Archive: June, 2009
Everyone has his or her own cultural touchstones, and for Riccardo Muti, the death of Michael Jackson has apparently made him think of the castrati. It's hard to know how scholars and cultural historians could have missed this one, but the conductor, having become aware of Jackson in the 1980s when he was music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has made a canny connection.
Our pal in Milan, Opera Chic, picked this up reading Corriere della Serra.
Here is Muti on Jackson:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has named Timothy Rub director and CEO. Rub, who has held the same titles for the past three years at the Cleveland Museum of Art, starts in September.
Our story is here.
The Inquirer, along with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the New York Times, agreed to an embargo of the story until Monday at 12:30 a.m. But the Times put its story up online hours before the agreed-upon time because, well...actually, we don't know why.
Two years ago, when the Art Museum raised its prices by some hefty percentages, COO Gail M. Harrity said it would not be the last time. And she was right. Admission is going up again. No one would dispute the fact that the museum needs the money. But unfortunately, that issue hangs out there quite separately from the consequences of putting great art out of reach.
Realistically, how many visitors will be shut out or turned off? No one knows. But if you're two parents of two teenagers and wake up one morning feeling Rauschenbergian, it'll cost you $56 (plus parking) to walk in the door. That's the sort of figure that makes you think twice. Again, it's important to divorce this concept from the question of whether the museum needs the money or whether the experience is worth it. Will the move bring the museum more revenue if fewer people attend?
And you'll never really know who is suffering. Who would know, for instance, when a potential art lover looks up prices on the Art Museum's website and, totaling the figure for the day, simply moves on.
We don't normally do pop on this blog, but, living near South Street, it's hard not to notice that car radios on the strip are turning up the Michael Jackson. It's a wonderful kind of impromtu memorial. Hard to imagine many other pop singers as the cause of such a unified, spontaneous reaction.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art's Bruce Nauman show in Venice has critics echoing the sentiments of Biennale judges who awarded it a Golden Lion for best national pavilion.
The Boston Globe calls it the "best exhibition in town."
"Venice’s ornament and theatricality sets off his muted, unyielding aesthetic to superb effect, proving that even a celebrated artist resonates anew here," writes the Financial Times.
One week they're in Venice, the next in South Philly. Marguerite and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest have taken the $25,000 awarded to them as part of the Philadelphia Award and turned it over to the Marian Anderson Historical Society. Click on the link, by the way, for a few moments of unbelievably supreme beauty...Orchestra 2001 has won the League of American Orchestras' first prize for programming contemporary music for ensembles in its budget category, which might be no surprise since the only thing they program is contemporary music...You can follow the National Symphony Orchestra on its Asian tour with coverage by the Washington Post's Anne Midgette...Midgette will apparently be back in the country by June 26 to chat with Bang on a Can’s founding artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe about their work as composers, impresarios, and entrepreneurs. The discussion is hosted by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage...Josef Spacek, the young Curtis Institute of Music violinist who was heard at the last Academy of Music Anniversary concert, has won New Zealand's Michael Hill Competition...The White House is starting a new music series that begins with the Marsalis family, the New York Times reports, and is slated to include country and classical...Our friends at the Daily News have noticed that the Franklin Institute has quietly dropped its name change...You might have guessed that the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Venice Biennale show didn't exist to come out of no where and then just end. I'll have a piece in the Sunday Inquirer explaining how it's part of a larger strategy.
The Philadelphia Orchestra's all-around-utility-he's-here-when-we-need-him conductor Rossen Milanov has added the Princeton Symphony Orchestra to his portfolio. He's that little orchestra's new music director starting July 1, the orchestra announced yesterday.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art won a Golden Lion, Best National Pavilion at the 53d Venice Biennale today for Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens. More here.