Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

The Vienna Philharmonic is wrapping up its 175th Anniversary Year. To mark this milestone, the Philharmonic has put out a new book (A Sound Tradition) surveying its history - from its artistic and cultural highpoints to its darker historic moments during World War II. This week on A Tempo (Saturday 12/30 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz speaks with Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, author of the book and Chief Dramaturg of the Vienna State Opera, about the book and the Philharmonic's history. Joining in the conversation will be John Hargraves, who translated the book's English edition. 

Matthew Murphy


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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Kalman, who has designed many New Yorker covers, The Principles of Uncertainty, and contributed to the illustrated Elements of Style, is now collaborating on a stage work with choreographer John Heginbotham, formerly of the Mark Morris Dance Group. The piece is based on The Principles of Uncertainty, and is all about living while knowing you're going to die.

'The Nutcracker' With An Alaskan Twist

Dec 23, 2017

When Melinda McAdams moved to the fishing community of Sitka, Alaska, in 1993, no one in town knew how to dance on pointe shoes. Now, generations of dancers are up on their toes and every few years, they take the Tchaikovsky classic — The Nutcracker — and give it a rural Alaskan twist.

This two-act ballet begins when a girl named Marie (Clara in many productions) is gifted a wooden doll at a Christmas party. After the clock strikes midnight, the Nutcracker, played by 18-year-old Kincaid Parsons, comes to life.

Joan Marcus

The cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants is now a full-blown musical on Broadway at the Palace Theatre. Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Joanna Bergin

Robert Schumann wrote his Advice to Young Musicians in 1848 to share his thoughts and inspire the next generation of musicians. Now, cellist Steven Isserlis has revisited this collection of aphorisms and practical advice, presenting them in an updated form and adding his own thoughts in an effort to reach today's aspiring musicians. This Saturday on A Tempo (12/23 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz interviews Isserlis about this endeavor, and some of his other children's books on musical themes. 

What does it say about the state of jazz recording that Jason Moran and Rudresh Mahanthappa, both former Jazz Critics Poll winners, resorted to issuing their new albums primarily as digital downloads? Nothing good, probably, though I know some will say that digital is where sales are these days and jazz is just catching up to the zeitgeist.

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