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11.10.09

In Brief: Cristoforo Colombo Edition

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

  • I suppose that we should address the recently created regulations from the Federal Trade Commission, requiring bloggers to disclose payment they receive from companies whose products they endorse. Ionarts functions for the most part like a newspaper or magazine that reviews concerts and recordings. We receive complimentary press tickets for reviews and promotional copies of new recordings and DVDs for our consideration. This is the only way that we are able to attend so many performances and listen to so many recordings. We do not receive payment for coverage, either positive or negative, and we always feel free to call things as we see it. [New York Times]

  • At the school where I teach, I recently scandalized the headmaster, a Benedictine monk, by telling him how much the National Symphony Orchestra may be paying incoming music director Christoph Eschenbach. Just how much do big-time conductors make, when all of the various fees and extras they receive are taken into account? It is hard to know because they are not legally required to disclose them, even when the money they are receiving comes from government subsidies. [On an Overgrown Path]

  • The addictive joys of book ownership, as described by Roger Ebert and further commented on. I also suffer from the related disorder of senzabibliophobia, that is, the compulsive carrying around of a book, just in case one might have a spare, otherwise unoccupied five minutes at some point in the day. [Languagehat]

  • American reaction to the choice of Herta Müller for this year's Nobel Prize in Literature was quite puzzling. Just because most Americans don't know much about literature in foreign languages does not mean that the Nobel committee is not making informed choices. [The Literary Saloon]

  • Boston-based composer -- and erstwhile Ionarts contributor -- Frank Pesci is hosting a short program called Cafeteria Rusticana: An Evening of Mad Libretto Opera on October 21 (5:30 pm) at the Church of St. John the Evangelist. The audience will supply words for some traditional opera scenes with new music by Frank. If you are in Boston you should check it out: it's free. [Frank Pesci]

  • Although unfortunately this is apparently a viral advertisement, which makes it a lot less fun, check out the video of an installation in a Swedish subway station, turning a staircase into a piano keyboard, complete with sounds, to see if more people would take the stairs instead of the escalator. Also -- welcome back, Anne-Carolyn! [The Concert]

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