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From Timo Andres: Leonard Bernstein dressed in more or less Ivy League fashion casually, informally, and yet with an occasional touch of flamboyance. As soon as he could afford to do so, he indulged his interest in good clothes freely and took inordinate pride in his tailor. He often dragged along his friends to fittings which came to be known as “Lenny’s dress rehearsals.”
From Library of Congress: Music and the Brain events offer lectures, conversations and symposia about the explosion of new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Project chair Kay Redfield Jamison convenes scientists and scholars, composers, performers, theorists, physicians, psychologists, and other experts at the Library for a compelling 2-year series, with generous support from the Dana Foundation.
From Alex Ross: The American Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Society for Music Theory are holding their annual joint meeting in New Orleans this weekend. I’ve picked ten titles that jumped out at me for whatever reason. I’d like to make clear that these selections are of a playful nature and should in no way reflect upon the fundamental seriousness of the scholars in question. I stress this because, as I’ve been informed, being singled out by a known practitioner of mere journalism may not boost the prospects of young scholars on the job market.
From NPR: Yesterday, the opera world was jolted by a rapid-fire sequence of stunning turns at the Metropolitan Opera — and not by divas onstage. In the morning, the New York Times carried a front-page story by Daniel J. Wakin in which he reported that Opera News, the magazine published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, would no longer review any productions at the Met, “a policy prompted by the Met’s dissatisfaction over negative critiques.” (A very harsh review of the company’s new Götterdämmerung had appeared in the April Opera News, followed the next month by a damning Brian Kellow column about the tenure of Met general manager Peter Gelb.)
By 4 p.m. ET, however, the Met, not the Guild or its magazine, had issued a press statement reversing course. By close of business, Gelb had given a second interview to the Times: “I think I made a mistake,” Gelb told Wakin.
From Alex Ross in The New Yorker: “I think I made a mistake,” Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, said yesterday. He thinks right. Even those who have defended Gelb’s artistic choices at the Met — I am not one of them — must have wondered at the bizarre sequence of events that unfolded yesterday: it appeared that America’s leading opera company was cracking up in public.
From Richard Scheinin at mercury news.com: It’s been 25 years since John Adams’ “Nixon in China” premiered at Houston Grand Opera, invigorating the operatic world. Inspired by President Richard M. Nixon’s historic visit to Beijing in 1972, it was Adams’ first opera, and it’s one he still holds dear. In “Hallelujah Junction,” his autobiography, Adams writes that “Nixon” contains “moments that are among my favorites of all the music I’ve ever composed.” Last month, while the Berkeley-based composer spent some time at his cabin in the north woods of Sonoma, I phoned him to discuss the opera. For the next hour, while watering his tomato patch and tossing a tennis ball to his dog, a pointer named Eloise, Adams waxed about “Nixon in China.”
From Diego Rodriguez: Pianist Jeremy Denk visited NPR’s studios to play and reflect upon Bach’s Goldberg Variations. “One of the most beautiful thing about the Goldbergs is that Bach uses it as a canvas in which to draw this seemingly infinite world of possibility. He grabs from everybody; he basically does a mashup. He does things in the style of the French overture, in the style of different dances; he does lamenting — from the smallest to the largest, from the happiest to the saddest.”
Principle 2: See and hear with the mind of a child
Principle 6: Live life at the intersection
Principle 8: Most new ideas aren’t
Principle 19: Have a point of view