estate in exclusive Hillsborough, south of San Francisco, was abandonned for the next almost twenty years. It has now been fully restored, and is the site of San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and other 'charity' 'social' functions.

Beyond Minimalism And Post-Minimalism: Muti Comes To MET, Nose In Snow-Cleared Bull-Pen

Shostakovich Nose continues warming up for MET premiere next month despite U.S. consumer confidence falling in February -- ten full points lower than assembled economic forecasters had expected.

Let's see ... was there anything unusual in 49 of the 50 U.S. states and Canada this winter -- as well as across much of Europe and Asia?

Cheer up faithful readers! Has the sky really fallen down?

Header credit: Garage roofs on my mind. (c) easterniowanews 2010.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Minimalism And Post-Minimalism Matters: Richard Nixon To Make More Than Cameo Appearance Next Season At Peter Gelb's Metropolitan National Opera

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It took about 25 years for the American opera "Nixon in China" to make it from a Houston Grand Opera prodution at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts Opera House to the Metropolitan Opera House.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The 'Slow Culture' Movement: Learning To Think Globally, And To Shop For Culture Locally

Tonight, classical musical culture in the Nation's Capital highlights old and new American music by Barber, Copland, Billie Holiday, Griffin, Hovhaness, Malvina Reynolds, Joan Szymko, Patricia Van Ness, and Lera Auerbach:

The ensemble Tapestry at the Library of Congress re-opens the major Festival of American Vocal Music. (FREE)

Composer Lera Auerbach opens the National Symphony Orhestra's "Focus on Russia" program with her work "Requiem for Icarus". As a poet as well as a composer, she also contributes the program notes to the Rachmaninoff and Chaikovsky works also on the program.

Photo credit: Leslie Shows, Two Ways to Organize, 2006; acrylic, charcoal, metal, mud, rust, and collage on panel; Collection SFMOMA, James and Eileen Ludwig Fund Purchase; © Leslie Shows

Did You Get Your Year-End Bonus And Do God's Work?

“High unemployment and widespread restructuring will continue to characterize the global economy for the next several years. Already, the crisis has provoked large-scale human suffering. Some 64 million more people around the world are expected to be living on less than a $1.25 per day by the end of 2010, and between 30,000 and 50,000 more infants may have died of malnutrition in 2009 in Sub-Saharan Africa, than would have been the case if the crisis had not occurred.”

The World Bank “Global Economic Prospects 2010: Crisis, Finance, and Growth” February 2010.

The World Bank's new ADePT Software Platform for Automated Economic Analysis and Poverty and Inequality Research

There Is Civilization, Which Waxes And Wanes ... And Then There Is Life On Earth

Photo credit: (c) National Zoo, Washington, D.C. 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Culture In The Post-Endowment Age Of Cookie-Monster, Jeff Koons, And Matthew Barney

“Just a modest proposal from Culture Monster, Mr. Kaiser, but since the annual Kennedy Center Honors telecast revolves around lifetime achievement awards to the Bruce Springsteens, Steven Spielbergs and Diana Rosses of the world who typically have a tangential relationship, at best, to the nonprofit arts, why not turn it into a fabulous telethon where famous entertainers spend a few hours pumping for pledges and talking up the arts -- with the proceeds going to the National Endowment for the Arts to redistribute nationwide via its grant programs?”

Mike Boehm “Arts management guru Michael Kaiser says he's sorry“ Los Angeles Times February 17, 2010

Photo credits: (c) Jeff Koons; and (c) San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2010.

SFMOMA: New home of the Fisher Collection of Modern Art; and $500 million expansion plan.

And With My Apologies For Being Under A Snow-Bank (And On Airplanes)

"My artistic philosophy is twofold. One is that I think organizations like Cal Performances need to be both a museum and a laboratory - the museum side to present the great works of culture, and the laboratory side to be an avid advocate for the new.

"The other is accessibility. A transformative experience in my upbringing was attending the Proms Concerts in London as a teenager, when I'd line up all day, pay my 5 shillings or whatever it was, and hear the great orchestra and great artists of the day."

Asked about the effect of tightening budgets on his plans, Tarnopolsky said: "I've only ever worked in situations of tight financial constraints. That is the reality of art and culture - we must be robust advocates, and make sensible decisions that we can afford."

Joshua Kosman "Matías Tarnopolsky to head Cal Performances" San Francisco Chronicle May 21, 2009

CAL Performances

Photo credit: Hume Castle, Berkeley, California.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Did Someone Say Snow?

"According to Daniel Kahneman, a Princeton University psychologist, happiness can be measured using the day reconstruction method, which consists in recollecting memories of the previous working day by writing a short diary."

Gross National Happiness/Net National Happiness

Photo credit: (c) Jahi Chikweniu and the Washington Post 2010. Copyright controlled.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Gluck's 'Armide' To Warm Nation's Capital (With Magic But Without Matches)

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Nicolas Poussin. Renaud and Armide. c. 1625-26. Oil on canvas. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow, Russia Federation, Future European Union.

Christoph Gluck's 'Armide'
Opera Lafayette
Monday, February 1, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Washington, DC

Header credit: Copyright © 1999-2010 Olga's Gallery. All rights reserved.