You probably know that Google often customizes its logo to observe a holiday, honor an anniversary, etc. Snowflakes for the first day of winter, trees for Arbor Day . . . that kind of thing.
Today (June 17) it’s the birthday of a famous composer. Go to the site , take a close look at the artwork, and see if you can figure out who it is. (For the answer, float your cursor over the logo.)
And if you like brainteasers, remember Wednesday is always Piano Puzzler day on Performance Today.
I’m totally jealous of Anglea Jia Kim’s gorgeous skin. She’s a pianist playing this Wednesday at the White Pine Festival and gets her beautiful, soft glow using her own recipe of organic emollients. It’s a success-story of a crisis, becoming a solution, becoming a hobby, becoming a business. So now Ms. Kim not only tickles the ivories, but peddles her own skin care line.
One good plug deserves another–so thanks to Marianne Combs for including classical music in her arts coverage, and consider this a shout-out for her newly-launched blog, State of the Arts.
She raises the interesting question: what happens to Jorja Fleezanis’s violin? I’ll be interested to see what she finds out.
Down in the dumps because the economy is down in the dumps? According to a recent piece by Bloomberg News critic Norman Lebrecht, recessions can actually be good for classical music.
Though he does point out things are rosier in other places than the US where falling endowments have caused many orchestras to slash their seasons and concert-goers are choosier when buying tickets.
Here’s the CD on my desk that’s been getting second looks lately:
If you’ve been following the Van Cliburn competition and listening to the winners’ performances on Performance Today this week, you may have felt elated, shocked or a mix of both at the jury’s pick for top prize that included two firsts, a second and no third. One member of the audience, Benjamin Ivry of the Wall Street Journal wonders What Was the Jury Thinking?!
What do you think?
As fans of MPR’s In the Loop know, that show has been having some fun lately with recent news out of North Korea. If you want a glimpse into how these spoofs come together, there’s some “making of” video from my colleague Jeff Horwich below.
Meanwhile, this news, from a Russian news agency, is being reported as the sober truth: North Korean leader Kim Jung Il is now a director of opera.
Maybe you’ve seen various stories over the years about stores, bus stations, etc., using loud classical music to deter rowdy teens from loitering.
A shop in Scotland tried that tactic, and found to their dismay that the kids liked the music. Maybe concert halls should try it?
Are you someone who dreams of a world in which strangers spontaneously burst into song together? Well, maybe you’ve watched too many musicals; or maybe, you’re planning a trip to London this summer.
Starting June 23rd, the city of London will have 31 grand pianos outdoors at various prominent locations, complete with laminated songbooks. The hope of the organizers of the event is that it will build community spirit, by encouraging passers-by to have an impromptu sing-along with other passers-by. I, for one, am a little skeptical, but you never know.
Read more about it here.
Earlier this morning I played a suite by American composer Michael Gandolfi from his larger work called The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. The music was inspired by an actual garden in Scotland of the same name.
The garden’s design incorporates “features suggested by wave theory, sub-atomic particles, the diversity of DNA, the birth and expansion of the universe, super-string theory, and much more,” to quote Nick Jones’s liner notes for the CD.
Get a sense of what that looks like here.