How Beethoven Changed Music In The Young United States

From an 1805 concert for the gentry of Charleston featuring the first movement of the First Symphony through the flood of German immigrants in the 1840s, the establishment of orchestras in New York and Boston, and the rise of the Romantic cult of the lone genius, Beethoven’s music was what established both the habit of programming concerts focusing on dead composers’ works and the idea of classical music as an ennobling force with moral value. – Smithsonian Magazine

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Venice’s €6 Billion Flood Barrier Probably Won’t Be Enough

“For all its exquisite engineering, MOSE is essentially a stopgap, a $6 billion duct-tape fix that could work just long enough to induce complacency. The fact that it took so long to design and build means that the technology predated the latest science. … A 2011 UNESCO report concluded that MOSE ‘might be able to avoid flooding for the next few decades, but the sea will eventually rise to a level where even continuous closures will not be able to protect the city from flooding.” – Curbed

Source: Curbed

Why Play Is Essential To Ideas

Because thinking minds are different from evolving organisms and self-assembling molecules, we cannot expect them to use the same means—mechanisms like genetic drift and thermal vibrations—to overcome deep valleys in the landscapes they explore. But they must have some way to achieve the same purpose. As it turns out, they have more than just one—many more. But one of the most important is play. – Nautilus

Source: Nautilus

Should A Museum Diversify By Selling Some Of Its Best Art?

“MOLAA’s collection is, to be charitable, spotty. But the bizarre claim that certain first-rate artists are “overrepresented” in the collection, which chief curator Gabriela Urtiaga offered to The Times as a rationale for trying to unload 59 works, mostly graphics, does not inspire confidence in upgrading it.” – Los Angeles Times

Source: Los Angeles Times

Consolidation: Major Broadway Theatrical Licensing Agency Is Sold To Competitor

In the letter, Dramatists Play Service says that the move was partly inspired by the challenges facing the theater business posed by coronavirus. It’s a public health crisis that has brought Broadway and other centers of the live events industry to their knees, dramatically reducing the fees that can be garnered for licensing plays and musicals to theater companies around the world. – Variety

Source: Variety

The Problem With Hatchet Job Restaurant Reviews

Ted Gioia: “Why write this way? Why compare tomato soup to totalitarian dictators? It’s fun. And it’s easy. There are no real stakes for describing bad food. For these pugilist reviewers, the worst outcome is a bored reader, and thus the sheer unimportance of the subject sanctions a degree of exuberant cruelty unmatched in any other branch of criticism.” – The New Republic

Source: The New Republic

Virginia Governor Allocates $11 Million To Revamp Richmond’s Monument Avenue

“Virginia Governor Ralph Northam wants to redesign Monument Avenue, a promenade in the capital city of Richmond lined with shrines to Confederate generals” — four of which were removed as a result of Black Lives Matter demonstrations this past summer, while the fifth, of Robert E. Lee, has been covered with protest art — “and he’s tasked the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the job.” – Artnet

Source: Artnet