Are European Schools Sanitizing History?

Is European history, as taught to Europe’s schoolchildren, being sanitized? Vikings, once referred to as “fierce raiders,” are now described as “Danes [who] besides being farmers, were much better at trading than Saxons”. Napoleon wasn’t an invader, he was “a reformer whose code of measurement was introduced throughout Europe.” “Vital pieces of history have been taken out of schoolbooks and the curriculum in the European-wide drive to pretend the union has a common identity and background.”

Red In The Black

Large orchestras may be facing massive deficits and concern for their future across the country, but some smaller ensembles with less overhead and fewer staff are actually thriving, despite a dismal economy. One case in point is Red, a Cleveland-based chamber orchestra specializing in contemporary music. Red, founded a year ago by Jonathan Sheffer (of Eos Ensemble fame), “is ending the season with no deficit on a budget of $407,000,” and has apparently been a hit with Cleveland concertgoers.

Attempting To Untangle Where Stravinsky ends And Craft Begins…

Robert Craft has been the keeper of the Stravinsky legacy. But it’s difficult to separate where one leaves off and the other begins. “Craft’s influence on Stravinsky was such that it was sometimes hard to tell who was responsible for what. Three decades after Stravinsky’s death in 1971, that symbiosis is starting to seem merely part of the Postmodern musical landscape. Still, Craft’s talent to be revelatory and obfuscatory at the same time makes his peculiar memoir, ‘An Improbable Life,’ as infuriating as it is engrossing.”

More From The Humana Festival

This year’s offerings at the Humana Festival of new plays followed some common themes. “Bad endings in America? Mopey zeitgeist? Metaphorical navel-gazing? Armchair quarterbacking the philosophical arc of the Humana is the second-most-favorite pastime of the festival. (Relentless schmoozing is, of course, numero uno.) And because so many of this year’s scripts seemed not-quite-fully realized, there was plenty of room for interpretation.”

Why Movies Are So Bad This Times Of Year

There seems to be great consternation in the movie industry right now over the lackluster performance of recent movies.” Why, asks Barry Koltnow? Because movies this time of year stink. “The reason they stink is that all the best movies come out in the last two months of the year because members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are brain-dead and cannot remember a movie longer than two months. Therefore, if you want your movie to be considered for an Oscar, you must release it just before the voting deadline. On the other hand, if you have a fun movie that has the potential to make a lot of money, then you must release it in the summer when school is out and kids have the time to see a movie 12 times a day.”

Gioia And The Bureaucracy

When he quit business, new NEA chairman Dana Gioia says he vowed not to be involved with bureaucracy again. “Appointed to his four-year term by President Bush, Gioia sees the bureaucratic dimension of his job as ‘a necessary obstacle. There’s no other way of administering these grants… except through a bureaucracy.’ The key, he says, is to remain ‘conscious of what your mission is. The constituency of the arts endowment is not merely artists. It’s all Americans’.”