Arts & Life

Arts & Life
9:24 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Remembering Composer Gunther Schuller

Gunther Schuller conducts at Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 3:38 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gunther Schuller died on Sunday at the age of 89. He was known for his versatility: as a horn player he performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and recorded with Miles Davis. As the head of the New England Conservatory in Boston, he introduced jazz into the curriculum. His works “Where the Word Ends” and “Dreamscape” were also performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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Arts & Life
9:22 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Unearthed In A Library, 'Voodoo' Opera Rises Again

Harry Lawrence Freeman, the Harlem Renaissance composer of the opera Voodoo.
H. Lawrence Freeman Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 7:01 pm

About eight years ago, as a grad student, Annie Holt was working in Columbia University's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library when she was assigned to catalogue the work of Harry Lawrence Freeman, a largely forgotten Harlem-based composer from the early 20th century.

"It was fabulous!" she says. "I had the honor of going through all the cardboard boxes that came right from his family's house and unearthing everything, and I, for myself, discovered how amazing his story was and how amazing his music is."

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Book Reviews
9:03 am
Thu June 25, 2015

'Keepers' Isn't One: A Critic's Highlight Reel Lacks Spark

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 25, 2015 12:30 pm

The truth and trouble of criticism is that it never really leaves behind personal opinion. At best it heightens that opinion by placing it in the framework of an argument, but no matter what, the exhibition of authority while judging art will always function somewhat as a masquerade.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Going Through A Midlife Crisis? 'Summerlong' Is No Escape

Courtesy of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Originally published on Thu June 25, 2015 3:24 pm

Do not read this book if you are unhappy. It will kill you.

Don't read it if you're sad. Don't read it if you're restless. Don't read it if you're in pain or lost or choked with grief. Don't read it unless your marriage is rock-solid. Don't read it if, sometimes, you wake late at night and think of just slipping away in the dark, calculating how far away you'd be before anyone knew you were gone because if you do, Summerlong will take you down with it, man. It will break you.

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Book Reviews
1:05 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

'Patience And Fortitude' And The Fight To Save NYC's Storied Public Library

Cover detail of Scott Sherman's Patience and Fortitude.
Melville House Books

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 11:55 am

Since it opened in 1911, the building has become a New York City landmark, praised not only for its beauty but also for its functional brilliance. In the words of one contemporary architect, the main branch of The New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street is "a perfect machine for reading." The grand Reading Room sits atop seven levels of iron and steel books stacks whose contents could, at one time, be delivered to anybody who requested a book within a matter of minutes via a small elevator. Those stacks also support the floor of the Reading Room above.

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Author Interviews
1:05 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

'Project Fatherhood' Teaches Parenting Skills To Inner-City Dads

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 2:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Book Reviews
6:12 am
Wed June 24, 2015

'The Cartel' Is A True Crime Adventure With A Killer Protagonist

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 8:01 am

The dedication of Don Winslow's novel The Cartel is nearly two pages long: a list of journalists who were either murdered or "disappeared" in Mexico between 2004 and 2012 — the period covered in this hugely hypnotic new thriller.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed June 24, 2015

'Death' Uncovers The Secret History Of Mr. Pickwick

Lydia Thompson NPR

"One of my life's greatest tragedies," said George Orwell, "is to have already read Pickwick Papers. I can't go back and read it for the first time." The serialized novel of 1836 was one of the first commercial blockbusters of the English-speaking world. The author? A virtual unknown, a 24-year-old hired gun writing under the penname "Boz." The illustrator? A then well-known caricaturist, Robert Seymour, who provided a series of gently satiric etchings to illuminate the text.

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Books
4:17 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

BuzzFeed's Saeed Jones Recommends Books Of Transformation For Summer

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 7:56 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And it's summer - time to tackle all the books piling up on your nightstand, right? Well, Saeed Jones says let go of the guilt, and let your interests and curiosity guide your summer picks.

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Book Reviews
12:45 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Algerian Writer Kamel Daoud Stands Camus' 'The Stranger' On Its Head

Other Press

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:19 pm

Back in college English, I was taught that it was foolish to think that fictional characters have any reality beyond the page. You shouldn't speculate about how many children Lady Macbeth had or what job Holden Caulfield wound up doing as a grown-up.

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Movie Interviews
12:45 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

'Me And Earl' Director Traces Path From Scorsese's Assistant To Sundance

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 4:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Fine Art
12:45 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Could The Masterpiece Be A Fake? Profit, Revenge And 'The Art Of Forgery'

In 2010 the Detroit Institute of Arts hosted the exhibit "Fakes, Forgeries, and Mysteries" — about how experts figure out whether artworks are authentic. Above, a painting titled A Female Saint (left) that was once attributed to Italian artist Sandro Botticelli is exhibited alongside The Resurrected Christ (right), a Botticelli painting from around 1480.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 1:24 pm

Michelangelo is known for masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel and the statue of David, but most people probably don't know that he actually got his start in forgery. The great artist began his career as a forger of ancient Roman sculptures, art scholar Noah Charney tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

By the time Michelangelo's forgery was revealed, the Renaissance master was famous in his own right. But many other artistic forgers continue to copy the work of past artists in the hopes of passing their creations off as authentic.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Man Who Created The Pink Plastic Lawn Flamingo Dies

The flamingo ornament was one of hundreds of items that Donald Featherstone made for the Union Products plastics company.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 12:15 pm

If you've got a plastic pink flamingo on your lawn, give it a pat on the back. The man who designed the lawn art, Donald Featherstone, has died. He was 79.

His wife, Nancy, tells The Associated Press that Featherstone died Monday and that he had battled Lewy body dementia.

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The Salt
11:00 am
Tue June 23, 2015

In The Japanese Tea Ceremony, Politics Are Served With Every Cup

Myanmar democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi (right) receives a bowl of green tea from Japanese tea master Genshitsu Sen at a tea ceremony in Kyoto during a 2013 visit to Japan.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 5:33 pm

In the U.S., Tea Party politics refers to a certain strain of Republican conservatism. But in Japan, tea politics are of an altogether different sort: The ritual drinking of this ancient beverage — often thought of as the epitome of Japanese restraint and formality — has long been entwined with issues of power and national identity.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Tue June 23, 2015

James Horner, A Giant Among Movie Music Composers, Is Dead, Agents Say

Composer James Horner, seen here at a movie premiere in 2012, is believed to have died in a plane crash.
Gareth Cattermole Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 10:38 pm

Update: 11:30 p.m. ET

In a statement Tuesday night, the talent agency that represented Horner mourned "the tragic passing of our dear colleague."

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