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8.3.09

In Brief: Lent II Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • The photograph in this post, of a gargoyle with a forked icicle hanging from its mouth, is worth a click. Hard to believe the cold weather was just a few days ago. [DCist]

  • On more than one level the news about the D.C. Philharmonic, a new regional orchestra planning its first concert next month, is puzzling. Besides the National Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony, this area is already inundated with regional orchestras: the Maryland Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the McLean Symphony, the Alexandria Symphony, the Fairfax Symphony, the Prince William Symphony, Capital City Symphony, the National Philharmonic, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, not to mention a few collegiate orchestras. Furthermore, the concept of marketing classical music on the basis of skin color has a "separate but equal" quality about it that just seems strange at this point in history. [Washington Post]

  • Les Guignols de l'Info, the hilarious marionnette news show on Canal+ has been a mainstay of the average French person's life. It is hard to believe that the show is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. [La Libre Belgique]

  • Matthew Bourne and the vocal ensemble Seaming To create a work using six battered, out-of-tune pianos. [Financial Times]

  • Fifteen relatively unknown paintings by Fernand Léger, all borrowed from private collections, at the Galerie Malingue in Paris through April 30. [Le Figaro]

1 comment:

Garth Trinkl said...

Charles, few would doubt that the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Library of Congress employ a featured mixture of skin colors in their mass marketing campaigns. However, the National Symphony Orchestra appears to have taken another tack by marketing, almost exclusively, its principal and guest conductors on the basis of their 'mainstream, non-colored, Caucasian' skin colors.

For the NSO, it would appear acceptable to include younger conductors 'of color' in show-cased summer National Orchestral Conducting Institutes, but a glance at the NSO's upcoming guest conductors for the next season [2009-10] reveal all 'Caucasian' faces, with no guest conductors of non-'Caucasian' (or female) background.

Do you think that it is discrimination against darker skin-colored American female and male conductors, discrimination against physically-disabled American conductors, or discrimination against older American conductors that has kept, for years, the NSO from inviting James dePreist to the podium as a guest conductor? Perhaps you or your staff writers would understand the feelings leading to the establishment of the exciting new orchestra, at Strathmore, if you had experience performing under American conductors, or with American musicians, who had been discriminated against by the elite classical music world on the basis of their race or gender.

(Perhaps with an American female conductor now in Baltimore/Maryland, the NSO and Kennedy Center administrations feel that they have no need to examine carefully the talents of potential female guest conductors.)

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Thank you, otherwise, for your classical music reviews.