Forget drugs. “A strong dose of Mozart is more likely to enhance athletic performance. This is the revolutionary theory of a Greek cardiologist who, when not attending to affairs of the heart, busies himself as a composer. He recommends music as the best stimulant for sporting success and claims that a series of studies have shown that, used in combination with the right diet, ‘it can act as an energy supplement in the attempt to reduce the use of pharmaceutical substances by young people involved in sport’.”
Kit Armstrong is 12 years old, the youngest student at the prestigious Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. He’s also, according to his teachers, a musical genius of the kind that comes along once in a lifetime. “Have you heard about this kid named Kit Armstrong?” is the question of the moment in the small international community of impresarios who decide which artists land recitals in leading venues and perform with orchestras. His name is already circulating in the wider entertainment industry. He’s been on David Letterman, and handlers are busy fielding his many media requests.”
Portland Center Stage is getting a new, state-of-the-art home, one that will “put its facilities on a par with the country’s best regional theater venues in such cities as Chicago, Minneapolis and Dallas. It also will bring back to life one of the city’s oldest buildings, the 1891 Oregon National Guard Armory at Northwest Davis Street and 10th Avenue. And it is vying to be the most ecologically sound building so far completed in the Northwest. Sounds pretty good. What’s not to like?” So why so many critics of the project?
Why is there such a huge discrepancy between the salary of orchestra executives and musicians? AJ blogger Drew McManus correlates the pay compensation of players and the people who manage orchestras. Executives earn, on average, between 3 and 6 times as much as the musician earning a base salary…
Just how are plays chosen for inclusion at the Festival of New American Plays in Louisville? This year, five of the six full plays presented were by women. And they were also young. “This time the plays we liked happened to be mostly by younger writers. We just felt the writing was interesting and strong and worthy of production.”
When Lewis Sharp arrived as director of the Denver Art Museum in 1989, the talent for a good museum was in place but not realized. In the past 15 years, Sharp has transformed the museum, and raised $63 million for an addition designed by Daniel Libeskind. “I hope that the building will allow us to create such a presence within this community and within the country that the Denver Art Museum will not be overlooked. Simply by the presence of that building, people will say, ‘When you go out to the American West, you ought to go to Denver and see that incredible building by Daniel Libeskind.”‘
“In the end, we like policies like affirmative action not so much because they solve the problem of racism but because they tell us that racism is the problem we need to solve. And the reason we like the problem of racism is that solving it just requires us to give up our prejudices, whereas solving the problem of economic inequality might require something more — it might require us to give up our money. It’s not surprising that universities of the upper middle class should want their students to feel comfortable. What is surprising is that diversity should have become the hallmark of liberalism.”
“Five of the six new full-length works at this year’s buzz-generating Humana Festival of New American Plays were written by women. Coincidence?
The US Department of Justice is cracking down on pornography. The DoJ plans to “prosecute those producing and distributing obscene material. ‘Nothing will be off-limits as far as content goes. We’ll do everything we can to deter this conduct.’ But that may be difficult. “More than 11,000 adult films are released annually in the US and there are 800 million DVD and video rentals of adult movies each year, according to the trade association Adult Video News.”
Legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman admits he can’t watch his own movies because they’re too depressing. “I don’t watch my own films very often. I become so jittery and ready to cry… and miserable. I think it’s awful,”